Tuesday, September 30, 2008

new bed

Emily has graduated to an open air crib and is able to maintain her body temperature as long as she is swaddled and wearing a hat. She had her first successful nursing experience today. Sunday and Monday I couldn't get her to suckle because she was too sleepy. It was very gratifying to see her latch on and suck off and on for about an hour. It is such a relief to be making progress on this after so many weeks of waiting. I am so proud of little Emily.

Monday, September 29, 2008

More word play

Claire: Once upon a time
Me: Tell me a story. There was a
Claire: kitten
Me: what did he do?
Claire: tumbled.
Me: Then what?
Claire: and tumbled.
Me: Once upon a time there was a kitten. He tumbled and tumbled.

More rhymes:
Nana banana
raisins zasins
water tater

Emily did a bit of suckling last night. Yay. She wasn't very vigorous, but we are making progress. One of the registry nurses who is supposed to be working today is a lactation consultant. I'm going to ask if she can work with me. She had a big jump in her weight. I was there when they weighed her. The nurse did it twice and it came out the same. I think it was 1872 grams. Maybe I misremember. The last weight I only got it ounces 3 lbs 14 oz.

Sunday, September 28, 2008


Word play.
Claire is having such fun playing with words these days.
She likes to say:
dolly dooley
daddy dooley
mommy moamey
what's so funny bunny?
Emily lemily
elbow belbow
and various other rhymes and fun phrases.

Mark and I went to the hospital early this morning to speak with the doctor. She is still concerned that Emily will get an infection from the breastmilk but we insisted and she is allowing Emily to begin to nurse.

It was a busy day. We went to church for the feast of our patron St. Michael. It was an especially festive occasion since our bishop was visiting and there was a catered lunch afterwards. Kate and Claire enjoyed swapping toys and books during the sermon.

Next Mark dropped me off at the hospital and I attempted to nurse Emily. She was a very sleepy girl. I got her to latch on a couple of times but she didn't really do any sucking since she was sound asleep. I tried waking her by unwrapping her, sitting her up, talking to her rubbing her head, blowing on her etc. She was out cold! I'm hoping to go back this evening and try again. She seems to have an alert time in the early evening on some occasions when we've visited in the evening.

Saturday, September 27, 2008


The Doctor is gone for the day and I got the results from the test of the breast milk. It is still positive for staph. I am frustrated that the doctor is not available so I wrote a letter and plan to go to the NICU first thing in the morning. I am frustrated that I didn't push for her to receive donor milk sooner. It's just that every couple of days I would be told something that made me think the end to this nonsense was just a couple days away. I thought maybe God was just trying to teach me a little patience so I have endured. I cannot endure this insult any longer. I want my baby to nurse.

Dear Dr. Sardesai,
I do NOT believe that my daughter's sepsis was a result of her consuming my breastmilk. If you are convinced otherwise, I would like to see research that supports the idea that preemies get staph infections from breastmilk.

I have spoken with two lactation consultants (Both NICU RNs) who agree that the cause of the infection was not the breastmilk and that it is a disservice to the baby to switch her to formula. They also said that it is impossible to get a sterile sample of breastmilk. I do NOT with for Emily to continue to receive formula. I want her to either receive my milk which has antibodies to anything I've been exposed to in it or I want her to receive donor milk from a milk bank. I want Emily to begin suckling at the breast immediately. If you are concerned about her getting infected again you might consider giving her a prophylactic antibiotic.

Pins and needles

Emily is doing well. She weighs 3 lbs 12.9 oz. She is on full feeds (28cc per feed) and should get her central line removed today. When I called they still didn't have results from the most recent test of my breast milk. I should find out today. I'm on pins and needles.
Mark's mom flew in last night and my mom is driving home today. We are so blessed to have our mom's looking after us during this trying time.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

bigger and better

Emily is getting bigger. 3 lbs 10 oz.
My milk will be re-tested tomorrow. God willing it will come back negative and Emily will be allowed to nurse. This will change my visiting schedule. Currently I go once or twice per day and stay a few hours. I like to pump milk at the bedside then hold her for 1.5-2 hours.

