Today was a very hopeful day for Miss Lola. When we got to the hospital this morning, a nurse was feeding Lola a bottle. Let me rephrase that...Lola was finishing a bottle for a nurse!! I was so happy tht tears came to my eyes! The nurse was wonderful, I liked her immediately. She said that she was going to talk to the NP and ask to move Lola Bean to a different nipple. She noticed that Lola was breast feeding and watched how she would collapse the nipple by chewing on it. The nurse thought another nipple would help give Lola the reward she was needing to make her drink a bottle faster before giving up only a few ml in when her stomach had food.
After that feeding, Lola did not want to sleep. I needed her to rest so that she wouldn't be too tired for her next feeding and would do well. She kept whimpering in her crib, so I took her out and put her skin-to-skin on my chest. She rooted around for awhile wanting to nurse, but I had to hold her off for her next feeding. After she fell asleep on my chest, I started to doze off as well. How hard is it to not get so comfortable when someone you love is nuzzled up against you?!? I put her back in her crib to sleep and we went to grab lunch so we coud be back by 11:30 for her next feeding.
When it came time for Lola's next feeding, I turned the lights on and started to change her diaper trying to wake her up. I then nursed Lola on her next feed and she nursed for ten minutes very quickly. Ten minutes is all she needs to nurse based on the fact that a feeding is 38ml. I did have to stop and burp her twice, but she did so great! I was one excited mommy!! She got a full belly and fell back to sleep soon after. I put her back in her crib and Nathan and I took a nap. This is the first nap I have taken since Lola has been in the NICU. I think her doing so well relaxed me and allowed me to get so much needed rest. Or, I am just getting used to the hustle and bustle of the NICU and comfortable enough to sleep.
For her 3:30 feeding, I decided Nathan should try to bottle feed her. One, I wanted to see exactly how much she was eating. Secondly, I wanted to see if the nipple made a difference. Mostly, I knew Nathan wanted to hold his baby girl. He hadn't done that in a couple of days since we have been working on breast feeding. Lola did NOT want to wake up for her feeding. The nurse had told us earlier that she my be getting more milk when nursing which would make her fuller longer (I pump 110 ml in 20 minutes, so it is very possible). Because she had done so well nursing, I thought this might be what had happened. It took awhile to get her to wake up and eat, but once Nathan burped her and she finally "got" the new nipple, baby girl chugged her bottle. Nathan's smile said it all. We were so proud of our little lady! She was making us so optimistic.
Three feeds and none of them were through the nasal tube!!! That was so promising to us!! Now, we know that this is still a small step towards going home. However, this is an important step. The nurses are taking her bed temp down half a degree every shift change (once in morning, once at night). She started at 30 degrees Celsius yesterday and was at 29.5 today. As long as she maintains her temp, they will drop it until it gets to 28 degrees. Once it gets to 28 degrees, they will look at moving her to a normal crib!!
I am praying that the night nurse will be as great as our day nurse today and push Lola to eat her bottles, and not rely on the nasal tube. We know Lola can do it...but she does tend to be much more tired in the evening. She will need to eat all of her meals (every 3 hours) and show weight gain for a minimum of 72 hours before we can even think of bringing her home.
Romans 12:12 keeps replaying in my mind. I am trying to be patient, but everytime I leave the hospital my strength disappears. I cannot wait for the day when Tait will get to meet his little sister. I know he will fall in love with her like his daddy and I have. I know Lola Bean will love to look at him and hear his voice. I am trying to be faithful in prayer and often find myself praying for Lola at every turn. I am so greatful for her and hopeful for the day when we can take her home.
Nathan and I feel even more greatful for her life. Today, Nathan got a call from the husband of one of the women he works with. He was calling Nathan to let him know she would be out. She was due in July and had given birth. Nathan asked how the baby was and was told that the baby did not make it. Our hearts ache for her and we also feel a bit guilty to be complaining about the world of the NICU we are living in. God gave us a gift on May 14th. He saved Lola's life by allowing her to come early. She is doing very well. It makes us feel a bit guilty. We are blessed and our hearts go out to the woman he works with. I cannot imagine the pain she is and will go through for the rest of her life. The feeling that a piece of her is missing. I pray that The Lord will comfort and support her family in this time of need. Please include her in your prayers tonight as well.