I know. I know. I'm about 5 months late starting this blog. But....better late than never!
So, I should start with the basics: the introduction.
My little girl, Janai Raquel ,was born July 6, 2008, when she was 27wk 4days of gestation. She was born weighing 2lbs 2oz and measured 14 inches long.
I spent about 5 days in the hospital prior to her birth in an attempt to remain pregnant as long as possible. Like many other preemie Mommies, there is no real explanation to my pre-term labor. My OBG said it might've been a bladder infection mixed with a probable mild case of incompetent cervix. While we'd been told that many women can manage to stay pregnant up to two months with minimal contractions and broken water, my little girl had other plans. So, on July 6th, she said "I'm out of here!"
There began the most interesting, frightening, exciting and rewarding ride of our lives! Janai spent almost 11 weeks in the NICU (75 days to be exact), and while our experience was not as bad as it has been for many other preemie parents, it was the very, very scary to us. She was on the vent for a week, then c-pap for several weeks, and at last the cannula for a few weeks before we came home. Our major scares with her were her right lung collapsing when she came off the vent; then, an infection from her arterial line, and LOTS of apneas.
The "eating" thing kept us in the NICU a few more weeks. Janai just would not eat her full bottles. So, the doctors sent us home on ad lib schedule with fortification of the BM for her feedings. Eventually, Janai had a swallow test done which showed she silently aspirated milk. Once we started thickening her feeds, she started to eat like a champ. On and off, we still have to fight to get her to eat, but that's a whole'nother issue. She's too curious about everything so, at times, she prefers to sight-see around her room than to eat her bottle. ;-)
Janai came home on September 19 weighing just over 6lbs. This was about a week after Hurricane Ike swept through this area. Thank God, we didnt lose electricity at home, so my stored BM stayed intact (phew!). I had lost about 5 hospital bags of BM when our deep freezer got slightly unplugged off the wall about 2 weeks prior to the hurricane, and I sobbed for an hour. Needless to say, I was paranoid about losing more milk.
So...back to Janai... she came home on an apnea monitor, caffeine, diuretics, electrolytes, and reflux meds. She had a couple true apneas at home, and several false alarms. So scary to be home alone through an apnea episode! By November 26, she went for a month without apneas, and we finally freed ourselves from the monitor, the caffeine, diuretics and electrolytes. Thank God! The med schedule was driving me crazy.
The first two weeks after Janai came home were CRAZY!!!! I thought we were prepared, but I was not nearly as prepared as I thought for the sleepless days and nights that we experienced. No way I could've prepared for that. I wished I had "sleep" stored somewhere! I walked around like a zombie between her feedings and my pumping. I had experienced mastitis 4 times, and just when Janai came home, I got mastitis one more time. Also, Adrian started working the same day that Janai came home, so I had the nights. During the day, my Mom (I thank God for my Mom every day!) would help me, and that is what kept us all from going insane. Feeding Janai took almost an hour of begging and burping, plus diaper change, plus meds, so I had about 45 minute breaks in between, of which I'd spend 20-30 minutes pumping and dosing off. Then 15 minutes to eat or nap again. The doctors had said to feed Janai within 30 minutes, but she would hardly eat that fast before she'd fall asleep, and she was so hard to burp. It was exhausting!
All of the feeding issues were resolved when we started to thicken her feeds. My poor little one preferred to go hungry than to eat because eating would obviously mess with her breathing even though she would not cough. I just wish we had figured this out sooner. Thank God, the aspirations did not cause any infections, so we were lucky about that.
We started the RSV shots at the end of October (or beginning of Nov), and we're getting our shots until March. Depending on the State, we might get the 6th shot. I hope we do. I dont look forward to the shot, as Janai screams bloody murder with the injection, but she needs it...just in case. I just about cried when she got the first RSV shot. She cried louder than I had ever heard her, so it broke my heart. Now I know what my Mom was talking about when she said your kids pain hurts more than your own.
We go for another RSV shot tomorrow. In her last RSV shot, Janai weighed 11lbs 7oz. I forget her last measurement in length at the Pedi. I have it written somewhere.
I'm back at work since December 1st. My Mom takes care of her at home for us. I miss my little girl so much, but for now, I have to continue to work full time. I call home during the day to hear Janai's coos and cries. It helps me to hear her voice. She loves to chit-chat, like her Momma. She looks a lot like Adrian, but she definitely resembles my personality...inpatient, loud, talkative, and just too curious in the world! She's also a night owl and not a morning person, just like her parents!
I hope to post new weight tomorrow after the RSV shot, and I will also try to figure out the settings and how to post pictures and videos on this thing!
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