Thursday, December 22, 2011
Preemie Life - Day 55 Cautiously Optimistic
I spent the night at the hospital last night. I've had the opportunity to see Cheetah every day but the last few days have been short visits filled with more doctor time then baby time and my spirit was low. I decided to take the opportunity of Dr. J's night off and spend the night, even if it meant one more night we didn't get to spend together. I'm only allowed one non-nutrative nursing a day now. The lack of consistency can be nerve racking. One day it is three, then it two, then it one, then it is three, then it is one...you get the idea. But there is little you can say and so you just follow the protocol you are allowed. So I pumped and put her on the breast. She settled in nicely but then had a brady after only a minute. It was frustrating and I felt worn down by lack of progress. I decided to kangaroo pouch her. It's been awhile since we've done it and Dr. J had suggested it would probably be good for both of us. She squirmed and fussed as I took her clothes off and slipped her into my shirt but the instant we were skin to skin she went slack into a deep sleep and I felt the tension I've been carrying all week erase. Sometimes that man is spot on! They are always saying in the NICU when Cheetah is struggling to get something, "you have remember she should still be in your body right now." And we use that to excuse a lot going on with her, but I think I need to give myself the same. I lost ten weeks of this pregnancy. I lost the first two months of having my daughter in my home. I need to take those moments to connect with my daughter in any way that I am actually allowed. And so we slept most of the night mother and daughter, chest to chest in a recliner. Then this morning during a very successful non-nutrative nursing the team walked in to round. When they saw my exposed breast they headed back out to the hall, and then the attending headed in on her own. She told me that they really want to do a swallow study on Monday to see if Cheetah was actually aspirating and if she was if her feeds would improve with thickening...and then she dropped a bomb shell. She told me that as long as Cheetah can go five days without bradys they are willing to send her home with an NG tube so that we don't have to wait for her to be on full PO feeds. It is up to us but they are willing to train us if that's what we want to do. When I told Dr. J he had a little hoot and said if it comes to that, that is what we want to do. With this blog my pain is very present but the whole family feels the loss of not having Cheetah at home. Dr J still wears the wrist band from the hospital. A couple of days ago I pointed out how gross it looked and how the words had completely faded. His eyes got red when he said he still wasn't going to take it off until Cheetah was home. With the new plan if we can stay brady free that day could be as early as next week. I'm straying cautiously optimistic!