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   Friday, November 25, 2005  

Family invasion

We are infested with family members right now (alright, my in-laws, my parents and my step dad's mom....but in a 2 bedroom, 2 bath apartment? INFESTED!)

Things are going well. The lowercase was moved from the "D pod" section of the NICU (right next to the doctor's station and where the newest patients and the most critical patients stay) to the "A pod" section which is normally the developmental pod where parents take over much of the care and babies are prepped to go home. Of course, they are renovating the pods (A is done, B is currently being done) so they are down 12 bed spaces and the A pods are not entirely developmental. They've annexed a portion of the pediatric ICU and that has become the developmental "pod." (In reality it is three separate ICU rooms each staffed with a single nurse and three stable babies.) Quintuplets were born at 24 weeks shortly after the lowercase moved to the A pods. Bed space was needed in the D pods, so the most stable there were moved to either C or A and the most stable in those were moved either to A or the annex. The lowercase made the move to the annex in the PICU.

The PICU where I do NOT shift my head to the sides because it kills me to see children suffering the way those children are (cancer patients, cardiac patients, those awaiting or recovering from organ transplant....just don't look!) (And for someone who spent a large portion of her life in and out of a large children's hospital -- not many overnight stays, but lots of tests, exams, blah blah blah -- it surprises me that I am now bothered by it. It used to be common for me and "normal." I think having a son changed that. I am now so afraid of those things because I know how it would kill me if it were my little boy and I CAN NOT THINK OF THAT!)

So...anyway, PICU annex of the NICU. Quiet. Private-ish. The lowercase is the smallest baby in our room. One is on the countdown to home (a 33 weeker who stayed in the NICU because he had some feeding issues; now 2 1/2 weeks later he's an eating pro and looks huge to me at 5 lbs; however he isn't gaining weight as fast as they would like). Likely he will be home by Sunday unless he has another event (our requirements to go home: Open air crib with self-regulated temperature; All feeds by bottle or breast; no events of apnea or bradychardia for a week). The other baby in the room is still being monitored, is working on getting the amount of his oral feeds up (but he is off gavage feedings), still has some events and is having trouble getting his reflux under control as he gets bigger and his previous doses are outgrown.

In good news: as of 9:00 last night, my little man had had only one event in almost 48 hours! Also! He is now just over 3 lb 1 oz! (For those of you non-pounders: 1390 grams!) AND! He is allowed and ENCOURAGED to wear clothes now! And some of his preemie clothes are actually not that much too big for him! (But they are still too big for him. He'll be able to wear them for quite some time.) And they took away his snuggle up (a fabric ring that goes around his sides and feet and has ties that wrap over the top to pull it tight against him creating a "womb" effect by giving him boundaries to kick and hit at). This has to be done in order to start getting them used to sleeping on their own. He also is gradually moving towards sleeping only on his back since that is how he will have to sleep at home. So...we're moving forward.

(Breastfeeding is another story. He doesn't like it yet. He plays tricks (opens his mouth as if he's going to latch and then yawns; stick out his tongue and lick me, then closes his mouth and refuses to open it; latch for 3 sucks then goes to sleep....the list goes on). The nurses keep reminding me he has only been trying this since Saturday and is not quite to 33 weeks developmentally, so no cause for alarm. More later. Everyone is now awake and Mr. W is cooking breakfast. (Bacon smells so horrific! WHY does he eat it? How did a primarily vegetarian [me] ever fall in love with a beef and pork lover??? [And why does his JEWISH family love pork so much???])

   [ posted  @ 9:39 AM ] [ Post a Comment ] [ View Comments (3) ]
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  Comments about my post, "Family invasion":
I'm so glad to hear that things are going so well. Trust me, even full term babies like to play tricks with their breast feeding! Tickle his toes, tickle his cheeks, and eventually he'll come around.
As to the bacon thing? What can I say, I love pork too!
Hurrah! I am so glad to hear how well he is doing. Keep up the great work! And our little man (31 weeker) did the exact same thing at the breast. The look on his face would make us laugh so hard. He did catch on (with the help of a nipple shield) in a weeks time - and then he was off and running. The much feared apnea/bradycardia stopped as predicted at 36 weeks - he was home by 37 weeks. It is amazing to see these babies - to go through so much, but to be so strong. I am hoping that you get the Christmas wish you all want!
my mama is wondering about the hat. Did it arrive?

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