Friday, December 4, 2009

Home is ...

... where the heart is.

Well, I'm home.  Have been for almost 24 hours now.  The hospital takes its 24-hour discharge policy pretty darn seriously.  And really, I slept better in my own bed than I ever would've there.

But a big chunk of my heart is not here with me.

Charlotte is staying in the NICU for now, and I know it's the best place for her.  She is receiving around-the-clock monitoring and exceptional care.  Wish that made it easier to leave her.  Makes me a little weepy just thinking about it now. 

Knowing her gestational age and small size, I expected a NICU stay.  Most importantly, her symptoms are all typical.  She's healthy but immature.  Her systems - respiratory, digestive, nervous - are being required to take care of a lot of things that my womb should be providing for another 3-4 weeks.

She's still having a tough time regulating body temperature, but the nurses  just moved her from the heated incubator to an open bassinet.  This will give her the chance to provide her own heat ... along with help from three swaddle blankets and the tiniest sleeper I've ever seen.  Hoping for good news tomorrow morning.  The problem is that providing her own heat also uses a lot of calories.

The feeds are getting better (suck, swallow, breath is a tough combination) and she's taking a few more mL each time.  I am doing my best to pump a milk supply into existence.  In the meantime, she's drinking high-caloric formula in order to off-set the calories burned during a feeding - as well as whatever meager amount I pump.  She cannot afford to lose any weight ... so far she's only lost about 2 ounces.

So CJV needs to take in enough calories to gain weight ... but those calories also have to help her stay warm and give her the energy to effectively feed.  Seems like a lot to ask such a sweet, little nugget.

CPV and I visited with her for two hours this morning, and Grammy came back with me during NHV's naptime.  I am trying to maximize my time with each of my girls.  The nurse insisted that I don't come back for a third feeding today.  She wants me to rest, pump every three hours, and "take advantage of the most expensive babysitting money can buy."

Now I am counting the hours until the morning feed when I'll get to hold my baby again.


Margaret said...

She is so cute and so tiny all at the same time!

Jessica said...

I'm sorry you had to leave her in the NICU, but I'm glad the nurse insisted that you rest. You've got fabulous but exhausting days behind and ahead of you. Love the photos of your tiny sweetheart.

Peterson Family said...

You need your rest, Mommy. Try to take it easy whenever you can. Love the pic of you and your new sweetheart! She's so tiny and cute!

SupahMommy said...

She is goinna do such great things D!! Keep your heart up.. before you know it she'll be there with you.

Thank you for the pic.. so many are thinking of you and your new family!! Grow CJV! Get strong!!

Miss. Candy said...


That is so hard, I had to leave my middle one, actually we went to two seperate hospitals.

My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family!!!

BJ_Mama said...

We're praying for you and your little nugget!!!!

Big Mama Cass said...

You are so tough. She is beautiful!! How far along were you?

Oliver'sMom said...

I don't know if this will help with pumping or not, but it took me almost three days of pumping full time (every three hours, day and night) to get where I was getting ounces instead of trickles. It paid off to be diligent with the every three hours thing as when he finally tried eating at 7 days old, my supply was in. Pretty discouraging though for the first two days to only get the trickles of colustrum! Hang in there, it's going to fly by! She's already hitting the bottle though, so she's an advanced little NICU girl, way to go Charlotte!

Janelle said...

Oh Dana... I just want to give you a big hug. You are an awesome mother! We will be sending our thoughts and prayers to you for these next few weeks. Thank you for the updates.

Miss Mel said...

Chris, Maggie, Tucker and I all are thinking/praying and sending good thoughts to the Verhoff family! Charlotte is precious! Congratulations and hang in there! Much love,

Chi-town momma said...

Much love to you, friend. The "emotional rollercoaster" ride is almost coming to end and CJV will be home. Then you can get on the crazy wacked out twister ride called "mothering two children!" Ahh, isn't life a beautiful thing???
This is a fabulous pic. That CPV is getting good with the camera!

Shell said...

She is absolutely darling.

Sending prayers for her,and for you, too.

P.S. where I had my youngest- they had a 36 hour policy- and they meant it!

Laura and Kelly Allen said...

That must be so hard to leave her, but it must feel good to see how well she is doing. Keep it up, little Charlotte. You have a lot of people here wanting you home with mommy, daddy, and big sister.

Epiphius said...

I'll give you a call in the morning, but I have a couple meals to bring your way so it's less for you to deal with this week and some frozen milk if you want it. I'll be up until at least midnight if you want me to bring anything over tonight. Just call.

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