Monday, May 15, 2006

Out of the NICU!

One of these days I will write a proper post, I promise, but for now I just wanted to pass on today's fantastic news: Little miss Ess, our precious daughter, is graduating from the NICU to the continuing care nursery today. Her health is great -- the wires are incredibly minimal now; just a few leads to monitor heart rate and respiration, as well as a feeding tube in her nose -- and she's very, very stable. We're lucky: she's not sick, just early.

I started working on breastfeeding with her yesterday; at the moment, we're trying that at least twice a day, with the frequency to increase as she and I get stronger. She knows how to latch on, though, so it's just a matter of getting her used to staying there. I'm headed over to the hospital in a few minutes to see her in her new digs and try feeding once again. To get her home, she'll have to be getting 100% of her food either from a bottle or from me directly, so at some point it looks like I will be camping out in the hospital to try nursing around the clock; I'd love to get breastfeeding really well established before we introduce the bottle. But that whole process will likely take a couple weeks.

As for me, I am tired and sore -- I can't imagine the ordeal it must be to come home from a c-section with a baby that needs taking care of. As lousy as it is to have Ess in the hospital, it does give me time to recover. Kate, you are my hero!

Also, many, many thanks to the wonderful Songbird, who visited me twice in the hospital and brought me a gorgeous, soft prayer shawl that was of great comfort on those lonely nights (not to mention the fact that it helped me pump discreetly when my dad was in the room...). I was really touched by her thoughtfulness, and that shawl will be a reminder for years to come of the crazy, chaotic, ultimately wonderful days that brought us sweet Ess.