Monday, May 25, 2009

A Beautiful Time

We are loving having Elise home! I cannot tell you how amazing it is to have your baby girl with you 24/7 after 75 days of not having her home. No long drives, to elevator rides, to calling to be let into the NICU, no waiting in line to wash your hands, no nurses to ask permission of, no screens to roll around and maneuver in attempts to have some privacy, no phone calls from the doctor to both look forward to and dread, no wires, no machines - just a beautiful baby girl.

She's slept fairly well through the night (waking every 3-4 hours to be changed and eat), and we're getting used to all her grunting and fussing due to gas/pooping throughout the night so that we can sleep through the sounds that don't require our attention.

She's had a few spells since being home, mainly during feedings where she's having her medicine or vitamins. Tonight I had a bit of a scare during a feeding without medicine or vitamins and had to yell across the house for Kit because she wasn't responding, but the sounds of me yelling actually helped stimulate her to breath. There's not really anything we can do about the bad tasting vitamins and medicine other than what we're already doing, which is adding them to some milk. However, the pediatrician recommended asking the nephrologist whether it might be possible to change her to a once-a-day dose rather than twice-a-day so that it at least limits the amount of times she might have a spell. In general though, she's not having them all that frequently and should grow out of them with time.

We've been able to get out for walks around the neighborhood the last three evenings. We put Ellie in the sling my aunt Laurie bought us as a baby shower gift, which holds her perfectly and is also very comfortable for me. Coco's been glad to be back out in the neighborhood and has been piddling lots in various yards to make up for lost walking time.

Speaking of Coco, he's is adjusting well. To avoid germs while she's still so susceptible to everything, we aren't letting him get very close to her other than to occasionally sniff her bum (through a blanket and/or her clothes, of course) or her feet. When she cries and is near enough for him to try to reach her, he tries to lick her face to comfort her. It's precious.

The wonderful thing about having Elise in the NICU is that most noises don't phase her at all. So when she's sleeping, nothing wakes her up. Some noises bother her a bit (like the loose board on the floor near one end of her bed), but most things don't. I'm not sure if it's from being around so many noises in the NICU or because she heard it a lot before she was born, but Coco's bark (he's an alert barker and likes to let us know if anyone is walking by the house) doesn't bother her. I had read that often noises baby's hear frequently before being born aren't as bothersome after they are born. Regardless of why, we're glad she doesn't wake up every time he barks.

My parents and youngest brother came to visit yesterday. My dad hadn't seen Elise since she was born, and Jonny hadn't seen her at all since he's not old enough to be allowed in the NICU. It was wonderful to see my family and to just hang out at home with them and Elise.

Tonight we gave Elise her first at-home bath. We used her adorable pink tub complete with a net to help keep her comfy that my friend Martha gave us. Thanks, Martha! It works wonderfully! I'm pretty sure a bit more of Elise's hair came off the top of her head. It's hard to believe she's old enough to start loosing some of her newborn hair.

Oh, and starting a couple of days before she left the NICU, I began noticing that it appeared that Elise was getting the normal little bald spot on the back of her head from lying on her back. Sure enough, it's been gradually growing. Since she's 11 weeks old, I think this is probably the normal time to start getting it; however, since her head is just now getting to be newborn sized, it's a tiny spot. I'll have to get a photo sometime soon.

All dolled up for her first appointment with the pediatrician. Unfortunately, no one actually saw her outfit other than Kit and I...but it was fun getting her dressed up! The headband is another one from Trish.

Swaddled in her sleep sack on the floor for a minute while I changed the sheets from her first spit up in bed.

Looking cute after eating.

Cuddling with mommy.

Her first time being held by grandpa. She loved being held by him and slept soundly (with a few grunts here and there).

Enjoying meeting Uncle Jonny.

He did a fantastic job holding her and was a good comforter when she was a little fussy from gas.

Our first while family picture. Not the best, but a memory nonetheless. :)

Cuddling in her bouncy seat from our neighbor Colleen. The upright position is great for keeping her reflux from bothering her if we need to put her down for any reason soon after a meal. (Her bed is elevated, but she does better if she's held or in her seat for at least 15 minutes after a meal.)

Where she is now. Can you see the cute drool on the right side of her mouth? She had a good dinner. And I think she enjoys being home.


The Pelhams said...

So cute!! So happy for all of you! We will continue to pray that her spells go away completely and quickly! God bless your beautiful family!

Lynn said...

Congratulations on bringing Elise home. I have been following your story since she was born. I cannot remember how I found your blog, but I have been praying for you daily. We were out of town for a while and I didn't realize she was home until today. Just want you to know how happy I am for you. (from Little Rock)

Stephanie said...

Love the family picture!!! It's absolutely perfect :) Glad everyone is doing well and Elise is improving! Praying those spells cease soon..I know they must be scary when they happen.

Rachel said...

SO Glad you are finally able to enjoy having your baby at home. Praying she continues to grow well, doesn't have many spells and stays healthy.
Hugs and Prayers
Rachel in PA

Krista said...

Emily she is beautiful & I'm so thrilled she's home! =) YAY! Hope your weekend was enjoyable!

Amanda said...

Yay for holiday weekends with the family all together at home. How precious!!! Glad she is sleeping so well with it being so quiet at home after such a noisy NICU.

Rachel said...

Cute pictures and soooooo glad Ellie is home!!!!

Trish said...

So sweet to have your family all together finally. She is looking so adorable! My girls loved to be swaddled and loved the pouch carrier too. :)

Erin said...

Oh I love the pic of your family! She is beautiful! So wonderful that she is home. I love your pug, I always wanted one but I have a beagle and he is enough to handle right now :0)

Katie said...

Glad that everything is going so well. I was thinking about you and wondering how it was all going. My son was nicknamed Grunty-Bundle by my Mum and I because he used to snort and grunt all the time!! I wish I had videod the noise because now I can't remember it :o(

I also loved how you said "bum" because I dont hear Americans say that very often and being from England, I will always prefer it to butt!!

Katie :o)

Rhonda said...

I've been following your blog since your beautiful baby girl was born. I found you on Kelly's Korner. I don't think I've ever seen a brighter smile than the one on your face when you hold her! I'm so glad that yall are home together!! God is good!

Rhonda in TX

The Gordons said...

I'm so glad that everyone is doing so well! I'm hoping that Veda will be coming home within the next couple of weeks, so I may need to call you for moral support as you'll be an old pro by then!

Jamie Gordon