Since I want to exclusively breastfeed (No bottles), I will need to organize my visits around feeding times which are every 3 hours. At first they will probably want her to nurse a couple of times per day then increase as she builds up stamina. I hope to stay the night a few times before she comes home. I assume the doctor is going to want her to take all her feeds by mouth for a period of time before she comes home. Now she is receiving 20cc gavage (by tube into the stomach) and 2.4 ml/hour through the central line. They should be able to take out the central line in a few days (This is my prediction.) Her caloric needs increase as her weigh increases.

I am a bit nervous about nursing. There is no lactation consultant at the NICU but I'm told many of the nurses are well versed in helping mom's get started.


New photos on Flickr.

Also, I got a call from the NICU to schedule a CPR class. They said Emily may come home within the next two weeks. I'm going for the class on Friday. Yay!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

More progress

The Dr. pooh poohed the finger feeding idea. She didn't see the point of it and didn't like the idea of the baby sucking on either bare finger or latex glove.
My course of antibiotics is 5 days and I started yesterday...So I decided there is no point in pushing for it for just a few days. pray that the antibiotics will totally get rid of the bacteria they keep finding in my milk

Emily is off the cannula. She is so cute. It is so nice to be able to see her face. I had tears of joy.

She gained 64 grams and is now 3 and a half pounds.
She is taking 19cc of formula and they are advancing her feeds every 12 hours. She should be up to full feeds in a few days then they can take out the central line through which she is still receiving part of her nutrition.

Monday, September 22, 2008


I was discouraged and disappointed and frustrated Saturday afternoon when the nurse practitioner said that the Doctor doesn't want me to nurse until I've had a course of antibiotics. I had suggested this course of action to the doctor last Wed. and she said it wasn't necessary. (This was before she got the results about the second batch of milk testing positive for staph.) On Friday they had the results and it was the charge nurse's understanding that the doctor did want me to nurse. ARG!

Anyway to be told this Saturday afternoon after the urgent care clinic near us is closed and have to wait till Monday morning to see my OB/GYN to get a prescription was most frustrating. I got there first thing this morning with no appt only to find out that the doctors were in surgery and wouldn't be back till the afternoon. I gave the nurse the info from the breast milk culture so she would know what to prescribe. I finally picked up the prescription this evening only to find that it was partially filled. They gave me only 3 pills because they are out. I have to go back tomorrow to pick up the rest.

I asked the doctor today about an alternative to bottle feeding called finger feeding but I didn't make myself clear even though I described the process several times. I brought in some written info from Dr. Sears website this afternoon and hope to discuss it again tomorrow.

Good news. Emily doesn't have an IV anymore, just the PIC line. She only has one kind of medication now which she is getting with her formula.
She is 3 lbs 6 oz.

Friday, September 19, 2008

About Claire

Claire pretends.
She says, "I live in the water."
I say, "what are you?"
Claire, "I'm a shark."
or She says "I'm a geese. Honk, Honk."
At other times she is Jillian or Jessica or a mouse or a kitty or a puppy.

I took a walk with her this evening and she asked to be picked up several times. Each time she gave me a big smile and announced, "Mommy's tummy is all better."

This morning in the wee hours when I set her on the bed next to Mark she said "Mark. Mark. Sleep next to you."

Several nights back she woke up 5 times, the next night was 3 times and the past two nights she only woke up once. Last night she was awake off and on for an hour and three quarters. The other nights the wakings were brief. Yesterday she had a short nap in the car in the late morning then a marathon nap of 2.25 hours in the afternoon. She went to sleep at 8:30 instead of her usual 7:30 and slept through till 3:00am.

Claire and Nanu went to the Natural History museum. They got to see the dessert tortoise ambling around. Claire got to hug the polar bear.


