Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Being Mommy Little Bits at a Time

I can't wipe the smile off my face today. It's as if I'm getting to do mom things in little bite-size moments at a time. First, I had a baby; soon after, I got to touch her; a few days later I got to change her diaper; a week or so later I got to hold her; several weeks after that I got to hear her cry (and feel like a mama bear); and today, I got to try nursing! Okay, so she didn't exactly eat much--but she sucked and that's a pretty exciting start!

I got the crazy idea to ask the nurse if we could try it when, for the first time, Brynn actually showed real interest in the pacifier. Matt got a video of her sucking on it. Call me crazy, but I get excited about little things like this:

video

I barely had the courage to ask if she could try suckling me during Kangaroo time since most nurses wouldn't have let me. Thank heaven I had the lenient, cooperative Carolyn today!

Oh it was such a wonderful moment with my baby. Granted, my nipple is bigger than her entire mouth and she really had to open wide just to get most of it in (I just couldn't help but laugh at the mental image of all the little lactation ladies reeling in horror at the less-than-stellar latch). But she was still the happiest and most content I have ever seen her--even when compared to our best Kangaroo times. In fact, the only two times she cried or squirmed were first, when I pulled my breast away thinking she was done (she was quick to let me know she wasn't); and second, when the CPAP head gear accidentally slipped down onto her eyes. As soon as I fixed her two complaints, she went right back to being the happiest baby in the world, all cuddled on Mommy. I was filled to the brim with excitement just to see her so content. Quite a contrast to a few days ago, eh?

Also, while I'm telling good news, Brynn hit 32 weeks yesterday. That is a significant statistical milestone for preemies and consequently when a lot of nurses take a sigh of relief. A lot of risks for new, major problems go down by the time they get to that age. In addition, she's not nearly so sensitive to lights, sounds, and touch. And--my personal favorite--she's better able to handle longer, more frequent Kangaroo times (we're up to about 2.5 hours now and are allowed to hold twice a day).

Oh how I love my little girl. I'm so proud of her for fighting so hard to get to this point.

She still fights the CPAP sometimes, but she's tolerating it much better now that she's gotten used to it. Here she is, using her Superwoman strength to show her still-frequent displeasure:

video

She used to do this trick while she was on the vent and it sent all the nurses running in to save her. She could have extubated herself several times and we're lucky the CPAP is more forgiving of her high-energy antics. It took me weeks to get her doing this on film.

I wish I'd had my video camera ready again when she later demonstrated even more strength, though. From her belly position, she literally lifted both legs from the hip down, clearing the 2-inch bed rim, AND lifted her head at the same time. She looked just like a ballet dancer when a guy lifts the woman, holding only her hips--just a little less graceful. One nurse teased her about doing Yoga and the other nurse, new on the shift, said she'd not seen very many kids as squirmy and strong as she is. I think Matt and I are going to have our hands full as she gets older!

And although the Dexamethasone, the steroid they decided to use, isn't the reason for her freakish strength (since they only really affect lung, brain, and immune system processes), it is the reason she is doing better on the CPAP. Even still, her forehead is getting red and scaly from the pressure on her sensitive skin, so the doctor is hoping to get her on the high-flow nasal cannula by tomorrow or Thursday.

I'm being careful not to hold my breath in anticipation, though. Sure, I want to be positive, but I also want to avoid setting myself up for disappointment. It's quite common that when the last dose of the steroid wears off, she might take a few steps backward.

Just cross your fingers . . .

Anyway, that's pretty much the wrap. I'm just happy to have been allowed to bite off another nibble of motherhood today--and Brynn was equally happy for her nibble of babyhood, too!


Til next time,
Natalie

1 comment:

Anne said...

I'm so glad that things are going so well. Thanks for the videos. I'd forgotten just how extremely contagious your laugh is...