29w5d ~ A Long Overdue Update

Wow, I haven’t written in forever.  And this is going to take me forever since I’m on a new computer and the keys are tiny!  (Yes, I broke the one I just bought a month ago.  During my labor of all times!)

First, we picked a name, which I now can’t even remember if I announced on here, or just Facebook.  Baby girl’s name is Nora Mae.  I had a list of maybe 7 or 8 girl names I really liked, and out of all of them, Eric liked Nora the best.  For a middle name we struggled more, not really having any ideas before her birth.  So there I was, the night after she was born, looking online for name meanings, as I wanted something with a ‘story’ behind it.  We decided on Mae as it means ‘spring growth’ and seemed ever so fitting!

Nora is doing really, really well so far.  In fact, I feel like she is doing too well, like the other shoe has to drop soon.  She’s breathing room air with just a CPAP at the lowest level possible, a 4 they told me, not sure the unit on that.  Gosh I have so much to learn!

She has lost a little weight, as expected, so she’s at 2lbs. 9oz. now.  She’s getting my milk at 7cc every 4 hours, but don’t quote me on that either.  Maybe I need to write this stuff down.  The nurses and docs speak to Eric in doctor language, which is obviously not my native tongue!  Nora does always have a little residual left in her stomach after the feedings, but not enough that they are worried.  They did a scan of her stomach today to make sure all is well, and it looked perfect.  She’s also under lights for her bilirubin, but really no big deal there.  She’s had two bowel movements so far so they said as those increase, she’ll need less time under the lights.

So really no issues, she just needs to grow and learn to eat without her feeding tube.  I think Monday or Tuesday will be the brain scan…  Hopefully that isn’t the other shoe dropping.  The doctor said they see brain bleeds in 10% of babies at Nora’s age, and of those, 15% see long-term issues.  So the percentages are small, but still…  It’s my understanding I’ll be able to hold her if the scan looks okay!!

The days are flying…  Seriously, how is it Saturday already???  Eric’s parent’s are here this weekend to see their first grandchild, so this weekend is flying by as well.  Funny, I have 24 childcare, the NICU nurses and doctors, but yet I get nothing accomplished.  I have so much at home to do, laundry, cleaning, etc., but then I feel guilty not being at the hospital with Nora.  I assume all new mommies feel this way to some extent, but I guess I just pictured cleaning and such while she slept.  They do sleep, right???  One of these days I’ll return emails and respond to the hundreds of comments on my blog!

Physically I feel great, exhausted most of the time, but great.  I’m starving all the time too, I assume from pumping.  Speaking of, pumping is going really well.  The nurses keep telling me my supply so far is amazing!  The lactation specialist told me to pump at least 15 minutes and 2 minutes past when my milk stops flowing, every 2 hours during the day, and every 3 hours at night.  So apparently this is my new life, and my pump bag is my greatest accessory!  I’m already feeling overwhelmed with this schedule though…  I’m guessing many of you can relate, and if you have any advice, I’m all ears.  Just feeling like I can’t go anywhere when I need to pump every 2 hours, aside from the hospital to see Nora.  Should I start scoping out lactation rooms at places?  I know our mall has one, but the room is tiny and I assume in use often.  Where else has rooms?  And the cleanup, wow, all I do is freaking wash my pump parts!!  I just ordered some extra sets so I can use several during the day and maybe just wash everything at night.  Just trying to find ways to make this more convenient.  I discovered the Medela Quick Clean Wipes which so far have been a lifesaver for cleaning on the go, but gosh, I’m gonna go broke buying those things!  Oh, and the pump I have is the Medela Freestyle, their hands-free model.  And it’s awesome if anyone is in the market for a pump.  I have a hands-free bra and I’m getting good with it.  I even was able to flatiron my hair while pumping the other morning!

All in all, we’re doing really well.  Thank you again for all the kind words, emails with advice, etc., it’s really all wonderful.  And I’m not just saying that.  I’ve certainly felt very loved this past week!

I did add a special folder for Nora on my Smugmug website, the link is http://stefanie.smugmug.com/Nora-Mae and from there will be folders for each month.  This link is also off to the right on my homepage.  Check it whenever you’d like, as I plan to add additional photos and videos often.  Enjoy!

Okay, time to eat and pump again…  I’ll try to be better with my updates this week 🙂

14 thoughts on “29w5d ~ A Long Overdue Update

  1. Stef, I am so happy all is going well! I love the name Nora Mae. I looked at all her pictures and she is so precious! Pumping is a full time job in the beginning. Once you get into a routine is gets easier and easier. Also the more you do it the more milk you produce. I actually quit nursing and pumping with both kids around 7 or 8 months and had enough milk until both boys were a year old. I know things are crazy busy for you but I would love to take a trip down to see you when things calm down, just let me know when a good time would be. Thanks for all the updates! Sending lots of prayers things go well with Noras scan this week. And you better send pictures of you holding her!!

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  2. I did a good deal of traveling for work during Bella’s first year where I’d have to pump the whole time I was away. Every two hours is tough but it’s similar to if you were nursing her…most places do not have nursing rooms…so unfortunately if you want somewhere comfortable you are best planning your errands around your pumping schedule. And that way you don’t need the cleaning wipes. I rinsed my parts after every session and at the end of the night would put everything in the medela steam bags to sterilize. Much cheaper than using wipes after every time.

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  3. wow. the ring by her wrist and the hands next to her body really puts it into perspective how tiny she is. amazing news that she is doing so well. as always i hope this continues and i’ll be hoping for a good brain scan for her. love her name. i am a little biased, my niece is norah (h added) but my grandmother was nora. a lovely elegant name. love the meaning behind mae, just perfect.

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  4. So glad to hear Nora is doing so well! I love the name! I am feeling your pumping pain – not as frequently, since I’m nursing as well, but man the clean up is a pain in the ass! So awesome that you have a great supply, too! So important for her to have!

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  5. the main advice i’ve been given for saving time with pumping – get extra sets like you already are. can keep used sets in fridge in ziplock bags to avoid having to wash after EVERY session. can also keep basin of soapy water on counter/desk and put used parts in there to soak until you have time to wash them at night.

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  6. Nora Mae is a beautiful name! I wish I could give you some advice about pumping, but all I can say is you’re doing an amazing job. There cannot be anything easy about it, so just know that you’re taking care of Nora Mae every single time you hook yourself up!

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  7. I got some great advice from my lactation consultant when I mention I felt like I was spending my whole day washing the parts. She told me to put the pump parts in the refrigerator between pumping sessions, just wash the parts at the end of the day and to use the Medela microwave sanitizing bags. One bag is good for 20 uses (or 20 days used once a day). Hope that helps!

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  8. Talk to a lactation consultant in a week about how much you are making and she may be able to tell you if it’s Ok to modify your schedule to less often, especially at night, if your supply is “well established”. Get that sleep now! Also when you are home you can do lazy things like throw the used pump parts in a bag in the fridge till you need to use them again. But while Baby is in the NICU they told me to be very vigilant and wash with hot soapy water every single time and sanitize in the medela microwave bag once a day! Don’t want her to get an infection!

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