Weight: 3 pounds, 10 ounces
Feedings: 33 milliliters fortified to 24 cal every 3 hours given over the course of 30 minutes
I have big news to announce in today’s update: Friday afternoon, after the last update was posted, we returned to the NICU to find out that Abigail had graduated to Special Care! Furthermore, on Saturday morning we walked into the NICU to find Abby out of her isolette and into an open crib! I had been feeling a little down, praying for some sort of obvious movement forward, as we walked back into the hospital on Friday and the Lord graciously heard my prayer and answered.
On Saturday, Abby stopped receiving caffeine in her milk, but she is continuing with her sodium. Her foot also seems to be improving as she is able to move it into a “normal” position when you tickle the outside of her left foot and calf.
The next big hurdle for Abby to overcome is learning how to eat. Right now she gets to try to nurse once a day. Once she is making progress there, eventually the doctor will put in orders to start offering her bottles for her feedings. As eager as I am for that order to be put in, I know it will probably be a while (at least days, probably weeks) before that happens.
Mini-Munchkin Update: 28 1/2 Months Old
Because I haven’t had a chance to post Lydia’s monthly update, I thought I would post at least a mini report.
Navigating the NICU with a two-year-old is no easy task, but Lydia is a sweet big sister and is handling everything remarkably well. As I’ve noted before, she just loves Abby, and all of the staff in the NICU absolutely love her. Her social skills (which were already great) have been growing as she interacts with new nurses, doctors, and techs every day. There is a “parents pantry” in the NICU with juice and some snacks for parents and siblings of NICU babies. In particular, they have these mini water bottles which are just Lydia’s size. Every day we take one trip to the reception desk and ask to be let into the pantry to get a water bottle for Lydia. Recently she became brave enough to be the one to ask “water bottle?” and even more recently she’s been able to say “pantry?” to the techs who have the access to unlock the door.
Lydia seems to be getting smarter and smarter, and her vocabulary has been growing in leaps and bounds. Her favorite phrase is “I do it!”, which she gets from her Daddy, who often says: “I’ll do it!”. Many days a weeks she spends time with a family from church and when we pick her up she’ll tell us what she did while she was there: “toys!”, or “bunny”, or “treats” (when she fed the cat treats). She has also started praying with our help and sometimes on her own will pray, “Dear Jesus, help…” but then she gets stuck. At the end, if we say “In Jesus’ name”, she’ll finish with the “Ah-men!”. She does tend to get her pronouns mixed up at the moment and often asks us to “read to you?” or “help you?” (instead of “read to me?” or “help me?”). Or, if she wants you do do something that she was doing, she’ll say “me!”(instead of “you!”).
There’s a little wooden chair in the NICU that Lydia loves to sit in. It is painted blue with a big frog on the back. On the front, underneath the seat are some smaller frogs painted in a row. This morning, Lydia surprised us by bending down, pointing to the frogs one at a time, and counting them, “one, two, three, four, five”. We’ve never had a two-year-old before to compare mathematical skills, but Dan and I were impressed. I’ve also been practicing John 3:16 with Lydia for many weeks and she’s starting to memorize parts of it. I have a cute video of her saying it with our help, and one or two videos of Lydia and Abby in the NICU, so hopefully I’ll get those posted to my Facebook page soon.
(End of mini-Munchkin update)
As for Dan and I, we are learning that this lifestyle is not sustainable. It’s just not possible to do all of the necessary things in a day and still get a decent amount of sleep. On top of that, while we do get in three meals a day, they are often spread out. Many days I leave the hospital torn between my need to eat and sleep. If only I could do both at the same time!
Dan especially has had so much stress. On Saturday it got to be too much and, as he says, his brain exploded. He was bending over and suddenly got dizzy. For the rest of the weekend he would occasionally get dizzy and he had a headache and just felt altogether unwell. He has adopted my coping mechanism of not thinking about anything, and that seemed to help a little over the weekend. Now, however, he’s back to working, and that requires the use of his recently “exploded” brain.
While my brain hasn’t “exploded” just yet, my memory is struggling. If I don’t say what I’m thinking the moment I’m thinking it, I can’t remember what it was. Sometimes I forget my thoughts while I’m saying them and have to stop, think, and be reminded what I had just said before I can figure out what was just happening. In short, we’re tired and ready for Abby to come home! That, and Dan says we need a vacation. We continue to think, “this has got to get easier when Abby comes home”, and I’ll be sure to let everyone know which is easier when we get to that point.
Praise the Lord
We are thanking God for:
-Abby’s recent steps forward: coming off of caffeine, moving to Special Care, and graduating to an open crib
-continued weight gain: slow but steady
-Abby’s alertness, our nurse today said she’s the most alert baby she’s seen
-for Abby to continue her steady progress and gain more weight
-for Dan to be able to relax and recover in spite of all the stress
-that we won’t completely lose our minds before Abby comes home!