Thursday, July 23, 2009

Free at last!

Olivia's been home for a week and half today! I didn't post right away because things have been, as I'm sure you can imagine, slightly hectic. There's the usual new baby stuff: sleep schedules, feedings, burpings, diapers, tummy time, milestones, etc. Add to that the newness of her feeding tube, a brand new case of reflux, and a delightful case of MRSA, and you've got a recipe for sleep-deprived parents!
We went to the doctor about every day Olivia's first week home. We had her first "normal" doctor's appointment, where we learned that in some circles, Olivia's problems are considered easy. The occupational therapist and the family coordinator that were sent to our home from early intervention also seemed to think that she's doing ok. We were feeling pretty proud of ourselves for impressing them all when the doctor called to tell us that Olivia's bandage dressing, which she had cultured two days previously "just in case" had come back positive for MRSA. One look at what had to say about MRSA had me in almost in hysterics.
Luckily, Olivia's brand of MRSA seems to be isolated to her surgical site, and has not yet entered her bloodstream or spread to other parts of her body. She is on a ten day course of antibiotics to be completed on Tuesday, and we are now using gloves when we clean her wound site. Considering that Charles and I are both uninsured, we really can't afford another case of MRSA in the family. We are so grateful that our doctor had the foresight to randomly culture Olivia's dressing so we were able to catch this before it spread to her lungs or her bloodstream. She seems to be responding to her antibiotics, so we're praying that it just stays contained and that she keeps fighting it.
On a lighter note, Olivia's kicking butt on this feeding thing. She pretty much sleeps through the night, and we have yet to be able to wake her up to eat, so the tube comes in pretty handy for keeping her hydrated and nourished. But during the day she's wide awake and seems to be really enjoying eating these days. Today she nursed for a whole feed- something she's never done before. When we nursed in the hospital, we always weighed her before and after, and I was always shocked at how little she got into her system for how long she sucked. So when she fell asleep after nursing today, we went ahead and "topped off" with her tube; we were shocked when she woke up suddenly and spit up about as much as we had just put in her tube. Apparently she had eaten an entire feeding for the first time in her life, and she was completely full! I can't even tell you how happy that made us- I had only thought to try nursing today to see if she even remembered how to do it, since we haven't done it for weeks. She latched on like she'd been doing it for months, and didn't let go until she was full and asleep.
I'm beginning to think everything they told us in the hospital was a lie, and they just wanted to keep her there because she's so cute. Selfish jerks.
Since I know you're all here for the pictures, I'll stop rambling and get to the good stuff. Enjoy!


Thursday, July 2, 2009

home cookin'

My mom's staying with us until Saturday, which means a delicious home cooked meal of my choice every night until then. My mom is the world's best cook. I'm admittedly second best, but I would never challenge my mom to a cook-off. She tends to crush her competition under the weight of chocolate chip cookies and other homemade delicacies.
It's been really fun to see my mom and my baby together. My mom reminds me so much of my own grandma when she's with them; I've caught myself impersonating my own mom to my daughter, too. I guess it's a good thing I like my mom and grandma so much, because it looks like I'm destined to turn into them. Albeit a little ruder. I tend to shock my mom and grandma with my antics and shenanigans.
Olivia's still working on the eating thing. We're going to reevaluate with her occupational therapist and her neonatologist on Monday, and decide whether she's ready to go home without a feeding tube, or if she needs to have a feeding tube surgically installed in her tummy. The thought of that breaks our hearts, but it would be temporary, and it would at least mean she could come home. I really think that if we could get her home and start teaching her about her family and about how parents are always there for you, she'd do better. Her nurses all love her to death, and we really really are grateful for them, but they still change out every twelve hours with the shift change, and I think consistency is going to prove beneficial for Olivia.
This kid has my heart in her tiny little palm. It hurts when she cries, and I can't help but laugh out loud when she smiles. I find myself doing everything in my power to get her to smile, and it's so worth the effort for her gummy little grin. turns out she loves bathtime. She just revels in the shampooing experience, with her eyes and mouth wide open, grinning every few minutes. My daughter is so stinking cool.