30 weeks gestational age+6 weeks in NICU=36 weeks

Praise God from whom all blessings flow!
I got to put Emily to the breast today!
They had me clean my breast first then the charge nurse helped her latch on.
Emily gave a couple of fluttery sucks and fell asleep. She stayed latched on for half an hour but mostly slept very soundly.
The charge nurse said I can put her to the breast whenever I come in. I just need to cleanse the breast first.
They say it takes longer for preemies to learn how to breastfeed, so I know not to expect much the first several times.
The milk culture came back positive. I didn't ask what bacteria they found. I'm less upset by this since whe gets to start at the breast now.

She lost a little weight and is at 1478 grams.
I'm not surprised considering the two 100 gram days she had over the weekend. Also they increased the amount of Lasix, so she may have lost some excess water.

Her hair is so soft! I was stroking her to see if it would stimulate her to suck more.
I've been noticing lately that her tiny little hairs curl up at the ends on the back of her head. Speaking of hair, they had to shave hear head while she was sick to put an IV in her scalp so she doesn't have any in the front right now. I've been holding her skin to skin for 2 hours each day lately. When I'm holding her she sometimes opens her eyes and looks up at me. I'm feeling more of a sense of Emily belonging to me. I'm grateful that we finally hit this milestone and get to embark on this journey towards nursing.


To clarify a few things...
When they first tested My breast milk it contained Staphylococcus aureus. This is the same bacteria that Emily had in her blood. So the infection may have been caused by the milk. However, this bacteria is pervasive on people's skin etc.

I haven't head back about the second milk test.

Emily is on 9cc of formula every 3 hours which she receives through a tube going down to her stomach. The doctor wants her to be taking more than this before she begins to nurse.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


By the way Emily is total over her infection although she is still finishing up her course of antibiotics.
Nanu and Claire are feeling much better but still not 100%.
I went to my doctor today about this wheezy cough I've had for weeks. He gave me an inhaler. I had one a couple of years ago for the same thing.
Tomorrow I have a follow-up with the obstetrician.

Emily is doing well. She is taking 7cc of formula per meal. She weighs 1500 grams. She is still on 1 liter air through the cannula. They increased her dose of lasix due to her weight gain. The nurse said today that her urine output isn't as much as they like to see. (She may dip below 1500 grams again if she has been retaining water.)
I didn't meet the new doctor today. I will make a point of tracking her down tomorrow.

Claire asks me to show her pictures of baby Luke, baby Emily and Kate almost daily.
Today she repeated something she said on Sunday, "Kate is gorgeous." Kate had fun accessories on Sunday which Claire definitely appreciated. They also shared a couple of very cute hugs.

Claire also loves looking through her photo album filled with pictures of relatives in Oklahoma. She remembers everyones names.

Thanks to everyone who has been leaving comments on the blog. I feel encouraged.

Dress Rehearsal

Dress rehearsal for nursing: Emily was crying during Kangaroo Care today which is unusual. I gave her my finger to suck on. She did some vigorous sucking off and on for quite a while. I thought she was done and took my finger away but she cried so I gave it back. Her heart and breathing rates went up but her oxygen saturation stayed high.

I met the new doctor on duty today. The first thing she said was,"Oh Good you're doing Kangaroo care." Hurray! I told her we rented a different style pump and are sterilizing everything regularly and asked if we could send the milk I pumped today to be cultured.
She had the nurse send it to the lab. In a few days we should know. If it comes back negative, she can start on my milk again. The Doctor wants Emily to be taking a bit more orally before she begins nursing.

Emily is up to 1555 grams. I think that is 3 lbs 6 oz.
They are still weaning form the cannula. It is on the .5 liter setting and Emily was doing well.

I had a really nice nurse today and I wasn't coughing at all.

