Saturday, July 9, 2011
Friday, July 8th
When we talked with the nurse this morning she asked us to bring Whitney's bathtub, because she wanted us to give her a bath and all the basins in the NICU are made for preemies so she shouldn't fit. We were thrilled at the chance to give her a bath and couldn't wait to get there.
We had a really great day with her today. When we arrived around 8:30 am I was able to nurse her and she was pretty active and wide awake so we got to hold her and play for a bit. Grandma and Grandpa were FINALLY able to hold her too, which I know was a really special time for them. My Mom has been anxiously and patiently waiting for this opportunity and it was so touching to see her holding her.
The bath time went really well and we were able to see her without any wires or tubes, for they were able to take out her breathing tube in her nose on Thursday. For the first time we were able to pick her up without being connected to a machine or have anything taped to her arm, nose, face, or any other extremity. Andy kept proclaiming "She's WIFI!!!"
After the bath I was able to feed her a bottle and she drank all of that too. She is a slow eater, but steady, the nurses are pleased with her feeding progress. They did however put her feeding tube back in her nose after the bath in case she was too tired to eat for the next feeding. I was really hoping they would try to bottle feed her again and not take the "lazy" way out and tube feed her, but was willing to wait and see how she did.
On the way back to the beach we received a call from one of the nurses saying Whitney had just cried. This was huge news for us since we have been fretting that she doesn't cry and has only makes "squeak" noises. The nurses assured us her lungs were probably still too tender and sore to cry and that crying takes a lot out of babies and she may just not have the strength to do so.To most parents this will probably sound insane but all we want to do is hear our baby girl cry. Back at the Conway hospital we would listen with envy to the newborns crying through the paper thin walls. At the NICU we hear preemies crying and think "why can't our full term baby do that?" and all we want is to hear WHITNEY crying.
Right before shift change at the hospital I called the nurse to see how her 5:00 feeding went and she said she did great. She drank all her bottle and they did not use the tube (thank goodness!). The nurse talked with the doctor and suggested they try to bottle feed her exclusively and not use the feeding tube. She then explained that if Whitney could continue with her strength of feeding that would be the last step before getting her home. She said for us to call tomorrow before we leave for the hospital because they may want us to pack for an overnight stay and possibly bring her home with us on Sunday! As I heard this news I couldn't help but breakdown in joyous tears. Here I am in some overpriced shop at Broadway at the Beach balling my eyes out talking on the phone with a HUGE smile on my face (great for business I'm sure clerk was thinking). I could not believe the news.
The nurse was sure to mention that if Whitney stalled on her feedings that her trip home could be delayed which we understand, but we are SO CLOSE to getting her home. She is getting so strong and making such progress we are so proud of her she'll be home before we know it.
Hearing the words "She can come home" are the words I have been waiting for, for over 2 weeks now. Even if not on Sunday it will be soon and knowing that it's soon is good enough for me. We have been waiting and wondering and praying and the prayers are being answered. THANK YOU!
When I left for the hospital on June 23rd I never expected any of this to happen. The nursery was ready, the wipes packages were opened, batteries in all the toys. When you come home empty handed it is such a blow. With your mind reeling, you do everything you can to push through and we are so close now.
Baby Whitney has a long way to go and some of our questions may not be answered until years from now. Some of our questions about her birth may never be answered. But the question of when can she come home will be answered shortly and of course, we have to take this just one day at a time.