A quick evening update

We visit Zoë twice a day – early in the morning and around 8pm at night.  That way, we get to hear about the previous shift and, ideally, we catch the NICU when it’s relatively quiet.  Plus, what a great way to start and end the day!  My favorite part of the day is our night time visit.  The lights are dimmed in the NICU, Zoë is snuggled in, we’ve had dinner and I can sit by her isolette and just watch her.

Tonight, we walked into the room and I immediately noticed the difference.  For 11 days, there’s been a big pole with the machine that prints out Zoë’s blood gas results right by the head of her bed.  It’s where Shannon stops first to read the latest test results and I have to carefully manuever a chair past it.  That was gone.  The space around her bed seemed so open without it.  Then, I peaked under the blanket that covers her isolette.  Instead of her sweet face and her round little belly, I saw her back and her tiny diapered butt!  She’d been placed on her tummy!  This is a big deal.  First of all, it means she no longer has any IVs in her umbilicus.  Secondly, preemies can breathe easier on their tummies.  It is less work to move the ribs in the back than the ribs in the front.  She relaxes more, her stats stay up, and hopefully, she can be on lower oxygen levels.  She’s always shown a preference for being on her side rather than her back.  I have a feeling that her tummy will be her all-time favorite.  Now, don’t panic…sleeping on her stomach is perfectly safe.  She’s hooked up to machines that monitor how deeply she breathes, how often she breathes and how her blood pressure is.  She has her very own nurse who monitors her constantly.

She was all tucked up.  Feet curled under her bottom, arms tucked under her chest, purple bobble hat covering her yellow earmuffs and tiny head. We sat and watched her breath and wriggle and sleep. Even just looking at her back, it was clear how deeply asleep and relaxed she was. I hope this does the trick and gets her down closer to 21% oxygen. The less oxygen she needs, the closer we get to being able to do kangaroo care (skin-to-skin contact. I’ll get to hold her against my chest, letting my body heat keep her warm.)

Have a good night, Sweet Zoë! Enjoy sleeping on your tummy! We’ll see you in the morning.

Oh! She’s grown an inch and weighs 1lb 12 oz tonight! Go baby girl!

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4 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Trish said,

    January 15, 2008 @ 5:04 am

    you write so delightfully and I can just imagine what a sweetie Zoe is – go baby girl grow baby girl – your momma is gushing with pride – AMS I hope it won’t be too long for that first kangaroo cuddle.

  2. 2

    shelia said,

    January 15, 2008 @ 2:50 pm

    Oh sweet baby we love you keep growing…..

  3. 3

    lisa4011 said,

    January 16, 2008 @ 12:58 am

    The scene you describe sounds so serene, I can feel your love for Zoe through reading your posts. Thanks for keeping us up to date.

  4. 4

    Stacie said,

    January 16, 2008 @ 10:20 am

    Keep on growing, Miss Zoe.

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