I have so much I wish I had time to write.
I will try to be satisfied with only saying what I can before I need to pump.
My baby girl can nurse now. (I wish I could express what a miraculous triumph it is to be able to say that.) She only nurses on the right so far. (Go figure that the left breast is different enough from the right that we haven’t figured out how to get it to work for her.) But she’s getting enough from the one side to be happy and healthy.
EMM is also growing and growing. Here are her 2-month stats.
She’s more than twice her birth weight now. Twice as big. Let that sink in. And pay no attention to her percentiles. They don’t matter. EMM is more than twice her birth weight.
EMM has a weight check tomorrow. Fingers crossed that she weighs at least 6 lbs 2 oz. Tomorrow marks 4 weeks home from the NICU, and she has already gained 2 lbs. Just like a normal baby. Getting fat cheeks and a double chin.
She is officially growing out of her preemie clothes. Newborn sizes are still way big. So the pjs that fit EMM best right now are the one pair of Old Navy sleepers that fits up to 7-lb babies. Thank you for the surprise package in the mail, Jocelyn.
Nursing has begun progressing well. Finally. Of course, most of her food is still delivered via pumping into a bottle. But I’ve ditched the breast shield and figured out how to consistently get her latched on. Things are looking up. We just need her to get a little bigger so that nursing doesn’t wear her out so much. And so that her mouth is big enough to navigate the unique shape and size of her mommy’s left nipple.
She still doesn’t do full feedings on the breast. At least not often. So I offer the breast if she is alert enough. Then she gets a bottle. Then she gets burped and held for a bit to make sure it stays down and doesn’t end up coming out her nostrils or mouth as foam. Then I pump. Then the bottles and pumping gear gets washed. Then the whole thing repeats. Day and night. Sometimes I do all the steps in the process. Sometimes I only do the nursing and pumping part. It all depends on how occupied my husband is with our son.
I have six more weeks before I go back to work. I’m really hoping and praying that EMM is a full-time nurser by then with the occasional bottle as events warrant. Prayers toward that goal welcome.
My due date is tomorrow. Today EMM is six weeks old and weighs almost six pounds.
As I left my six-week post-partum appointment yesterday, I passed the room where they do NSTs. I heard the loud thud-thudding of some woman’s baby’s heartbeat on the monitor. And I cried. A little bit sad I won’t hear that sound for one of my babies ever again. An even littler bit sad that I didn’t have six weeks of hearing that sound for this baby.
It was a moment of recognition for what was and is and will and won’t be. And the emotion of it overcame me briefly.
At the very same time I am happy and so grateful for numberless things about EMM and how and when she arrived.
It’s okay to be sad and grateful at the same time.
We’re a bunch of goof balls.
My job right now is hard. Period. So many people are helping us and are willing to help. But the fact is that so much of what must be done right now can only be done by me.
Writing about it would be helpful to me. Writing is therapeutic. Writing helps me understand. Writing brings clarity.
But I don’t have time for writing. At this moment I’m supposed to be sleeping. So I’d better stop.
A few things first.
I miss my son. We don’t get to spend time together like we used to do. I’m sure it’s hard for him – notwithstanding all the wonderful other people with whom he’s getting to spend time, including his daddy. I am confident enough in my connection with him to say that it’s hard for him that I’m mostly absent from his daily routines now.
So yes, it’s hard for him. But it is also hard for me. Really hard today.
I wish I could have done a daily blog about post-partum recovery. All the ugly and gory details. Not that anyone would want to read it. But it’s a story that I think should be told. There’s somehow more acceptance – in my exhausted mind anyway – for stories about pregnancy and not so much acceptance or interest in stories about recovering from being pregnant.
Anyway. Enough said. I must sleep.
This is where I write something meaningful about all that has happened in the last month.
Except I don’t have time for that.
Let this photo suffice instead.
4 lbs 13 oz at the doc today. The nurse who wrote it down cheered that EMM had gained 10 oz in one week. It was a real “Go Team!” moment.
EMM pooped and peed on me in the exam room as we got ready to take her out and get weighed. While I cleaned up after her, my husband said he was hoping for 4 lbs 12 or 13.
The woman who weighed EMM initially said she was 4 lbs 11 oz. I asked my husband if he was disappointed and told the woman what he had been hoping for. She looked at the scale again (which I could see because I was standing next to her).
Oh. I was wrong. She’s 4 lbs 13 oz.
See. Go team.
It only took more than a week, but BGL did finally get her first bath. And she handled it like pretty much everything else. A champ.
See below for evidence.
Should I be calling her EMM instead of BGL now?
One advantage of having your baby in the NICU: much easier to shower every day.
Don’t say the sleep thing because I wasn’t getting a whole lot more sleep. Some more but not much.
One advantage of having your baby out of the NICU: too many to list.
Today is my father’s birthday. Back when we thought this pregnancy would last longer, I told my husband it would be a good thing to schedule the induction today. And maybe have the baby on his birthday.
I have felt strongly since being admitted to the hospital that BGL (EMM) and my dad know each other. That they have a close relationship. Have spent time together. It maybe have been during the mag-induced fog of the first couple of days at the hospital that this idea really settled on me, but I believe it no less strongly.
My older sister is coming to visit for about a week. She gets here late Friday night. My other sister is bringing her from the airport. I am so eager for them to arrive.