Sunday, June 23, 2013

Charlotte Monthly: 1 Month

Starting off late out of the gate, but momma's busy in this house! 

Charlotte is already one month old! It is hard to believe, mostly due to the fact that little sister was in the NICU for almost 3 weeks. She is still acting very 'newborn', with her days consisting of mostly sleeping, eating, and pottying. 

I am having a hard time with the whole 'real age' vs. 'adjusted age' thing. I don't even know if I need to take her adjusted age into account since she wasn't all that early, but since she WAS born three full weeks early AND she was born the size of a 31 weeker, I feel like it needs to be taken into consideration! 

Her first three weeks in the NICU were spent growing since she really didn't have any other health problems. In that sense, she was born doing what a true 37 week baby would be able to do. Well, truthfully she also couldn't keep up her own body heat but if you had basically no body fat then you wouldn't be able to either! I will actually cherish the time that I spent in the NICU with her, I made relationships with the nurses and her neonatologist, and learned so much about premature babies. To help her body temp, they kept her in the incubator, and each day would lower the temp a little bit. They would see how she was doing by taking her temperature before every feeding (every three hours). If she was too hot, then they needed to lower it some more. Eventually, she was in an incubator that was the same temperature as the room, and soon enough, she was in an open crib!  

She was known as a 'feeder and grower' meaning that she only needed to bring up her weight. Her only obstacle with food was having the energy to eat every meal. It was kind of a viscous cycle, because she didn't have the energy to eat and would not be able to finish her meals, she wouldn't gain weight, and then wouldn't be able to keep up her body temp. Everything played on each other. The plan was to start her feeds 12 hours after birth with whatever I could manage to pump, but when they wheeled me in to see her the first time and she took right to the breast, they decided to start her early. Her first day of feeding was 4 mL, and the very first feeding was unsuccessful (she ate 1 mL and threw up 10 mL of blood and other fluids that were in her belly during her stay in MY belly). After that she was able to eat the amount that they wanted her to eat, and they would increase her feed amount by 3-5 mL per feed each day. She was able to keep up until they got to 22 mL. She was only able to eat about 10-15 before she would fall asleep and at that point, they had to put in the Ng (feeding) tube. It was frustrating, but it was necessary in order for her to put on the weight. 

After 17 days, she was eating all of her bottles by mouth, and she was able to get the tube removed! When I called that morning and talked to the nurse, she told me they had a surprise, and I knew exactly what it was! I was so happy to come in and see her beautiful face with no tubes attached! She stayed a couple extra days so that she could gain a little more weight and prove that she wouldn't lose her steam and need her Ng tube again. 

Finally they said we could take her home and we were in shock! It seemed like it was just a new part of our lives.... to come up to the NICU and listen to the monitors beep and have bottles brought to you by nurses all day. 

Being in the NICU really messed up her day/night understanding, and she was up ALL NIGHT LONG. Just hangin' out. I mean crying. Unless she was being held. She did not want to sleep! 

We have since gotten adjusted, but she is only a little bit better with sleeping at night. She still wants to be wide awake and fussing for a solid 3 hour period in the middle of the night. It may be from 9- midnight, it may be from 1-4, you never know, and its never fun. 

She is in newborn sized clothing, but they are huge on her! I think she will be in them for at least another month, but at least her preemie clothing is too small for her, so we are making progress! She is also in newborn sized diapers right now, and I don't see a move to size 1 for at least a few more weeks.

At the hospital she left eating 38 mL each feeding and when we got home, she immediately started wanting more each bottle. She started wanting a bout 45-50 mL, and ended the month at about 60 mL (2 oz), per feeding. 

Big brother is adjusting, but it is hard for him to understand why we can't drop everything and go outside each time he asks. He is also really needing to work on being gentle! He has always done everything rough, and 'playing' with her is no exception! That being said, he does like to rock her rock n' play and try to feed her bottles or give her a paci. 

Here are some more pictures from our month:

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  1. So glad that she's home and growing! She's so adorable!!!

  2. What a gorgeous family you have!!!

  3. She is just so beautiful - so happy for you after everything you've been through. Must have been such an amazing moment in NICU when she could feed like a big girl!! Alice @ Mums Make Lists xxx

  4. You have such a cute family!