Everyday lives of the Meabon Household

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Emily Post Would Be So Proud

It’s Sunday and our Little Piglet has continued to eat and eat. As of last night’s unwrapped weigh in, Harper came in at a whopping 7 lbs .03 oz! Grow, Harpy, grow! Jared and I were so excited to hear that she jumped into the 7 lb range that we gave each other a celebratory fist bump last night when we got the good news over the phone with her night nurse. Harper is currently allowed to eat as much or as little as she wants since they are trying to get her use to feedings but her appetite is continuing to increase and she’s taking up to 75 cc’s during many of her feedings. We think her little cheeks are starting to fill out and before too long, she’ll be sure to have those baby fat rings – you know, the ones where it looks like the baby has rubber bands around their arms and legs.

But with the healthy appetite comes other challenges. Emily Post would be proud of our girl since she’s ever so shy to let out a burp. The challenge lies in a few areas, most of all that it’s pretty difficult to burp a baby that can’t be thrown over your shoulder, must stay with her belly facing upwards and has dressing that you try not to jostle too much while burping her. Upward-Facing Back Pat, Upright Circular Rub, Side-lying Chest Thumps, Cranial Rub Down – sound like yoga moves, don’t they? No, they’re just my own personal baby burping techniques. It can take up to 10 minutes to try to get her to burp and the result has been some uncomfortable spit up moments after many feeds. And when I say uncomfortable, I think it’s mainly for her parents, not for Harper. I’ve never felt so incompetent and trying to get that child to let a belch loose has me feeling like I’m trying to ride a bicycle to the moon.

Our other fun challenge has been Harper’s peeing habits. Because of her size, Harper is still in “N” diapers which are for babies below 10 lbs. Unfortunately, due to her wrap, the diapers can’t sit high enough on her backside. With the smaller diapers, she constantly has a little plumber’s crack sticking out. The result - we are finding that urine is leaking out of her diaper and ending up all over her bedding, leaking on to her gauze and also getting on anyone holding her. We’ve had to now attach a piece of plastic to her backside with skin tape and move up to the “1” diapers for 10lbs babies. So now Harper has a plastic cape hanging out of her oversized diapers – certainly a new fashion statement for all babies to come!

I think it’s the job of every parent to embarrass their children throughout their lives. I can remember when my dad would drop my best friend, Stephanie, and me off at school throughout both elementary and middle school. He would roll down the window as we were approaching our friends and yell at the top of his lungs, “Don’t kiss any boys today!” Well, Harper, welcome to the club. Yes, your mother is now publicly posting about your bodily functions. I love you and I apologize but I guess I’m just giving you an early start. And I’m sure this won’t be the last of those embarrassing moments.

We’ve been lucky this week to have had a rotation of some of our favorite night nurses – Jennifer, Amy and Melanie. This has saved us hours of sleep. When we come home from the hospital for the night, we feel much more comfortable calling to check in with the nurses we know and trust to take care of our sweet girl, rather than having to trek up to the hospital night after night to introduce ourselves to a new nurse. We’re still working on Harper’s primary team and trying to get a few more nurses added to our preferred list for both day and night but we’re hopeful that we’ll soon be off of meeting new nurses and only working with nurses we’ve requested for her primary team.

Lastly for Harper updates, our word for the day will be epithelialize.
Epithelialize - wound healing, or wound repair, is an intricate process in which the skin repairs itself after injury.
Can you please use the word in a sentence?
We are waiting for Harper’s omphalocele to epithelialize before we can take her home.
We hear this word over and over, day after day, since it’s our first big milestone to reach. Ever heard the expression watching paint dry? Well, want to know something slower than watching paint dry? How about watching skin grow? I stare down that omphalocele day after day, chanting “epithelialize, epithelialize, epithelialize”. We’re starting to see some small flickers of epithelialization but this skin growing thing is going to take some time and, until then, off to the NICU we go!

