Reece is one week old!

Reece is the most amazing baby!  I am definitely obsessed!  Everyday has been easier knowing she's not with us at home.  I thought I would be prepared since we had to do the same with our twins but no one can ever prepare to leave your newborn baby in the care of someone else.  The first few days were the worst, I couldn't go more than 30 minutes without breaking down to cry.  My heart felt empty and literally ached for her.  I know she is where she needs to be and soon she will come home to me and I won't have to miss her anymore.  On a more positive note.  MY BABY BREASTFED!  I can't believe it.  Yesterday the lactation consultant came in the NICU to help me.  She latched and was there for about 30 minutes (most of the time she just laid there, which still helps with stimulation and milk production).  The nurse came in to observe once we were done the rest of her milk was given through her feeding tube.  The nurse for Reece the past few days we really connected with, she's amazing!  Before we left she said "well I'm not sure we'll see each other again I'm not scheduled until next Thursday".  Does she really think my baby will be coming home by next week?  
We came straight home and finally ordered her stroller and car seat.   

I could not be more proud of our angel girl!  I'm getting laundry detergent for her blankets and clothes as she could be coming  home sooner than I prayed for.

Day 9:
We spent several hours snuggling our baby today.  Something about holding her is so relaxing and we can't help but fall asleep.  Today was the first day we felt a let down.  Really for no good reason other than the nurse that she has seems (this may be harsh) lazy!  Yesterday Reece had her entire bottle and breastfed.  Today the nurse said she just doesn't seem interested and only had maybe 6 ml.  Every other nurse that Reece has had really encouraged her and us to challenge her limits (to an extent).  We want her to thrive not just survive.  We'll see how tomorrow goes but I will definitely insist she needs to at least try to nipple her milk prior to giving up and just giving it through her feeding tube.
She did go down 10 grams in weight (which is really nothing).
She is getting bigger I think every time we see her.
Today we brought our boppy pillow.  What a difference!  So much more comfortable trying to nurse her and holding her.  Love that thing!
Reece is our shining light and I never thought I could love someone as much as I do my other daughters but its possible!
She got the cutest Halloween outfit and I'm really hoping I'll be pushing her in her stroller while her sisters go trick or treating.  That would just be amazing!  Time will tell until then we are so proud of our newest angel baby girl.
It's very evident that she is most comfortable in the arms of Mommy or Daddy!

Day 10:
One of biggest things we've learned having a baby in the NICU is what a roller coaster of emotions it can be!
Reece is up in weight by 5 grams.
We attempted to breastfeed again but I've made the decision I want her to get used to nippling her bottle first and once she gets the hang of it then I will start attempting breastfeeding.  She gets so tired with feedings and I feel like I want her to get the most of it with the least amount of work.  Breastfeeding is so much harder for her.
They've added some neosure formula for some added calories.  The goal right now other than getting her feedings down without a tube is gaining weight.
We also learned forcing feedings can increase the chances that your baby will develop an oral aversion, a condition where babies don't like anything in (including a bottle) in their mouths.  The biggest thing we've learned is to let her make the decisions.  It's all up to her!

Day 11:
Today we got to talk with the Doctor and PA.
They explained she is doing great and agreed with us that in the beginning she was thriving so much that we all had high expectations for her.  Now she has slowed her progression down a bit however is still behaving the way they would expect for her gestation age.  We are so proud of every advancement that she makes.  Although we can not wait for her to come home we need to be patient with her and let her decide when that time will be.  They told us that once she gets the suck, swallow, breathe down that she will catch on quickly and soon be ready for home.
Today she is up 45 grams in weight and her feedings are up to 48ml.
She did well for me with her feeding but still needed to put the rest in her feeding tube.  She seems to be a lot more alert when it gets closer to feeding time.
I don't mean to brag but she is the most calm baby in the nursery.  She gets the least attention from the nurses because she is so chill and her monitor isn't going off like all the other babies around her.
Poor girl has more of an upset stomach with the neosure calories they are adding to her breast milk.  But it's a necessary evil.
She also pulled her feeding tube out yesterday and today.  The nurse said soon enough she'll pull it out and they'll leave it out and she'll be on her own for feedings.

She loves to kick around and stretch.  Which isn't surprising as she did the same thing in my belly.

Reece and I had a little chat this morning about her getting her feedings down soon so we can bring her home!  Hope she listened.

Day 12:
Today was the first day Shawn didn't go see our baby girl.  With trying to get back to somewhat of a normal schedule its difficult for us both to go everyday.
Today she got a head ultrasound.  The doctor assured us she doesn't expect to find anything especially because she was born cesarean but they are very thorough.
She is down 5 grams today.
Feedings have improved some but still not where she needs to be to come home.
Pumping is still going great even though I don't have my baby with me.  Unless you've experienced separation you wouldn't understand.  So I'm proud of myself.
As I've mentioned before she is having some high calorie formula added to her milk so she has been making a lot more facial expressions.  They are adorable but at the same time I feel for her because shortly after she gets a big poop or gas.  At least that is all in working order.

Every day at 3 pm volunteers at the hospital bring freshly baked cookies.

Day 13:
Baby girl is up 45 grams.  Seems like every time I see her she getting more chunky.
Today she did so good with her feedings.  She had most of her bottle.  Yah!
We talked to the NNP today and she said its just going to take more time.  She is perfectly healthy she just needs to be more independent with her feedings and not get so tired and sleepy.  (when we brought the girls home that was a struggle so hopefully once Reece is a little more consistent she will be able to come home)  I'm trying my hardest to be patient but I want her home and healthy and our family together so badly.
Head ultrasound results came back normal.
She seems to be a lot more alert now and opens her eyes more and more everyday.

She does not like her arms tucked in her blanket.  She likes to stretch all the time.

Day 14:
Baby girl is really grasping the suck, swallow breathe.
She is nippling more than what is being put in her tube!  Yah!
Once 24 hrs passes that they don't use the tube at all they will remove it!
She's up 30 grams.
The doctor does hear a very slight murmur.  She explained sometimes she can hear and sometimes she can't, so its very faint.  It was explained that its typical in most preemies and that she will likely grow out of it.  If the murmur is still present after 37 weeks then it would be more concerning.
She is at the borderline of needing iron supplement but the doctor doesn't want to change her feedings at all because she is doing so well.  When she leaves the hospital her pediatrician will follow up as needed.  She is also getting Vitamin D which she will likely get for a few months.
She is much more alert before feeding times and even cries sometimes.

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