Monday, July 21st – Continued progress and turtle fights

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I drove into the hospital today.  It was the first time I’ve driven since I was admitted a few weeks ago.  It felt great.  I had really missed my new car.  

Morning rounds – repeat brain ultrasound was done early this am (for same reason as before – to check for a cerebral bleed and make sure her Grade 1-2 bleed hasn’t evolved).  Results will likely be shared with us tomorrow.  

Medical team is not concerned about continued b’s and d’s (although for some reason they continue to stress out mom and dad).  They plan to begin weaning Riley from the cycled CPAP, which is where she gets a set puff of air, or breath per minute (bpm), currently at a rate of 25 bpm.  They will knock that down to 20 and see how she tolerates it.  Then once she is weaned from the cycled CPAP, she will just be on continuous airflow, basically like receiving O2 through a nasal cannula (that clear tubing you’ve seen in patients’ noses, and sometimes even people walking around in the grocery store have them if they’re on home oxygen).  

Feedings are going well, and docs want to increase feeds to 22 cc’s.  I admit that I started to become a bit concerned yesterday because she had her first “spitting up” episode (in front of company nonetheless), and the nurse mentioned to us as we were on our way out last night that it appeared Riley’s belly was upset.  She assured us that this could be due to not only the increase in feeds, but they also just added a milk fortifier to my breast milk for additional calories and nutrients, which makes the milk richer.  Well I felt stressed about this last night and this am until they told me during morning rounds they were going to increase her feeds…obviously this means that she’s tolerating them fine.  I know it’s absolutely normal for babies to spit up…that’s what they do.  Not sure why it stressed me out as much as it did.  Then again, I AM a first time mom, my kid is not a “typical” kid, and that terrible gastrointestinal disease (NEC) tends to present itself around 2-4 weeks (Riley will be 2 weeks old tomorrow).  Maybe that’s why.  I’ll get used to this and learn when to react and not overreact.  I think.

Also, given that the feedings are going so well, the docs plan to begin administering her caffeine orally (they put it through same syringe as tube feeds, which is connected to her oral gastric tube, going from her mouth to her stomach).  If she tolerates this, it means that she can get that PICC line in her leg removed!!  One less wire/line attached to her tiny bod.  This is big!

Riley continues to gain weight every day.  She’s up to 2 lbs, 11.7oz!  Woohooo!!  More kangaroo care today, which I’m definitely addicted to.  My day just feels incomplete without it. 

Took a little break with Ian to go outside today, as it was a nice day here in Pittsburgh.  Went out to the coy and turtle pond here at the hospital.  Ian loves watching the turtle fights.  They’re pretty intense.  We watched several turtles beat the heck out of each other before we felt we had our fill. It’s the little things that we’re finding so entertaining these days:)

Tried to get Ian to change Riley’s diaper today.  The nurse said she’d be happy to teach him, but he’s sticking with “I’m going to wait until she gets a little older.”  Nice try, Ian.  We’ll see how long that lasts.  As he watched the nurse change Riley’s diaper, he asked “What’s that?” referring to the vaseline they put on her private parts.  The nurse explained what it was and its purpose.  As only he would, Ian says “Hmm…I might have to try some of that myself.”  Thank God this nurse has a good sense of humor.  

Ended the night with some dinner, finalizing this post, and pumping.  The usual.  At dinner, following our usual toast to Riley and in between bites, Ian stated “Maybe I should go back to school,” in a rather serious tone.  I asked what he plans to go back for.  He said “A male nurse.”  And for some reason I went along with it and said “Ya know, at least that’s not like medical school, the schooling wouldn’t really be that long.”  And sadly the conversation continued for another minute or so until we snapped ourselves out of it.  We really need to get a grip.

Keep up the good work, Riley Mae.  Behave yourself tonight.  

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