Monthly Archives: March 2009

Need I Say More?

I just took this pic a minute ago.  


Nothing like your daughter on your chest, your computer in your lap.  It’s a pretty peaceful afternoon.

Anyway, Ellis gained 34 grams last night — over an ounce — and our nurse told us to bring her car seat in tomorrow, to test how she fit it.  Yahoo!



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So.  Ellis Jane continues to keep us on our toes: this week she finally (finally) was put solely on breastmilk.  Finally.  She responded by gaining an ounce (about 30 grams) both Monday and Tuesday.  On Wednesday she was doing so well, the doctors decided to take her out of her isolette and put her in a crib.


She showed her appreciation by gaining half an ounce both Wednesday and Thursday, then a mere five grams on Friday.  Basically, in the crib she has to work a little harder to maintain her body temperature — which she could do, but it just took too many calories and she wasn’t gaining weight.  Also, the NICU has been a busy place this past week with lots of new babies, and we think the noise and extra light kept her awake a lot more — again burning calories.  

So, Friday she went back into the isolette and responded by, once again, gaining over an ounce (35 grams).  Yahoo!

Now, weight gain looks like the final hurdle.  She’s eating everything on her own, breathing on her own, and simply needs to pack on the ounces before she can come home.  Yesterday, our nurse said that once she gains weight…she can come home.  We’re hoping that’ll be sometime this week.  And, we’re ready to convince the doctors that we can reproduce the isolette at home — keep it dark and jack up the heat to 80 degrees.  Whatever.  We just want her home.

That’s the latest.  Brooke and I are continuing to do well, and trying to find some spare minutes to relax.  Here are some of the most recent pics:

Gabe burping the little one

Already perfecting the fist pump

Pretty Tired

Waiting to Eat

Self Portrait

The close up


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3.5.2008 Update

Well, we’re at the hospital.  Ellis is four weeks old today (as of 11:23 tonight) and doing very well.  She’s off ALL antibiotics (we left last night during the antibiotic discussion) and has shown her infection what it means to be a Knipp.  Way to go, El.

As of 2pm today, she’s off oxygen…and back on some added calories (which means her stomach is doing well).  Since Sunday night, she’s nippled every feeding, which means the tube down to her stomach hasn’t been needed for awhile.  

Basically, she needs to gain weight before she goes home.  She’s been behind on the growth curve, but has done well the past few days.  But, it’s absolutely wonderful to hear nurses and doctors say the word “home.”  

Thanks again for your thoughts and prayers.  We’re hoping and praying that now she’ll pack on the ounces and be home soon.

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Little Miss Ellis Jane

First, we’re at the hospital, so sorry, but no pics.  I could try to upload pics, but they’d still be loading by the time Ellis comes home in a few weeks.  Alas.

The latest on Miss Ellis Jane: she’s eating again (oh, by the way, she wasn’t eating for awhile).  Last Friday, we noticed she wasn’t hungry and hadn’t digested her last feeding.  Her belly was quite distended.  So, the docs took her off ALL food for the weekend, which was a brutal experience.  By Sunday she was rooting at everything: trying to suck on anything that came close to her face.  Pacifiers, fingers, blankets, whatever.  She was hungry.  She got nutrition from an I.V. and didn’t lose any weight, but her stomach was completely empty.

Holding her as she sought for food: Brooke and I talked about the tragedy that it is when so many children in our world cannot eat.  It’s heartrending to see your daughter hungry even when she’s in good care.  I can’t begin to imagine the pain that so many mothers and fathers experience everyday.

But, we came back from dinner on Sunday and got good news: she could eat again!  She sucked down a bottle (that yours truly got to feed her).  I mean, she sucked down a bottle more quickly than I could.  Seriously.  Not that I’ve been sucking on bottles lately, but still.

Now, the doctors (is “doc” slightly offensive?  anyone?)  are slowly increasing her feeds, and leaving her solely on breastmilk (not mine, but Brooke’s).  She was on HMF — Human Milk Fortifier — which they added to the milk for more calories.  So, the docs (yes, I think slightly offensive) will be looking for something to add to the milk for more calories in the future.  Basically, every baby in the NICU needs a little extra to pack on the ounces, and Ellis is no exception (though she is exceptional).  

Already, she has very, very good coordination (I’m not sure if she got it from her bullish father or her artistic mother) and the nurses continually mention this, especially when it comes to feeding (she did get that part from her father…though she manages to spill on herself less than I do).  AND, her eye exam came back clean, which is actually quite rare.  This news received a “wow” from other nurses.  She definitely, definitely has her mother’s eyes.  

Other than that, Brooke and I are doing well, and love time we get to spend with her.  Ellis is bulking up a bit, and getting some “baby cheeks,” as opposed to “still-cute-but-gaunt-premie-cheeks.”  We prefer the former.

Thanks again for your thoughts and prayers.  We’re so, so appreciative.


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