We have no substantive updates for you, so I’m just going to overload you with cute. We brought some blankies from home, so now BabyBug has spruced up her crib. Get it? Her crib?
BabyBug lost a whole ounce today but hopefully she will bounce back tomorrow. No real update today other than that; just posting so you know we haven’t forgotten you. Cousin Beth brought Mama Lisa a juicer today (THANK YOU!), and Mama Lisa was up late making a giant mess in the kitchen. So no pictures tonight. I’ll be a better blogger tomorrow!!!
We had a nice chill day in the NICU today. Uncle Ralph stopped by this afternoon after shlepping Mama Lisa around town on a couple of errands. After Uncle Ralph left, one of my childhood friends came by to meet Leah. She brought along a little collection taken up by one of her freshman high school classes as well as some cards that the kids made. How sweet is that? The cards were really cute and totally made our day. Leah has so many cheerleaders! Thanks, kids and teacher! Later in the evening another friend stopped by the house to bring Mandy some food and visit for a little bit. Yay! Thanks, friend! More visitors tomorrow; BabyBug will see her Gran in the daytime and her cousins at night!
BTW, can I just take a moment to thank folks again? I can’t say enough times how much we appreciate your support and generosity and general awesomeness. And your blog comments. They make us smile. So thank you!
Photo taken by my old friend. We think she looks like she’s talking on the phone. Or possibly contemplating deep (but not profound) thoughts. Sorry – that’s an inside joke. If you got it, you’re probably getting ready to throw things at me.
I was supposed to post these photos from Mandy’s brother Bryan’s family visit on Saturday but shirked my updatey responsibilities because toeses and feetses happened. The last picture cracks me up because Mandy and Savannah are giving radiant smiles and Leah is like, “I WILL NOT BE UPSTAGED!”
That’s right – I’m a dad! ‘Cause while the state of California has evolved enough to allow for parental gender flexibility on the birth certificate, apparently Kaiser has not. I told one of the NICU doctors about this back when Leah was first born and since then, when I see him he jokingly calls me “Mom, or should I say Dad?” Today he wished me a happy Father’s Day. Hehe.
Leah is 4 lbs 14 oz today. We went home for a few hours this morning to visit the cats and the farm, and when I held Leah this afternoon I told her all about our visit, and how her brothers Lobo and Jeepers BOTH escaped from the house today, and how her sister S’mores was so trusting when I called her this afternoon and looked so betrayed when I took the opportunity to apply flea medication to her shoulder blades… and how I spent a good several minutes apologizing and trying to get her to come back to me afterward. But I told Leah not to worry – S’mores finally forgave me and we’re friends again. I also told Leah how I picked zucchini and blueberries and blackberries and strawberries and how we have peppers and tomatoes and eggplant and apples and persimmons and raspberries coming in. She seems to take well to the listing of things. Maybe it’s a baby thing – when you list things you tend to use the same inflection on each item. I’ll have to keep that in mind.
Did I say 4 lbs 12 oz? Make that 4 lbs 13 oz! I just spoke with the NICU nurse (yes, sometimes we call in the middle of the night) and Leah gained over 30 grams at tonight’s weighing! And that was after a huge poopy diaper! (You’re welcome!)
In other news… I’m fairly certain the reason babies start off so small is to give their parents’ muscles time to work up to heavier weights. After hauling 9.5-month-old baby Ry Ry around in the Ergo yesterday I have aches in muscles I forgot I had. I’m sure one day I’ll be able to bench-press a toddler, but in the mean time I guess we should appreciate that Leah is lighter than any of our cats at the moment.
Warning: Severe Geekery Ahead.
To be precise, our fattest cat, Jeepers Creepers, weighs roughly 5.44 newborn BabyBugs (at her birth weight of 3 lbs 5 oz). Lobo is more lean – maybe just over 3 newborn BabyBugs. Which is to say that even at her present weight, it would take roughly 5.82 BabyBugs to balance the scales with our two indoor cats. S’mores (a.k.a. “Farm Cat”) doesn’t stick around long enough for weighing. She’s smart like that.
I would also like to state for the record that when we were discussing trying out Z’s Baby Ergo (several months ago, long before Leah was born), my first thought was that it would be hilarious if we stuck a cat in the Ergo to approximate the weight of a baby. Then Z and Mandy pointed out that we could just use Baby Ry Ry to approximate the weight of a baby. “Oh yeah, huh.” It was kind of disappointing.
