BGL is a bit of an all star. Or so we’ve been told. 

Here’s the thing. Since landing in the NICU she has had zero “alarms.” Which means that her oxygen saturation and heart rate have never lingered outside the acceptable range for 10 seconds or longer. Never. The nurses can’t believe it. 

At this point they don’t expect that she will have any alarms. And we hope they’re right. Any alarm would add a week to her sojourn in the alcove of pod 2. 

BGL still weighs less than 4 lbs, but she is gaining weight every day. Sometimes only a third of an ounce. We don’t mind as long as she’s gaining. 

In the last day she has increased her milk intake each feeding from an ounce to an ounce-and-a-half. Four lbs will soon be a distant memory at this rate. 

Nurse Kym asked me today if BGL has shown us by now that we can have confidence in her. If we aren’t confident in her, I thought, then we haven’t been paying attention the last couple of weeks. She’s certainly been consistent and determined. 

Nurse Kym also said that BGL will be the one to decide when she’s ready to go home. The nurses and doctors are just reading her cues. 

I like nurse Kym a lot and will miss her when BGL comes home. And Karen and Marlene and Charity and Barb and Rhonda and Krystan and Jessica and Chang ans Samantha and Megan. They have taken care of my baby (and us) so well. I have cried already about the idea of not seeing them anymore. I know I will cry when we actually leave and don’t see them anymore. 

But I also am so excited to have BGL move in with us at home. 

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Just as predicted, BGL pulled her feeding tube out overnight. And they didn’t put it back. She’s on her own now and so far has been eating like she’s been doing it for a lot longer than she has been alive. Seriously. 

Her biggest challenge in my opinion is maintaining her body temperature on her own. She’s skinny. She’s next to a window, and it’s cold here last night and tonight. Brrr. I know what I will be praying for tonight. 

BBL really wants his sister to come home. I hope we’re ready because it’s going to happen sooner than we thought. Maybe this week. Soon. Yikes again. And hooray again. 

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BGL made it to 1750 grams today! BG stands for “Big Girl” now. She’s almost 3 lbs 14 oz. As long as she keeps gaining weight, then her small size will not be the reason she’s still here at the NICU. 

BGL is also at 90% oral feeding today. See. Big girl!

She does not leave her feeding tube alone unless she’s sleeping. She is determined to yank it out. Again. Charity says that if she does they might not put it back. No pressure, BGL.  

My husband and I suddenly felt today like she might be coming home sooner than we thought. Yikes! And. Hooray! And. We are NOT ready. (But who is.)

I can report that my breasts are gigantic. I mean, really. I have tons of milk. Which I love. It’s surprising how much confidence I have about her eating because I know I have milk. 

I am still in the healing phase from giving birth and tearing when BGL flew out. 

And that’s all the detail about my situation that’s going to be shared with the world on this blog. Bottom line is that I gave birth recently and am still dealing with that and all that comes with it. 

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Two Weeks

BGL had another banner day. She’s no longer getting assistance in keeping warm. All the maintenance of her body temperature is now up to her. Another calorie burner. We will find out tomorrow just how much work staying warm is for her. 

As of today, she was one ounce away from reaching her minimum weight requirement for being discharged. She still has some distance to go before she’s eating everything by mouth, so she will very likely be well past that minimum weight by the time she comes home. 

The minimum weight is still less than 4 pounds. So she’s still our little nugget. 

This picture gives some perspective on how small she is. At least I think so. It’s hard to tell in most pictures how much smaller she is than a full-term baby. 

This picture is just plain cute. 

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Cinco de Mayo

Today is the birthday of a well-loved mother-in-law. 

BGL lost half an ounce since yesterday. Proof that putting the responsibility for eating on her (instead of through the feeding tube) requires a lot of work from her. She is enthusiastic about trying bottles and seems to have worn herself right out. I guess bottle and breast feeding for preemies is like eating celery for us grown folks: you burn more calories in the process than you get from the food itself. Or something. 

The doctors might increase BGL’s supplements if she continues to lose weight. Because she can’t go home with a feeding tube so she’s got to be able to eat and gain weight at the same time. The supplements are easy calories. And who would deny her some help in this seemingly monumental task that she is working so hard on? And with enthusiasm, as I said. 

BGL spent the day messing with her feeding tube again. Nurse Barb took matters into her own hands and secured the thing in place better than it has ever been secured. Barb may have won this battle, but it is still TBD who will win the war. 

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12 Days II

BGL weighs 3 lbs 11.4 oz today. She drank 80% of her first bottle before calling it quits. She yanked at her feeding tube and the tape keeping it in place until the nurse had to remove it and insert a new one. She probably won’t learn her lesson but will continue to grab and yank. 

The night nurse reports that she drank her entire bottle at 8 pm and will have a bath and her milk via the feeding tube at 11 pm. 

I miss her at night. 

We feel so blessed to have a healthy baby. Parents around us have babies being weaned from drugs or babies getting bad news after an MRI. So far, we only have a small baby who is too small to go home and not strong enough to eat on her own yet. We pray that’s the hardest stuff we have to deal with. I also pray for all the other babies and parents. That they can hack it. That they will feel loved and supported. 

My husband and I have so much to learn before BGL comes home. Caring for a preemie is not the same as caring for a full-term baby. It’s different and not intuitive. I’m glad we are in this together and that neither of has to have it all figured out. 

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12 days

Our son (BBL) wants to be here at the NICU every day. Who can blame him? His sister lives here. 

He held her for real today. And held her for longer than I expected him to remain interested. 

He leaned down and kissed her forehead. 

Then he whispered, “I love you, Baby Sister.”

He touched the tip of her nose and said, “I love your nose.”

He touched (oh so gently) her closed eyes and said, “I love your eyes.”

“I love your feeding tube. I love your face. I love your blanket…. {to me} Where are her toes?”

He seems sufficiently in love. I know I am. With both of them. 

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