Wednesday was Whitlee’s 8th day in the NICU.
I visited her during the day and she was in her new bed that lets her regulate her own body temp. It does do a little bit for her because it’s enclosed, so she’s not getting any kind of breeze blowing on her, but she’s doing most of the regulating on her own. We have discovered this girl likes to sleep in awkward positions. They put her down one way and she’ll wiggle her way into this position almost every time. Even on my chest, she doesn’t like being straight, she likes to move her head over to one side. She sleeps like her daddy, all over the place!
The nurse for day 8 told me they’d tried her on a bottle at 2 am, and she only had 2ml before she de-sated (basically was trying to stop breathing), so they stopped and the night nurse said she just didn’t think she was ready for a bottle. Well thankfully the day nurse was a little more patient and decided to give her another shot. She gave her the full 15ml through a bottle at 8 am, but she did say she had to pace her and not give her a chance to de-sat. So she’s not really ready to just be let loose with a bottle. The nurse also told me she lost another ounce, probably from working so hard on the bottle, and that she’s 4lbs even right now.
I got to hold her for about an hour and a half before it was time to go. (That’s just her feeding tube left in her nose. She only has that and her IV left now.)
Nolan and I went back later for our evening visit and we found out that they’d given her milk to her through the tube for the last few feedings, but that her doctor had given the go ahead to try and breastfeed the next day, and do bottles when they could. He said that night though to do skin to skin and then see if she’d latch and do non nutritive sucking, basically just practice sucking (the same as with a pacifier). She actually latched right on! She was pretty sleepy though, so it didn’t last too long. She’d suck a little then you could tell she was sleeping pretty good. I think it had a lot to do with her belly being fully already though. She normally eats, then goes right back to sleep. So it was a nice little start and she seems interested. They were going to try another bottle later that night so I’m hoping that went well. They had also weighed her again, and she’d gained 2 oz! She’s back up to 4 lbs 2 oz, almost back to birth weight. They said when she comes off the IV, she’ll lose a little but they’re increasing her feeding quite a bit so she should gain it back pretty quick.
We still don’t really know when she’ll get to come home. Her doctor says his generic answer is that they’re normally home by their due date, but sometimes much sooner. That killed me because that’d mean 6 weeks in the NICU if she stayed til her due date, and that seems like forever away. I was really hoping she’d be home by Christmas. Fingers crossed!