Thursday, March 12, 2009

Bright Eyes & Smiles

We went to the hospital today for Elise's 2:00 hands on time. My cousin Melissa, a NICU nurse at a local hospital, came with us so that I could have the reassurance of our family "expert." The staff at the hospital are doing a wonderful job, but I'm sure everyone can understand the comfort of having a family member who sees babies like Ellie all the time visit her. Melissa agreed with what we've been hearing that Ellie's doing a good job, which was a great comfort.

Ellie's oxygen levels were basically down to room air (I believe between 21 to 22 percent oxygen - 21 percent is room air level). I don't remember (and forgot to write down) what Melissa heard the respiratory therapist say, but it sounds like they are lowering something with her CPAP and that she might be able to stop using the CPAP soon. Since everything with premature babies is up and down, she may have to go back on after going off, but it's good to know she's doing well.

Oh, and I got to take her temperature and change her diaper again. And she had a great little BM. That's our girl!

I also got a listing of her daily weight since birth from the nurse:
Date Pounds-Ounces
3/7 2-11
3/8 2-10.2
3/9 2-6.4
3/10 2-4.5
3/11 2-5.4

Ellie really liked Melissa and kept opening her eyes and looking between Melissa, Kit and me before they cleaned her little nostrils and mouth. It was precious.

In addition to showing off her little bright eyes, she also gave us her first smiles!!!! Can I just tell you how much it melted my heart and Kit's as well to see that adorable little grin? And guess what? You get to share in the fun because she smiled on video. Here are the photos and video from today.

Ellie looking at her second cousin Melissa. She liked it when Melissa talked to her and would look at her in response.

Off the CPAP prior to her facial with the little oxygen mask close by to help her breath.

Chit chatting with mom.

Holding Melissa's hand.

Just plain being cute. (And stubborn - dad was trying to get a picture of her with her eyes open but she didn't like the little red light that the red eye reduction sends out even with the flash off.)

Clearly she's not in love with facials.

Such a cutie.

Back on the CPAP.

This is Ellie's little shelf with her personal decor. The lion came with her when the Panda team brought her from the other hospital. The bunny is a gift from our pastor's kids, and Kit thought it was perfect for her bedside. The painting is one my great grandma (GG) had that I was able to keep. I've had it by my bedside and wanted Ellie to have the love of her dear GG with her despite GG being in heaven.

Our wrapped up Ellie burrito.

Nice and snug.

Our second family photo.

The beautiful mountain on our drive home.

Another shot of the mountain with a bit more of the downtown waterfront.

One of the bridges crossing the Willamette. I realized that I've been paying more attention to the scenery on these past two trips home than I've probably ever paid attention to before. Ellie's reminding me to take time and observe every moment.

My wonderful (and free) chauffeur. (I'm proud of myself that I somehow just knew how to spell chauffeur without having to look it up.)

My first visitor tag for the NICU. They give you these when you check in.

From March 12, 2009 Video

Click on the picture above or the link below the picture to watch the video.


Melissa Nickerson said...

Em, looks like you guys had a good both look rested too, which is great! Ellie is super active!

JB said...

Came to you from Kelly's blog. Praying for you up in WA.

Our growing family said...

how are you doing emily? it sounds like you are all making the best of this! i was amazed that she is already interacting so much! what a blessing! I will keep praying for you all!

Becca Sue Congdon said...

Thanks for updating us all, Emily! It looks like Ellie is starting to gain again - that's AWESOME! yay! I'm impressed that she's so alert and smiling already. She's just a genius baby. :) Yay!

Unknown said...

hey guys, aaron and i just watched this video twice and absolutely loved it! ellie is beautiful! we especially like when Kit asked if she wanted a pony! :)
loving you and praying for you!