Lindsay here. Once again it's great to be back in Marquette with Willow and Josh. The last two weeks, I've been able to get in enough hours at work Monday through Thursday that I was able to leave work before noon on Friday. I got down here at about 2:30 today and by the time I got unpacked and pumped,it was shift change in the NICU so we couldn't go over there yet. It was beautiful out so we went for a walk, and headed over to the NICU after that. Josh had told the nurses to save Willow's 6:30 feeding for me, so we decided to give the breastfeeding a try. We weren't expecting very much; all the books and stuff we read said not to the first few times. We figured she'd just hang out down there awhile and get used to the idea and not much else. But as soon as she got there she latched right on and went to town! We really couldn't believe it; I actually said, "Oh my God, she's doing it!!" We were so happy. I won't go in to any more detail than that for the squeamish among you, but lets just say Willow did awesome, way better than expected. She did still have to get a tube feeding after she was done because she obviously didn't get her whole feeding of 36 mLs by mouth. She fell asleep after awhile. I really can't describe how happy I am that we are able to do this; it was one of the happiest moments of my life, I think. If Willow keeps up the good work, she'll be home in no time.
Willow's nurses have been different lately; now that she's more stable she's had LPNs taking care of her more. The RNs are more likely to be taking care of the sicker babies. So that's good news. Willow's become what they call in NICU jargon a "Feeder and Grower". She has no pressing medical issues and just needs to grow bigger and get better at feeding. It just takes time. Lots of people always say to me, "how big does she have to be to come home?" The answer to that is, there's no set weight she has to reach to be discharged; it's more about her skills. She has to able to coordinate sucking, swallowing and breathing and to get all of her milk by mouth. It seems the feeding thing is often the biggest hurdle for preemies. Lots of times they just don't catch on very quickly, or they tire out before they get enough milk. How Willow does at this in the weeks to come will determine how quickly we get to bring her home.
Oh, one other piece of good news: Willow had a hearing test yesterday and passed. We're thankful for that.
This blog follows the adventures of Lindsay, Josh and Willow Jenson. It started in 2008 as my pregnancy blog, then when our daughter was born 14 weeks early in February 2009 it morphed into a medical blog as she spent her first 105 days in the NICU. Now, thankfully, it's basically a run-of-the-mill new parent blog.