I went to the OB today and she said I can resume my regular activities--exercise carrying Claire etc. Yippee!! Claire has got the short end of the stick with me on bed rest for 5 weeks then recovering from surgery 6 weeks. It was a happy reunion when I got home from the hospital and I got to pick her up and give her a big hug and tell her the good news.

Monday, September 15, 2008


Emily has been gaining weight fast lately. She is up to 3 lbs 4.8 oz or 1499 grams.
Today as I was holding her in kangaroo care she started rooting (Looking for the breast.) There will be a change in doctors tomorrow. I pray that this doctor will be pro breastfeeding. The one who is going off duty keeps give me more reasons why Emily can't start nursing.
They are weaning her from the cannula which has been supplying air pressure through a tube in her nose. She was on 2 liter setting. Now she is on 1 liter. The nurse said they may discontinue it tomorrow.

For those of you who have asked us lately about when she can come home here is some general info:

Requirements for Discharge

Before being discharged from the hospital, a preemie must meet several basic requirements to ensure good health and fewer medical problems. Some nurseries require a minimum weight for discharge, but more often the NICU staff will evaluate the baby on these three criteria:

1. Can the baby maintain body temperature in an open crib for at least 24-48 hours, depending on how premature the baby was at birth?
2. Can the baby take all feedings by bottle or breast without supplemental tube feedings?
3. Can the baby gain weight steadily?

Most preemies meet these criteria 2 to 4 weeks before reaching their original due date. Infants who have had surgery, were born with malformations, or who spent weeks on breathing machines and oxygen are the most likely to stay beyond their original due date.

Emily hasn't met any of these requirements yet but I am hopeful that she will begin to since she is growing so well. (Although she is still receiving most of her calories intravenously, it shouldn't take too long for her to get up to full feeds.)

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Emily visit

Mark and I visited Emily tonight. She is so sweet. She is starting to look a bigger to me. She is up to 3 pounds and maybe a couple of ounces. We'll see on tomorrow's weigh in. (I'm always skeptical when they say she's gained 100 grams in 24 hours.)
I got to hold her skin to skin and she was very relaxed and content.

She is off caffeine citrate- a medication to help stimulate the circulatory system.
She seems to be growing out of the brady's and de-sats. She hasn't had any in the last several days.

It was nice being there with Mark.
He asked the nurse about using the rocker/glider. She was against the idea because of Emily being so tiny. He told her that we were accustomed to using them all the time in the Santa Monica NICU. She seemed unconvinced.

There is now a big colorful sticker on Emily's chart that says "No Nippling."
I think they got the message that we are serious. I also get the impression that no one has attempted this in this NICU. I also bet that less than 1% of preemies born before 33 weeks go home breastfeeding from this place.


I am livid!!!!
I don't know when I've been more angry, disappointed, frustrated!
I wasn't at the NICU this morning and afternoon because I was at church then I took a nap.

I called when I woke up only to find out that they had given Emily a bottle!
We very explicitly told a number of people in the NICU during her first weeks that we do NOT want her to have the bottle because we want her to exclusively breastfeed. It was devastating that Claire preferred the bottle to the breast and refused to nurse. I Do NOT want a repeat of this with Emily. Everything I've read says to give the breast for a few weeks first before the bottle in order to avoid this (At the very least). Other things I've read say that for some babies it only takes one time at the bottle to disrupt nursing.

My most recent conversation with the Doctor was about breastfeeding which she said we could start when Emily was a little bigger. She said nothing about the bottle. I guess I should have clarified our position. But it didn't occur to me at the time. I was still reeling about the decision to give her formula. and I am incensed that they would plow through with such a big step without involving the parents. The timing was most unfortunate. Emily supposedly gained over 100 grams last night which meant that suddenly she was eligible for "nippling" as they call it. I called the NICU this morning before church and the nurse was on break, so I didn't get to speak with her. I did hear about the weight gain from the other nurse. I expected it to take another 3 days for her to reach 1400 grams. I should have called again after church to speak with the nurse.

