Nora has been home for a week already, so hard to believe. It flew by! And so far, so good! I promise to be better going forward with updates… This time week, well, time kind of got away from me 😉
This afternoon we had Nora’s newborn pictures taken by Cara Hocking Photography, and I’m soooooo excited to see them. I got one sneak peek, check it out!
Sessions are scheduled for two hours, but as we’re learning, Nora likes things her way, in her time (her birth feet first) and therefore our session took four hours! I was seriously exhausted, but so grateful Cara took the time to get great shots even though Nora was incredibly fussy. I’ll post the rest of the proofs as soon as I see them!
Nora’s fussiness was really just today, I hope. Since we brought her home she’s been eating, peeing/pooping, and sleeping. Seriously. She’s been pretty easy, eating every four hours or so and then going right back to sleep. Granted, she will ONLY sleep in her mamaroo, but for now, it’s working. I actually considered buying a second as we’re constantly moving it from room to room with us. Right now she’s sleeping right next to my side of the bed. Not sure how long this will continue though, as she is such a loud sleeper. Grunts and cries for a few seconds here and there in her sleep, which of course wakes me up. Although I guess if we were using a monitor I’d hear all that too.
I have been putting a sleep monitor on Nora, but not the high-tech one I mentioned purchasing recently. That one was awesome, if you don’t consider that the probe had to be so tight on her foot that it was almost cutting off circulation. And perhaps I could have found a different probe, but that seemed like way too much work! So instead we’ve been using the Snuza Hero Portable Abdominal Movement Monitor. It hasn’t gone off yet, so either her breathing is just fine, or the thing doesn’t work. Nora is alive and well though, so I’m going to assume her breathing is perfect.
Feeding is going fairly well, still doing four bottles fortified to 24 cals/oz. breast milk each day (Neosure), and then I’m nursing her the other times. And wow, for those who just nurse, that has to be exhausting, as she is only satisfied for maybe two hours compared to four with the fortified. I’ve gone back to the nipple shield for the time being, not because she can’t nurse without it, but because it’s just easier. The lactation consultant explained how for now I need to sandwich my breast, think mammogram, so she can stay latched easier until she grows bigger and stronger. I feel like I don’t have enough hands to do that and hold her and direct her head to my nipple! So call me lazy, but for now, the nipple shield is easier.
Since we have to do some bottles, I’m obviously still pumping. And it’s a pain in my behind. In fact, after I feed her I’ve been pumping too, as she doesn’t empty me and I’m terrified of mastitis! Even sometimes when I planned to nurse her I’ve ended up just pumping instead. For some reason I can’t seem to get her eating aligned with my pumping. My breasts are always full when she’s not hungry! How do others manage this??? And thank God she sleeps a lot, as I feel like all I do is wash and sterilize bottles and pump parts. How have I only been doing this a week?? I shouldn’t complain, it is awesome to have her home 🙂
So far we’ve had two weight checks and her first well-baby visit. The second weight check was this morning before pictures. Upon leaving the NICU Nora’s growth curve was decreasing, but we must have gotten back on track this week as it now shows a slight increase, slight, but still an increase! Today Nora weighed 5 lbs. 14 oz. (14%), was 18 in. long (33%), and had a head measurement of 12 in. (20%). (Percentiles are based on premature curves for females between 23.5 and 50 weeks gestation.) We go back in two weeks for another weight check, hopefully she continues to gain about an ounce a day. Aside from the weight checks with Nora’s pediatrician, we also have follow-up appointments with her immune team, ophthalmologist, and the infant high risk program, all at the University in Iowa City. Oh, and a hip ultrasound since she was breech.
All that said, I think we’re doing really well so far at home. The first few days felt very odd to me, very overwhelming, a strange sense of responsibility… I kind of wondered what I got myself into. Is that normal?? Eric has been home this week with me, and he’s off work next week as well, and as much as I love his help, often times he actually creates more work for me. I assume that’s a guy thing… I hate to even say that I’m ready for him to go back to work… It’s not that. I think I’m just ready to get into my own groove with Nora, a routine, a schedule so to speak. Somehow I need to figure out cleaning and laundry with a baby. Oh, and packing to move, I guess I should get a start on that too!
Our chocolate lab, Kona, pretty much ignored Nora until last night when she started walking in circles, in the kitchen, then in the living room, and then our bedroom. It was so odd. And today all she wants to do is lay next to us and lick our faces. I sense jealousy. Tuesday was our 3rd wedding anniversary and to celebrate we took our first walk as a family. It was evident on that walk that I will not be able to walk Kona and Nora together, Kona is just simply too strong and not nearly well-behaved enough for me to control her and care for Nora. Hopefully Eric is up for some exercise with Kona in the evenings!
I best get back to my favorite pass time, cuddling Nora. She loves sleeping on my chest… It’s so sweet. I already can’t imagine what my life was like without her 🙂