Wednesday, February 27, 2013

February 27

Is today Wednesday already? Let's play catch-up. Rewind to Sunday, Feb. 24. Elsie was doing not super great, so I went to the hospital to snuggle. Aaaand then on Monday, she was doing rather poorly and had to be re-intubed. Does everyone know what I mean when I say "intubated" and "extubated"? "Intubated" means the breathing tube goes in, "extubated" means it comes out. So she's back on the vent, which is disappointing, but if she can't do it on her own, then it's great that there is medical technology to help her breathe. The doctors are thinking that there might be some lingering pneumonia that is making it hard to breathe, so her antibiotics have been restarted. So that was Monday. Tuesday, let's see, Tuesday seems like an eternity ago but it was really just yesterday. Tuesday she was doing alright, but her numbers were up and down and not very stable.

Today is Wednesday. Whensday. Wed-nes-day. Why do you think that it's spelled "Wednesday" but we pronounce it totally differently? So today when I went in, the nurse said that Elsie had given them a run for their money this morning. Grrreat. Apparently, she was having some issues. They explained it very well to me and I understand it, but I can't explain it very well, so we're just going to summarize and say that she was having breathing issues. Basically, they are still waiting for the lab cultures to come back, which will determine if she still has some pneumonia bugs in her lungs. But now they are thinking that it is more of a chronic lung disease, Bronchopulmonary Displaysia, or BPD. You can read about it here. (PS, I love the part that says "To help prevent BPD, prevent premature delivery whenever possible." Yeah. Because I really tried to have my baby so early.)

If you don't want to read about it, here's the basic details: being on a ventilator stinks because while it prevents your premature baby from dying by helping her breathe, at the same time, it is destroying her delicate lung tissue. Ok, maybe "destroying" is a strong word. It is damaging her lungs. We knew this already, have known it from the start, and this is why the doctors have been trying to get her off the vent as soon as she was ready. Because of this, Elsie will most likely continue to be on oxygen for a while when she is discharged from the hospital. It could also mean that she will be more susceptible to pneumonia, RSV, asthma, and other respiratory problems. But, who knows, maybe she'll turn out to have lungs of iron like my friend Christine's 23-weeker who is now 13 years old. You never know. Anyway, she might have BPD.

After Elsie's breathing problems this morning, the awesome respiratory therapists went in and basically rinsed out her lungs with saline. A lot of mucus and secretions were loosened from their grip on her little lungs, and were suctioned out. She also received a treatment from a little vibration machine that gave her a back rub, which helps to loosen secretions so they can be suctioned out. Oh, and she got a round of albuterol, which helps open the airways. After all of these treatments, her numbers improved drastically. They showed me her chest x-rays from today and compared them to yesterday's, and according to them, there was a huge improvement. I'll be honest, I don't know enough about chest x-rays to really see a huge difference, but that's ok. If they say it's a huge improvement, then it is. I DID see in the x-ray her little metal clip from her heart surgery. It was kinda cool.

Anyway, so this morning was kinda rough, but she was doing really well when I left. She might even be extubated soon if she continues to do so well. Sometimes you just need the mucus sucked out so that you can breathe.

The good news is that she is turning into a chubby little baby. Remember a week or two ago when she didn't gain any weight for almost a week, and so they beefed up her feedings? Well, it finally kicked in and now she is beefed up. So much, that they are probably going to cut back a bit so that she doesn't turn into a hippo. No, seriously, they don't want her to gain weight too quickly, but it is good that she is still digesting her food so well. On Thursday of last week, we were so excited that she had finally reached that magical 2 pound mark. And now, almost one week later, she is 2 pounds 10 ounces. Wow. Here's some pictures for you to see her grow for yourself.

The first picture is from 4 weeks ago, when Elsie was 4 weeks old.

And here's today, at almost 8 weeks old:

Chunky monkey! Isn't it funny that I would think 2 pounds 10 ounces is HUGE? In reality, she is still very small, but the comparisons from when she was first born to now are astounding. Look at that double chin! I've never had a baby with a double chin before!

