Saturday, March 24, 2012


Today I traveled to the NICU solo while Daddy G stayed back and worked. As soon as I got to the NICU, Gretchen, Elise's nurse, asked if I wanted to hold her. Why of course! Gretchen got Elise all cozy in my arms, made sure Elise's numbers were stable, and then gave us some privacy. We were having great mother/daughter bonding time until she started to cry all of a sudden. I have to be honest, my gut reaction was to yell for Gretchen and "give her back." Part of me still feels like the NICU "owns" Elise in a lot of ways because there are still so many things about Elise that I do not know how to handle. Adjusting her CPAP and turning up/down her oxygen are just to name two things. There are plenty more things to add to that list. However, I told myself....YOU are Elise's mother. YOU figure out why she is crying. YOU can do this. Of course at this point, Elise's cry is only louder and her face is becoming red. She is starting to go from her peaceful snuggle to a mad squirm. I try slightly bouncing her in my arms, but fear the CPAP might pop out of her nostrils. Bouncing didn't work. I tried the pacifier next. She has become very good at sucking on the pacifier. That's a good sign for two shows she is ready for a bottle soon AND it usually calms her down. However, this time, the pacifier didn't work. Crap, I am going to have to yell for Gretchen. Wait, maybe she is too warm?? Before Gretchen handed her to me, she swaddled Elise in fleece so she would stay warm. Elise has done an excellent job of keeping her internal temperature where it needs to be, but sometimes when she is held, she gets too warm when our body heat is added to the mix. I started to slowly undo her swaddle. Sure enough, ahhhhhh....Elise calmed right down.  It is such a wonderful feeling when you finally discover what your baby is needing, isn't it? I felt like I had successfully picked a needle out of a haystack. A baby haystack that is.

It would have been very easy for me to call the nurse during Elise's crying episode. After all, I am still somewhat timid with Elise because of all the medical concerns and not feeling like she is 100% ours. However, before we know it, she will be coming home with us. There will be no more CPAP and monitors everywhere, but no more nurses either.

I'm sure my feelings are normal for first time mommies, but it was interesting today recognizing how dependent I am on Elise's nurses. I have also discovered that the parent bonding process does not happen overnight. Elise and I need a sign that reads "under construction." I am 100% confident that we will have a very strong bond someday (just like my mother and me), but it will take time to get to know one another and get to a point that we can read each others' minds. I will wait patiently for that time to come, but until then, I can say we are underway!  

After our holding session, the doctor came by to say the CPAP is starting to be weaned! She started at 6 cm of pressure last Friday and they turned her down to 5cm today. Once she is weaned to approximately 4cm they will start looking at graduating from the CPAP to the nasal cannula. When I left Elise today, she was handling the less pressure quite well and needing about 27% oxygen.

See already know I like my pacifier and I ALWAYS keep my hands by my face! :) 


As we begin to dream about the day Elise comes home with us, her nursery has gone 'under construction'. If you remember a few post back, selecting the right shade of grey for the nursery walls took an entire day. I'm glad we finally found the right shade because I'm in love with her wall color!

I also love the blackboard for Miss E to make pretty pictures on someday (and write her spelling words 5x each before the test...ok, calm down Momma Teacher!) Coming soon...a wooden pink border around the blackboard and wacky painted 123s and ABCs in the corners.

We had our handyman Eric stop by tonight to start on some of the building projects. As I mentioned before, her closet didn't have any hardware for hanging clothes. Eric was able to put in some racks, shelves, and will eventually put in a toy box.

He installed the chandelier tonight as well. I love the idea of feminine lighting in a nursery. However, since  we both despise the word "princess" and everything about it, I wanted feminine but not 'princessy'. I think this chandelier fits a 'little lady' perfectly.

Ok, so no one was running to the store for the 3rd bulb before the picture. 

Eric also put together Elise's crib tonight! I know other mothers have mixed opinions about the attached changing table to the crib. I hope I like it! We shall see. I certainly love the crib! Grant and Uncle Shane can attest to how heavy it was going up our staircase!

Many more things to come in the nursery! It is so exciting to see it underway!

G & J & E


  1. Your posts always give me goosebumps but this one gave me tingling goosebumps!! It is the best feeling to be a new mommy and to figure out what they're needing and be able to see them calm right down...I'm so glad you used all your new mommy intuition and waited to call for the nurse...she was just too hot in her fleece;) How adorable! Love all the construction in the nursery! Macy is 18 and still loves her chalkboard will be one of her favorite things! Sounds like a great day for you and baby girl not to mention a delicious end of the day grilling out with daddy Grant! Congratulations Jess...blessed for sure!

  2. How exciting that you are making progress in the nursery! We can't wait to see it when it is all ready for Elise!