October 1, 2015 | 5:17 AM | 5 lbs 2 oz | 18 inches long

Day 1:
Reece shocked everyone with her size and how well she looks for being 33 weeks.  
Her apgar score was 8/9.
Reece has been breathing fine without any oxygen however she was breathing faster than she should so she was placed on a vapo machine to help keep her lungs inflated some so she doesn't have to work so hard.  Her sugar levels were low but were easily fixed within a few hours after birth.  

Day 2:
We took our first nap together.  I got to hold Reece skin to skin for 2 hours!  
Still on vapo machine.
Minor jaundice so she lays on a light therapy blanket.
She's been fed colostrum on her gums to help coat her tummy for actual feedings.
The girls were able to sneak in the NICU for a few minutes to take a peak at their sister.  Ava does not like hospitals.  She was nervous to even come near me.

Day 3:
I got to hold her again for 2 hours skin to skin!
Vapo levels went down to lowest setting.
Feedings are 6ml every 3 hours
She had two IVs placed
Some struggling with feedings.  She consumes most of her milk from bottle but struggles a bit so a feeding tube was placed to help her get the necessary calories she needs.  Most of her nutrients are from her IV although in efforts to get her to gain weight she needs milk too. 

Day 4:
Off Vapo machine.
I got to change her diaper and feed her from a bottle. 
She is up to 9ml every 3 hours but still has to get half of milk through her feeding tube.
The doctors think she will need IV fluids for another 6 days and therefore she may need a pic line because she lost two IVs on day 3.  
When I was feeding her the doctor was over my shoulder guiding me through signs that she needs a break and helping me to not over stimulate her.  She was so impressed by how well she was doing for being only 33 weeks.  All the nurses that have taken care of her have said she's quite the baby.  Lots of sass already.

Day 5:
We were lucky enough to talk to the NICU doctor just before she left for the day.  She explained to us that Reece will no longer require the IV.  Yah! She is getting enough nutrients from her feedings so the plan is to keep the IV she has for another 1 1/2 days then remove it.  Her feedings got upped again she is now getting 15ml every feeding which they will increase by 3ml every other feeding.  They did run out of breast milk and had to supplement with a few oz of formula.  I brought them plenty to give her through the night and tomorrow until I can go back to see her.  She is eating so much now I'm hoping I can keep my supply up.  I rented a hospital pump and have been getting my 3 hour sessions in.  I see why so many women quit.  Its tough but I'm determined this time to provide her with breast milk until at least 6 months of age.  She went up in weight by 40 grams.
Today Shawn held her for the first time.  I was able to snuggle her for 1 1/2 hours, changed her diaper, and fed her.  We are trying not to get our hopes up but if she continues with this track we'll be bringing her home sooner than expected.  Time will tell.

Day 6:
She is off the lipids and only has small amount left of her TPN and then her IV will not be used. They are going to keep it in place just in case.
She gained 60 grams since yesterday.
The doctors are still impressed with how she is doing.  "She forgets how old she is until it's time to feed" Some of her milk is still going into the feeding tube because she gets so tired with the amounts she is drinking now.
Bilirubin test was done again today and she passed.
I got to feed her again and of course hold her, kiss her forehead and stare at her for a few hours.  It's the best!

Day 7:
As soon as we walked into the nursery and looked over at our angel tears swelled in my eyes.  Every time we get to see her she is making new strides.  Today she graduated to a big girl bed! So proud of you darling baby girl!
Her IV is gone.  She has a few monitors and her feeding tube and that's it!
She gained 60 grams and is just barely above her birth weight.  5.3 lbs
She is now at 37 ml of milk.  45 is the max.  Once she is eating her entire bottle and consistently gaining weight for 48 hours straight then she can come home!
She is maintaining body temp and striving more everyday!
Shawn fed her for the first time today.
Her and I snuggled for awhile kangaroo (skin to skin).  Afterwards we attempted breastfeeding.  She was too tired to stay awake.  She would lay there with it in her mouth.  We would squirt little bits of breast milk from a syringe, she would swallow that and then just lay there.  It was an incredible bond and we're going to try again today.  If she never does latch I'm okay with it as long as she is still getting exclusively breast milk.  It is exhausting pumping every three hours but more so it is rewarding and empowering!  I'm happy to lose sleep for her!

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