Sunday, January 18
Today after church we went up to talk to Pastor Ed and let him know that it was hopefully our last Sunday at Calvary! It is really exciting to think that we really might be going home soon.
We got some shoes the other day to go with Faith's "going home" dress, so now she has the complete outfit and she's all set to get out of here! Seems like she knows it too, because she's finally figuring out this eating thing! Her feeds are at 42 mL/3 hours now, but she's actually ahead for this shift. Her first feed this morning, she took 66 mL (according to before and after weights on the scale). Then we went to church, and the nurse tried to get her to take some formula for her next feed... she only took 15 mL. She's really not into the formula. Then her next feed she took over 50 mL, and she wanted to eat again about 2 hours later and took another 38 mL! And this shift doesn't end until 7:00 PM, so she probably will eat another time before then, and she'll be ahead by an entire feed! She's not "supposed" to be at full feeds until Tuesday night, but at this rate, she's pretty much already there!
And she's gotten a lot better at nursing. The other night I had to nurse her for 30 minutes to get her to take 32 mL (my milk let down FIVE times in that 30 minutes!). At her last feed, she only nursed for 10 minutes and took 38 mL. The downside is that she's using the nipple shield pretty much every time, but I can't be too upset by that, because at least she's nursing! And I know once we're home we can get lots of help and we'll be able to get rid of the nipple shield eventually. I hope that my supply will regulate soon, and then maybe the milk won't come so fast and she won't feel like she needs it. Right now, I'm still pumping some of the time after she eats, just because it feels like there's still a lot of milk left, and I can get 4+ ounces AFTER feeding her.
Beckie, one of our new friends from Calvary Chapel, came to visit the other day and brought over some cloth diapers. They are Faith's first diapers of her own; the few she has at home are pretty boy-ish, left over from Noah. I think they're a little big though... just for fun we tried on one of the "small" covers and took a picture- she'll definitely be growing into these!My mom made Faith some new bibs. They are perfect for keeping her clothes spit-up free! They are like those towel bibs, with the t-shirt kind of neck, except they're made from cute flannel and the necks are made more like a turtle neck shirt, so the spit-up can't get inside the neck like it does on some of her other bibs.
I saved the blog (at that point) as a Word document the other day... it was about 180 pages! A couple of people have said that I should turn it into a book... we'll see what God has for us in that area. I am thankful for this experience, as hard as it's been, because it has really been a learning experience. Four or five months ago, I would never have guessed I'd ever know as much about NICU life and all of these medical conditions as I do now...
All of this new knowledge has also led me to think of a way for me to help other parents going through similar situations. I had posted awhile back that I was thinking of going back to school to be a NICU nurse. I'm not as sure about that anymore, mainly because it is a lot of school, and the hours would suck... but I'm thinking that there should be a new kind of doula, a NICU doula, that could possibly be a specialty of a postpartum doula. Her job would be to serve as a support and an advocate for the parents of a child in the NICU, to do research on the baby's condition and learn everything she could about it so that she could educate the parents to make informed decisions, and to spend time with the baby if the parents weren't able to. I've learned over the past 9+ weeks that a lot of the things they do in the NICU are just like things they do in labor & delivery- they do them just because they always have, they're routine, but not actually necessarily needed. So, just like a birth doula can help get around the routine and stick to the necessary in terms of birth, the NICU doula would do the same for parents with sick babies. I have no idea how to go about getting something like that going though... hopefully I'll be able to figure it out, because it seems like it would be something very helpful to other parents.