This post will actually catch up to real time. I’m typing as I’m waiting to pump one more time before we head to the hospital for today’s visit, which is day 5.
Yesterday was Whitlee’s fourth day in the NICU and her best day yet. We headed there geared with the last information we’d gotten the day before of them taking her off the cpap and putting her on an oxygen cannula. We were so anxious to see her without all her cpap gear on. If you Google ‘baby on cpap’, you’ll get an idea of what she looked like. It’s like a little velcro helmet that goes over her head and across her face, and when you add the hoses from the cpap machine, it looks kinda like scuba gear. Anyway, we were excited about the oxygen cannula because we’d at least get to see her face more.
We scrubbed up and walked in and the nurse met us at her bed. She said she had been such a good girl all night and morning and had improved so much they took her off all oxygen!! Her face was free and clear of all tubes and machines, except for the tiny little tube going in her mouth to feed her. I could have cried I was so happy, but thankfully this time all I did was smile my head off. As soon as we were at her side and started talking to her, she turned her head and just looked at both of us. She was so alert! It was the best thing, seeing her stare at us like, ‘oh hey mom and dad!”
They said she’d done well enough to skip the cannula and go straight to breathing on her own. They also told us she was handling her feeding much better and they gave her a pacifier to help her learn to suck. So we got to watch as they dropped her food in her tube and she actually sucked on the pacifier at the same time, so that’s a good sign too. They said the next step after she was doing good on the feeding tube would be to get breastmilk from a bottle and make sure she knows how to suck and eat and breathe all at the same time without any distress.
While the nurse was explaining everything she said, “Mom, have you changed her diaper yet?” I told her no, and she said, “Do you want to?” I never thought I’d be so excited to change a diaper in my life! I really got a feel for how tiny she is.. being able to pick her legs up and change her tiny little diaper was unreal. I was so happy about it though! She even pooped a little! 🙂
So we left after a little bit of watching her sleep and while it’s never ever easy to leave her and kills me to do it, it always makes it better when we leave on a good note. She made so much progress that we were able to ride that feeling for quite a while. I did cry a little later that evening because I missed her so much. Even though she’s making such good progress it’s hard to see the progress because then my mind gets to thinking too much and I just want her home because she’s doing so good. Shouldn’t be too terribly much longer though. Today she is 5 days old, and it feels like 5 weeks…
We’ll head back up there shortly and I hope today is as good as yesterday. I really just hope for no steps backwards. I still haven’t gotten to hold her yet, so that would be a really awesome treat if they let me do that today! I’ll post Day 5’s update either this evening or tomorrow morning.