Last night I was discharged, before being admitted to another unit. I walked outside and took in fresh air for the first time since Sunday. C has been trying to get me to go home and let him stay and he finally won. With the weekend here, he stayed with our girl and I went home.
Ah freedom. I came home to an empty apartment (with the exception of poor Abelle who barely recognizes me) and settled in for some TV, dinner and pumping. What a Friday night! I haven't watched TV in 5 days, so I pretty much became a zombie and probably should have slept more, but there was catching up to do.
While I vegged Dad took over. He had to deal with a hippy nurse we had never had before, she of course had her own ideas for L. Like, for example, the kind of nipple she should be using on the bottle. She switched it on us. This goes against what 2-3 nurses have told me as well as the OT person we'd been working with. With L having been on a respirator one of the complications with coming off of it is her reflux- she was vomiting previously a bit too much after big feedings or any feedings at all. She has gotten rid of that- but if moved around too much while eating or not in the right positions, she gets ill. We have been working on this with the OT person. I will say this about our experience, not ever new parent gets hands on training from the best nurses, doctors and specialists in neonatal care in the North East.
L needs to use the "slow flow" nips cause they have her work for the food- and this mimics breastfeeding as well as helps with her reflux because too much milk, too fast means it'll come right back at'cha as well as hurt. Her throat isn't used to swallowing hard- so it's baby steps. When I called this morning to get the status report from C and he informed me of the nip switch, mommy got her sneakers on.
While I aimed at the wrong target, C now armed with more information, had a talk with the new nurse. Hippy was gone and we got that switch taken care of. Last night she was cranky and crying- likely because she had to deal with a new nip and was frustrated. She made C really work for it, to get her to go to sleep. She also threw up her feeding... shocking? No, the poor girl was being bombarded with milk. Idiots. Additional frustration for C, she soaked him with the backfire, literally.
Sometimes when they problem solve they choose the wrong door- it's the same process parents go through everyday. With this situation, we are are trouble shooting - but we aren't alone. We have multiple nurses and doctors making suggestions as well. Too many cooks in the kitchen. Poor girl- she was just snacking and wanting to eat less more frequently and hippy thought ... nah, let's fix that with hosing her down with milk.
In addition to the Nipple Confusion Episode '07, Dad learned a few more lessons. Like when she doesn't have dirty diapers all day, like yesterday, she is going to have a MESSY night. He was woken several times, not by a crying baby but by the shear volume of her arse. Baby had some serious gas last night. He had earth shattering diaper changes last night, each one right after he would change her, sometimes her clothes or her bed.
Our girl also has a set of lungs on her- whenever Dad wouldn't move fast enough she got violent. She would scream louder than the helicopter arrivals. Our room is 'conveniently' under the hospital's helicopter landing pad. Of course. If she wasn't screaming she would try to claw at him like Freddy Cougar... at one point she nearly took his eye out.
L definitely played games with her dear ol'Dad. Even with the disastrous diapers, the near loss of his eye and gasoline that would make grown men wilt- I'm pretty sure he wouldn't change it for the world. With work, Abelle, having to sleep and all- he can't stay too long at night. Getting to stay with her, he gets to spend more time with her- which I know he looks forward to. She has a spot on his shoulder that she crawls up to and nuzzles into... last night she even got high enough that he's pretty sure she gave him a hickey. When a girl is hungry, she's hungry- sure she is a little confused on how to get the food but she knows she's got to suck to get it. She sucks on her fist and apparently also necks if they are handy- it's all the same to her! Hopefully tonight she'll cut him a break.
In terms of how she is doing - she was a handful but normal baby handful not drug addict needing her fix handful. They will wean her at 4 pm down to .24, this is down from .3. Slow and steady is now going to win this race. They will wean once a day at less than .10 each day. This could change, but even I'm comfortable with taking our time for the last bit of this monkey.