september 6- empty nest

in the baby in a bed with nothing else way...

today they moved all of wren's comfort objects out of her bed, and laid it flat. then i put her in it on her back and she proceeded to cry and spit up for an hour. according to the AAP the babes are supposed to be lonely and uncomfortable. well, really i suppose that might be over dramatizing it.... wren sure felt that way though. i'm not totally sure what i think about all this... perhaps the statistics on SIDS aren't accurate... or perhaps there's another correlating cause... i just haven't done enough research to know. (don't worry- i'm sure more information will be forthcoming on the topic. check back soon. i know you're chomping at the bit for my opinion on EVERYTHING. right?)

we've made a pretty controversial decision to do what she wants. we're going home on oxygen and a monitor anyway. if the kid wants to be swaddled (arms out) then i'm going to do that to put her to sleep. i even have a sleep wedge! gasp! but it will really help with her reflux. i might even cover up her little eyes too... our monitor just came in yesterday. i suppose i won't have to use it yet... but we got the angelcare monitor. i've recommended it for several years now. i know of 3 cases where a baby stopped breathing and the monitor alarmed, saving the baby's life. i think it will definitely help me sleep at night. if i got a video monitor i'd just spend all night staring at it and running in the kids room to make sure she was still breathing. this cuts out the first step. :) anyway, this monitor also gives me confidence in our positioning decision.

wren weighed in at a whopping 5lbs 9oz today! (i wonder if i will ever type her weight without an exclamation point after it.) she is almost 18 inches long... she's creeping closer and closer to real baby size! (some are even born full term at this weight believe it or not.) she's still eating a TON! we picked up a new bottle yesterday... she'd been totally collapsing the nipple on the medela low flow. (which came highly recommended... and i wouldn't not recommend it even now.) she would pretty much occlude the flow altogether. i'd read good reviews on the adiri, and the baby store was having a sale, so we picked one up. it is AMAZING! i probably won't need a whole fleet of bottles for feeding, but even if i did i'd invest in these suckers. thadd's first response was "that's obscene!"... and the nurses have taken to calling it "the boob bottle". but hey, that's what we're really looking for isn't it? all the nurses that have seen it so far are sold. (i think one is even picking up some for her daughter.) it gives her a natural latch, and since she's taking in more than just the "nipple" part, she can't occlude the flow. she also gets NO air. to the point that she hasn't even really had a burp! so far i just can't sing the praises of this bottle enough. it ran me about $10, which is really outrageous- i realize this. but for a gassless, happy, also breastfeeding baby... who can put a price on that? (in the interest of full disclosure: 1 downside. i don't think the milk can be heated IN the bottle due to the construction and insulation of bottle. i need to investigate it a little more.)

her crit is up to 32- still climbing. it's up from 31 last week. from what i've found the normal for a female is about 36-45. though i think what i've found is referring to adults. her c02 is down again as well. from 62 to 59. this is GREAT! since we've been slowly weaning her flow down and down it's important that she's able to rid herself of the c02. they told me last week that because of her cld they expect that her c02 will be higher anyway. so, her norms are higher than what they would usually expect.

speaking of oxygen flow requirements... i was a little worried that she'd hit a wall in her weaning- but tonight while i was with her she got weaned down to .10liters or 100milliliters. she's still got a long way to go to get to 0... but i'm giving myself a little more hope, each time that she's weaned, that she'll be off of it by the time we move. we've talked about maybe even postponing our move by a week or so to give her extra time to get off the tank. we'll see.

so, big week this week. tomorrow my husband is spending the day cleaning up our house. i went home for an hour or so yesterday to do some laundry and it doesn't look like much has been getting done. (one of my plants is just shy of impending demise.) i've also got a few other honeydo's like setting up the cosleeper... making sure the stroller is in one piece. we ended up going with the maclaren easy traveller due to the basket size on the bottom. most of the other universal strollers had smaller baskets... and we were worried that the oxygen and monitor might not fit. (which is the whole purpose of the stroller. if you remember, i wasn't even going to get one- being a fan of wearing my baby- but that is not really an option now that she comes with so many accessories. ) we went with the universal to have a cheaper alternative to the peg. this way, if the airline demolishes it next month, we haven't lost an arm and a leg.

i'll still be here. hanging out. doing my breastfeeding thing... waiting on the oxygen to arrive on tuesday. i assume they'll have some sort of rigorous training for me. i guess we'll see. i'm only moderately nervous about it. maybe i should be more nervous. any oxygen toting mommies have any advice?

i'm working on a sign to hang on the stroller/carseat... any ideas on the wording?

"you're cute too- but i don't get in your face"... or maybe, "thanks for the handshake, now i have the flu"... no... how about "please de-gross yourself before getting in my space".... i think all this will be so much easier when i can just pop the kiddo in a sling. as it is i'm not sure the size of the oxygen tank/monitor so i don't want to doom myself to days of wearing a baby on front, and all the gear on the back. i was talking about this to some friends yesterday and they brought up the point that it's taboo to invade the space of another adult- that's why slings are so awesome! but kids space? that's for everyone! wooo- free space people... jsut take it for yourself. i'm not totally neurotic you know.. i have a baby on oxygen. now that i'm writing about it it's freaking me out a little more than i'd realized. oh well, i'm definitely not the type of person to hide in my house for a year. i just can't do it. so, we'll have to be on guard with the purell and the hands off responses.


