ONE WEEK OLD!!! Our Baby Lila has been through more in her first week of life than most of us go through in a lifetime. I’m proud of her for fighting through this. She must know how good she’s going to have it when she comes home. Can you say, “SPOILED?”
It was quite a day for Lila. She’s doing wonderfully! During my morning visit today, they removed her chest tube. I can’t remember if I already explained this or not, but when Lila was two days old, she developed a pneumothorax; essentially, a collapsed lung. They inserted a tube to remove excess air that accumulated in her chest. I couldn’t watch the removal procedure. It’s very uncomfortable for her, so they gave her a dose of morphine before they did it. The most difficult part was removing the tape from her skin that held the tube in place. Lila did not like this. Neither did I, but she has one less tube in her body and we can be grateful for that. She’ll have another x-ray tomorrow to see if any air has reaccumulated, but it appears everything will be fine.
An occupational therapist met with Lila to determine a therapy plan for her. Because of the amount of time she was in utero without fluid to move freely, she developed some contractures in her arms. The muscles in her arms didn’t get a chance to develop and she’s not able to stretch them out as far as she should. She keeps them bent with her hands up by her face. Her left foot is also turned outward. The good news is that the contractures and the foot are very fixable with some therapy. The nurses will start doing exercises with her arms and she’ll get a tiny foot splint to keep her foot positioned correctly.
Lila is hanging out comfortably around 26 percent oxygen. You and I breathe 22 percent, so she’s doing pretty well there. Her doctor isn’t in a big hurry to get her off the high frequency jet ventilator just yet. She’s tolerating the low vent settings right now and this particular ventilator is gentler on her lungs than the one she’d be moved to. So, rather than jump the gun and take her off right away, she’ll stay on to let her lungs rest. At some point, maybe even in a few days, they will get aggressive to get her off the jet vent. I will then be able to hold her!
Lila also had an ultrasound on her head today. At this point they look for bleeding in the brain, and Lila passed with flying colors. No bleeding. Thank God.
I was happy to see her taken off the bilirubin lights this morning. No more sunglasses for our sweet pea! She was napping this morning during our visit, so she didn’t open her eyes, but I’m hoping she opens them up to say hello to me and Daddy tonight.
Her doctor is very happy with Lila’s gastrointestinal issues. She’s pooping, peeing and taking her feedings — as her doctor said — “Like a superstar.” She’s taking 7 mL of breastmilk today and that will increase every 12 hours. My big challenge for the next few days is to increase my milk production. I’ll be lounging around as much as possible and even pumping once an hour in the evenings when I can. That’s the best thing I can do as her Mommy.
I get to assist the nurses in Lila’s cares. I change diapers, give her milk through her feeding tube, and in this photo, I’m checking her temperature.
Lila’s nurse took her footprints the other day. Next to a penny, you can see how small they are.
One of my favorite things to do during cares is to give Lila a q-tip soaked in milk. She loves it! Her little mouth and chin are so cute when they move while she sucks away. She has the sucking reflex down, but she can’t quite suck and swallow at the same time yet, so the q-tip just gives her a little taste and is helping to get her ready for breastfeeding.