And last but not least, one more picture. This one is cool, because do you see that little line on her back just under her shoulder blade? That's the scar from her heart surgery. You can barely see it, but it's there. Kind of crazy the things that this little baby has already gone through in her short life.

At nearly 8 weeks old ( would have been 31 weeks gestation), Elsie is an enormous 2 pounds 10 ounces, is 33 cm long (about 13 inches), and her head circumference is 24.3 cm.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

February 24

Not a ton to report on, but I know that if I go one more day without posting, then my niece will start freaking out. So here you go, Riley :)

Elsie is doing pretty good; we were going to go see her on Saturday, but a big snowstorm made us change our minds. So I talked to the nurse on the phone instead, who told us that Elsie's oxygen level on the CPAP was down to 28, which is good. The lower the number, the better. She is finished with her antibiotics and also finished her last dose of steroids, so her PICC line came out of her arm. She is still doing great with her feeding and digestion. Did I mention that she's up to 2 pounds? Well. Let me tell you now. On Thursday, Elsie was up to a whopping 2 pounds 2 ounces! I don't know what her weight is currently, but we were so excited that she finally hit that 2 pound mark. It ain't very big, but it's a lot bigger than she used to be.

The nurse practitioner called us this afternoon, wondering if we were going to be coming to visit Elsie today, because they were almost out of breast milk. Also, Elsie's oxygen needs had been going up most of the day, and they thought that she could use some snuggle time with Mommy. Happy to oblige, I gathered up a bundle of frozen milk bottles (we have literally hundreds in our deep freeze), and drove to the hospital. Her oxygen was up to 60, which freaked me out a little. I had never seen it that high since she has been off the vent. The respiratory therapist (Abby--she makes me laugh) told me that it was pretty common for babies to go up on their oxygen needs after they come off their steroids. Since Elsie's last dose of steroids was yesterday, I guess she's feeling the strain of not having that extra "boost" from the drugs, and was having a hard time. I donned the lovely hospital gown and held Elsie on my chest, and she was able to decrease her oxygen a little bit while I was there. It makes me feel pretty good that I have that power to help her; I mean, it's not a magic cure by any means, but it seems to help her stabilize her numbers and be calm.

Hopefully she can keep her oxygen down and not need to go back on the vent, but if she does go back on the vent, then it's not the end of the world.

Also, while I held her, Elsie was wrapped in a flannel blanket that I made for her and brought from home. That's another thing that helps me feel not completely helpless. I can't bring her home yet, but I can bring a little blanky from home to her. I'd post a picture of it now, but I'm just too darn tired right now, so I'll just tell you, it's adorable. And she wore a knit hat that was completely too big for her little head, but it was so very cute.

And now I'm going to go to bed. My 5am pumping session is going to be here before I know it. Good night, world.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

February 20

As of 6pm tonight, Elsie is still off the ventilator. She was doing great when I visited yesterday morning. When I heard the news on Monday night that she had been extubated (breathing tube removed), I worried all night that something would go wrong before I got there Tuesday morning and that she'd have her breathing tube back in, but my worries were for nothing. She has a tiny little nasal cannula that issues intermittent bursts of oxygen into her nose, while allowing her to breathe on her own. It's so fun to be able to see her entire face, and to be able to hear her breathing. She also currently has a PICC line in her left arm where they administer her antibiotics for the pneumonia. She'll need (I think) 3 more days of antibiotics, and then the PICC line can come out.

When Clayton and I arrived this afternoon, hoping that today would be the day that he would finally be able to hold her, she wasn't doing great. She wasn't doing horrible, but her oxygen levels kept dropping below where they should be. The nurse told us that Elsie had a hard time during the night, and they almost had to reinsert the horrible breathing tube, but she recovered before they did. She was doing better now, but they decided to give her a blood transfusion to try to boost her red blood cells. Red blood cells carry oxygen throughout the body, so the hope is that the transfusion will help her stay oxygenated more easily. Preemies often have a hard time replacing blood quickly enough, so blood transfusions are common. Makes you want to go out and donate blood, doesn't it, when you imagine a tiny helpless baby being the lucky recipient? I know I will try to donate blood more often.

