We are settling in here at home. We have now been home for 2 weeks. It seems so crazy and the NICU seems so far away. Not quite a distant memory but it doesn't seem so fresh and the stress of that experience is fading a bit.
Ella is pretty much sticking to a 4 hour schedule and is eating well. She takes about 2-3 oz per feeding and we have switched her to the Dr. Brown's bottles with the preemie nipple. She was really refluxy and gassy and we think it was because she was collapsing the nipple on the hospital super slow flow nipples and getting too much air. She is sleeping great in the day and not so great in the night. She will only sleep in her bouncy seat. We are working on this and if anyone has any great thoughts on how to get the chicky to sleep in the pack n play I would love to hear them.
We have gone on a few walks and outings over the last few days. We went to sample some cupcakes we saw featured on a tv show yesterday and a walk around the neighborhood a few days. I love our stroller and car seat. We have used both the bassinet and the car seat on the stroller chassis and both have worked great. It rides great and looks great too. I would totally recommend the qu.inny and the maxi co.si car seat.
She has also gone to the doctor three times. Twice to the pediatrician and once to the opthamologist. She is doing great with weight gain and as of a week ago Tuesday she was 6 lb 7 oz. She was keeping to her 1 oz/day trend so she should be about 7lbs by now. It is so strange not to get her weight every morning. For over 2 months I would call in the morning and get a report from the nurse and find out her weight. Now when people ask I have to guess when just a few weeks ago I knew to the gram how much the little girl weighed.
Our trip to the opthamologist was good. I am so happy that Children's Hospital has a satellite location in the town we live in. It was no nice not to have to go into Boston for her appointment. We saw the same doctor as we did in the hospital which was nice and comforting to have the consistency. Unfortunately Ella's retinas are still immature. This means we need to go back in a month to check them again. The doctor thinks they will be fine just that Ella is a slow grower. If she has not developed ROP by the next visit she will be cleared and won't have to go again. The doctor is not concerned so I think it should all work out.
Early intervention came this morning to evaluate Ella. She was found to have delays in most areas but is actually testing at 3 months in language. The speech therapist was actually very impressed with her chatter. She was very sleepy so she didn't do a whole lot for them this is actually good since it made it more likely to qualify for services. I want to get as much as we can so that Ella has the best chance at catching up. It seems they will be coming once a week. I am really looking forward to getting this started and making some progress in her areas of delay.
Some things at home are just like the experiences of any new parent others are not. We still have those middle of the night feedings, the diaper changes and the laundry (holy shit the laundry) but there is just another layer of worry and stress that comes from parenting a preemie. Every sneeze every sputter every nap is charged for me with what if. What if she gets RSV, what if she stops breathing, what if she has major developmental delays? I am transitioning from the acute day to day worry of the NICU to an ongoing worry that lives just under the surface. I hope that this anxiety decreases the longer we are home because it sucks. I know that it is normal to worry and I am a worrier to begin with but I wish I could just enjoy having Ella home and not have this background noise of worry constantly running in my head.
Even with all the worry I love having my baby home with me. All of this is so worth it to see her sleeping next to me as I type this (yes in the bouncy seat). Next week if the weather cooperates we are going to go apple picking. It will be so nice to go and do some fun stuff and then I can make some yummy apple items.
I am going to try to do better about blogging but I swear every time I sit down to write the baby wakes up. I also need to get the rest of the pictures that I took of Ella the other day edited and up on the picture site. Since my mom is coming tomorrow perhaps I can let her hold the baby while I get some things done.