Baby Colette, One Month Old

It's hard to believe we're at the one month mark. I think like most new parents, on the one hand, it's crazy to think that a month has already passed by, but on the other hand, the days have been long. I remember at times wishing away the newborn days with the boys as it was so tough in the beginning. Now, I'd give anything to have those early moments at home with her, but again, I'm wishing away these days and months as that will mean we're closer to actually having her home.

As was to be expected, it was a month of ups and downs. My time in the hospital was actually pretty good, despite those being some of her toughest days. Then there were some really great days (when I got to hold her for the first time) when you feel like, okay, we can do this. Then there was a period where she was stable but not much progress was being made... which now I realize are actually great days. Over the past week or so, there have been some dips... the fluid turning milky signifying chylothorax, taking her off of all feeds and increased oxygen need/her body working harder to breath. I think the rough days are even harder now as we're further into the process as I feel like we should have made more progress and it gets really frustrating. Overall, she's had some major accomplishments: becoming stable after birth, getting off the ventilator, weaning off of blood pressure medicine and getting both chest tubes out (though I'm not holding my breath - they were removed as they were coming out of place. The fluid was minimal so they're just going to see what happens). I need to focus on that but it's hard to accept that even after a month, we're still early in this long road to recovery. Still, the last few days have been promising, we even held her three separate times the other day -- which is quite a feat since the transfer is a process. I have to believe it was so good for her to be laying on us, instead of her same little bed, for more than six hours.

Despite not having Colette at home with us 24/7, I do feel like I'm learning more about her personality. The doctor recently told me that she has some great personality traits for someone in this situation -- she's feisty, strong and let's you know what she likes and doesn't like. The last one is actually really important to a doctor as it helps them get ahead of potential issues down the road if they're able to get a heads up that a certain position isn't working, new device, etc.

  • Being held
  • Being patted on her chest
  • Her paci, if you can get it in her  mouth which often you can't
  • Kicking her feet out of her snuggle up
  • Stretching out long (including her arms)
  • Laying on her tummy
  • Sound machine
  • Containment care - cupping her feet or head, hand laying on her body
  • Shushing

  • The prongs on Cpap
  • Loud noises (including talking, other babies crying, etc.)
  • Having a wet or dirty diaper
  • The breathing tube (luckily that's gone!)
  • Having chest tubes (no one would!)

Sweet Baby Colette. Well, this is definitely not how we pictured your first month of life. First of all, I'm still supposed to be pregnant. Secondly, all the struggles you're enduring and will continue to in the coming months. You are so strong and feisty. When you were on your tummy today, you totally pushed yourself up, not bad for 37 gestational weeks. You may be one tough cookie, but it has been so hard to be strong for you. Many days I'm totally fine, but those days where I sit by your bedside for hours when you can't get comfortable, you're working so hard to breath or being pricked multiple times for an IV are the absolute worst. I really can't think of anything worse than watching you be in pain when there's nothing I can do about it, not even something simple like picking you up and rocking you. Daily, I see families leaving the hospital with their new baby and just hope that we'll eventually get that day. You're hanging in there, and making progress, but it's going to be a slow road that I'm working as hard as possible to be patient for.  For now, I'll savor the time I get to hold you (which I think you like too) and the rare moments when you open both eyes. You have George's mouth but otherwise look very much like William. Despite all your puffiness from the excess fluid, you still have skinny Geilhufe legs. You have dark brown hair, and lots of it (so soft!), which is unfortunately quite matted at this point (the nurse called it curly but I had to correct her... you have gone your entire life without a bath or shampooed hair). Eye color is too tough to tell at this point but definitely more brown than anything else. Your eye lashes are growing in nicely too. Your nails are long despite reading in a preemie book that often early babies will come out with no nails yet. We haven't gotten an update on your length, and your weight is so skewed with the excess fluid, but I think they're still using a dry weight (so an estimated weight excluding the fluid) of a little less than 7lbs. It's pretty funny, I think you're the only baby in NICU who they want to lose weight (fluid). It's been quite an eventful month and I'm praying that you'll do lots of growing and healing before your 2-month update. You are so loved, but I can't wait until the day I can really give you a tight squeeze without all those wires and tubes. We love you!!!

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