Anyway, since she was in the middle of getting the transfusion and since she was kind of on the borderline of being stable, we decided with the nurse that it would be better to let her stay calm in her bed, and not do anything that might cause her distress. So poor Daddy didn't get to hold his baby tonight. But we need to do what's best for Elsie. Hopefully she will remain stable throughout the night and be doing better tomorrow.

The nurse practitioner reminded us that even if Elsie needs to be intubated again, it's ok. NBICU is one step forward, two steps back. Baby steps. Every minute that she is not intubated allows her lungs to heal and recover, so they will try to keep her off the vent if they can, and it's been so great that she has been off it as long as she has this time. BUT . . . if she is struggling and needs to go back on the vent, then I'd rather she be on the vent and have assistance breathing than not be breathing at all. So. There's your warning that if she is back on the vent tomorrow, then it's not the end of the world. But let's hope and pray that she can keep up her awesome progress! Thank you again (I feel like I can't say it enough) to everybody for your incredible support. We love you!

Monday, February 18, 2013

February 18

Sorry that it has been a few days since I have updated Elsie's blog. A lot has been going on since my last post! I'll try to get you caught up.

Friday, February 15. It is confirmed that Elsie has pneumonia, which scares me pretty badly, but the nurses seem to be not terribly worried or concerned, so I tried not to be, either. I guess if you're going to get pneumonia, then being at the hospital is a good place to have it. They take such good care of our little girl. Basically, pneumonia is an infection in the lungs, so as I worried during the last few days, I'd tell myself, "It's no big deal, it's just an infection. Pneumonia is just a big scary word for an infection. Not a big deal." But even with my pep talks, I was still worried. On Friday, I got to hold Elsie for a lovely hour or so while visiting with my mother and sister. She wasn't quite as stable with her respiration numbers as she had been during the previous times that I had held her, but she still did pretty good. It is so good to hold her, even for a short time. This time, instead of the nurse handing Elsie to me, I get to pick her up all by myself, and then placed her carefully back in her bed when we were done. Little things like this help me to feel more like a mom.

Sunday, February 17. Elsie is doing much better. There are marked improvements since she was started on a more specific antibiotic to treat the pneumonia. Her lungs have not needed to be suctioned out as much, and the secretions that are suctioned out are less cloudy, and becoming clear. She is far less agitated and more relaxed and calm. However, she hasn't gained any weight for a few days, despite an increase in calories. So they added more protein to her feedings to try to get her weight back up. Clayton and I had a very tender and special moment with Elsie's nurse of the day, as she shared some of her thoughts and feelings that she had when she read Elsie's blog. We are touched and honored at the spiritual and emotional impact that it has had on her. As we drove home from the hospital, I thought and pondered our situation. One of the nurses had said that she loved my positive attitude, that even though things are hard, I hadn't complained or said, "Why me?" I thought about that as we drove. I thought, but not in a negative or complaining way, "Why me? Why has this particular trial came upon our family?" I sat and contemplated. In my limited spiritual knowledge, it seems that trials are given to us so that we can learn from them. I don't think Elsie is the one that is supposed to be learning a lesson at this time, so it must be a lesson for her parents. And what is the lesson? Well, I don't know for sure, but I've got a few guesses. In the past 6 weeks, we've definitely had a huge lesson in humility and accepting help from others. We've learned that we are absolutely not in control of our lives and destiny, and that this is ok. It's ok to trust that the Lord knows what He is doing and what is best for us. It's hard, but it's ok. Everything will work out the way that it is supposed to be. We've learned to draw closer to each other, as well as our family and friends, who have supported us so greatly during our time of need. Even though this is such a difficult time in our life, I've loved the increase in communication with our dear ones, as well as friends and family who I haven't heard from in a long time. Trials can draw you closer to the ones that you love, or they can tear you apart. It's up to you. And along the same lines, trials can draw you closer to the Lord. Anyway, those are just a few of my rambling thoughts during our long drive home last night.

