Monday, July 7, 2008

I'm Home

I'm home! I was released from the hospital Friday evening (7/4) and went home and slept for the next 24 hours. I stayed awake on Saturday long enough to go to the hospital twice, then out for a quick sushi dinner.

The great outdoorsman from St. Louis had been staying with us, although I rarely saw him. We did dinner together before he and his buddy headed out to the San Juan islands for some rest and relaxation in the great outdoors.

Kendra is doing fabulously! She's put on a some weight, and is almost back up to her birthweight. She's been off the C-PAP and all oxygen support since Friday. She was moved to an isolette yesterday, so she no longer has the gold heart temperature monitor. Basically she has monitors for heart rate, oxygen, and respiration. She has a PIC line in her thigh that helps deliver IV nutrition - vitamins, fats and minerals - that preemie's need. The tube in her nose runs directly to her tummy and she receives breastmilk via that or the bottle. She was slightly jaundiced, so she's been on phototherapy for the past three days as well.

Dan and I have both been able to bottle feed her a couple of times. It's such a wonderful feeling to hold her close. Kendra loves to be swaddled up and cuddled close, but because of the phototherapy we've been limited in the amount of time that's allowed. She needs as much time under the lights as possible.

This is her isolette. They allow the babies to sleep more deeply and therefore heal more quickly. Hospitals are noisy, especially in the NICU where it seems there is always something beeping for attention, or a baby crying. The isolettes allow for sound to be blocked, and can be covered to allow for a darker environment - hence better sleep. My little diva - sleeping under the sunlamps with her eye mask. :)

Yesterday they let me try to breastfeed her - more for psychological pleasure for both of us than any expectation that she'd actually be fed :) Dan actually fed her directly into her tummy tube while she nuzzled with me. The idea is she starts to equate mom to a full belly - the start of the breastfeeding process.

We're extremely happy with the progress she's made. She still has a way to go, but our little girl is strong and fiesty. The nurses laugh at just how much personality is crammed into that not-quite-four pound body.

Dan and his baby girl - he is such a proud father. I couldn't ask for a better dad or husband.

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