Sunday, July 20th – 30 weeks and looking good…

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Riley continues to amaze me every day.   I’m surprised at how much I can notice a difference in her growth and strength when I see her so often everyday…it’d be like one of us noticing ourselves aging everyday when we look in the mirror.  That doesn’t happen right?  Or am I just too oblivious to notice?  Lets just go with the initial thought.

When I came into her room this am, the first thing I thought (besides noticing her cute, clean bedding) was good God woman…where did you get that hair!!  She had just had a bath, and it looked longer than it’s ever been…sort of fuzzy, like a baby chick, and it was sticking straight up in the air.  It may have been the cutest damn thing I’ve seen yet.  Almost ready for a bow:)  Ok lets not jump the gun….but it’s a fun thought.

We continue to receive boring/good news during rounds.  Riley’s respiratory status remains stable…no changes.  Her bilirubin remains pretty stable, going to 4.1 (from 3.9), and the docs feel they no longer need to check her bilirubin numbers.  I feel that this means no more lights for awhile!!  Don’t worry, I’m not going to get my hopes up too high…but I did have a small internal celebration after hearing this…not gonna lie.  Increasing feeds to 18 cc’s.  Wow!!  She’s really eating quite a bit considering how tiny her belly must be.  All I know is that a full-term infant’s belly is the size of a marble when it’s first born, and it expands a little bit each day.  I have no idea how big her belly is, but no wonder she poops so much!!  It has to go somewhere, right?

Speaking of that…another diaper change today, and Riley decided…Ok forget about easing mom into this stuff lets give her a bit of a challenge.  So she had left mom a stinky present…fine.  I can deal.  I put the fresh diaper underneath her before removing the dirty one, as this is what the nurses taught me and what I’ve watched them do many times.  I clean her cute little parts with the wipe, and just as the dirty diaper is removed, BOMBS AWAY!  Riley decided she wasn’t done yet, and went to the bathroom not only all over the fresh diaper, but also all over mom’s hand.  Thanks sweetheart.  I love you too.  Lesson learned: do not remove dirty diaper until you are sure she has finished going, and invest in a lot of diapers, because this kid has an automatic cleansing system built right into her little digestive tract.

I was able to go for a late lunch with my good girlfriends, who also came for a visit to see Riley Mae afterwards.  It was sort of the first time I didn’t feel guilty or anxious about leaving for that period of time (ok, maybe I did a little but it’s improving).  Riley is doing well right now…she is “stable-ish.”  I need to take advantage of these opportunities, and do something for myself once in awhile.  It felt good.

My friends also commented that they have noticed a change in both her size and strength since they’ve seen her last, which for one of them was as recent as a couple of days ago.  This makes me feel good…I’m not the only one.  Riley was positioned on her back during their visit, so they got to see her in action.  She is very active when she’s on her back…she can’t contain her extremities and she’s constantly moving; so much so that several of the nurses have commented on “What an active baby she is.”  This is exactly what all the ultrasound techs told me as well.  At least she’s consistent.  Let’s hope she is just getting her hyperactivity out of her system now, and when it’s time to come home, she’s a bit more chill.

It’s kind of neat to watch her movements and behaviors, and relate them to what I was feeling when she was inside of me.  Those little twitches in her arms and legs, her jerky movements, her frequent kicks…yup…those are what I was feeling so often when she was still where she was supposed to be.  Speaking of that…random Ian comment of the day…I was watching Riley, standing over her incubator, and all of sudden I see Ian shoot me a random, sort of mean glare.  I asked “What the heck is that about….are you giving me a dirty look?”  He says “I’m giving your uterus a dirty look.”  I guess I believe him.  Whatever you need to do to cope, Ian.

Once again, my daughter amazes us more and more every day.  She continues to be our little courageous fighter.  We have been told that Riley will likely have to stay in the NICU until she’d be full term, which is around Sept 28th.  I truly believe she is going to continue to beat the odds and traditional timelines of the NICU. She’s already done this…why would the next few weeks/months be any different?  The power of positive thinking…

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