Monday, May 5, 2014

The Things We've Seen Change

Dear Ellie,

Be careful what you wish for.  Your mother and I were hoping you'd spend a few more days in the NICU so that we could get over these nasty colds before you came home, but now that we are better, we can't get you out!  The date inches back, day by day.  It was supposed to be Friday, but when Friday came, it was bumped to Monday.  Now that it is Monday, it's been bumped to Wednesday.  There is nothing explicitly wrong with you, except for a few small things here and there.  A few days ago, you needed some "blow by" oxygen when you experienced some reflux.  The likely cause of the reflux episode?  You eat too much.  Most preemies have issues with eating too little, so the staff didn't really bother to give you a "feeding cap" when they took you off of the milk fortifier.  They just let your appetite be the guide, to which your appetite replied, "OM NOM NOM."  The good news is the reflux episode hasn't repeated itself and all of the things that once appeared like problems (your heart rate, for instance) have slowly disappeared.

I don't mind so much that you are still stuck here for the time being.  Since we've been sick the past few weeks, this time will give your mother and I an opportunity to reflect a bit on our stay here.  The three months we've spent in the NICU with you have been dilated in my mind.  It feels like a lengthy chapter of my life has come and gone.

Over these three months, we've called two new places home, yet in all the years your mother and I have lived together, we had only ever lived in two different places until you were born.  It's as though we've suddenly added two mile markers to a long journey that only ever had two before.

We've seen you go from barely over a pound to nearly six.  It typically takes years to watch a child double in size, but we've seen you quadruple it in a fraction of that time.

We've been through more worry and emotional turmoil than the total sum experienced during the previous thirty years of our lives.

It feels as though I just spent four years off at college or that I'm returning from a decade long life overseas.  And why shouldn't I feel that way?  The way that we measure lengthy periods in our minds is with how much has changed in that time.  And so much has changed.


  1. Ellie we are sending you lots of positive thoughts hopefully Wednesday will be the big day. So many wonderful things are waiting for you out in the big world.

  2. Awww...Ellie looks adorable. Can't wait for you to be home with her!

  3. I have been following your blog since you first posted on babycenter when ellie was born. I am so happy that she has made such amazing progess. She is so chubby and cute. My twin girls were born at 27 weeks. they weren't even 6lbs when they left the hospital. I too kept a blog to keep our families updated.
    It gets harder and harder to keep up once they go home because you are too busy snuggling :)
    I highly recommmend that you go out and buy the Rock and Play sleeper and a Boppy Lounger. It will help prevent ellie from getting really bad reflux. I made the mistake of getting a bassinett and it made my daughters' reflux really bad (granted we have a family history...but still.) Those two items were lifesavers.

    Congratulations on your beautiful family!!

  4. Thanks for the advice Jen! We were thinking about going the way of the bassinett, but I think your testimony has helped to sway us a bit. She's never had bad reflux, but might as well insure that it doesn't become an issue. I'll have to check out the Rock and Play and Boppy Lounger!

  5. I would second the Rock 'n Play! Lifesaver. We had a bassinet from my mom but didn't use it. Sometimes reflux doesn't show up as badly until you are home for a bit. (a common theme I've seen on the BBC boards and happened to us) I am so happy she will be going home soon! She has done so well. Best wishes on the transition.

    1. A second vouch for the Rock 'n Play, eh? We'll keep that in mind :-)

    2. We love our Rock n Plays so count the Fisher Triplets as your third, fourth and fifth recommendations! Our reflux didn't come out until well after the NICU and it's bad. We are on meds and thicken feeds with rice cereal. Also, they are never flat in the NICU, the beds are always raised and they are on their tummies a lot. At home they aren't supposed to sleep on their tummies and my girls still aren't big fans of being flat so they still sleep in their Rock n Plays....