Sunday, September 28, 2008

Sunday Afternoon

We are sitting here in the quiet of a Sunday afternoon in the back corner of the NICU. Sundays are slow here until the evenings usually... and they have been some of our favorite times to be here. Avery just took her afternoon bottle...which has apparently exhausted both her and her mom. They are both rocking each other to sleep next to me. These are moments you try to really just breathe in deeply...
We found a little note in her crib this morning when we came in, reporting that she had passed her first hearing test. This is very good news...because that means that she has been benefitting from all of the time I have been whispering "da-da" in her ear when Steph isn't looking. Hey- it's never too early to get started on trying to influence what her first word will be...come on!!! Don't tell Steph, I've already got about 6 weeks on her... but moms have an unfair advantage of spending more intimate bonding time with the kids right off....so you can't really blame me!


I feel like I need to be honest with everyone... you hear a lot of cutesy fun stuff about these babies and all...but we've got to give a fair and balanced story from the front lines. There is more to the story than pint-sized pink onesies and sleep-overs with stuffed animals. There is a darker side to this growth and development process... one that we just don't really talk much about, because of how unpleasant it is. But, it's a reality...and it's one you should be aware of: even very small, very cute little pink baby girls can cause industrial strength diaper blow-outs that in my mind would warrent a small team from FEMA to be on call to help with changings! I mean, you look at this little girl, and you think that you'd open up her diaper and find nothing more than some of those colored mini-marshmallows or something... oh no...no no no... Someone could probably win a nobel prize if they figured out the process her body uses to take harmless, normal breast milk...and turn it into nuclear waste. (If they could reverse that process...we'd solve the nuclear waste problem, and we'd have enough breast-milk to feed all the starving babies in the world!) Oh..and there is that fiendish element of suprise!! She lays there, swaddled up wearing her beanie...looking like a burrito about to go skiing....and you unwrap her...and she's there in this cute little pink outfit...and she opens a tired eye...stretches her miniature arms....(all distractions, of course...)...you unbutton her....undo the velcro on her teeny diaper...and WHAM!!!!!!! Absolutely disgusting. If her tiny little bum weren't so cute...she'd be in some serious trouble. So, yeah...I felt like I really needed to bring that to light...I am sure that there were way too many of you out there living in ignorance...and since I had to go through that...you do too!! (at least I didn't post pictures!! ;) )

She's gaining weight still. She's been pretty consistent lately, which is a really good sign. She hit a little plateau the past few days, but is up to 4 lbs. 7 oz., which is about what Stephanie weighed when her mom took her home as a baby! Everyone keeps asking if there is a weight that we're aiming for to take her home... and they don't really look at a specific weight, rather...they look for consistent gains...over a week or two...and she's doing pretty well on that front...


Her last real hurdle is bottle feeding. It's a real learning process that takes her getting the sucking, swallowing and breathing all at the same time. Some days are better than others. At first, she'd just power it down if she were hungry...but if she wasn't, she'd just purse her lips and go to sleep! She's now up to every other feeding by bottle....and is actually taking it really well. She'll fall asleep in the middle of the bottle still...but that happens less and less. That's another step towards going home...taking every feeding by bottle. And, for those of you who asked... the breastfeeding comes next...but we can introduce that once she gets home, or shortly before she leaves... they'll just substitute one bottle feeding for a breast feed...and work up from there...

We are excited and overwhelmed at the prospect of finally having her home. It's something we've talked about non-stop since she arrived nearly two months ago. Normally, parents don't have this time span to contemplate actually having a baby in the house...after already having met the baby! It's normally a sink-or-swim situation: they send you home with your new baby...and good luck!! Avery's due date is the 12th of October... that's so soon!! Some night, in the near future...we'll actually be woken up by our own little baby's cry.... she'll really be ours...

7 comments:

Chuck & Stacie said...

Ryan-
I'm not sure you remember me, but I worked in the Copy Center at the MTC. Some how I came across your blog. I'm actually due to have a little boy on Oct. 22nd and I am amazed that your little Avery would have been due around the same time. Your writing is so genuine. Avery is lucky to have the two of you as parents. Good luck with all that your new families future holds.

Karlee Turner said...

Love reading your blog! Avery is getting so big and looking so adorable! Hopefully she comes home soon...we'll keep praying for all of you!

Amanda Green Englund said...

4 lbs 7 oz! Woo hoo! I can't wait until she has chubby baby thighs! She's almost there! Just a little more time...

Shane and Kendra said...

I absolutely love reading your blog and the humor and sincerity you put into each post. Avery is lucky to have such wonderful parents to come home to...soon!

KolyerandCorrie said...

OH I just want to thank you so much for your post.Kendra and I were talking about how much we love reading your post. I really hope you dont mind but every chance I get, I check to see if there is a new one. You always help me stop and think how grateful I am for what I have. Your family is beautiful very lucky to have each other.

Jen said...

she is SO precious! i can't believe she is getting so big! (for a premie of course) you can already tell she is going to be drop dead gorgeous as she grows up and you will have to keep a shot gun by the door for all those crazy boys that will be hanging around the house! Steph...you look as amazing as ever of course! you don't look too bad yourself Ryan. ;) miss you guys tons but are SO happy to hear everything is going so well!
love,
ty and jen

Amanda Green Englund said...

oh, and guess what Steph? we're earring buddies! I've got a pair just like those!