Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Planning for the Final Weeks

Our days are looking better and better! The Prilosec seems to be helping Elise's reflux issues and she is having fewer and fewer bradys. Dr. Maylock has already moved Elise's feeds from continuous to receiving a bolus feed of 30 mLs (one ounce) over 2 hours. Then she rests for one hour before another 30mLs. She seems to be adapting to this quite well! She gets fussy right around feeding time. The nurses tell me this is a good thing because she is showing that she is hungry and can feel that her stomach needs nutrition. Next step: bottles! Hopefully by Friday we can start slowly reintroducing bottles to Miss Elise.

Miss Elise now weighs 3 lbs. 10 oz! We can't wait for the four pound party...only six ounces to go!

Many respiratory therapists, nurses, and doctors have all commented on how Elise is looking more and more like a chubby baby. This is music to our ears! Sometimes preemies don't get that "baby chub" right away because they didn't get to cook as long in Mommy's belly like full term babies do. We are so excited to see Elise's cheeks start filling out!

This was Mommy's afternoon view. Can't complain! 

When I arrived to the NICU on Tuesday, Elise was receiving occupational and physical therapy. She seemed so small to me because she was in someone else's lap and I was farther away. It melted my heart when I walked up during therapy and said, "Hey sweetie!" Elise turned her head to see me. What a great way to start my visit.

The audio of this picture is a series of grunts from Elise as the therapist moves Elise's little arms and legs . Hilarious! 

Last night I stayed at the hospital until 11:00. Karrie, my friend who happens to be Elise's favorite night nurse, was taking care of Elise. It's always fun to rock Elise and catch up with Karrie. We also got to give Miss E a bath! Scrub a Dub Dub! For perspective purposes...the green bowl is about the size of a soup bowl. She enjoyed her bath and really loves when a warm wash cloth is rubbed on her head. Ahhh!

I like bath time!


Our big brown-eyed burrito! 

I was glad I got a hotel room last night, but it was sure weird staying by myself. For some reason, in my 28 years of living, I have never stayed in a hotel room by myself. A person would think that since I lived by myself for almost 3 years, I would have stayed in a hotel by myself at some point. I can now say I've checked that off my list (and made it out alive). It is hard to eat out (especially when dieting), and I do miss catching up with G after he gets off work.

I will say that the goodbyes are getting harder and harder for me. Last night's goodbye was just fine... I knew I would be returning this morning to have another snuggle day with Elise. Today's goodbye was a different story. It is a feeling I can't describe all that well. When I see that the time is getting close to when I need to head home to Seymour, I begin to get very emotional. I try to get in all my kisses and tell Elise how much I love her (all the while trying to keep my voice from quivering), but it never fails, I always walk away with an elephant on my chest and tears running down my face.

Here is what I know:
1. I know Elise is fine and being taken care of by very intelligent and loving nurses and doctors.
2: I know Elise won't remember this time in the NICU.
3. I know Elise can't tell time; she has no idea that it will be 48 hours until I'm back kissing on her.
4. I know Elise still needs time to be her 'alternative womb' at times and focus on growing and eating even though she is in an open crib and can be held as long as she desires.

Here is what I don't know:
1. I don't know why I am getting so emotional at goodbye time.
2. I don't know why the guilt creeps back at goodbye time (part of my brain says, "I had to spit her out so early, the least I could do is spend every minute with her.")
3. I don't know if I want to stay in a hotel for days at a time. It can be exhausting to be in the NICU for many hours and no 'change of scenery.' It can also be exhausting to live out of a suitcase.
4. I don't know if I would like to be away from my home and G for days at a time.

As Elise becomes more and more "baby-like" and goodbyes are becoming harder and harder, I have started to re-evaluate my schedule. When I was in college, I student taught at an IPS school in downtown Indianapolis and a public school in Southport (just south of the city). During the year that I student taught, I commuted from my house in Seymour everyday. It was approximately a one hour commute each way. To be honest, I really enjoyed my drive during that year. I enjoyed it so much that when I landed my teaching position in Seymour after graduation, I missed my one hour drive in the mornings. It was a reflective time when I gathered my thoughts and prepared myself for the day. Moreover, my afternoon commute was a wind-down time for me.

Driving to the NICU everyday would not be something new to me. Hopefully, it would help me emotionally get through the goodbyes if I knew I'd see her the very next morning. I know I will especially want to be with Elise every day when I can start breast feeding her. Days that I am tired or have many appointments/meetings on my plate, can still be days that I stay at home.

We are blessed that we are close to "home plate" when it comes to our NICU journey. I will just need to find a plan for these final weeks while the bonding between mother and daughter continues to grow stronger... I surely don't enjoy a drive home with big tears rolling down my face.

G & J & E

Thank you Ribbonz & Curlz! 


  1. Love the new pictures! Can't believe how differnt she's starting to look with her fuller cheeks! And getting bigger! She's so photogenic already!

  2. Jess, I haven't been on the blog for a couple of days...I am amazed how much Elise has grown since the last set of pictures! Right when I think she couldn't possibly be cuter...she gets EVEN MORE adorable!! She is such a sweet and beautiful baby!! So glad things are coming along with her new medicine and her feedings. :) Love you!