Yesterday was a busy day in our room 544! We celebrated 26 weeks! I can't believe I was admitted at 23 and now am 26 weeks!
Sandra brought me my big six for my wall and a lovely cookie cake! She also brought me awesome reading material from march of dimes. Sandra also let me meet another patient here who is 26 weeks two days and also has a shortened cervix. It was nice to visit with someone shortly. I just adore Sandra! She has a heart of gold and I know mentally Nate & I wouldn't be as sane if it weren't for her caring manner and excellent patient care! Seriously the woman is my angel! She sunbeams in my room! Like I said the Embleys are super fond of Nurse Sandra. She is incharge of all patient care for Ut high risk ladies and she goes way beyond!!
Since Ive been here over two weeks they have been weighting me. Piper is measuring on track but my expected pregnancy weight gain has been incredibly low. In the last two weeks I've only gained a 1/2 lb a week, putting total weight gain at 9 lbs for 26 weeks. They were concerned I wasn't getting enough protein. I received a nutritional consult where I have been put on 6 meals a day, plus two drinks a day that are similar to ensure but for us lactose people. I don't mind the six meals as it keeps my hunger in check and my blood sugar.
Lastly, I had a visit from the "Sandra" on the Nicu. Leah is the charge nurse, nurse practitioner who makes the rounds with the docs up with the babies. I hear the babies talk to her! She came down and answered a lot of questions for me about risk factor, how long will she be at risk for certain major medical disease, child care plan etc.. Luckily Piper is born in the hot months so babies don't get RSV as often but the winter months we will have to go in hiding with her the first year. RSV is like a nasty cold and can be fatal to preemies, especially if they experience any lung/respiratory problems in those first couple months when being born. In normal children it presents like a cough or cold.. But to NICu babies it can be life or death literally! With that said, during flu season we really won't be exposing Piper at all to children or lots of people. its way to risky and its an easy sacrifice to save my kid!
Which takes us to the next point she can't be in daycare till 4 mths and that would be December the worst months of the year for RSV and flu.. So we are going to have to hire in home care so she isn't exposed to the germs of more children. Preemies just have such a lower tolerance to simple germs their first year of life and even though they are home they can be admitted back and go from normal to barely hanging on for a simple cold from any other child. So there will be lots of asking friends if their children are sick, hand washing, and keeping her home that first year. In normal children, I know they want them to expose them to some germs but preemies just can't do it. Their bodies are still playing catch up. It's going to be an active battle of keeping family and friends informed and understanding the importance of this.
The first four weeks we will be watching closely for brain bleeds and NEC but once she is 34 weeks unless she experiences them she isn't a risk anymore. Which is a relief!
Additionally, the first ten days of her life she will be living in an isolete that rains on her. Due to no body fat and skin so thin they lose liquids fast, so fast try can't replenish them in IV. So they stay in a humidity controlled environment. During those seven to ten days she can't be removed from the isolete. Only mommy and daddy can shortly touch her thru. After ten days if she is doing well, than I will get to kangaroo her for short periods of time out of the isolete. Those first days are so incredibly delicate that the less contact they have with germs and can stay in their isolete the better. I know this will kill me and the grandmas but it is what's best.
After my busy day, my partner teacher came to see me. She brought me the most beautiful gift basket- she knows me well! We got to visit for two hours and it was nice! I miss seeing her daily!
Last great news of Friday was my favorite doctor on staff (remember there are 4 who rotate with the residents), I asked if he would be on call for Pipers delivery. He told me it would be an honor to be here for it. It so reassuring he would come if he can to deliver. But my fav resident will be going to nights soon and during the day I have Sandra.. So at least I know I will have someone to trust medically beside me.
All in all a busy successful 26 week! And now were 26 and 1!!! Praise The Lord!
Ps first time in 2 weeks I was allowed my jewelry back on! I've missed my wedding ring!