As far and Jared and I are concerned, we’re both hanging in there. My mom pointed out that she can really tell the difference in my voice and my spirits on wrapped days and unwrapped days. As I’ve mentioned before, wrapped days are days we get to hold our baby and it’s amazing what a high this can put me on. Jared and I have good days and bad days but we’re really trying to make sure that we’re on the same page through this journey. We’ve learned in the two and a half short weeks how important the constant communication is and are really making an effort to be overly cautious about this. Yes, we can both get testy, especially when it comes to being at the hospital and walking into unfamiliar or uncomfortable territory but we’re trying to be quick to acknowledge our shortness and quick to apologize. One of the best and worst things we heard from our neonatologist early on was how many NICU marriages he’s seen end in divorce. While it’s scary to hear, I also am glad that we are aware of this and that we are making a conscious effort, every day, to not be part of this statistic. Dr. Kenton said to make sure that we have a life outside of the hospital, both individually and as a couple. He encouraged us to do things to add some normalcy into our lives. We made today a shorter day, leaving the hospital around 2pm and had a movie date. It was nice to be able to slip into some popcorn and a Coke Icee and drift off into movie land for a couple of hours. When the lights came on and the movie was over, it was hard not to let feelings of guilt slip up for taking a little personal time but I have to remind myself that Harper needs a strong family to come home to – she needs parents who love each other and are able to get through the rough patches in life.

As for specific prayer requests, I ask that you keep Harper’s growth and her continued progress in your prayers. But I also have a few other requests tonight – my sorority sister Judy Beasley, whose husband Keith suffered an accident last year –please keep the Beasley family, the Foster family and Judy, Keith and their son Brooks in your prayers; Baby Lincoln and his parents, Elisabeth and Tendai, who are doing a great job of taking care of their little boy but feeling weary from the road they are on; Baby Fiona whose parents are preparing for her O repair surgery within the next month; Baby Colin and Baby Tobias who’s moms are preparing for O journeys of their own over the next couple of months; and Parker Arviso and his parents, Lindsey and Kris, who was hospitalized this week with ompholitis.

Love to you all,



stephanie said...

My other personal favorite was the duck call whistle your dad used to do out the window on the way to school! I think I also remember him yelling, "Did you forget your deodorant??" in front of boys as we'd get out of the car. Glad Harper is being brought right into the family tradition of parent embarassment and may she have some little friend one day to endure it all with her:)

We love the updates and keep sending shout outs and prayers into the hot African air for our little love Harper and her superhero parents!

love you guys,

CaroM said...

My prayer this week for Harper will also include your chanting “epithelialize, epithelialize, epithelialize”!. I'm so glad she is doing well and continues to grow and thrive!
She is awesome, as well as her mommy and daddy!!
Thanks for keeping Tobias in your prayers too!

Elisabeth said...

I'm jealous, you have just as many primaries as us and we've been here almost 6 weeks. At least we've gotten to test out everyone and I know who I want when we go to level 2. I'm happy for y'all though. I broke down after 2 weeks and 18 different nurses...

Harper is adorable as ever and funny our nurse tonight, her last name is harper and i thought of your little one.

Thanks for adding us on your prayer list! We send much love and prayers your way too!

Anonymous said...

Those all sound like teasing Jack Swallow comments! Shame on him for terrorizing you in middle school. Such a tender age for all of us. You will have some interesting pics for Harper's future husband. I love all of her hats! Hope you are getting some sleep! :)
love, Jill Nall

boo and stacy said...

What I love so much about your blog Brooke is thinking about Miss Harper growing up being able to read about every detail of her life as a baby. The out pouring of love and prayers for her that she will get to read about. She will have only a scar on her belly but gosh what the family went through for that little scar. Can you feel the love Harps?

Glad you two went to a movie! Never feel guilty for working on your marriage girlfriend! Remember its you two (and God) against the world, then comes Harper! AND this always gets me......God loves Harper more than you do. If you can even wrap your minds around that!!

We are a prayin' sista!!!!

Georgia said...

Harper is such a precious special baby and she is so blessed for the parents and the family that God gave her.