E was moved to a big girl bed (aka a regular nursery bassinet) today. After her IV came out yesterday, she was dressed in a undershirt and the requisite hat and swaddled. Her movement to the bassinet makes her seem really out of place in the NICU, but we're grateful because it's even more easy access to her. She's also up to 7lb 4 oz! T took this picture through the side of the bassinet. There are more pictures from yesterday at the end of the post .
In feeding news, E has been taking all her feeds (50 mL) by mouth today. T & I are wiped. I'm battling sinus crap and have limited the amount of time in the NICU in case it's a cold. T came home early (for us) after spending about 8 hours in the NICU. We're trusting the nurses will help us by continuing the bottle feeding which takes longer versus the gavage. We're cautiously optimistic because we've been told she has to go 48 hours with no gavage before they'll assess to discharge her. Her last gavage was midnight last night, so we could be within an day or two of coming home.
For us (all of us), each feeding then becomes a huge challenge. E's learning curve on improved eating techniques and our learning curve to support her in eating makes each feeding seem really critical. We're a little tense with anticipation, but are trying to be realistic by putting the whole process into perspective. That doesn't mean, however, that we don't breathe a sigh of relief after a successful feeding report and to feel like we're closer to the end. Whatever happens, though, we're committed to bringing E home when she's ready and able.
M is handling things as well as she can. T and I had an opportunity to put her to bed together tonight which did a lot to restore ourselves. Amazing how comforting these little routines are. One of the hardest aspects of this week has been how much I miss the rhythm of our family life and how big of a hole in our family there is without her home. This despite the fact she's not been home yet. The other hard part is that, before when M was in the NICU, T & I were able to spend the time together. Now, gestures of support come in the form of phone calls to exchange news, turkey sammies prepared, a load of laundry done, and the recognition that fatigue is not the time to address perceived shortcomings. In recovery programs, there's the acronym of HALT to avoid. One shouldn't get too hungry, angry, lonely or tired because then bad choices are made. While neither T nor I are in recovery, it's good advice and while I try to eat as much as I'm supposed to in order to support the nursing and sleeping as much as possible; I am a little lonely passing T in the night and at the hospital and can only hope for our family to be complete soon.