Together, Jon and I spent 7 hours with Baby Tess today. The doctors put her status up to "on demand" for feedings. She gets as much breast milk as she wants, anytime that she wants. I slammed milk down that hungry baby all day. She's up to drinking 1 ounce every 3 hours, which is awesome. That is just about a normal feeding schedule for her age and weight.
The doctor even gave me permission to alternate bottle feedings with actual breastfeeding sessions. Tess and I tried this afternoon and it didn't work. I told myself not to get discouraged, however. I'm sure once we get her eating regularly and actually "hungry" between feedings, she'll be more willing to work a little bit harder for her dinner. One thing at a time.
She looks so much more like a normal baby. The crazy IV is off of her head. The yucky NG tube is out of her nose. Right now, she's a regular baby who just has one IV in her foot and some heart monitors on her chest.
Because Tess didn't look "all scary" today, Hannah wanted to hold her baby Sister. They looked so cute together.
Tess has recovered enough to start to be a demanding, normal newborn. (One of the sad things about the NICU is most babies are so sick they don't cry. NICU babies are almost completely silent and still. So a robust newborn doing normal newborn stuff is totally unusual.)
Tess is now making lots of friends with the nursing staff. Each nurse only has two babies per 12 hour shift. But if Tess' nurse is busy with her other charge, another nurse will have to help entertain our demanding Tess. Three nurses told me today that Tess will cry just to get someone in the room with her. She doesn't need a diaper change, or her pacifier. As soon as a face appears over her crib railing, she's totally happy. The nurses have concluded that our Tess just wants company! I laughed and said that sounded like a fourth child, a baby who never wants to be left alone for long.
We are still waiting for the "big poop." I'm not going to feel completely easy about the success of her surgery until that happens.
Meanwhile, it's awesome to watch all the kind nurses cheering to get Tess out of their NICU and into our home.