Friday, December 11, 2009

The third time really is a charm!

Evany is 11 days old today. Or, I should say, she will be eleven days old at 9:22 tonight. Her gestational age is 34 weeks 1 day. She is the same age as Seth was when he was born, and she is a week younger than Jace was when he was born. This NICU stay, my third, has been dramatically different than my first two with Vivi's big brothers. Mostly because it hasn't been dramatic at all, other than her actual birth. Instead, we've all been shocked at how she has thrived with very few setbacks or issues.

She was born and had amazingly high APGAR scores considering she had just been in serious distress in utero and was fighting an infection. Within moments of her birth, she was already surprising everyone.

She came out crying and she never needed a single breath of oxygen, even though an X-Ray showed that her lungs were most definitely immature.

When she was a day old, she insisted on eating even though everyone said she probably wouldn't be able to drink from a bottle and that she might not be able to digest the food properly.

On her second day of life, the doctor sent off a spinal fluid sample, concerned that Evany could have meningitis because of some test results they had received. What came back, though, was a whole lot of nothing. In fact, the infection that was deemed "very serious" from the cultures the day before was already responding to the antibiotics she was receiving.

When she was three days old. she received a feeding tube. Most babies at her gestational age grow too tired to take all their feedings by mouth, and everyone thought she'd need it. But Evany decided she wasn't cool with that and she wasn't tired at all, so she pulled it right out, and ate well enough to keep it out. I was also able to nurse her for the first time on day 3, and she latched perfectly from the get go, even though she was supposed to be too young. Her neonatologist said that on paper she was a very sick baby, but that Evany had apparently not gotten that message.

At four days of age, Evany was supposed to receive a PICC Line, since was on high levels of fluids and antibiotics and her IV's weren't lasting long at all. There was no one on staff to do it that day, so it got put off. By the time someone came in who could do the line, she had begun eating so much and her IV fluids had decreased so much that she no longer needed the PICC line!

When Evany was five days old, she decided that taking the normally accepted two weeks or so to regain her birth weight was silly, and she hit the magic number on day 5.

On Evany's sixth day of life, she started dressing up in adorable outfits and we prepared for her to be moved out of the incubator. She was nursing for more than half her feedings at this point, and taking a bottle for the rest.

When she was seven days old, Evany had a cranial ultrasound to check for the brain bleeds and bruising that are all too common with premature babies. But not for her! Everything was completely clear. She had a short setback moving into an open crib, but on the second try she "passed" and waved goodbye to the incubator for good!

At eight days of age, Evany got kicked out of her private room....and she moved in with me! At this point, she began exclusively nursing.

She wasn't content to stop there, though. When Evany was nine days old, she passed her car seat study without a single dip in her oxygen levels.

On her tenth day of life, Evany passed her hearing screen and let me know I would need to start working on getting the kids to learn to be quiet at naptime, which I've never had to do before. Her doctor asked me if I was positive about my dates as she acted so much older than she was. (Yes, I'm 100% sure.)

Today, on December 11th, Evany is 11 days old. Did you know that 11 is my very favorite number? Every day, Evany has made amazing progress. It would take a lot to top everything she's already done, but people...she's done it.

Today, Evany is coming home.

You can tell me this is all good luck, that everything just happened to fall into place, but I don't believe it. There is no way all this progress is a coincidence, that my daughter is coming home at just 34 weeks gestational age when we were told to expect to spend Christmas at the hospital, when just 11 nights ago I thought she might not make it at all. It's a miracle to me that tonight, we'll be celebrating Evany's 11 day birthday at home, with all of my kids under the same roof.

God is so good, and every single prayer that has gone up in Evany and our family's honor is so appreciated. Personally, I think that her big brother Eli could have had a little something to do with this, too.

We're going home!
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