Notice anything different in this picture?!!?
I certainly didn't when I walked in.... but Caroline is off of her oxygen!! No ventilator, no CPAP, no nasal cannula. My baby girl is breathing all on her own.
It was a big day for Caroline. She came off of her oxygen at 9 AM. Was blessed by our minister, Greg Jones, at 9:30 and had her very first BOTTLE at noon.
I did try and do kangaroo care with her but her oxygen levels dropped. Being the first day of breathing on her own, I did not want her to work too hard. So I only got about 15 minutes of snuggle time today as opposed to my normal 2x daily for 1.5 to 2 hours each time.
Caroline had been giving feeding cues so we got to try the bottle instead of the feeding tube. She tired out pretty quickly after the first half but the nurse helped me stimulate her awake and taught me how to get her to drink the last bit. When preemies Caroline's age start feedings they can suck, they can breathe, and they can swallow.. but they can not necessarily do these 3 things all at the same time. So she had to work really hard for just 11mL of breastmilk.
I DID manage to get a picture of Whitaker this morning on his first FULL day of school. He did great today! But he wouldn't pose for picture. This is the best I could get but he does look so sweet so I was ok without the truly posed picture.
My precious boy. I am so proud of him.
I held it together all day until I went to lunch and grabbed a little lovie from the gift shop for Caroline's roomie, a little girl named Savannah. Savannah was born about 8 hours after Caroline so they were neighbors in the the admittance/critical care room and then eventually roommates. Her parents were so nice and it was so nice to have another couple that Daniel and I could relate too in an unfortunate situation. And Savannah's mom witnessed my baby crash on that 2nd night and watched my complete emotional breakdown. There was a bond there. When I was writing in her little card it hit me that that little bit of comfort and familiarity is not going to be there tomorrow when I walk into the NICU. Don't get me wrong, I am so excited for them that they get to take their baby girl home. She was 36 weeks at birth so it is time. But I couldn't help but feel the sting that my sweet Caroline does not have a discharge date. I had to remind myself of the huge strides that Caroline has made over the past 9 days and how proud I am of her. As my nurse said last night, "Caroline ordered just about everything on the menu". And here she is just a week later doing all of these new things. All this in mind, I still strategically left the gift so that they would get it when I wasn't there. I would have cried. (more).
Caroline inherited my puny veins and isn't doing well with the IV.. Well... actually they can't even get the IV in. My baby girl was a pin cushion that resulted in lots of blown veins today. It was heart wrenching. Every nurse in that NICU stuck her trying to get it in. Caroline seems to be asking for that PICC line. She still needs fluids until she can drink 25 mL to keep her hydrated. Her belly line had to come out today. I left Caroline worn out from all of it and snoozing hard. I am calling up there soon to see how the evening unfolded. I was promised she wouldn't go through that again.
Overall though, it was a good day with lots of progression. Progression is the only thing that is going to get her home so I am going to focus on that!
This is what I did when I got home from the hospital. What a shift :)
It's a truck train.