Thursday, May 30
No news when I get to the hospital. She is still not interested in drinking from the bottle, so most of her feeds are going down her feeding tube. Sean & Rene come up to visit. They pray over my girl & we head out to lunch. Such a nice break from the long days sitting at Emma’s side. Having my friends come up and love on me and E.
Sean’s parents bring Mike up. And they are the hit of the NICU. I think Lenny had the nurses rolling with laughter as soon as he walked in the room. Mike tries feeding E but she only takes 8ml. It feels like she is going backwards….
Len & Ginny take us to Olive Garden for dinner & then we head to Scott & Nicole’s for the night.
Friday, May 31
Let me start this day by saying, up until today we have had a numerous amount of nurses. One being a nurse named Claudia, who has been with Emma since day 1. We love her & the way she cares for Emma. But beyond that, we had just random nurses when Claudia wasn’t working.
Until this day. We get assigned Lynn. She became dubbed our angel nurse. She loved on Emma in a way that made me feel so confident leaving her. You can just see the joy she has from her job.
They have taken the IV out!! One less cord running in my girl.
Mike mentions the idea of breastfeeding E now that most of her lines are out. Lynn says sure, why not! The lactation consultant comes in to help when it’s time for Emma to eat. This is my first time nursing & I’m a little clueless. She latches on with the help of a nipple shield & plays around for about 10 minutes. They don’t want me to waste too much of Emma’s energy nursing because she still needs to drink from the bottle. Mike takes her to finish her feed & I go to pump.
Only this time, instead of using the torture machine, I try out the hospital pump. OH MY WORD. It’s the Cadillac of breast pumps and it’s the first time I’ve pumped where I haven’t felt any shrieking pain. The consultant gives me larger flanges & thinks that might be the cause of some of my pain. (I discover it is later that night when I’m forced to use my pump again)
Mike & I head out for lunch. Feeling less anxiety. I got to nurse my daughter for the first time. It was as comfortable as it could be while she was hooked up to machines and there were about 5 people watching me. I get to nurse her again when we get back to the NICU.
Lynn asks if we want to giver her a bath!! Obviously, I shout yes! She hasn’t ever had one. They’ve only been wiping down her head every now and then! My girl needed a bath! She loved it, by the way. Seemed like she was in total heaven. Lynn put some music on for her & called it Emma’s time at the spa. It was the cutest.
After she’s all bundled up & dry, M & I spend time just watching Emma. She is awake for longer periods of time now, so it’s fun to watch her facial expressions!
For dinner, we met Nicole at a restaurant downtown. But it was a quick dinner because I wanted to race back to the hospital so that I could try nursing again. It’s hard this time. I try nursing her on my left side but the feeding tube is in her right nostril so it’s squished up against me & making it hard for her to breathe. She spends most of the time turning her head away and breathing heavy. Mike takes her to hold while her formula is put down her tube & then he rocks her to sleep.
Saturday, June 1
Lynn is back today & says Emma didn’t want much of her bottle. I try nursing her around noon, but she doesn’t seem very interested.
She has developed a pretty severe rash on her bottom & the nasty desitin is just making it worse. I brought in some of the butt paste I had bought for her & we start using that, but she just looks so raw. Lynn has the idea to let her bottom air out. So she puts Emma on her belly with her butt propped in the air and an oxygen mask aimed towards it to flow some air to it.
We head out for lunch & discover Emma is still sleeping when we get back. Plus her heiney looks a million times better from the air dry setup.
My parents come up & they are pretty excited that they get to hold her! I try nursing again and she does great on the left side because Lynn had rotated her feeding tube to the other nostril. But she doesn’t seem to have a very strong suck while she’s on the right side.
Mike & I decide to head home for the night so that we can go to church the next morning. It’s not any easier to walk out of the hospital, knowing we’ll be so far away. Especially now that I’m able to nurse her. Or try nursing her every time.
My parents take us to dinner before we drive home. I spend some time doing a ton of laundry once we’re home & then pump before bed.
These three days were pretty mellow. No shocking discoveries about Emma’s health. No heart-wrenching diagnoses. And really, that’s how the rest of her journey was. Medically, she started to heal up quickly, but she really struggled with eating. That was what made this mama go crazy. Knowing that she was ok, but was in the hospital because she wouldn’t learn how to nurse or drink a bottle.
It was good that we were going to church the next morning, because I would need that encouragement to help get me through the long days of frustration that we’re about to hit…
to be continued…