Wow! What a week of positive news it has been for miss Hailey! She has completely astounded us with how strong she is for being so teeny tiny! She is certainly strong willed! Every nurse we have talked to has said that she isa feisty little girl, and very strong willed.
So Hailey has had a great couple of days! Granted we are always told to prepare for the bad days but that is so dang hard to do when she just keeps having these great days! On Thursday they were able to take her off of her ventilator and put her on something called a bubble CPAP machine. This means that miss Hailey is breathing by herself a lot more and so far she is doing great! There is always the possibility that she will need to go back on in the ventilator, but for right now we are counting our blessings and just so thankful that she is doing as well as she is.
In the last few days they were able to not only take her off of her ventilator, but also increase her feedings. Her feedings started out at .8 mls and have gone up to about 3mls. So a little over half a teaspoon of breast milk every three hours or so. She actually has even started spitting up a bit, mostly because of how they are feeding her. Rather than allowing gravity to just drain her milk into her little tummy, they have decided to put her in a pump that will put the food in her tummy a little bit at a time over a thirty minute time period. Since they made that change she seems to be handling her food much better!
On Thursday Jon and I got to hear Hailey cry for the first time. It was surprisingly emotional to hear that teeny tiny soft cry. She was upset and uncomfortable, and there wasn’t really anything that we could do, so I just did the hand holding and after about ten minutes of just cradling her little head and feet she went to sleep!While it sounds terrible to say that her cry was so sweet, it is also a good thing because it means her little lungs are working!
Friday turned out to be a pretty great day this week! Since she was doing so well, and keeping her breathing in a good range, I was able to hold her for the first time and do skin to skin! It was so amazing to finally be able to hold this teeny tiny baby. I was so happy I was crying. She is so little and so wiggly, and it was so fun to feel her just move around on my chest. I was only able to hold her for about 45 minutes or so, because she started to get agitated and couldn’t control her breathing. Once they laid her down in her comfy incubator bed, she adjusted and went right to sleep!
Saturday was a little bit harder, at least for mom. Jon and I went to visit and even though her stats were great, they wouldn’t let us hold her. We were told we would get to hold her once a day for as long as she would tolerate it, and as long as her stats were good, so that was actually quite disappointing.
Saturday reality kind of set in, or rather our new reality: visiting our daughter everyday in a hospital for months until she can come home. Stressing over her passing her NICU tests, eating, breathing, and the therapy to come after to make sure she reaches all of her milestones on time. It’s extremely overwhelming to even think about. Jon and I were talking about church next week, and I just started crying because so much has changed and I don’t know how to go back to “normal” day to day activities. Only time will tell, I suppose.
Over the course of the last week, I have learned that while I hate hospitals, I would rather be with her there. Even if I’m not holding her, it feels almost peaceful to just be there in the room with her. And for now, because of our circumstances, that’s enough.