Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Abby's Early Days

A Day Full of Good News

Okay, I just got back from from the hospital feeling more encouraged than I have since Abby was born. I must share!

* Abby had her MRI today (she did great and didn't require additional sedatives) and we got the results. Everything they were checking for looks fine!! This is a huge answer to prayer. Yippee!!!

* Her feeds will continue to increase until Wednesday, when she should be at full feeds!! (That's one ounce--not much to us, but plenty to fill a premie's belly!)

* Tomorrow, they will begin C-PAP trials. This is a machine that offers a slight bit of pressure to assist the airway, but it will be done through her ventilator to avoid Abby getting into breathing trouble if she doesn't tolerate it. If the trials look good, then she will be put on this instead of the vent. When she gets off the vent depends solely on Abby, but it could be Wednesday!

*There was concern about a blood infection, but the culture hasn't grown anything over the last 4 days. She's on antibiotics just in case, but it doesn't appear that there is any sign of infection after all.

* Abby will have a G-tube for feeding put in over the next few weeks. While I know this is necessary, I don't want her to depend on that without ever trying a bottle. All of the research points to the importance of continuing to offer the bottle even with the G-tube. I got permission tonight to start working with her to take a bottle as soon as they change out her trach and she is off the vent! Good thing, because I would have just bugged them about it until they said yes anyway. :)

* My girl was more alert and awake tonight than she has been since she got her trach. Her pain meds are being weaned and she is definitely feeling better. She also thoroughly enjoys her feedings, as is evident in the way she smacks her lips and smiles whenever her belly is full. It is totally cute!

* One of our favorite nurses, Tara, has Abby tonight. She realized there was a hole in her blood pressure cuff and got her a new one. Instead of throwing the old one away, she asked if I wanted to keep it for her scrap book. The girl can tell a sentimental type when she sees one! I thanked her profusely!

I hope you'll be as encouraged as I was today. Our girl definitely has a long road ahead of her, but we are beginning to actually walk it now instead of just constantly worrying about her airway. Things are heading in the right direction!

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Monday, November 1, 2010 10:33 PM, EDT

You Might Be in the NICU for Too Long When...

I've been serious way too much recently. Granted, it has certainly been warranted, but I'm ready to lighten up a bit. In honor of all of our good news today, I'm going to change the tone a bit!

You might be in the NICU for too long when...

You and the other mommies race to see who can fill up their freezer space for milk the fastest.

You know what each beep means by its sound without looking up.

It feels weird to wash your hands without a scrub brush and nail pick.

You beg the nurse to let you hold the syringe for feedings so that you feel needed.

The guards checking people in on the floor have memorized your patient number.

You cheer for meconium and marvel at the number of wipes it takes to clean it up.

You get ridiculously excited about changing your baby's diaper.

You know all of the nurses in your room by name.

Everyone at the front desk gives a collective greeting when they see you.

The terms Brady and Desat are all too familiar to you.

The guard at the front entrance doesn't ask to see your band anymore.

Your hands are incredibly dry from all of the hand-washing.

The doctors stop "translating" information for you because they assume you understand the doctor jargon...and you do!

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Wednesday, November 3, 2010 3:06 PM, EDT

C-PAP, Insurance, and Weight Gain...Oh My!

Abby started her C-PAP trials last night. She was still hooked up to the vent so that it could kick over if needed, but they wanted to try her on her own. We were there when they started the trial and Abby definitely felt the difference and took a few minutes to adjust. BUT, SHE DID GREAT!!! We were so proud of her! This morning, they decided that Abby did so fabulously on the trial that they would switch her over to full C-PAP and see how it went. So far, she's continued to do beautifully!! Naturally, they are monitoring her closely, but it is definitely good that she is off of the vent.

Matt and I left after spending some time with Abby this morning so that I could use my parents' computer and printer to work on some insurance claims. IT TAKES FOREVER!! I have a feeling that this will be my life from now on, but it is definitely tedious. Can I just say how thankful I am for insurance?!?!

As of yesterday, Abby was back up to her birth weight and then some! Go Abby! She was 4 lbs 2.5 oz, which is a little over her 4 lb birth weight. We are very excited about this, as before she just kept losing weight because she was burning all of her calories trying to breathe. Yay!!

I'll be heading back to the hospital this evening with my parents (I still can't drive--can you believe it hasn't even been 2 weeks yet since I delivered?!?) and hopefully Abby will have gained even more today!

PS: The girl LOVES her food...she smacks her lips and smiles really big during each feeding. This is especially funny since she can't taste it going through her tube, but she knows that her belly is getting full and she likes that. It is very cute! I have yet to capture it on camera, but I'm working on it!

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