Today was a day full of accomplishments and surprises for our Miss Emily Oswin. We called the NICU first thing this morning to see how Emily’s night had gone. We were advised by the night nurse that Emily had a great night and slept well through the evening. She also advised us that they reduced the respirator to 20 breaths per minute and that Emily was filling in the rest herself.
We arrived into the NICU this morning to find that one of Emily’s nurses – Karen – did a lovely little name tag for Emily. Though this is just one small little detail, it meant the world to us to know that her nurses not only care of her physical well being, but also try to make us comfortable in the NICU pods. Sometimes it’s the little things that make all the difference when you are feeling far away from your baby.
We were also advised that because of how well she was doing on – or more accurately, off – the respirator, they were definitely going to extubate today. We decided to stick around to watch the process as we were so proud of how well she was progressing. It was clear that she was uncomfortable with the tube in her throat, and so we were just as happy when they finally came out. The hardest part for her was when they needed to remove all the tape around her nose that kept the tube in place. Once they had the tape off though, the tube was out in no time flat and she no longer squirmed around trying to get it out of her body. She still has a bit of residue from the tape, but they decided to wait to remove it as she was so calm and happy once it was out that they didn’t want to frustrate her more than they needed to.
The nurses told us that because of the tube, her throat would be raw and her cries would be faint and raspy for the first little bit. They were right, but what we didn’t know is how much more like a goat she’d sound. Too cute for words.
Jody then had the chance to hold her for about 30 minutes where she snuggled into his arms and settled into a well deserved nap. I took the chair in the corner and joined in the nap process. Why shouldn’t both us girls get some shut eye, after all, we’ve both had some medical procedures this past week!
We decided to break for lunch while Emily slept in her pod. Once back, we were advised that she would be moved from her Yellow NICU pod to the Green NICU pod. The difference between the two is not only staffing purposes – she still gets one-to-one care for now – but also the size of the pod. They no longer require her in her ‘spa’ bed pod with the heat lamp and respirator so she would be upgraded to crib status!
Before this could happen though, they needed to review her blood work as she was looking a bit jaundiced. While they waited for the results, it was my turn to hold Emily and Jody was able to give her some of the colostrum oral therapy. Once she was settled with the therapy it was then Jody’s turn to sleep in the corner. Emily soon also fell fast asleep – and let me tell you: nothing beats having your baby in your arms after 5 days of next to no snuggle times. It was pretty amazing watching her sleep like that all nestled in my arm for more than an hour.
Once we got the all-clear, Emily was officially moved into her crib and we then transferred her things into her new pod. Karen said that she would take care of moving it all for us, but we wanted to help the process. Parents are given the opportunity to help with all sorts of things in NICU and we want to be part of it all when and where we can. Additionally, because she’s now in a crib, we were able to finally use the take-home quilt that she was given from the nurses when she first arrived!
There are still a few milestones that Emily needs to hit before she can come home, so we can’t say exactly when she will be here with us. Could be 2 weeks, could be 2 months. We are certain that it will be sooner than later, but we aren’t setting our sights on a specific date as of yet. We need to talk to the doctors and surgeons about her progress thus far, and what the actual milestones they want to see on their end. We know that one of them is her ability to finally poop again after her surgery, and she did that today – right before we moved her into her crib! This will – in all certainty – be the first and last time that Jody and I high-five for baby poop.