Monday, February 23, 2009

Exhausted and Elated...

...all at the same time.

That about sums up our life these days. 

I shall now call her Superbaby because that is exactly what she is:


She is now over three pounds. I gave her a bath this week, her first tub bath. She didn't love it. She's been latching on while I hold her during gavage feedings. She gets tired quickly so it's non-nutritive at this point but it's good practice for later I suppose. She seems much more comfortable in our arms now, too. She opens her eyes more and quietly looks around. This is a silly face before a feeding, I think she knows what's coming:

It's been nice spending more time with our "Big Girl". She is saying more and more every day. Her latest thing is to tell our dog to be quiet when he barks. And she'll ask us to do something by ending her request with "come on". And she takes her clothes off all the time. Then we put them back on at her request. Then she takes them back off. Good times:

I've been trying to capture some of her latest cute sayings on video but every time I turn it on she clams up. I'll have to get creative and try hiding the camera next time. Thank goodness she still occasionally obliges me when it comes to taking still pictures. This is her before going to visit Daddy and Superbaby, she is so excited: 


We had our very own Oscar night last night. I am a total award show nerd. I love them, do not ask me why. The Academy Awards are my favorite. Chris is so sweet and good to me. He watches with me and pretends like he cares about the pre-show. He even made me a cocktail, my first in months. I thought Penelope Cruz wore the most stunning dress of the evening. LOVED IT. I can't wait to see Slumdog Millionaire. Have you seen it?


Sunday, February 15, 2009

So Far, So Good!

The Little Flower is getting more familiar with the NICU routine:

All clean:

Flowerbud is doing so well!

She is now on room air. She is taking her maximum feedings. Her bilirubin stabilized enough so that she does not need phototherapy, however, I wouldn't be surprised if by tomorrow she needed the lights again. One of the neonatologists stopped to talk with me on Friday and she said she couldn't believe how well Flowerbud was doing. She said not to hesitate to come to them with any questions because otherwise we may not see too much of them. Now we just wait for the weight, at four pounds she can transition to an open crib.

This was her tonight after I held and fed her. She loves her tummy time: 

Sweet dreams baby girl...

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

One Week Old

I took the Little Flower to see her sister again yesterday:

I know she doesn't exactly look thrilled in the picture but she was very interested in seeing Flowerbud. We brought a little stuffed animal rattle for the Little Flower to leave with Flowerbud. These pseudonyms are starting to annoy me what about you?


I made a big production (albeit a quiet one) out of leaving it for Flowerbud to see:

Flowerbud's feedings have been cut down because she isn't digesting the full amount every time. She had to have an IV placed. She's been doing better on her tummy. Doesn't she look comfy?

I was able to do Kangaroo Care for the first time today. It was heaven. It was also all I could do to stay awake. I just kept thinking how embarrassing it would be if all of the sudden the nurse was shaking my shoulder and calling my name. Flowerbud totally zonked out and not one episode of bradycardia!

I went back this evening and I'm so glad I did. She was the most alert I've seen her. Here she is being weighed:

She's finally back up to her birth weight! And she was doing so well we were able to do kangaroo care again! Here's another picture of those beautiful open eyes:

I'm hoping to do skin to skin with every feeding at some point, but for now she needs to be under the lights as much as possible. Until then I do this:

Can't wait to have her home...

Monday, February 9, 2009


I knew it was just a matter of time before we received some negative news about our Flowerbud. In the grand scheme of things the news really isn't that bad, it just feels overwhelmingly negative given that my hormones are doing whatever it is they're doing post-pregnancy.

I had grand plans to attend the medical rounds in the NICU starting yesterday. Not the best idea I've ever had. Mothers need not hear about every episode of bradycardia (low heart rate) requiring stimulation. Mothers need not hear about failed PICC attempts, or abnormal lab values, or retractions. Not this mother anyways. I'll take only good news please from here on out. Having been through this NICU thing before, I know that everything that is happening is normal. Some days Flowerbud will take two steps backwards. I just hate that it allows me to think about all of the what-ifs.

While listening to (and automatically obsessing about) every detail pertaining to Flowerbud's condition yesterday morning, her heart rate dipped. Twice. While I was holding her. I couldn't get her out of my hands fast enough. 