After I found out about the bottle I called and spoke to the doctor who said she would stop the bottle feeds. She doesn't want me to put her to the breast just yet because she wants to determine if Emily is tolerating the formula. AARRGGGHH!!!!

Saturday, September 13, 2008


I ran the idea of using milk bank milk by the doctor today. She said we can look into it on Monday but that she has never used it for her patients before.
(They pasteurise the milk, so there shouldn't be any harmful bacteria in it.) I could send my own milk to the milk bank to be pasteurised for Emily.

Idea number two: we got the style of pump that I used last time which has parts that can be sterilized in the microwave. We bought a whole brand new hygiene kit to go with it and a brand new jar of lubricant. I can begin to use the new stuff and sterilize everything each time and use gloves to apply the lube. In short use a more sterile technique and have the milk re-tested.

The nurse told me this morning that Emily was not initially tolerating the formula which was started yesterday at 2cc. The Dr. asked to see the residual and determined that it was just regular stomach acid. She said sometimes the stomach produces a bit too much acid when they feed such a small amount, so they are giving her 4cc now.

They are going to re-insert a PIC line. This will mean that I will be able to resume kangaroo care. I got to hold her swaddled yesterday and today---it is much more comfortable to do kangaroo care.

The doctor initially said that Emily could breastfeed--or at least begin to try once she reaches 1400 grams. She is now at 1338. Should only be a few more days...

Emily on formula.
breastmilk contaminated.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Claire and Nanu sick

Claire and Nanu have colds. Claire's main symptom is frequent coughing.
We still have no conclusive information about the breastmilk culture. They have not started feeding her yet. Emily's blood test from yesterday shows improvement. I haven't spoken to the doctor yet today. More details later.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

On the mend

Emily is on the mend. The blood sample from yesterday showed improvement. Her x-ray looks better and she will be able to resume feeds tomorrow. They send a sample of breastmilk to be cultured to make sure the bacteria didn't come from the milk. If the culture comes back positive they may feed her formula. AARRGGHHH!!!!! I told the doctor that I have frozen milk from much earlier that I can bring and she said or maybe current milk would be better. I do NOT want her to have formula.

Emily was fussy when I visited her earlier today. I tried to soothe her by putting a firm hand on her chest and legs. This helped her calm down and go back to sleep. She only has 3 IV's now instead of 4. I think I'll be able to hold her again tomorrow.

No meningitis

No meningitis! The test came back negative.
No Bradys or de-sats during the night--This is an improvement.
She's still off her feeds.
The Doctor isn't in yet. When she gets in she will read todays abdominal x-ray an determine whether Emily can resume feeds.
They will check her blood for the bacteria each day and when it comes back negative they will put in a new PIC line and get rid of the extra IV lines.

The doctor told me yesterday that she has a different strain of staph than they had thought. They switched her to a different antibiotic that is specific to treating the one she's got. One of the by products of this bacteria kills red blood cells. Pray that she will not become anemic from the infection.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

In the NICU last night

Last night they did the spinal tap (AKA lumbar puncture). They won't know the lab results till tomorrow. They also gave her a transfusion which she tolerated well. Except for several de-sats her vital signs were stable during the night shift. She currently has 4 different IV's (Poor Emily, so much poking!) They have to keep moving the IV fluids to a different IV every few hours to prevent infiltration. My IV got infiltrated when I was in the hospital--it was quite painful.
They will do another abdominal x-ray tomorrow. They are continuing to suspend her feeds until then.
She is on two antibiotics instead of one. The doctors hadn't done rounds yet when I called so I don't know if there will be any changes today or if the doctor sees improvement from yesterday.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

More info on Sick Emily

After talking to the doctor I have a bit more information. The infection began at the PIC line and has spread throughout the bloodstream. The PIC line was taken out this afternoon and Emily is receiving all her nutrition through a peripheral IV.

The doctor had looked at the chest x-ray and said the intestines looked distended. She will be able to resume feeds once they look better. The doctor said one reason for suspending feeds is to avoid necrotizing enterocolitis (a very serious disease of the intestines.)