Monday, February 18. Evje and I enjoyed a fun day out with some family members, and so I was not able to visit Elsie. Imagine our surprise when we got a text message from an unknown number with a picture of Elsie. Oh, and her breathing tube is gone. Whaaat?! The picture was from Elsie's nurse, who then called to let us know what was going on. Apparently, they extubated Elsie around 2pm this afternoon, and she has been doing pretty good. She is on a type of CPAP that gives her breathing support when she needs it, and has the nasal prongs that issues oxygen into her nose instead of the tube that goes directly to her lungs. As long as she can remain stable, she won't need the breathing tube. However, there might be setbacks along the road where she might need to be intubated again. But for today, we are celebrating and counting our blessings. Happy Monday, everybody!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

February 14

Yesterday, Elsie was due to have her bed changed, and so I arranged to pick Clayton up after work and took him to the hospital so that he could hold Elsie for the first time. However, when we arrived in Elsie's room, the nurse informed us that Elsie had had a hard day, and had been very agitated and irritable all day. She had finally fallen asleep right before we came, and so we decided to let her sleep and have Daddy hold her on another day. Poor baby. While we sat with her, however, her numbers all stabilized and she got some much needed rest.

Judging by Elsie's discomfort and the fact that she still has not been able to wean off the ventilator, the doctors are thinking that she has an infection in her lungs. We are still waiting for the lab results from the mucus sample from her lungs to determine what kind of infection she has, but until we get the results and can start a specific antibiotic, she has been started on a broad spectrum antibiotic. Her weight gain has also tapered off a little, so they increased her feedings to a higher caloric intake so that she can keep her weight up. Elsie was up to 1 pound 15 oz on Monday, and so I thought she was going to reach the 2 pound mark this week and we were getting all ready to celebrate. My sweet sister bought a 2 pound box of chocolates to give to Elsie's nurses, but when it turned out that Elsie had lost a little bit of weight, Clayton and I decided to give the chocolates to the nurses as a Valentine's Day gift instead of a 2 pound celebration. Oh well. It's worrisome that something might be wrong, but like they say, in the NBICU, it's usually 1 step forward and  2 steps back.

Elsie will be 6 weeks old tomorrow, which would have been 29 weeks gestation. So far, she's been a tough little fighter, but she's still so tiny and fragile. I'm worried that this infection might turn into something scary like pneumonia.

And just as I was sitting here typing, worried and feeling glum, an angel was sent to my doorstep. She claimed that she had just come to bring a Valentine's gift, but really, she came at that particular time to remind me that Heavenly Father loves me and is watching out for our family. Thank you, Karen.

Please pray for my baby.

Monday, February 11, 2013

February 11

I got an unexpected surprise today when I went in to visit Elsie. The nurse, whom I'd never met before, asked if I wanted to hold Elsie while I was there today. It caught me off guard, because I wasn't expecting to hold Elsie again until they changed her bed, like they did on my birthday. But heck yes, I'd like to hold her! When the nurse saw that I was confused about being able to hold Elsie, she explained that as long as Elsie is stable with her breathing and the respiratory therapist is available to help move her, we should be able to hold Elsie when we want to. Hooray! So I donned the hospital gown and got to hold my little sweetie for about an hour. And she did great. Her oxygen levels were in the 90s the whole time I was holding her, which means that she was comfortable and happy. Her breathing was strong and steady. Maybe we need more snuggle time to help her get weaned off the ventilator . . .

