Annalee has been very consistent over the last week. She hasn't made much progress, but she has been stable. I hardly know what to think with the monitor being so quiet! She has had only three minor bradys (when her heart rate drops.) Not to say that won't change, but I've enjoyed not stressing over the monitor.
They are beginning to wean her oxygen. She was at 3 liters flow and 21% (room air oxygen) for her first five days. Yesterday they weaned it down to 2.5 liters. Today she is at 1.5 and seems to be tolerating the change so far. She has been tachypnic (breathing fast) since birth, which doesn't make me feel great about them weaning her flow. Thankfully, someone else is making that call for her, otherwise, I would be weaning her at a glacial pace.
She is a bit jaundiced and has been under the bili light for several days. Her levels haven't been extremely high but high enough to warrant a light. This is really the least of our worries and I hardly think about it. Completely expected.
Our biggest concern is feeding. Ooooh feeding issues. I think we've had enough of those to last a lifetime. Little girl does not like digesting her food and has been giving back big residuals (undigested food her in tummy) since they began feeds on Thursday. They are giving her enemas every 12 hours...hoping that once she's cleaned out, her little GI system will begin working. I expected her to have feeding woes, since most preemies do, I just didn't expect it to be so early in the game. I really hope she gets her act together soon.
It is so strange to be back in the NICU. I keep reminding myself that Annalee's story is not Samuel's story. Breathe, breathe, breathe. It helps to be knowledgeable about what is going on, but I also find myself wondering when the floor is going to drop out from under us. '"Do the residuals mean that she has NEC? Does she have a bowel obstruction? What about an infection?" Breathe, breathe, breathe. "She's a girl. She'll do fine. She's a 32 weeker...that's much better. She has such a soft, pink tummy! That's a good sign!"
With Samuel, we spent all but 6 of our 125 days at Arkansas Children's Hospital. It really became our NICU home. We got to know and love the staff there, we loved our primary nurses, and we were familiar with the hospital. Annalee is in the NICU at UAMS...just a few miles down the road from ACH. Although everyone here has been great, familiarity brings comfort. I'm trying to adjust to a new environment, new nurses, and new doctors...while dealing with the normal stressful NICU issues. I'm sure that after some time, I'll begin feeling more secure here. For now, my plan is to suck it up and enjoy the private room that we probably wouldn't have if we were at Children's.
A few people have asked me about the story behind Annalee's name. My grandfather passed away the month we learned we were pregnant. His middle name was Lee and I wanted to include that in her name somehow. I've always loved the name Anna but its current popularity made me shy away from it. By joining the names, I felt that it was more unique. Her middle name, Rose, is my mother-in-law's middle name.
Samuel has not seen his sister yet, but I think he's beginning to understand what is going on a little better. We don't want to bring him to the hospital while flu season is so bad. I can't wait for them to meet though! I'm also pretty desperate to get my hands on him since I haven't picked him up and held him in about six months.
He is doing great at home and loves spending his days with his Nana. I had grand plans of potty training before Annalee arrived but obviously I haven't been around to do that. His Nana has just begun potty training and I'd be tickled pink if he took to it right away (for everyone's sake!)
Love this boy...and this girl!