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Five Weeks and a Day - A NICU Story - Day 12

Day 12 - August 25, 2014

Things are starting to move quickly, it seems. You know that scene in Mary Poppins where Bert has just finished his one-man show for tips in the park and the wind starts to shift and he sings a sort of wary, anticipatory song about something starting to happen, but with that unsettling sense that it's happened before...? That's how the NICU feels right now. A shift occurs. A mood arises. It's exciting, but tentative. LoLa is gaining weight, breathing easier with less "retractions" (drawing in of the ribs and caving of the chest caused by airway restriction). She has been taken off supplemental oxygen. She is dressed in clothes and swaddled, the first step toward seeing if she can regulate her body temperature on her own to be moved out of the isolette. Her bilirubin is going down on its own so we definitely are done with phototherapy and can hold her more.

Most exciting to me is that now that she is off oxygen, wrapped and able to be held, her feeding tube in her nose and her face uncluttered without a nasal cannula, she is able to attempt nursing! We try immediately at tonight's visit. This child is expending tons of energy simply growing, digesting, regulating her body temperature and trying to breathe...basically working so hard to LIVE. She's exhausted after a few little sips and falls right to sleep. I graciously accept the snuggles and settle in for a little nap together.

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I worked as an RN in the NICU for almost 7 years. It was my dream job and will always have my heart. I love reading stories like yours because not only reminds me of that time, but gives me such perspective of the other side from a parent. You rocked as a NICU mama.

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