When they resume feeds, they will start at 6cc and go up 2cc per day till she is back up to 12cc where she left off. (I was relieved to hear this since it means it won't take so long for her to get up to full feeds.) (Full feeds means no IV line-- probably close to 30cc [1oz] per feed.)

The doctor said that I can resume kangaroo care tomorrow if she is improving and not as fragile as she was today.

Pray especially for the spinal tap that they will do this evening to check for meningitis and for the blood transfusion she will receive this evening.

Prayer for a Sick Child:
O Lord, Thou who arranges all for the salvation of mankind, receive my humble prayer for this child Emily who is being tried by illness and heal her, for Thou dost know her sufferings. Permit her not to suffer, O Lord, but raise her quickly from this illness, for Thou art good and the lover of mankind. O, Lord show the power of thy mercy!

Emily is Sick

I just got off the phone with Jen who is in the hospital crying. Emily is sick and Jen is not allowed to hold her. She asked me (Jen Brigid) to post the update.

Yesterday afternoon, the hospital personnel diagnosed Emily with a staph infection after looking at her routine blood tests. Emily is now on antibiotics and has been moved from Room B back into Room A, the more intensive care area of the NICU. Emily is also now off feeds because it takes energy to digest and pass the pumped breastmilk and that energy needs to be conserved in her premie body for fighting this new infection.

Jen is disappointed to see such a significant set-back in Emily's progress. Thankfully, Emily is up to 2 lbs 13 oz and has been progressing so well. After an abrupt weaning like this, however, it takes a while to slowly build up the amount of milk delivered each feeding. They were also beginning to wean Emily from the cannula, but that will no longer be an immediate prospect.

In Jen's words, she just wants Emily to get out of the NICU and come home! She is one sad mommy.

When we ended the call, Jen was waiting to speak with the doctor on duty to get more details about Emily's situation and to appeal the nurse's decision not to let Jen hold Emily. Although the night-shift neonatologist is very sensitive to the parent-infant relationship and supportive of kangaroo care, the day doctor and most of the nurses who Mark and Jen interact with more regularly are less so.

Please pray for healing for Emily, for an absence of further complications, for wisdom and support from the hospital staff, and for strength and comfort for Mark and Jen.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Emily update

Emily is doing better today. Only one de-sat. Her heart rate and temp and breathing were back to her normal rates. She gained another 39 grams and is up to 2 lbs 11 oz. She seemed very content and was sleeping very deeply as I held her skin to skin today.

I'm experiencing less pain at the incision site. It only hurts when I cough. In the afternoons and evening I get a little wheezy and cough...allergies or reaction to the smog I think because I feel fine otherwise. I took a t hour nap this afternoon before going to see Emily. During lunch I was so sleepy. I took a longer nap than Claire.

Listening to Claire

These are some things that Claire is saying these days:
It's not a masterpiece. (from Fancy Nancy goes to the museum)
Ready Freddy.
No consequence. (Beatrix Potter)
See you later Alligator. After while Crocodile.
Stay clean Claire, don't get dirty. (From Tom Kitten by Beatrix Potter)
Shall we do finger paints?
Papa is far away.
Nanu do it with you.
Kaputsky, kapuna, kapinsky

Also, Claire will climb up into a chair and look at me and ask, "How are you doing?"
The other day she said, "Mommy and daddy got married at church." (A week ago she looked at a little photo album of wedding pictures with Nanna.) She also said, "Claire got married" and "Mommy loves Daddy."

She recently started pretending that she is her cousin Jillian. She'll refer to herself as Jillian, "Jillian is swinging. Jillian is in the bathtub."
It is so much fun to see her pretend.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008


Emily is now 2 lbs 10 oz or 1191 grams. I'm so glad she's gaining well. Her hair is getting a little bit thicker. She has dry skin so the nurse put some aquaphor ointment on her.
She is still having Bradys and de-sats.
Her heart rate was a bit slower today than in the past. Also her temperature was a bit lower and her breathing was a bit slower. I didn't get to ask the doc about these things.

