Well I've read over my second last blog...and I thought...hmmm if I was reading that and wasn't me or someone with a child in the NICU, I probably wouldn't want to talk to me in worry that I would say or do the wrong thing. Please do not take it personal if you have said something similar or if you do in the future, I think I was having a bad day. I really just wanted to stress the importance of handwashing around Alyssa, that I may be emotional, stressed, and cranky at times, and that I still like to be included in things although I may not attend. And for the most part, I would like you to hold Alyssa, it was mainly when she was less then 2lbs that I didn't want her being held by anyone other then myself. That being said...maybe my phone will start to ring again ;)
Alyssa is growing like a weed. She is just over 5 lbs now and actually has alert and wakeful periods of time before some of her feeds. She is a good size now, and many babies do go home at this weight, but there are still many other issues. Main one being feeding. She continues to be gavage fed for her 44cc's of milk every 3 hours through her NG tube (tube in her nose). In order to go home, she must be taking all of her feeds orally. She is getting better at breastfeeding, but not doing enough for a full feed, and she doesn't wake up for every feed. This week, she has been waking up for every 11am and 8pm feed, and the other ones are all touch and go. I am there for her 11am and 2pm feeds, occasionally her 5 oclock feed, but that will change when she is back at the sitter's, because this will be pick up time....and then I'm back for the 8pm feed, and occasionally the 11pm feed depending on how tired I am. So, I'm really missing a lot, which makes me feel guilty...but it is just too hard to be two places at once, with Alyssa at the hospital and Emily home. It will be SO nice to be home, but I am in no hurry because I want Alyssa to be doing great.
The second issue, which is related to her feedings...is her apneas. This is when she stops breathing, and her heart rate drops. She is taking the medication caffeine to help, but I think she will need to be off of this before she goes home. She is having less heart rate drops with breastfeeding in the past two days, but she often has a hard time breathing, and her Sp02 drops, and she takes a while to recover. She does worse with the slow flow nipple feeding, with her choking more. Although I am getting a little more used to these reactions, it is still very scary. I try to watch Alyssa more then the monitors, so I know when her HR drops before the monitors beep, so I can stimulate her quickly. However it is still just an awful feeling when you see your child become limp, and their color turning pale to blue...it takes me back to our last night with Jessica, so you can understand how this would upset me. The nurses continue to tell me that she will outgrow this.
Emily was born at 37 weeks, 6lbs 10oz...it's crazy that Alyssa is 37 weeks now. 12 weeks ago, this day seemed so far away. All babies in the NICU that have apneas, go through a 10 day period where they have to be "apnea free" before they will take the monitors off and discharge the baby. We have at least a couple a day right now. But they are becoming less severe.
Well Alyssa is turning into a little blondie, she has lots of hair in the middle, but the sides still aren't growing very well from where her IV's were located. She is a great cuddler, and still loves her baths. She doesn't cry a lot yet, mainly only if she's straining, otherwise she is pretty quiet. She is a pretty popular girl with visitors all the time from the staff and our friends and family.
Today my Mom and my aunt Heather left, it was so nice having them both here. I was very sad to see them go, the week went by too fast. My Mom and Dad have been here on and off since when I was put on bedrest. Any time they went home, I knew they would be back shortly within 1-2 weeks, or after the weekend. When they weren't here, my aunt Lynn was here, and she was a big help, she was here for 5 weeks, and Mom and Dad were here for over half of that. They have been a huge help. Help with Emily while Renae was off and while she was here, help with cleaning, meals, support, time, everything. So now I'm a little bit sad, because I know they are not coming once the weekend is over, or within a week or two. We do have to get back to normal eventually, but I will miss them. Even though I didn't see them a lot, because I was always at the hospital, it was still nice to have them here when we got home. I know they will come back anytime we need them, but they have lives in Fredericton too. I love them very much, and I am so grateful that they have been here for us since the beginning.