Without further ado, Emma has done better over the past two days. She has gained an ounce. She has been on room air (21% oxygen) on the vent since yesterday morning. They will do another blood gas today and then discuss when to try and extubate (take out the ventilator) again. I am pretty scared to have it removed, but it needs to come out eventually. It's a matter of trial and error, as most things are with preemies in the NICU. She started "trophic feeds" yesterday of diluted breastmilk. She started at 1/2 cc (ml) per hour. These feeds are through her NG (gavage) tube down her throat and into her tummy. They are not real feed yet, but just enough to signal her body to get ready for "real" feedings of bigger volumes. She handled the feeds well yesterday, so today they stopped diluting it and started 100% strength boob juice still at the same rate of 1/2 cc (ml) per hour. I am SO thrilled that she is finally getting MY milk. It makes me feel like I am doing SOMETHING for her.
She is still having some bradycardia spells, but is not needing to be bagged to recover from them. Simple stimulation is bringing her up. Also, she is not desatting during the bradycardia spells so that is good news as well. She was put on her tummy for the first time yesterday, and they are turning her from her right side and back to her tummy every 6 hours to try and keep secretions from her lungs at a minimum.
This morning when I went to visit she had her thumb in her mouth. Itwas SO cute. She was not sucking (she hasn't developed that reflex yet) but the nurse said it is a good sign to see her trying to comfort herself by putting her hands up near her face. Caden and Lily got to see her as well and Caden has decided that Emma is like Daddy because she sleeps on her tummy and drools in her sleep. :)
I plan on going back tonight with Sean once again when the kids are asleep. I always enjoy our quiet time at night "tucking her in" alone with sean. It's therapeutic also. Last night on the way Sean said "well, we've tucked in all our babies we can go home and sleep now." He is right, we tucked her in!
I am recovering remarkably well. I am finally starting to sleep better. I wake once at night to pump. I set up my pump next to the bed so I don't have to get up and then put the milk in the mini fridge when I'm done (which is currently acting as a nightstand and has been since I was put on bedrest). Not actually getting out of bed at night is REALLY helping me get a better night's sleep. My pain is being managed well. I only took meds 3 times yesterday, and so far only once today. My incision is beginning to form scar tissue so that is good as well. I can laugh, cry, and cough without cringing from pain. I've probably overdone it a bit the past few days between cleaning out the kids room, the office, and shopping, but oh well. It has made the days a bit easier. The kids are also really enjoying having mommy more involved again. This is not to say that our nanny isn't still a godsend, because she is. But life is getting easier.
Friends and Family:
Where do I even begin. The amount of support, prayers, and gifts that we've received has been unbelievable! We are so blessed and so grateful to have friends and family who love us and are supporting us through this hard time. Reading comments on the blog, getting phone calls, and mail all put smiles on our faces. I want to send a special thanks to Veronica for the flowers, Leslie for the gift bag full of goodies, Geina and Christina for the preemie clothes and ALL of my special Shabby Mommies, forum friends who donated funds towards a new diva pink double combi twin savvy stroller I had my eye on. Thank you so much. You guys have all gone above and beyond. I am trying to thank everyone individually. If you are missed I sincerely apologize, you are still very appreciated and we are very thankful.
Emma with her thumb in her mouth:
The pump which gives Emma her "liquid gold" (Breastmilk). You can see the milk in the small syringe on the left. That is the amount given over the course of an hour:
Lily was so excited to see her sister!
Last but not least the super PINK stroller that my Shabby Mama friends so graciously got for us: