This morning when we got to the NICU we found Alicia with her head half hanging out of her bed. We didn't need to look but half a second to know what probably happened. Alicia's gained a lot of strength lately, and she's gotten even more active than before. For some reason, she likes dig her feet into her bed, straighten her legs and raise her behind up in the air. Every time she does that she ends up scooting her body half an inch forward. Well, she does that enough and eventually her head will end up off the front edge of her bed. And that's exactly what happened this morning - twice!
What we saw when we arrived at the NICU with her head half off the bed, was actually the second time she'd made it that far forward. The other time she actually got her whole head off the bed. Unfortunately the "mattress" she's resting on is slightly raised so when she got herself pushed too forward her head fell forward and she hit the top of her head on the floor of her incubator. Poor girl. The nurse said that she started wailing when that happened. I would start wailing too.
Speaking of wailing, now that she's got the vent tube out, I finally got the chance to hear her cry. It's such a sweet cry and the nurse tells us her cries are getting stronger. That's good . . . right? =) I have to say though, gone are the days of quiet Alicia resting quietly in her bed. She is quite feisty and active. She fights her ventilator, she pulls at her feeding tube, and I already told you about the scooting. Man, she's getting to be a handful. =) Which is actually a great thing. It means she's getting bigger and stronger.
About a month ago, I gave the nurses a book so that they could stamp Alicia's foot and hands once a week so we can have a record of her growth. Well, the cute nurses decided to turn that book into a little "journal" "progress report". When I opened the book this morning we saw two notes left by the nurses.
In one note, the nurse told about how Alicia's switched over to the nose cannula, but she doesn't seem to like it any better than the endo tube. The nurse says that Alicia has already broken a few cannulas in half already in her efforts to get it out of her nose. She's also pulled out her feeding tube. Man. Watch out. This girl is a fighter. =)
In another note, the nurse, Ting Ting, told us about Alicia's poopsplosion. Some of you may have already read about this on my Facebook Wall. But apparently Alicia has some powerful bowel movements. Quite a few times over the past weeks the nurses will come over to us and report on Alicia's . . . "activities." They'll tell us, "Mom and Dad, Alicia pooped on me today!" or "Mom and Dad, Alicia can really poop!" Well, one morning this past week, I called the NICU and the first thing the nurse told me was, "Dad! This morning when I was changing her diaper, Alicia pooped all over me and all over her incubator!" I just had to laugh. This morning in Alicia's diary, the nurse gave a full report of the incident. Apparently the poop got all over the incubator, leaked onto some of the wires, and all over the nurses hand. And it filled the NICU with the wonderful fragrance of sour milk. Haha. I laughed out loud as Linda read me what the nurse wrote, especially at the part when the nurse asked Linda, "Mommy, what are you eating?" Haha.
Our little girl. Getting so big. =) The amazing thing is that while she is getting quite plump, she's still quite light. But that's OK. She's picking up weight steadily. =) She's up to 1380 grams today. That's about 3.04 pounds! She's doubled her birthweight and more. And thankfully because of all the weight gain, she's getting stronger and breathing better and better.
Last week, I told you all that she got switched from the endo tube to the nasal cannula. Today when we arrived at the NICU we saw that they had switched her over to a thinner nasal cannula. The original cannula was bigger and still gave Alicia some pressure as she inhaled. This would help to keep her lungs inflated. The thinner cannula only provides a steady stream of air. There is no extra pressure to push the air into her body, so she's got to breathe all on her own. They haven't permanently switched Alicia over to this smaller cannula yet. But they do let her try for a few hours every day. It's a way to train her and help her to get used to breathing more and more on her own. Progress friends. Progress.
Also, this past weekend there was some things that I had to adjust to. Previously during my visits with Alicia, I got used to needing to check the monitors every few minutes to see if her blood oxygen levels were up to par. Well, when I first got back this weekend, I kept checking the monitors, but really there was nothing to check. Alicia's now breathing so steadily that her blood oxygen levels stayed consistently at 100%. Every once in awhile when she got tense it would drop to about high 80s, but then it'd go right back up. While it felt weird to not have to check the monitors every 5 seconds, it also brought me a lot of joy to see how well she's doing. =)
Keep praying friends! Alicia's really getting bigger and stronger! =) And it's really good to see. She'll be home in no time, I believe it.
Pray that she'll continue to take in enough calories so that she can keep growing. Pray that she can continue to breathe better and better. Pray that she'll rest when she can and not be overly active or anxious. Pray that she'll stop fighting the cannula and just focus on breathing so she can get the cannulas permanently removed. Pray for her muscle development and motor skills. Doctors say that she still has the gaps along her motor cortex, so they fear that she may have some muscle development problems. But they've got a physical therapist coming in to check on her every once in awhile to keep up with her progress. So far the PT says that Alicia is OK. She does have some stiffness in the muscles along the left side of her body. But they believe with some therapy it should be OK. But pray that she will develop completely healthily and normally. Her eyes have recovered well after surgery. She's still got some abnormal growth, but the doctor believes that as long as they don't get worse, they'll disappear on their own as she gets older. We pray for that. =)
Thanks for your prayers friends. I believe we've gotten over a huge hump in Alicia's development and I definitely believe Alicia will be home with us sooner rather than later.
Praise the Lord!