Sorry for the delay in posting! Everything went well with the overnight stay in the hospital, and we brought Ellie home early last Tuesday morning. I've been meaning to post all week and hadn't realized that not posting makes it sound like maybe something happened while we were at the hospital overnight.
Nothing eventful happened other than the dumb pulse oximeter (which measures the oxygen in her blood) coming disconnected from her toe every time she moved so it beeped all night (ranging from soft beeps to major alarming), and I got very little sleep. When a nurse came in around midnight to try to fix it, I asked about strapping it to her foot like they did in the NICU, but she said she thought Ellie's foot was too big. I was too tired to mention they had it around her foot for her procedure so I just continued to be awoken all throughout the night. Around 4am they finally turned the monitor off. You know you look amazing when the first thing the doctor says when he walks in the room is, "Looks like someone didn't get much sleep last night."
Over the course of Tuesday night, Ellie's little voice turned to sounding like she had laryngitis so I called the cardiologist on call at 4am. He said it sounded like possible vocal cord damage from being intubated and had me take Ellie to see her pediatrician on Wednesday. The pediatrician confirmed it doesn't look like anything that won't clear up in 7 to 10 days and said to watch to make sure she's eating and making at least some noise as those could be signs of vocal cord paralysis. So far so good, and Ellie's voice is gradually coming back.
Ellie's energy level is clearly a lot higher now that her heart is working. It hasn't helped her reflux like I had hoped, but there was only a small chance that it would.
Speaking of her reflux, it has unfortunately been getting worse. So yesterday the pediatrician wrote a prescription for the next higher level of reflux medicine. I'm going to get it filled today and hope it starts helping soon. We're back to back arching (though not as bad as with no medication) and Ellie pushing the bottle out of her mouth with her tongue while she's still hungry because she's in pain.
The reflux is also causing problems with breasfeeding as there aren't any good positions that keep her upright enough now that the reflux is stronger. She had been doing really well and only having problems with not being strong enough to get full, which I was hoping the PDA closure would help. But now she's hardly able to stay latched on. So I'm hoping this stronger medicine will help her to be able to stay comfortable while nursing.
With all of this, her weight is still going up! So that's a huge praise as often premature babies continue to struggle with weight gain for a long time. Although she's not on the charts yet in her weight, length and head circumference, she is growing! She was up to 9 pounds, 14 ounces yesterday. And she's 22-1/8 inches. We can hardly believe how big she's gotten. She's now gained over 7 pounds since birth!
With all that was going on with the coil placement, I neglected to mention some exciting news from the day before the coil was placed. Ellie rolled over!! She was on her tummy doing tummy time and wasn't too pleased because she was gassy. She managed to get her little legs underneath her and roll herself over. Unfortunately, Kit was in the other room watching TV, and I had run to put some laundry away (don't worry, Ellie was safe lying on the floor and I was only gone for 30 seconds) so we both missed it! Argh. She hasn't done it since, but we're still watching!
Yesterday Ellie gave me another little surprise. Her bouncy chair has a little pull toy that plays music. I added a couple of rings to the puller so that she could actually reach it should she want to. A couple of times when I've put her hand on the lowest ring, she's been able to pull it to play the music. Yesterday while I was eating lunch she grabbed on and pulled all by herself! Here's a cute video of her right after said achievement. She clearly wasn't impressed with herself.
And finally, now that it's been nearly 9 weeks since we brought Elise home, I talked with the pediatrician about taking her out more. The pediatrician said, "By all means, get out!" The two main ways Ellie could get sick are (1) someone touching her and passing along germs or (2) her touching things and then putting her hands in her mouth. Since she's not touching things, we don't have to worry about that at this point, and when we've taken Ellie to doctor appointments and on walks, the sling has seemed to keep people from touching her. So I'm working on nice but assertive phrases to say to people if they do try to touch her and hoping I don't have to use them.
We're so very excited to begin introducing Ellie to friends and family who have not yet met her!! And I'm excited to be able to go out with my baby girl. It's hard to feel like a "real" mom when you never get to go anywhere with your baby. But now everyone can know that I'm a mommy!! And Kit and I can actually go places together! Yippee!!