Jessica B said...

I know your concern about people touching Wren is not an unfounded one, but it still surprises me for some reason that, in general, people are such morons that you would need a sign on your stroller. Even in Hayden's excellent health, I very rarely have strangers touch him without asking. I think anyone who knows you knows better. You might have to worry about the children that are not on a leash, though.

wrensmommy said...

you're a hoot jess... i was being a little tongue in cheek with the sign thing. i won't actually put one up. i am a little worried about it, but i'm not too shy to say "here's some hand sanitizer".
i'm notsoworried about strangers really, more the sweethearts that just want to love on her because they have been praying for her and anxiously awaiting her release from this place! i have to even remind myself that i need to wash up. i'm sure all this will go by the wayside when we get into a "normal routine". :)
i think the south might be a little different too- people are much more friendly to strangers. has that been your experience?
ditto on the kiddo thing.

Katie said...

We are so glad Wren is growing and going home soon! We will continue to pray for you both with the transition and the oxygen. Let us know if you ever need anything!

meghan said...

Maybe you could rig a contraption to strap an industrial-sized jar of purell next to wren in the stroller? maybe ppl would get the hint then. Just be blunt...Nick had no problem telling people to wash their hands before touching Caden...Wren is your's and if ppl get offended so be it.

I think I'd heard about those bottles from someone who's having trouble getting they're 4 month old to take a bottle--she called it a boob bottle as well : )

Anonymous said...

I see nothing wrong with hand sanitizer AND a sign!! Put a sign on your front door with visiting hours posted and to please wash hands when entering - we put a bottle of hand sanitizer at three different places inside the door , on the coffee table and a small table you can't miss when you walked in - people got the idea. And when you go out turn the carseat towards you - you have more control that way.

Pogue Fam said...

Oh she is so darn cute! I'm so glad to see everything continues to progress well :) And yes, I think there is NOTHING wrong with making people sanitize everything they got before going near a newborn. I usually stick to the house for quite a while and thats with a 8lb 13oz newborn (Addie was WAY bigger than I expected.) So you just set the rules, and no one will or should have hard feelings. Give her a kiss on the cheek for me. She looks so cute :) Miss you guys!

Lindsay H. said...

The top picture of Wren reminded me of one of my favorites of the twins. I love your coment about the 5lbs.9oz. You are very correct that even full term babies can weigh that. ni this picture the twins were a couple of days old and reese still weighed less than that, but they grow soooo fast so love every bit of this tiny none of her clothes fit stage. You will turn around and she will be arguing with you about what she is going to wear (reese recently refused an outfit b/c it was "not pink"). Please do not take that as one of those premie remarks,I know that you have had a difficult road and may have more miles to go, but she is such a beautiful (though tiny) blessing. I cannot say that I know what it has been like, b/c while mine did try to arive at 29 weeks, and every week there after for 8 more weeks, by some miracle they stayed put. I have felt the anxiety of the prospect of nicu and that was more than enough to make me realize how fortunate I am. You can tell her that by her 0 birthday though that she was bigger than her friend reese (who now weighs a whopping 31 lbs.)

Audrey said...

What about one of those mesh carseat or stroller covers? Its supposed to keep bugs and leaves out of the carseat, but might help with the touching thing too. Course it might make it more difficult for you and Thadd to get to her but it looks like they come off fairly easy.

If people want to touch/hold Wren you could just say 'have you washed your hands?' People are generally baffled by this question until they realize you are going to ask them every single time they want to touch/hold her. I would keep a bottle of hand sanitizer available at all times and anytime someone reaches out to touch her without asking just put it between them and Wren and say 'here you go'. I guess the only other thing I could think to do is save bathtime for after any outings you have instead of beforehand. Growing up we knew a family with a preemie and the mom and dad would take turns going places (like church). One would go in the morning and the other in the evening just until they thought she was ready to go out.

So glad that Wren is making her own blood (yeah, baby!) and that everyone gets to go home! That is Wonderful!

wrensmommy said...

thanks for the tips guys... i bought some hand sanitizer specifically for the stroller today. :)i've only had 1 or two people who just didn't get that they can't put their face right down in the car seat. everyone else graciously admired her from a safe distance.
audrey- i think i might get one of those bug shields too. just need to find one online- great idea!
linsay- i know just what you mean! my very favorite thing about her preemieness is how she tucks her little foot in the crook of my arm when she nurses... and i know if she had been born at 21 inches she never would have been able to do that. (and of course, she's outgrowing all my favorite outfits. leaving only the crazy overly large sized, not as cute, preemie clothes... and some carter's newborn sized stuff to wear.) i'm happy your little ones didn't come too early.. and that they're so grown up and beautiful now! :) tell randy to put more pictures on facebook. :)

Audrey said...

Target.com has a bug shield. I just don't remember how much.