The Continuing Adventures of SuperPreemie

Sometimes the babies have other ideas…

Posted on: November 23, 2004

Rebekkah asked when Shoshanna would get to try to nurse. The answer was supposed to be today (didn’t want to get people’s hopes up by announcing that yesterday in case it didn’t happen), but we didn’t count on one thing: a baby so soundly asleep that nothing we did would wake her up.

When we arrived, the receptionist let us right in – apparently Susie had told her to just let us in when we arrived. Susie’s hilarious – she was as excited about Shoshanna getting to nurse as we were. I mentioned this and she said “It’s these 25-weekers who do so well that make it all worth it.” So I went off to remove some of the milk-pressure so that Shoshanna wouldn’t be overwhelmed with more milk than she could handle. While I was gone, Matthew finished scrubbing in, and when he arrived at Shoshanna’s isolette, Susie handed her to him with no preamble, and then disappeared. So when I got back, he was standing there holding a soundly asleep baby. We got everything else set up (privacy screens, a pillow for me to rest my arm on, a footstool, etc.) and I took Shoshanna from Matthew. She was still sound asleep, and we know from experience that she won’t nurse (or do non-nutritive suckling) if she’s asleep. So we tried for about half an hour to wake her up, from trying to get her to nurse when she started to make sucking motions, to unswaddling her, to rubbing her back and chest, to talking to her. Eventually we gave up, and I re-swaddled her and just held her for a bit before we put her back in the isolette. It was very, very funny how resoundingly she thwarted all of our attempts.

Before we got to the hospital, Shoshanna had been really fussy in her isolette, so Susie took her out and they went for a tour of the NICU. Those of you who are really on the ball will be saying, “How is that possible? Isn’t she pretty much wired to her isolette?” The answer is, not necessarily, since they’ve taken her off of the cannula again! At that point, all they have to do is unplug her monitors and she’s free to travel. She apparently was wide awake for her little tour. Her awake time seems to be from about 7 until 8 or 8:30; we’re going to try to start getting to the hospital earlier (even though it’ll mean arriving during shift change) in order to be around during that time.

Shoshanna got a new hat today – she’s now outgrown the pink, yellow, and purple one that she’d been wearing. We’ll have to put her white hat on her again – it probably will fit just about perfectly at this point. The new one is very cute and purple and yellow, but it’s a little bit too big for her right now – it fits her like the white one did at first.

Apparently babies have a tipping point at which they suddenly start putting on weight like crazy – normally this happens in the beginning of the third trimester. Of course, micropreemies like Shoshanna don’t get to do it in utero and usually hit that tipping point a little bit later. In light of that, I’m pleased to announce that last night, Shoshanna weighed 3 lb, 4 oz. Not only that, she didn’t gain appreciable weight the day before – so she really gained an ounce in a day! Tipping point? Possibly… She’s getting really close to the next big milestone – at 1500 grams, she’ll hit one of the benchmarks she has to get before she can move to the Continuing Care Nursery (where she’ll get substantially less personalized care, and we’ll be encouraged/requried to do things like give her her bath, give her bottles, etc.) The other change has to be that she has to get back on gravity feeds (rather than having her breast milk pumped into her belly). Last night they reduced the time of her compression feeds to half an hour, so progress is being made in that direction as well. It’s funny – the nurses have definitely started “training” us for the transition to CCN by having us move her into and out of the isolette, changing her, etc. We’ve also gotten asked the past two nights if we’ve chosen a pediatrician yet. Craziness!

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