Wednesday, July 23rd – First bath provided by mom and dad

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Ian and I came in this am and we were almost immediately greeted by Riley’s current nurse.  She shared a message, which was from the nurse who took care of Riley during the previous shift, as she wanted to make sure to let us know that Riley had another impressive poop, which again went everywhere and required a bed sheet change. Ok…it was maybe a little bit cute at first (sort of), but this is getting to be a bit ridiculous.  Is this normal?  Lets just hope she gets this all out of her system (literally) before she gets out of here:)

I brought in one of Riley’s blankets from home, which was a gift from a good friend, to put over her incubator.  These little personalizations really help to make the NICU feel less like a hospital and little bit more homey.  

Nothing new at rounds, except they’re going to continue to bump down the pressure on the CPAP, now at 15…continuing to wean.  Feeds still at 25cc’s, with introduction of Vitamin D today.

The big event today was bath time.  Baths occur every Sunday and Wednesday.  I spoke with Riley’s current nurse and asked if it was okay if I observed her giving Riley a bath.  She expressed that she’s happy to have me observe but would rather Ian and I give her the bath with her talking us through it.  Uh oh.  Seriously? Scared shitless look appears on Ian’s face, with some hesitation.  I’m a bit nervous myself, but mostly excited.  Ok we can do this, right?  How hard can this be?

Well the nurse provided the instructions, and Ian and I awkwardly made our way through the steps.  Ian mostly provided the consoling, holding her hand and telling her “It’s okay honey,” while mom tortures her by squeezing a soaked wash cloth over her little naked body.  We got to hear her cry a few times, which still hasn’t gotten old and remains kind of cute and enjoyable, but I know this will be short-lived.  The nurse informed me of a few spots to pay special attention to when washing, such as the back of her ears, creases under her chin, under he knees… as these areas tend to get particularly dirty in these kids.  “Hmmm, I may have to start washing those areas a little more on myself,” says Ian.  Nothing surprises me anymore…

I’m beginning to learn that there are a lot of ways that both Ian and I can assist and participate in Riley’s care…from changing her diaper, checking her temperature, bathing her, holding her, and even helping to disconnect her monitors and get her on the scale.  It’s really nice when  the nurses initiate these tasks with us, as they realize the importance and strong desire of parental bonding.

Treated myself to a haircut and highlight today, which was a bit overdue, as I had been waiting until I was in my third trimester.  Had to break the news about Riley’s need to sneak into this world a little early to my hairdresser, who had specifically asked me when I was there last to make sure the next time I came in with “a big belly.” 

Ian and I noticed today that at the other end of our NICU pod, one family did not have as good of an outcome as we have.  Family members were tearful, the nurses were eerily quiet, and shortly after, the room was cleared out and a new baby was in the room.  We talked a little bit about our observations at dinner tonight, and it made me emotional (and Ian admitted it had made him tearful earlier in the day).  We really feel for this poor family, because we were so close to being where they are just a mere two weeks ago.  I had envisioned that our child was not going to make it, because that’s basically what we were being told.  This poor family has to go home without their little one.  They just weren’t as lucky as us.  

Again, I don’t mean to be a Debby downer at the end of this post…but this situation shed light onto how lucky Ian and I are, and that our daughter has been able to fight back and push through the way she has over the past 16 days of her life.  I’m amazed at how much more I love her with each day that I get to spend with her, as her crazy personality shines through…in her sleeping positions, in her movements, in her looks, both good and bad.  She is our little fighter, and is really holding up to the significance behind her name.

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