Sunday, December 21, 2008

Fun Flood of Firsts

Wow. Where to begin? It seems as if Brynn is making exponential headway. I swear, every day I come to the hospital, she has reached another milestone. What a fun week this has been! The following are her milestones (in no particular order):

She's been off the CPAP since Wednesday, December 17th, and seems like she might be able to stay off. She still struggles a little and is on pretty high flow and oxygen settings for her cannula (so she may have to go back to the CPAP eventually), but the doctors are giving her as much time as she can to practice breathing and strengthen her diaphragm. The great thing about the cannula, too, is that she gets an NG tube (nasal-gastric) instead of an OG tube (oral-gastric). Basically, it means she gets fed through her nose instead of her mouth. Here's a photo of her cute face with less paraphernalia on it:

In addition to this, she started learning to keep her own temperature. Where they used to stick a probe to her skin and the isolette would raise and lower its temperature based on how warm or cold she was, now they programmed the isolette to remain a constant temperature and she has to keep herself regulated. Although she's not quite ready for a crib since the isolette is still a warm, cozy environment, it's a step in the right direction. And might I add, it's a rather advanced step in the right direction, too. Most babies don't start keeping their own temperature until they weigh a little more (around 1500 grams), but Brynn began the process at only 1171 grams (2 lbs, 9 oz)! And the best part is that since she no longer needs the probe, I got to dress her for the first time! Here she is, giving a gangsta "what's up?"

I also got to hold her like a "real" baby for the first time:

As if all those milestones weren't enough, I also got give her her very first tub bath. Here, she seems totally shocked at this new sensation. And although from her face, you might think the water is cold, I promise it's not:

I also couldn't resist posting this photo progression. The nurse showed me how to wash her eyes and this was Brynn's reaction.

Before the wipe:

During the wipe:

And after the wipe:

Also, one last note--if you look in the background of the tub pictures, you'll see the temperature her isolette is set to--28.3 Celsius. It used to be at 33-36. When she gets to 27 degrees, that's equivalent to room air and she'll get to move to an open crib!

My funny girl is so entertaining to watch. I swear she smiles all the time! I hear from some of the doctors that if a baby smiles, it's just gas. But most of the nurses seem convinced that babies know when they're happy and are able to express it. I'm not sure who to believe, but I would venture to guess from my observations that Brynn knows when she's happy. When I come into the room for the first time on any given day and begin speaking to the nurses, I will watch Brynn and she will smile when she hears my voice. She also smiles when I hold her. And yesterday, when I let her do a little suckling at the breast, she grinned between sucks. It made for poor latch practice, but it made Mommy happy :) I used to think she was just pulling the corners of her mouth up and didn't really understand that she was smiling; but now as she does it more and more, even her eyes smile. And what's even cuter, I think she's getting dimples! I'll try to get a good picture because I can't tell if they're really dimples or if the stickers on her face are forcing an indentation on her face when she smiles.

Anyway, I'm convinced that if I am wrong about her being able to express happiness and contentment, and if the doctors are right, she must have an inordinate amount of gas! Here she is smiling in the tiniest onesie I have:

Lastly, now that she's stable enough to deal with more handling, it's no longer required that we coincide the Kangaroo (or holding with clothes on) with the nurse's regular assessment schedule. In other words, we can hold her almost any time we want to!

Excited,
Natalie

5 comments:

TiAnn, Paul, and Kalispell Finn said...

What a wonderful bunch of firsts! Little Brynn looks so adorable in her outfit, and I love the photos of her face. She's so precious, and her hair is really growing. Merry Christmas!

Marie said...

How exciting, guys! Enjoy her!

Diane Terese C said...

How wonderful! May the new year bring many more firsts for you and your family! I am thinking first time home. First Christmas coming up. Merry Christmas to all.

Erica said...

So sweet and EXCITING! We keep praying for her. Love, Steve and Erica Dryden

Amy said...

That first picture is delightful! Such bright, open eyes! Congrats!