5 weeks + a couple days
It looks like Babies R Us exploded and everything ended up in my dining room.
HA! But seriously...
Saturday was my baby shower. It was beautiful and lovely and my family and best friend worked very hard to put it together for me and I completely appreciate it. We got a lot of wonderful things, which will be very helpful when Kaia comes home. In case you are wondering, I did not read out my post from a couple of days ago, but I did make a slide show of pictures from Kaia's life so far. I think it showed nicely how adorable she is and how big she's gotten, but also the struggles she has had. I included a picture of her intubated, pictures of her with her CPAP on, pictures of her with her nasal prongs and pictures of her in her harness. I hope it helped people to understand that while she's a 'real baby' she's also had quite a few challenges in her short life.
Some people just didn't get it though. A few out of town relatives were asking could they come visit her? Um...no. First of all, I feel like I hardly get to spend enough time with her even though I'm at the hospital twice a day. A 'regular' new mom would probably spend 23 1/2 hours a day with her new baby. I maybe get 4. I don't really want to spend the precious time that I have with her sharing it with relatives beyond immediate family or extremly close friends (and even those people I like to keep visits short). Secondly, when I'm with her, I'm usually there for feeding time. Since we are new at this and Kaia is still not a 'pop on the boob' kind of baby...I don't really want an audience. I think I will eventually get to the point where I can breastfeed in front of people, but we aren't there yet. Third, the NICU is small and crowded and already over stimulating enough. Kaia doesn't need extra people fussing around her, trying to touch her (GERMS!!!) or talking loudly. I hope this came across after they watched the slide show...but maybe not.
Aidan was only mentioned once by a particularly sensitive aunt. That was tough, as I felt the memory of him all around. The anniversary of his due date was yesterday, and here I was two days before that celebrating the birth of his sister. Had things gone differently, it would have been me throwing the party for my one year old son. At one point when opening gifts I looked around at the sea of pink and thought 'I should have been doing this last year...and instead I would have had a sea of blue'. It was an odd feeling. I am thrilled that people love Kaia so much, and are happy for us, but I feel cheated on Aidan's behalf. He should have been 'showered' with love too.
Kaia has made some progress in the last couple of days in that she is off oxygen for the most part. She's still wearing the nasal prongs but only room air (21% oxygen) is coming out of it at 25 mls a minute (why she needs this to help prevent her from desatting is beyond me...it's literally the same air that you and I are breathing being blown up her nose!!!). She still drops her sats into the 80s when bearing down (and it's super obvious when she's doing this as her face goes TOMATO red), but she seems better at recovering on her own. I wish she was more alert and active for feeds, but she's still only able to orally feed a few times a day. She's just too tired to do it all the time.
I've also discovered one of the favourite things people like to tell you when you have a new baby is "time goes by so fast!!! You blink and they have grown up!" Um...really? Cuz I'm feeling like this last 5 weeks have gone by SO SLOWLY!!! Like progress is inching along. I will WELCOME the day when Kaia is the size of a full term baby and can do full term baby things. At this point it still seems hard to imagine that one day it will FINALLY be time for her to come home. I can't believe it's still almost 3 weeks away from Kaia's due date. Honestly...never say "time flies" to an NICU mom. For her, time is dragging.