Friday, October 29, 2010

It's nice to have the NICU on your side

Along with the really hard and not-so-fun things about having a baby in the NICU, there are definitely good things that come with it.
Like the fact that I learned how to feed, burp, bathe, and otherwise take care of a newborn from some of the most qualified teachers in the country. (Think about it; that is not an exaggeration.) And if I had a question those very qualified and caring people were literally "at my fingertips." It is a pretty nice vote of confidence when those people tell you they are sure you are ready to go home and take care of your baby. And considering all the time I spent observing and learning from them, I felt pretty ready.
I had lots of trouble getting Noah scheduled for his big follow-up clinic and no one would give me any information. Until I mentioned that to the NICU staff. Then I received everything in the mail within a few days.
Of course I trust the their opinion more than any others, so I have called with questions a few times. Recently I learned that I'm not so much supposed to do that...oops. So yesterday I just had a simple little question, if I can use that nasty sore throat spray while breastfeeding. I resisted the urge to push the NICU speed dial on my phone (I suppose I should delete that) and called that 24 hour nurse hotline to ask. After quite a bit of being on hold, they said they didn't know and to call my doctor. Really, get through to my doctor, funny joke... Next I tried calling WIC. They didn't know; call the pharmacy. After not getting a real person there I gave in and called the NICU. I got an immediate answer from one of the nurses who helped deliver and save my child.
It's nice to have the NICU on your side.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

THE song and the story

First, the story...
Corey made the 3 hour trip from our hometown to the NICU and back each week to work, and so he clocked a lot of hours in the car and a lot of hours listening to the radio. At one point he told me that he heard an awesome song that was perfect for what we were going through and wrote the artist's name down on a scrap of paper in his wallet. Considering my brain was only about 1/4 to 1/2 working I quickly forgot the name and never did get a chance to hear that song on the radio.
Fast forward to this week. I was checking out one of my favorite blogs, which had a post about the artist JJ Heller and the following song link. I decided to check it out and Corey was in the room with me. Soon he was humming along. I asked how in the world he knew this random song and he said "This is THE song, the one with the awesome words that I wrote down and wanted you to hear." Then I had to start it over and actually fully listen. Wow. It is THE song. If you asked me to put into words what was going on in my head and heart after delivering my child due to life threatening circumstances and then watching him fight for his own life for the following months, I wouldn't know how to do it. But this song does as good of job as I ever could.
THE song...

I have unanswered prayers
I have trouble I wish wasn’t there
And I have asked a thousand ways
That you would take my pain away
You would take my pain away

I am trying to understand
How to walk this weary land
Make straight the paths that crooked lie
Oh Lord, before these feet of mine
Oh Lord, before these feet of mine

When my world is shaking, heaven stands
When my heart is breaking
I never leave your hands

When you walked upon the earth
You healed the broken, lost and hurt
I know you hate to see me cry
One day you will set all things right
Yeah, one day you will set all things right

When my world is shaking, heaven stands
When my heart is breaking
I never leave your hands

Your hands that shaped the world
Are holding me
They hold me still

Saturday, October 16, 2010

The big 1-0 (months old)!

It's already October=only two months away from December=Noah is 10 months old! My little baby really isn't much of a little baby anymore! He is very interested in anything and everything around him. He is still on the move most of the time--not crawling yet, but that doesn't stop him from getting pretty much anything he sets his mind to.
One of his therapists described him this way--a 10 month old trapped in a 7 month old's body. I think that is a pretty good description. You can just tell there are lots of things going on in that little head that he just isn't quite able to do yet. Sometimes he gets frustrated, but thankfully not too much; he is such a happy kid. When his body catches out, world.
At 10 months old he:
  • is a little over 16 pounds and 27 inches long
  • is sitting up great on his own now! (his record is about 8 minutes in the sandbox)
  • rolls, pivots, and scoots here, there, and everywhere
  • loves to eat Cheerios and is very good at actually getting them in his mouth now
  • loves to chomp on pickles, just like his mommy
  • is a paper thief and thinks it is one of the best toys
  • gives big sloppy baby kisses
  • gives raspberries back after you give him one
  • is starting to wave hello and goodbye
  • likes to play as rough as possible
  • thinks riding on Daddy's shoulders is pretty much the coolest thing ever
  • I love my 10 month old!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

This week we have been up to our eyeballs in appointments! PT, OT, this office to change times and that one to the carseat, out of the carseat...
There was another meeting of the NICU Family Advisory Council, and we got to teleconference in. How technologically advanced of us. :)
And the most fun "appointment" is that we had our first ECFE baby class. Noah got to wear a new outfit and his girlfriend (one of them :) is in the class too. Okay, I suppose he didn't appreciate the cute factor of either one of those too terribly much, but he did seem to like to see all the other babies and he loves to be out and about and smile at his adoring public. And yes, I will admit it--I am that mom with camera in one hand and hand sanitizer in the other... :)
So I think it will be a lot of fun overall, but there is also that twinge of unidentified jumbled NICU emotions that comes up. Because pretty much every question that comes up in a "baby class" like this I answer a little differently, and every topic that is discussed I come at from a different angle, and there is that little voice of "you don't know what it's like" that pops up.
Yup, still processing. Actually I've been doing that a lot lately. And for some reason it kind of helps to blog about it. AND November is prematurity awareness month. AND the March of Dimes has an official "Fight for Preemies" blog event on November 17. So you can expect more prematurity/NICU/random-Ellie-processing-thoughts posts in the next month or so. And if you have a blog consider joining this event and blogging in honor of a preemie you know. Needless to say, this is now something very important to me and a very worthwhile cause. Some of the advances the March of Dimes has been a part of regarding treating preemies are some of the things that saved Noah's life. Think about it...
Learn more here.

Friday, October 1, 2010