Speaking of being weaned off the ventilator, her lungs are still not progressing with the help of the steroids like the doctors would like them to do. She's not getting worse, just isn't getting significantly better. So they are going to send a sample of her lung mucus (mucus that is suctioned periodically out of her lungs--yeah, it's pretty self-explanatory) to the laboratory to see if there is any kind of infection or problem inside her lungs. They will also do another echocardiogram to take an inside look at her heart and lungs and see if they can see any problems.

Elsie graduated from the super tiny diapers to the next size up, which are ridiculously huge on her, but I guess the nurses thought that she was getting too big for the tiny ones. Just to give you some perspective on how small the diapers are, here's a little picture for your viewing pleasure.

The diaper on the far right, next to the measuring tape, is the super tiny diaper, the one that my sister thought was a breast pad the first time that she saw it. The one next to it is what Elsie is wearing now that seems ridiculously enormous on her. The green one next to it is a size 1, and the huge one on the left is Evje's size 3.  So you see that slowly but surely, Elsie is growing. She is almost up to 2 whopping pounds, at which point, there will be some kind of celebration in the Sagers family. It's been about 5 & 1/2 weeks since Elsie was born, and we are still surviving. Thank you all for your continued support and prayers!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

February 9

I guess apologies are in order for scaring everyone with my bad dream. I really just thought it would be funny to share. Sorry for the scare. By the way, no one offered to interpret the dream :)

After my scary dream, however, I was kind of freaked out to get to the hospital Saturday afternoon and see Elsie with IVs in both of her hands. I didn't know what was going on, or why she suddenly had IVs in her hands that weren't there yesterday. Maybe she had a raging infection or some other horrible problem. Turns out that Elsie's red blood cells were a little low, so the IVs were in place to facilitate a blood transfusion. Red blood cells carry oxygen throughout the body, so the hope is that with the additional red blood cells given, Elsie will be able to maintain a steady oxygen level and be able to wean off the ventilator. Along with that, she is not responding to the steroids like they would have hoped, so her steroid dose is going to be slightly increased. 

While we were there, we were able to watch the nurse hook up the blood transfusion. We also were able to watch the respiratory therapists re-tape the breathing tube. The breathing tube periodically needs to be moved from one side of her mouth to the other, and when they do this, they remove the tape that holds the tube in place. I had always wondered how they get the tape off her face, since her skin is so delicate. I didn't think that they would just rip it off like duct tape. And they don't. They use an adhesive remover to gently remove the tape. Then the tube is carefully re-positioned, and taped back onto her face. Anyway, since we were there while this was taking place, we got to see her pretty face without her "tape mustache". 

Her poor little cheeks are still red where the tape was, despite the careful removal. And I apologize again for the grainy cell phone pictures. I never seem to have my camera with me when I need it.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

February 7

Early this morning, I was holding Elsie, when suddenly, her breathing tube came out. The nurses tried to get it back in, but there was some kind of complication, and they couldn't get it back in. One of the nurses tried to see if holding Elsie skin-to-skin would help out. I thought the nurse was a girl, but as she/he held Elsie to her bare chest, it became apparent that the nurse was actually a boy. The skin-to-skin obviously did not help Elsie breathe, and Clayton and I had to sit there and watch her breathe her last breaths. The nurse put her into a large plastic cup filled with warm water so that we could hold her. Oddly enough, as we watched, she became smaller and smaller and smaller. And then, she died. And then, I woke up.

Dream interpreting, anyone?

I thought that my dream was an omen of bad things to come, but the only bad thing that happened today was Evje spontaneously puking right as we were about to head to the babysitter's house. I panicked a little, because Clayton and I had a meeting scheduled this afternoon with Elsie's doctors, and I didn't want to be late and I knew that I couldn't bring Evje with us to the NBICU, but I didn't want to get my babysitter's family sick if Evje was contagious. So I called our sweet babysitter-of-the-day, and explained what was going on. She calmly offered to come with us to the hospital and sit with Evje in the waiting room. What an angel.

