Yesterday, during Kangaroo Care, Brynn opened both eyes for the first time! At least I think it was the first time--unless she sneaked them open last night when no one was watching. I like to flatter myself that she just wanted to see her mama. I don't know if it's true, but it's fun to believe :)Here she looks like she's posing for the new "Home Alone" video cover:Sucking on her fingers is actually a super good sign, according to some books I'm reading. First, she's developing her sucking reflex for future breast feeding; and second, she's learning to comfort herself in this new high-stimulation environment:I've also been really grateful for all my blessings lately. Brynn is doing so incredibly well that I almost hate to hear the other parents discuss their babies' situations. There are so many sick babies in the NICU--many of whom are in Brynn's exact situation (24-26 week old preemies). So it hits a little too close to home when other parents are talking about heart problems, meningitis, infections, bleeding in the brain, and unexplainable deterioration of lungs. On one hand, my heart goes out to these parents knowing how awful their anguish must be; but on the other hand I just don't want to hear about the list of problems Brynn "might" develop. In my opinion, ignorance really is bliss. I'd much rather deal with whatever happens one day at a time than have to think about all the possible complications that could arise. Still, my biggest reaction to the other parents' stories is that I feel increasingly grateful every day.
Brynn's lungs are right where they'd expect them to be at her age. In addition, her brain looks GREAT with no internal bleeding or swelling. Her heart also looks excellent on all levels except for a tiny little PDA (a passage in the heart that is necessary in a womb environment but that is supposed to close after birth). If it were bigger, she'd require surgery like the little Asian girl I wrote about below, but since even full-term babies have these small PDAs, none of the doctors are worried. They fully expect it to close on its own. Plus, she has NO IVs--not even to supplement nutrition--because she's eating the maximum amount of breastmilk that a baby her size can eat (this is called "full feeds"). What's incredible is that the staff doesn't usually expect full feeds for several more weeks. She's way ahead of the curve there and gained 20 grams (nearly an ounce) just today! My nurse yesterday said that since she's eating so well, she'll start to gain weight pretty quickly. And when she gains weight, that's when all the systems will start developing.
So basically, she's doing remarkably well. And although the other parents' stories remind me that anything can happen tomorrow, I can't help but feel overwhelmingly thankful that she's doing so well today.
Finally, I just want to add that I love my little Brynn. I love her little shoulder blades when she wiggles. I love watching her little eyebrows raise as high as she can raise them in order to open her eyes. I love seeing her fight the nurses (she's getting a reputation for being "the feisty one") because being a fighter is exactly what we need her to be. She's just wonderful. I feel like my life is just wonderful, too, and I can't think of anything to complain about.
I love you all,
Noah's 5th Birthday
2 months ago