…but when I don’t post everybody says, “Where’s our update??” so I figure I should write something in here. 🙂
Leah is 4 lbs 12 oz today. While I was holding her this afternoon she was suuuuper fussy. We tried everything (except feeding, which we can’t do on demand) – the nurse changed her diaper while I held her, we vented her g-tube, suctioned her nose and mouth (oh, she was not happy with that), and still she was fussy. Ultimately it took a whole lot of rocking and singing to calm her down, though she started fussing every time I stopped singing. Have you ever had to sing non-stop? You think you know a ton of songs but when it comes down to it, you start running out sooner than you would think. I went through my entire repertoire of soft, melodic Shabbat songs and other songs sung round the campfire at summer Jew-camp (as well as my one Yiddish folk song), moved on to humming the tunes to my favorite soft, melodic Israeli folk dances, to which I don’t know the words, and then started on Indigo Girls songs (yes, the soft and melodic ones), at which point I was joined in harmony by Mandy, who by that time had returned from snack-time in the waiting room. Yeah. We kept the kid asleep for a good while with this method. We might have to make a recording of mama-song, because if it takes that much singing to keep her asleep, we’re gonna wear out our voices within a week of bringing her home!
But really, I love it.
Leah had her echocardiogram this morning and the holes in her heart have neither grown nor shrunk. The cardiologist who read the echo also suggested that Leah’s pulmonary valve looks small, but Leah’s doctor suspects what the cardio might be seeing is excess blood from the holes flowing through a normal-sized valve; she thinks it just looks proportionally small because of the excess blood. They will keep an eye on it either way. We’re relieved that the holes have not grown, but would have liked to hear better news about shrinkage. But I guess we’ll take what we can get. The docs started Leah on Lasix and her breathing rate has already improved a bit. She definitely seemed a bit more calm today – or at least less agitated.
Not too many pictures today as I spent half of the day holding Leah and most of the other half out in the NICU waiting room with a loaner baby while my BFF Auntie Z visited with Mandy and LeahBug. Baby Ry Ry (a.k.a. the monster truck baby) and I had a good time in the waiting room. We chilled, took selfies on my iPhone, watched “The People’s Court,” played “no, you can’t have my glasses,” and took a nap. Well, Ry took a nap. I tormented my back learning how to use a Baby Ergo. It was good times. When Mandy came out so I could have my turn visiting with Auntie Z and Leah, I set him down on the seat next to Mandy and he got a giant grin on his face, as if to say, “Hey, I know YOU!” He loves Mandy. Well, he loves both of us… but Mandy smells like milk.
Our sweet baby girl was a little fussbudget today. I don’t blame her – she was a gassy little mess and was having trouble pooping most of the day (hey – you come to a blog about a baby, you get a blog about a baby), so her tummy was hurting and distended and she was making little straining faces and turning red all day. Someday she will hate me for this post.
We did get a chance to talk to the doctor today. They are going to start Leah on Lasix to help her with her breathing, and they will do another echocardiogram tomorrow instead of next week to check on the holes in her heart. Here’s hoping they haven’t gotten any bigger!!!!
On the bright side, today baby Leah got a visit from her cousin Kim, who was sick for several weeks (i.e. in exile from the NICU) and therefore hadn’t seen Leah since before Mandy was released from the hospital. Cousin Kim used to babysit me and bring me to class when she was in college and I was a teeny tiny infant, and I used to babysit her kids when they were tiny – and for that matter, Kim’s mom used to babysit my dad when HE was little, and I’m pretty sure my dad used to babysit Kim… You see where this is going. Anyway, Leah and Kim had a lovely reunion and Kim was very impressed at how much Leah has grown, even though she’s still a wee bug.
The maternity floor is a rough floor to be on. It’s an odd mix of anxious families waiting for the birth of a new addition, glowing new parents wheeling around massive displays of balloons and flowers as they pack up and take their little ones home, sobbing, helpless mothers and fathers consoling each other in every language you can imagine, and exhausted new parents who have long since recovered from birth but still come back to the hospital day after day because they left something important behind when they walked out the day before. And since it’s all on the same floor, somehow we often all wind up in the same waiting room. Awkward.