We had Elsie's 30 day "Care Conference" today with Elsie's doctor, nurse practitioner, and nurses. Every 30 days while the baby is in the NBICU, the caregivers have an informal conference with the parents, just to make sure that everyone is on the same page and to keep parents updated on what is going on with their baby's care. Most of the information was things that we have heard before; there was nothing really new or exciting. Here are a few of the things we discussed:
  • Elsie is continuing to steadily gain weight. They showed us her weight charts, which showed that she is following a curve just under the 50th percentile for babies born at 23 weeks. She is tolerating her feedings well, and we discussed when Elsie might be ready to have her feeding tube removed and eat from a bottle or nurse. 
  • Elsie's head. Her brain ultrasounds lately have shown that the bleeding is "stable". I don't really understand all of it, but basically, she is not currently showing any signs that would indicate hydrocephalus or other brain damage things with long technical names that I don't remember. This is not to say that she does not have any brain damage; that remains unknown and will be unknown until she gets farther along in her development. But she is not currently showing signs of some certain types of brain damage. Like I said, I don't understand it all, but things are fairly optimistic for now.
  • Elsie's lungs. The next big goal for Elsie's treatment is to get her weaned off the ventilator as soon as possible. She is currently on a ten day course of steroids to help her lungs grow. The sooner she is off the ventilator, the better, but it all depends on Elsie and how she does. 
  • Estimated time of Elsie going home: who knows, really? Assuming that she does not develop any big complications along the way, there are a few milestones that Elsie needs to hit before she will be able to come home. Obviously, this will not be happening for at least 2 months, and more likely, 3 months. But here are some of the milestones:
    • Able to breathe on her own, without any apnea, or forgetting to breathe. She may go home still on oxygen, like with a nasal cannula, or she may be able to go home without it. We'll see.
    • Able to eat on her own. No, I'm not saying that she'll need to be able to pick up a knife and fork and cut her steak into pieces. This just means that her feeding tube will be removed and she will be able to nurse or drink from a bottle, and is reliably gaining weight.
    • Able to maintain her body temperature. Right now inside her isolette, the temperature is kept toasty warm. She doesn't have any body fat to keep her warm, so until she does, she'll stay in the isolette. Or incubator. Whatever you like to call it.
Anyway, those are a few of the topics that we discussed. Like I said, there's nothing really new or earth-shattering, but it was nice to talk things over. 

On the way home from the hospital, I had a nice discussion with our sweet babysitter-of-the-day. We talked about giving and receiving service. I think that letting people help us and serve us has been one of the biggest lessons Clayton and I have learned during this ordeal. You know that saying, "I couldn't do it without you"? I like to be snarky and say, "We probably could do it without you, but it's a whole heck of a lot easier to do it with you." Sarcasm aside, we are incredibly appreciative of all the help that we have received, and continue to receive on a daily basis. It is unbelievably humbling to be the one who always needs help. Be it babysitting, food, money, prayers, offers of help, or even just a hug, it means the world to us. Sometimes I feel like we don't need or deserve as much help as we are getting, and it would be so easy to say, "No thanks, we're doing fine, don't worry about us."

But . . . if we didn't allow people to serve us, then they can't receive blessings from Heaven for doing service. Sometimes, service is more for the person giving the service than it is for the person receiving the service, and that's ok. And if we didn't let anyone help us, then we wouldn't be experiencing this great lesson of humility.

Lesson learned: As I approached our sweet babysitter-of-the-day's house to drop her off, she told me to wait as she ran inside her house, and brought out a big pan of food. It wasn't necessary or even expected, and I'm perfectly capable of making dinner these days. Usually. But it was a gesture of love and service. So I sat back, said "Thank you very much," and let her serve me.


Angels watch over us.    

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

February 5

I had my follow-up doctor appointment yesterday, during which, it was confirmed that I had a uterine infection which caused me to go into labor. There is no way of knowing what caused it or why it happened. It just did. The chances of it happening in future pregnancies are very small, but regardless, any future pregnancies will be considered "high-risk" and I will be carefully monitored by a specialist.

