Phew, today has been a busy day. It started with Elise waking up every three hours all night. She's normally been sleeping for about 3 hours and 30-45 minutes between each feeding at night so this was rough on my system. In addition, we had two doctors' appointments today so all night I kept thinking about how I wouldn't be able to sleep in at all so the lack of sleep became even more as I was lying in bed thinking about how I wasn't going to get enough sleep. Lame.
Since Elise woke up more frequently than usual, the plan to feed her right before we left was a bit muddled so I fed her a smaller amount an hour before I had planned to and then fed her more right before we left. Luckily, it worked and she made it through her appointment without getting hungry.
Her first appointment was with the pediatric nephrologist (kidney doctor) for her high blood pressure. She managed to stay awake for the whole drive there, the whole appointment and the walk to the car. Her blood pressure was stable (though still high). For now he's leaving her on the same dose of medication and will see her again in a month. He said that it's extremely common for premature babies born between 24 and 29 weeks (like Elise) to have high blood pressure and that it's also common when there was a placental problem (like in our case). Normally the blood pressure will even out about 3-4 months before the baby's first birthday so we'll be seeing him every month for a while.
After that appointment we went to McDonalds for vanilla iced coffees (or however you call it when it comes from a machine at a fast food restaurant...still trying to figure that one out but they seem to get it much more easily than my drink at Starbucks :)). If you haven't tried them, I recommend doing so. While Elise was in the hospital, I went to McDonalds for lunch quite a bit, and one day they were handing out punch cards for free coffees after you buy a few so we've gone there a couple of times when we've been exhaused and need a little boost.
With our coffees in hand, we came home, put Elise down for a short nap, ate leftovers for lunch, pumped (me, not Kit :)), fed Elise and then left again an hour after we got home for her next appointment - with the pediatrician.
The appointment with the pediatrician went well. I've never really understood when mom's have talked about going to appointments with a huge list of questions. Last week I had maybe two questions that were quickly answered, but I think that was only because we had just brought her home from the NICU where I had just asked all my final questions. This week I had my list - with eight questions - and I even came up with a couple more questions while we were there.
We have a wonderful pediatrician who is very focused on answering all of your questions and not having you leave still wondering about anything. She answers each question very well, even when they're the kind of stilly questions that you'd never ask your own doctor because they would act like you were dumb.
The most exciting part of the visit? Not only is Elise an even 7 pounds, she's almost on the growth charts for her weight!!! That's really, really good news in the world of preemies! After her weight comes on the charts, I believe it's length next and then head, but I might have those backward. Our baby girl is growing fast, we're loving every moment!
She's started grasping and using her hands a lot in the past few days. She grabs blankets, wash cloths during feedings, our clothes, and has even managed to grasp at daddy's chest hair through his shirt. Although it was completely accidental on her part, in the car today she grabbed onto her pacifier holder (a cute pink flower that the pacifier pops into) and put her own pacifier almost in her mouth (went straight for her mouth but forgot to actually open said mouth so that it could go in).
She's also started focusing more on whatever she's looking at, which means she's focusing a lot more when she looks at us. It's precious!
Well, I need to be off to go help Kit give Coco a bath while Elise is sleeping. Sorry for the lack of photos, but don't worry, you'll get plenty of looks at our cutie soon enough!