Advice needed--hospital stay care package


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She's doing good. Gained weight (up to 2lbs, 3oz), not under lights any more. I guess she got a little sick or something so they had put her on antibiotics and are draining her stomach via gravity alone at this point. Hoping to take her off iv nutrition soon...just waiting to make sure she is completely not sick. None of the nurses seem to think any of this is particularly alarming. They seem to be treating it as normal, expected, not-concern-worthy preemie stuff. Interesting.

Mom and Dad are happy because they're getting to hold her. I guess Thursday as a banner day because they got about 3 hours of holding. I know yesterday D got to hold her for 2+ hours while I was there...dunno about when Dad got there.

So...things seem to be good.


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Oh and I guess I should add that, if she's up from her birth weight, that's a very, very good sign. Every baby I've ever known of has lost weight at first -- about a half a pound, on average, for an average weight baby.

Yes. Preemies are different, but PJ probably lost weight at first, too. So, if she's up in weight overall, that probably means she's growing and gaining a lot of weight, which is exactly what babies are supposed to do.

IIRC, my ob/gyn (whom I loved and would recommend to anyone) said that DS gained about a pound a week, that last month, in utero. Baby PJ may struggle a while because of her premature birth, but I bet she'll be a big old gal before you know it. :-D

She'll be home with her Mom and Dad soon. :-D


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I think 3 hours of holding sounds really good, based on what my friends went through. They didn't get much holding time at all with their preemie in the nicu, especially in the first week. Just a little touching through the arm holes in the bassinet. Thanks for the update...keeping them in my thoughts.


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I saw them last Friday, and they seem to be doing good. He's extremely tired, because he's working full time/overtime to save/build his leave for when PJ comes home from the hospital...and then going to the NICU every night. She's doing pretty good, considering that she's not the most stable of people to begin with. I've been impressed. Right now, I think they (she, in particular) is mourning the loss of How She Wanted It To Be more than anything else. She's pretty much OK with what has had to be done--anything to help her daughter--but it doesn't mean she wasn't attached to a very different way of things, that will never be. But she recognizes that, and he's helping her, and she's doing OK.

The other big thing is what seems like arbitrary and conflicting input from nurses, which is especially bad because friend is 1 million percent nonconfrontational, and when she gets frustrated and feeling like she doesn't know how to stand up for herself she ends up in tears. But things like one nurse taking PJ off her because she was talking on her cell phone...when other nurses have never said anything, much less taken PJ away. Things like seemingly arbitrary amounts of time she can hold, etc. But since learning about the possibility of care conferences, where the NICU social worker can advocate for her, friend is feeling much better...just knowing that it's an option makes her feel better. Don't get me wrong--friend will do anything or follow any rule, but she wants to know why...and if it seems like the rules change arbitrarily, she wants to know what's behind the difference. Girl comes from a very strong science/evidence-based gotta deal with her in logical, evidence-based ways or she doesn't cope well.

PJ seems to be doing great. I guess...what do I know about preemies? Nuffink. Er... As of last Friday they had removed her IV completely. No more heated-mattress isolette; heating by air warming only...meaning she's getting much better at maintaining her own body temperature. No more temperature sticky dibbledoo attached to her. No more feeding TPN+lipids; they're now feeding her breast milk supplemented with something (for additional calories?). Feeding is still by naso-gastric tube, but it's up to a decent volume and they were switching from continual feeding to every three hour feedings. Since everyone else seems to have been very excited about this, I guess I'll report it: she's pooping well. (Shrug.) They're starting the process of breast feeding. Bad news, her blood count is still low. This has been a problem for a while, but they're holding off as long as absolutely possible before giving her a transfusion for various reasons. I guess each week that she doesn't get one is a good thing??? Shrug.

So, all in all, they seem to be doing good. I guess. As well as can be expected under the circumstances. I still feel very useless just sitting there with friend all day long in the NICU, but the time spent visiting with my friend has been great...and if that's what she'd prefer I do, then that's what I'll do. Although last Friday her DH asked if I would cut up some veggies in the fridge. He loves to cook, and was planning on doing something with them, but I guess had been putting things off because of the time involved with chopping the veggies. Shrug. If chopping the veggies is what they want, that's fine. Much talking and giggling with friend while doing so, so that was nice.


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Wow. Thanks for the really great update. It does sound like they're doing well.

As to mourning How It Was Supposed to Be, I think that's pretty common. Women who are wired to procreate often fantasize about baby-having the same way women who are wired for marriage often fantasize about weddings.

So, when the natural, non-drug-enhanced, full term birth of your dreams turns into a months-long, terrifying NICU experience, there's definitely something to mourn. And what makes it worse is that a lot of people, often yourself included, keep telling you how lucky you should feel that everything turned out all right. Truth is it didn't turn out all right. It turned out a lot more right than it could have. Two different things.

Also, thanks on their behalf for being a freaking awesome friend... who chops veggies. If I get sick, will you come and help me prep for stir fry? :p :lol:


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I guess it has been a while.

PJ came home from the hospital right before Easter. Yay! I just saw them again for the first time since before she came home.

Still some complications. I guess they sent her home with a something monitor, to keep track of apnea and er...overly low heart rate. Problem is, the sticky bits severely irritated her skin, the wires would come loose and set off the alarm, and no one was getting any rest at all whatsoever. They took the monitor off. Now PJ can actually sleep, as can Mom and Dad.

Breast feeding just is a total no-go. Friend is very very sad about this, and still tries, but I think is also resigned to the fact that it.just.ain't.gonna.happen.

New concern is a hernia. I guess they've always been aware that it was there, and there has always been talk that if it didn't close naturally by six months they would operate. Then latest doc appt said that if it didn't close in the next month they would schedule surgery; then scheduling doc seemed very insistent that they schedule for surgery in the next week or so. That's got them feeling very confused and worried...but they're really not sure how much they need to be worrying.

Other than that...they're exhausted, but happy. PJ is growing (up to 5lbs now). Eating, crying, sleeping, being boring. ;) Usual baby stuff, I gather. Dad is working from home 2 days a week and taking off the other three, so he can be home and yet not burn through his leave quite so fast. They are both overwhelmed, but Mom's sister is visiting for three weeks, and is a huge help.


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Three words.

Nursing Mother's Companion.

Saved my life, when I wanted to breastfeed and DS didn't. Babies and Moms can be taught. I swear.

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