Remember how I mentioned we would be giving Emilia our first solo bath last night? Well, that went well (my main marker for success being that she didn’t drown). I’m glad we were both there, trying to coordinate her flailing limbs all while keeping her head out of the water and washing her was a challenge. Thankfully, with Lauren’s help and some suggestions from the nurse, we managed to get through it with nothing more serious than a newfound appreciation for Emilia’s lungs.
Some good news; when we got to the hospital this morning we found out that Emilia has gained weight for the second day in a row. She is now up to 1496 grams, almost back to the 1540 grams she was at birth. She still has the odd pause in her breathing, which sets off a number of panic inducing alarms, but these incidents seem to be getting less regular. She is still receiving daily doses of caffeine which keeps her brain active in an effort to reduce the apnea. In other good news we were told that she may be able to leave her isolette soon for an open air bed which has a heated water mattress. It will be fun to have her a bit more accessible to mom and I; it will be a lot less like I’m handling nuclear fuel rods each time I want to pick her up or change her.
Speaking of changing her we’ve discovered that mom’s perpetually cold hands are a guarantee of Emilia having a little pee during the diaper change process. When I change her, no problem. As soon as mom’s cold hands get in there, peepocalypse. I sympathize with Emilia, having felt those cold hands sneaking under my back in the dead of night, and I secretly hope that maybe she inherited my circulation.
Yesterday Lauren took her first shot at breastfeeding. At this age, now 32 weeks, the nursing staff said not to expect too much. The process is more to familiarize Emilia with the breast and nipple (something I had to wait till my teenage years for, lucky girl) and slowly work on her strength. Emilia was a champ. With some help from the nurse on how to position her, and a little bit of milk for encouragement, Emilia latched on properly a few times and even had a few little sucks. The process was almost a little game; wait until Emilia opened her mouth wide and then throw her mouth over the nipple before she closed her mouth again.
We were told it is incredibly tiring for premature babies and you could tell this was the case as I watched her feed: open mouth, mom throws her on the nip, few little sucks, sleep time, wake up, and repeat. For now the plan is to try this once or twice a day just prior to her NG tube feeding sessions and slowly work it up over the coming weeks. Emilia learning to feed on her own is one of the major steps in coming home!
Here’s to another successful day and more growing,