Wednesday, March 18, 2009

A Little Step Back & A Bath

Last night's weighing didn't bring the news we had hoped. Ellie's back down to 2 pounds, 6.3 ounces (down from 2 pounds, 8.7 ounces the night before). This news was unbelievably hard for me to hear and has put me into a bit of an emotional downtime. Although I'm having a difficult time processing this, it's completely normal for premature babies. The doctor told Kit this morning that it's normally 2-3 weeks before premature babies start actually putting on and keeping on weight.

For the past couple of days they have been fortifying my milk, taking it from 20 calories per ounce to 22 calories per ounce. Today they didn't increase her feedings. Instead, they changed her to a continuous feeding schedule where one of the machines like her IVs are attached to gives her my milk slowly and continuously rather than all at once every two hours. She threw up a tiny bit while we were there this afternoon.

I just keep having to remind myself to release her to the Lord and to trust Him to take care of her. It's just so hard when I want to scoop her up in my arms and make everything better myself. As I was waiting inside the hospital for Kit to park the car this afternoon, I teared up thinking this through and realizing that this is probably how the Lord feels about us when we're going through difficult times. But He knows what's best and knows that we need both the ups and the downs to become mature and complete. And our little Ellie needs her ups and downs to keep growing stronger as well.

On a lighter note, I got to give Ellie a bath last night. She's too little to actually go into a tub of water, so she got a little "sponge" (hospital-type paper towel) bath. She also enjoyed her pacifier last night (and really enjoyed it while we were there today - she has wonderful suckling skills). And she ended our visit with an hour of cuddles with daddy. What better way to end the day.

Getting ready for her bath. That little air mask next to her is what they use to give her oxygen when she's off the CPAP. You've probably seen it in other photos too when we snap the no-CPAP face shots.

Looking as cute as ever.

Opening her little eyes to show daddy how she can cross her eyes.

Cute little pursed lips. I can't tell you how adorable her tiny little lips are.

Beginning the bath with a little face and ear wash (with just plain water for obvious reasons - the soapy water was for her hair and the rest of her body).

Surprisingly, she seemed to love her bath and was calm the whole time. This little girl is like her daddy and doesn't like to be dirty.

Getting her little face good and clean.

Washing her hair.

A big yawn. She was sleepy, which is probably why she found bath time so tolerable.

Washing her cute little back.

Enjoying her purple pacifier.

A little Saint Patrick's Day bow (bigger than her head). Her poor little eyes were really puffy because of the combination of her wearing her CPAP and then laying on her stomach more frequently lately to help with digestion.

Cuddle time with daddy. (His arm wasn't sore at the end this time...he's getting the hang of all this baby stuff really well.)


Katie said...

Your sweet little Elise is just BEAUTIFUL! Praying for her daily!!!

Our growing family said...

i will keep praying! keep hanging in there!!!
i love how beautiful the pictures of you two together are!!
also, do you have an email addy we can reach you at?

Casey, Janelle, Ella, and Hadley said...

Hello! My name is Janelle and I am a friend of Kirsten's-- I have been checking in on you and keeping Ellie in my prayers. I wanted to tell you to hang in there. just two years ago my husband and I spent a month in Portland while our daughter, Hadley, was in the PICU/NICU after undergoing open heart surgery. When I hear your words in this post I am reminded of how heart wrenching it was to watch my baby sit on that table/bed feeling totally helpless. And I so remember those little set backs-- I would lose it almost everytime they happened, no matter how much reassurance I got from nurses and doctors. Hang in there! The end is so worth this journey and it is absolutely amazing what you can do when you have no other option BUT to do it. You are in my thoughts and prayers!
Much love to Ellie

Mandy Gramkow said...

Hang in there! Yep...I resonate with those feelings. Every night at assessment time it was always the highlight to hear the weight...and yep, I remember those times Ellie didn't gain or tolerate her feedings :( Also, just so you know, we STILL fortify my breastmilk to 22 cal for Ellie and she's now 6 months. She's a cutie! Great to see her cheeks without that CPAP on. Love the bow picture, gives people a better idea on how small she really is! What a blessing..and be a good girl for mommy and daddy tomorrow Ellie!