Alicia is growing like a champ. She was 1900 grams (4 lbs. 3 oz.) today. And that was after having a 40 gram poopie diaper. Amazing. This is good. This means that she's packing on the meat. Hallelujah.
Another 300 grams and she'll be qualified to be discharged. Go, Alica, you can do it! Of course, discharge is also contingent on a few other issues as well. First, we've got to get her out of the incubator. She's actually technically big enough to shed this plastic shell that's been protecting her for three months. At our hospital once a kid is 1800 grams and steady, then they usually take them out of the box. But, lately there's been a lot of sick babies in the Sick Baby Room (well, duh), but what I mean is that there are a lot of infections flying around, so for her protection doctors have decided it best to keep her in the incubator for a bit longer.
Once she's out of the incubator, Linda and I will start getting some training on how to take care of her once she's at home. Things like bathing, feeding, CPR, etc... Also, Alicia it's ideal if she can eat on her own. Lately, she hasn't been able to take much in by mouth. Probably once again due to the fact that she's adjusting to her new environment.
Step by step we go. Part of me doesn't want to rush her out of the incubator, because once she's out, she'll have to start wearing clothes. And once they put her in clothes, we won't be able to do Kangaroo Care at the hospital anymore. On the flip side, if she never gets out of the incubator, we won't be able to start doing the training and she'll never come home. Also, once she's out, we can hold her whenever we go to visit, and it'll no longer just be two hands through the portholes.
The good news is that Alicia is toward the front of the SBR where they keep the more healthy and steady babies. When we were in the NICU, we were towards the back, that's where they keep the most special needs kids. We were told today that our section of the SBR is considered, "heaven" by the nurses, and the back? Well, that's "hell." I thought it was an interesting choice of words, but basically gives an idea of the struggles some of the other kids might be going through.
Guess it makes sense, you don't want parents and visitors of healthy babies needing to walk through and see all the struggling kids in order to get to their children.
So on the one hand, my heart is at ease knowing that our little Alicia is doing well. =) She really is beautiful friends. I can't wait for you to meet her. On the other hand, my heart aches and wonders at what the other parents are going through with their children.
The nurses really are kept busy in the SBR. The other day I wrote that there were 50 beds in the SBR, actually I think it's closer to 60 beds. And each nurse is in charge of 6 children. Our day nurse today really had her hands full after we finished our Kangaroo Care. No sooner had she put Alicia back into her incubator, when one after the other, the babies started crying for their milk, it was crazy. =)
Definitely understand why this is a "step-down" unit. There was no way that Alicia could have gotten the care that she needed a few weeks ago, in this place. For the most part, kids here are OK, and just awaiting discharge.
We're getting close friends. Babies are going home all around us. Soon, it will be our turn. But before we go, I found out today that we'll have to take a test to make sure that we're fit caretakers of Alicia. =) If only, every parent had to do that before they got to take their kid home. =) haha.