I enjoyed my time with Claire. We went to the park. She and I were both suffering from allergies this morning. On the way to the park the first time she sneezed and coughed and coughed some more and then vomited. We went back home and got her cleaned up and she seemed fine just slightly wheezy. We then went to the park and had a lovely time. She ate a decent sized lunch and had a nap. then we went to the nearby farmer's market and picked up fruit and veggies. Claire enjoyed picking out okra and putting it in the bag. My mom called my cell just as we were about to leave for home. She had just pulled up. We visited over icedtea for a bit then I went to see Emily.

Changing of the guard

Emily continues to grow well. I think she's put on another 40 grams since my last post. She has a blood transfusion yesterday because her hemoglobin was low. Yesterday she had a few more brady's and de-sats. The transfusion may help with this.

We just said goodbye to Nanna and Poppa. Many thanks for taking good care of Claire and for helping us take care of many household tasks. (Especially the bathroom remodel and the trim and curtains in the nursery.

Nanu comes this afternoon. I decided to stay home from the hospital today and hang out with Claire as she hasn't had very many long blocks of mommy time lately.

reading break

Despite being incredibly busy around here as the parents of 2 toddlers and living in a 100+year-old house, we do have time to fill in the gaps with reading. As fans of Harry Potter, here are some similar recommendations: (Book 1 of Harry Potter is included since I can't find my original copy and want to re-add it to my library.)
My favorite of the group is The Mysterious Benedict Society which I vote best Juvenile Fiction of 2007.

(hold down the arrow buttons to rotate)

Monday, September 01, 2008


Emily is up to 8cc every 3 hours. They are giving the milk over 15 minutes because she had been having some oxygen desaturation problems during feeds lately. (First I heard of it was today.) Please pray that she will be able to handle the feeds without having these problems. She also seemed to have some bradys while I was holding her in Kangaroo Care today. I say seemed because I didn't have a very good view of the monitors and the nurse didn't see them while they were happening. They were brief.
I didn't get to use the rocker today because Emily's nurse was alone when I arrived... I guess all the other nurses were getting food at a party in the lounge.

2 hours

I got to hold Emily skin-to-skin for 2 hours yesterday. Afterward I felt a sense of calm and happiness. I also got to have an impromptu date with Mark at Starbucks on the way home.
Emily was 1107 grams as of yesterday. That is 2 lbs 7 oz. She is growing faster than Claire did at this stage.

Emily was moved to "room C" of the NICU (which is presumably the same as Claire's "step-down NICU.") I was hoping this was the home of the glider chair, but I have yet to see it. Emily had a registry nurse the past two days, so she had no idea. Today I will find out if this chair really exists...

On Saturday the women of St Michael Church threw a baby shower for Emily at our house. I had a great time. It was so nice to see everyone since I haven't been to church in 2 months. A special thanks to Jill and Julie and Patty and Mary Patty and Joy who brought the food, set up and cleaned up. Everything was delish!
Claire enjoyed the party too. She received two gifts which she adores. She also got to help me open presents which she thoroughly enjoyed.

Claire went grocery shopping with Nana and Poppa this morning. She helped push the cart through the produce section and she spend a good deal of time "reading" the shopping list.

Claire's current favorite pastime is swinging on her new swing in the front yard. She also says, "shall we do bubbles." She likes to dip the bubble wand and run and shake it in the breeze to make bubbles. She still loves to paint. We have been experimenting with brushes lately but she still seems to prefer finger painting. Another frequently requested activity is playdough. Some days it gets put away quickly because she can't seem to resist putting it in the mouth. She loves being outside. In the back yard she likes to run around in her swim clothes and get wet, then she like to go around with her scrub brush and clean things all over the back yard.