Elsie continues to be stable and is gaining weight; she was up to 760 grams yesterday, which is about 1 lb. 11 oz. I was talking to the nurse at the front desk today, and she mentioned that Elsie was "so well-behaved." I sort of laughed it off, but then asked Elsie's nurse about it a few minutes later. She said it was because compared to the other 23-week baby currently in the NBICU, Elsie was a "star student." I always feel kinda bad that Elsie is doing so well compared to this other baby, but then my evil side feels pride that she is doing so well. If you know me well, you know that I love to win.

On Sunday, Elsie was taken off the ventilator to see how she would do breathing on her own. Let's just say, it didn't go that great. She was only able to stay off for half an hour before it became very apparent that she needed help, and the breathing tube went back in. Her muscles and lungs are just not strong enough yet to fully support herself. Consequently, her doctors have brought back the subject of steroids, and Elsie will likely start receiving the steroids today. Clayton likes to joke about it, saying that when she is a star athlete in the future, and she is asked if she has ever taken performance enhancing drugs, she'll have to say that yes, she did in fact take steroids when she was a baby. While there are no studies to show the side effects that this small amount of steroids will have, we do know that the side effects of staying on the ventilator are detrimental, and we'd like to get her off the ventilator as soon as she can. And thus begins the first of probably many hard decisions that we, as Elsie's parents, have had to make for her.

Here are a few pictures from today for your viewing pleasure.

Compared to a dollar bill, she ain't that big

Another dollar, another day . . . 

Cute little bow :)

Just chillin'

Saturday, February 2, 2013

February 2

Elsie graduated from the NBICU Room 1 to Room 2! Here's what this means and why it is significant: Room 1 is for the smallest and sickest (most sick?) babies, and each nurse in Room 1 is assigned to one baby. While Elsie is still the smallest baby in the NBICU, she is doing well enough that she doesn't need the one-on-one attention from a nurse. Room 2 is the next step, where two babies share a "room" and share a nurse, or two babies for every one nurse.

It's funny because when Clayton and I were at the hospital on Thursday night, I asked the nurse, just out of curiosity, when she thought Elsie would be moved to Room 2. She laughed and said that Elsie could be moved there any time since she was taken off the oscillator and wasn't really high risk anymore. She told us to watch the board by the front desk where the baby's names are listed by room number, and that is how we will know if she has been moved. Today, when I got to the front desk to get my ID sticker, I thought to myself how funny it would be if I didn't look at the board but then it turns out that she was moved and I didn't notice. So I turn around, look at the board, and lo and behold, she WAS moved! Ha ha ha. Good thing I looked.

PS, while typing this post so far, I have typed "Evje" twice instead of "Elsie". Oops :)

Here's some stats for ya. Elsie is up to 690 grams, which is about 1 pound 8.5 ounces. She's getting 12 ml of fortified breast milk every 3 hours. I keep telling her to hurry up and grow so that she can eat more, because our deep freeze is overflowing with milk. It's like a dairy farm around here. She is doing well on the lesser powered ventilator (I don't know what it's technically called, so I'll just keep calling it "the lesser powered ventilator"), which is designed so that she can breathe on her own while it's on, but if she gets tired, then it breathes for her. She is slowly being weaned off of this ventilator, and the respiratory therapist told me today that they might try a CPAP sometime next week, if Elsie continues to do well. Hooray! Because once her breathing tube is out and a CPAP is on, that means that Mommy and Daddy can hold their little baby.

I told Elsie today that she's a big internet sensation, and that she's practically famous. She didn't respond. Well, she was asleep, so of course she didn't respond.

Sweet Valentine/love note from Elsie's awesome cousin Riley that we taped above Elsie's bed. We taped the note, not Riley.

Signing off from Room 2, see ya later from Elsie's Mom.