|16 weeks (40 weeks gest)|
I know, I know, I'm so inconsistent on the placement of the dollar bill, making it hard to make accurate comparisons. Oh well, too bad. And I know, I don't have one with her when she was first born. I didn't take very many pictures in those first few days. I kind of didn't want to remember how she looked, because it scared me so much.
Here's what's new with Elsie:
Lest you think that Elsie lives in a cold, sterile, boring environment, think again! Her bed is the most beautifully and colorfully decorated bed in the room. Probably in the whole NBICU. The other babies are all jealous. She now has a fun little fishie mobile that she can look at when she gets bored. That cute polky-dot blankie is one that I made for her, ain't it cute?? She also gets to go for rides in this cool contraption:
It's a neat little chair called the Mamaroo, which has five unique motions to choose from. It's basically a high-tech swing, but is less jarring than a swing, and mimics movements that a parent would do when soothing a child. My father-in-law wishes that there was a Mamaroo chair for adults. It's that cool.
Since Elsie is the old lady in the NBICU, being all full-term and stuff, she gets permission to wear real clothes during the day and her sleep sack only at night. This permits her to be more like a "normal" baby; experiencing getting her clothes changed every day, being able to move her limbs more freely, and having everyone admire her cute clothes. Since I don't have Elsie at home to play with and dress up like the little doll that she is, I can bring in some of our clothes for her to wear while she's in the hospital.
In other news, Elsie had a surprise eye exam this morning. Typically, eye exams are done on Wednesdays, and everybody in the NBICU comes to dread Wednesdays because after eye exams are over, babies are cranky and just want to sleep and not do anything else. This week they came on Monday instead of Wednesday, who knows why. The eye doctor was very pleased with Elsie's eyes. The ROP appears to be regressing. Let's pray that it continues to do so. Hooray!
And then there's breastfeeding. It's kind of an "on again/off again" type thing. Sometimes she does fairly well. Sometimes she refuses to wake up and clenches her little mouth shut as tightly as she can. She has yet to do a full feeding either by breast or by bottle, but it's a work in progress. Elsie is still very sensitive to touch around her mouth, and that's something else that we're helping her overcome. Since she has a paralyzed vocal cord, we have to be careful to make sure that she doesn't choke too much. Occasionally, when she gets a big mouthful of milk and does choke, it scares her and she gets apprehensive when we try to make her try again. Basically, it's a gamble when I go in for a feeding if anything will be accomplished or not. Right now, we're mostly just trying to teach her that eating is a positive experience.
For all of those inquiring minds out there who keep asking when Elsie will be allowed to come home, here's the answer to your question: I really have no idea!!! It all depends on her. The big things that we're waiting on are her eyes and her feeding skills. It's a waiting game, and a big lesson in patience; a lesson that I often fail! I am trying to be patient, especially when I get asked silly questions by people who don't fully understand the situation.
Here are a few more pictures for your personal enjoyment:
|Cute outfit from my good friend Kathleen, we love her so!!|
|High five, mama|