I'm back down in Marquette for the weekend, back in the Beacon House. Yesterday was Willow's 100th day of life and 100th day in the NICU. Just like they do with the president, let's take a look back at what she's accomplished:
* She went from an oscillating vent to CPAP (to a regular vent for a while when she was sick), back to CPAP, to a nasal cannula (and back to CPAP a couple times) and finally to breathing on her own!
*She has nearly quadrupled her birth weight (she's 6 pounds, 13 ounces today).
*She's developed a love of good literature (favorites being "Are You My Mother?" and "Goodnight Moon").
*She's extubated herself while on a vent, as well as many times with her NG tube. She also got quite good at removing her CPAP from her face and moving it up to her forehead. You might be able to see in this photo, her NG tube is out because she just ripped it out.
*She's attracted legions of fans from around the globe (okay, I think the only international fans are my aunt and uncle in Australia, but it sounded cool, OK?)
*She's able to follow objects and faces with her eyes
*She's wrapped mommy and daddy around her little finger, as well as grandparents, aunties and some of the nurses.
Um...I think that's about it. Way to go, Willow! May your next 100 days be just as productive.
So I got down here at 7:30 last night. It would've been earlier, had I not gotten in a car accident on the way down. Yep, poor Subie has been towed to an auto body shop for the second time in 6 months (the first time was in January when a plow truck pulled out in front of us in Mass City when we were on our way to MN for my grandpa's funeral). I was about a half hour away from Marquette when a car two in front of me slowed way down suddenly to turn left. The car behind him hit him and I hit that car. The first thing that crossed my mind after the impact was "oh no, now I'm not going to get to see Willow tonight!". The second thing was "oh crap, when will I be able to pump and where?" I was already overdue for pumping and, as you moms out there know, the boobs won't wait, at least not without protest!
Mine was the only car in that accident left undriveable. The hood got crunched pretty good. The airbag didn't come out. Everyone was fine, although I think I have a little whiplash or something; my neck is sort of sore. So we pulled into an auto salvage place that happened to be right there (except for my car which was left on the shoulder), and while we were waiting for the cops to show up, I went into the place's bathroom and pumped standing up. It was a disgusting bathroom and not pleasant. Also not pleasant was explaining to the dude that owned the place that I needed to use his bathroom and his electricity so I could pump my breasts. Ha. While I was pumping, I heard a crash, and when I came out, I saw that another accident had just occurred. I don't know exactly what happened, but I'm guessing they weren't focusing on the road and were gawking at our accident. A big yellow Hummer, which apparently was going very fast, clipped another truck pulling a trailer. The Hummer ended up about 150 yards down the highway and hit a guardrail. It ended up losing 2 of its wheels and had to be towed away too. The trailer truck then hit the first car in line from my accident while it was sitting in the parking lot! What a mess. You'll probably be able to read all about it in tomorrow's Marquette Mining Journal. A 5-car accident is big news around here. So anyway, I called Josh and he ended up calling Nate, Ellen's dad. Nate was my savior and got me to the NICU so I could see Willow. Nate and Lauren live in Eau Clair, but hadn't gone back yet since Ellen was discharged; they were still staying at Lauren's parent's place in Ishpeming, which is very close to where the accident was. So Nate came and got me and brought me to Marquette. I made it to the Beacon House just in time to check in before they closed. Thanks, Nate!!!! It was such a relief after all that to get in to the quiet of the NICU and just hug my daughter. I didn't even care about the car or the accident as long as I got to see her.
So here's the Willow update: not much has changed with her feedings. She's still nippling once a shift, and taking all of it some of the time. The bradys have decreased though, so that's good. She had labs done yesterday, and her electrolytes are looking good. Her blood pressure is also much better than it was. However, her hemoglobin has decreased. That's her red blood cells. She's apparently always had "anemia of prematurity" but now it's combining with a "physiological anemia" which apparently all babies get at a certain age. Her doctor thinks that fixing that will give her more energy for nippling. She said that's what she thinks did the trick for Ellen, and it's helped with many other babies too. So Willow is getting a blood transfusion today. Unfortunately it won't be Grandpa Chuck's blood this time. The last blood he donated has expired, and even if he were to donate today (which he couldn't since he's in Minnesota right now) the blood isn't ready for 5 days. Josh couldn't give her his blood either for that reason. (He has the same blood type as Willow and Grandpa too). So Willow will be getting a random good samaritan's blood. I guess that's OK. Maybe the new blood will be the turning point and give her some more energy for sucking. I hope so. Willow's nurse today said once she had to get a blood transfusion and afterward she felt like a new woman.
When I saw Willow last night she looked different already. She has gained about a half a pound since I last saw her. She's getting so big and so cute. She was also wearing some really stylish new jammies we got from our friends Katy and Nate. The hat was made by Josh's sister Janna. It also has a matching sweater which Willow will try out soon.
Bye bye to Tat
6 months ago