On Friday, between my (relatively) slim ankles and lower blood pressure, I was feeling like such a rock star I put on some non-maternity jeans that were just an teensy bit tight. Not pre-pregnancy jeans, mind you, just some jeans in a larger-than-usual size that I wore early in the pregnancy. I went about my day, gradually feeling worse. Saturday I woke up feeling MUCH worse, with a pounding headache and a nagging pain in my left side, and I put on another pair of the same non-maternity pants in a different color. As the day slogged on, I felt more and more sore and headache-y. By evening, as Jeff and I drove to the NICU for our eight o'clock visit, I began to voice some worries that something may have gone wrong in my recovery. (Infection, uterine rupture, sponge left in, etc….) I think I scared Jeff a little. When we got to the NICU I took off my shirt and got comfortable for some nuzzling, skin-to-skin time with my baby, and unbuttoned the button on my jeans, and, HALLELUJAH!! I felt like a different Jayne. A fatter Jayne, perhaps, and less vain, but far more comfortable. Today I wore stretchy pants and I didn't even need ibuprofen.
Many people have asked how Kurt is holding up.
Mostly he's doing well, considering The presence of Grandma Marlo has helped tremendously. Well, the presence of Grandma Marlo has helped in many, many ways, but especially in making sure Kurt is fed, bathed and loved, even if he occasionally fails to appreciate it. He continues to weep and wail bitterly when Jeff and I leave for any reason, and seems to hold Grandma personally responsible for our absence, which makes it really, really hard to leave him. But it turns out that the relentless not sleeping at night may have been related to that special time in a young boy's life when he doesn't need a nap so much anymore. As you know, I have lived in fear of this the last two years, and if Grandma Marlo were not here making sure I get a daily nap, I would probably be dead. It's just that simple.
Also, he has recently started singing. Specifically, he sings "Frere Jacques," which is funny, because, as you know, he can't talk. He usually just picks a syllable, say, "da," and sings the song using that syllable. He's actually pretty decent with the tune and rhythm. I mean, the fact that we actually recognized the song speaks volumes. He sings a lot, so he may be trying to sing other songs, but we can't recognize any other tunes.
But there is no denying that Kurt is a fundamentally happy little boy. I have pictures to prove it.
For a while, things had been going so swimmingly in the NICU that I got complacent. The NICU is scary as hell, by the way. It's divided into three levels, from the super sick babies in Level 3 on ventilators, to the about to go home babies in Level 1 who just need to gain a pound. Maria is on Level 2, for, I guess, medium. It's close quarters in there, and we hear a lot of talk going on around us about antibiotics and apnea and IVs, but we don't really know what's going on with the other babies in Maria's room, and it's probably not a good idea to walk up to the other parents and say, "Hey, ours is a 31 weeker with growth restriction. What's YOURS in for?"
Anyway, there's still a lot to be positive about. She still hasn't needed any medications or oxygen yet, but she did get jaundiced again and had to spend more time on the tanning bed, which was troubling.
But the thing that will get her home to us is weight gain, and that seems to be the thing she isn't doing. Last night she was up to her birth weight and then some and I was on top of the world. Tonight she'd lost all the weight she'd gained in the last couple of days and then some. The nurses think we should not handle her much in the next couple of days or try to feed her until her weight comes back up, because it may be burning more calories to breast or bottle feed than she actually takes in. It's a real shame, because I was basically becoming addicted to feeling her snuggled up on my chest. Without that, my parenting contribution becomes officially limited to lactating into bottles, wringing my hands and weeping. It gets old.
Marlo has been online looking for micro-preemie clothes, and a small batch is headed our way. Regular preemie clothes are ridiculously huge on her.
Anyway, here's some cute pictures of her, including ones of Grandma Marlo having her first official snuggle, and Jeff holding her while she was still under the tanning lights yesterday.
Can I just say for the record that NOTHING bad is allowed to happen to this kid, as I am already desperately and pathetically in love with her? That is all. I have spoken.