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.