Today I had two nice visits during which I gave her feedings. For the first visit she stayed in the isolette but for the second feeding I held her. Her heart rate dipped again, requiring stimulation. Then as I was saying goodbye to her she spit up what looked like the entire feeding I had just given her.  

Tonight the NICU called to tell me she had been moved to another spot, partly because she was doing so well. "It's a good thing" the nurse told me. But the nurse in me knows that this means she will now have less attention from her nurses based on staffing/acuity in the unit. What if she spits up again and no one is around to see her and she aspirates?


Meanwhile, the little flower started a new music class today with her nanny. She also started swimming lessons on Saturdays, Daddy will take her to those. She did great her first time. We were worried she might not want to get in the water without Chris, but off she went without hesitation. She even went under the water. She's been sleeping through the night in her big girl bed, too. 

 "Pssstt...I'm alright Mommy"

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Hello Love

All good things today. 

Flowerbud opened her eyes and saw that Mommy, Daddy, and Little Flower were there to see her:

Her arterial line came out so we are finally able to hold her.
 What pure joy! And she smelled so sweet:

The little flower came to the NICU with us for the first time. She did very well considering she is two. She was mildly interested in her new baby sister. She seemed okay with me holding Flowerbud, but when it came to Chris she was clearly uncomfortable. It was sad to see. We'll have to remember to be sensitive to our first baby's needs during this time. She's had to adapt to so much in the past few months.  

We all went out to dinner after our visit. It's been months since the three of us have gone anywhere together. We tried a new place, I had a coffee (it's been awhile), we all shared dessert. The little flower was giddy. So fun!:

Must sleep now! My body knows this, but my mind? Not so much...

Friday, February 6, 2009

Details and Updates

You'll all have to excuse me for the next eight weeks or so while I carry on and on about our new baby and life in the NICU. I'm hoping to have some other interesting things to write about from time to time, but for now this is my life so this is what I will blog. Plus, I figure why start writing about interesting things now?

Our "flowerbud" (anyone have any other ideas for a pseudonym?) was born on Wednesday, February 4, which incidentally was the little flower's due date back in 2007 (she of course came 10 weeks earlier). Flowerbud weighed 2 pounds, 13 ounces and was 15 3/4 inches long, great stats for a 27 6/7 weeker.

I felt like I was leaking fluid on Sunday so we went to OB triage. They tested twice for amniotic fluid and both times the test was negative so we were sent home. I continued for the next few days with the same symptoms and felt something wasn't right but I was due to see the perinatologist on Thursday so my thought was to have her check for low fluid in the office then. Wednesday morning I woke up with increasingly painful contractions and as soon as our nanny arrived I had her take me to the hospital. Just in case.

Chris was of course working at a distant site and at first didn't think he would be able to meet me at the hospital. Thankfully, he was able to work something out and made it to the delivery. We're bummed that AGAIN we weren't fully prepared and neglected to bring a camera, so we have no pictures from either of our girls' birth.

I mentioned to the NICU nurse this morning that I was anxious to see Flowerbud's face again. When I went back this afternoon she had taken this picture for me:

Isn't she lovely (sing it like Stevie Wonder)? She looks a lot like her big sister did, but even smaller:

We got to see her today with her CPAP off. She is slowly being weaned to a nasal cannula. She is tolerating my milk via NG tube, something the little flower had trouble with for quite some time. Her hematocrit has stabilized so for now no more blood transfusions. Her bilirubin is slowly coming down. All in all she is doing very well. I was able to change her diaper and take her temperature. My hands were shaking, I could not be gentle enough:

I am home now and I just called the NICU to check on her before we went to bed. Apparently Flowerbud expressed some dissatisfaction with having her CPAP mask back on tonight after having had it off for several hours. The nurse had just checked her blood gases and everything looked good so she called the doctor and he said she could continue with the nasal cannula as long as she remains stable. I'm so happy for her, I hope she is resting quietly and hearing our voices in her dreams.


Thursday, February 5, 2009

The little flower... now a big sister!

A little child born yesterday,
a thing on mother's milk and kisses fed.
Homer, Hymn to Hermes