We have a little piglet on our hands! We went to her checkup today and she is now 7 pounds, 8 ounces! So she gained nearly a pound in two weeks which is great for a preemie. We suspected she was going through a growth spurt because her six hours of sleeping a night have now gone back down to three hours. A big bummer, but at least it is for a good cause.
More exciting news...Her doctor said we could turn her oxygen down even more and in two weeks he wants me to turn it off completely and see how she does. If she can handle it for a week then he will remove it completely. She probably will keep her apnea monitor for a while but one less thing to worry about is nice.
Over the past month we have noticed that one side of her head is flatter than the others. It is most likely because in the NICU she was always in her crib and always facing the same direction. Now she only wants to turn her head one way, which is frustrating because that makes it worse! He said a helmet could be in order which, of course, I want to avoid at all costs. I just can't take any more equipment! But good news is that he said while she has the monitor I can put her to sleep on her stomach, which can help reduce the flat head thing. She doesn't like it at first but once she is asleep she sleeps soundly on her stomach.
I love her doctor. He is so calm and answers all of my questions. When I was waiting to make my appointment and was looking at the office bulletin board with photos of all the babies he has cared for over the years, he walked up and started telling me some of their amazing stories. Some of the babies who were born weighing 500 grams were now healthy toddlers. Another boy, who was born at 25 weeks and had a level four brain bleed, is now doing so well. He said, "this is why I do what I do." It was so touching, but then again anything makes me cry these days! Hopefully one day we can send him a photo of Maggie all grown up and he can tell people about how she beat all the odds, too.
Everything went so well at her appointment. That is until we left. Getting into the elevator I ran into another NICU family whose baby girl was next to Maggie for a few weeks. They are so sweet and as we were catching up she asked to see Maggie. I, of course, happily obliged and pulled off the blanket covering her carrier so she could take a peek. And then before I could look up the mother reached down and started stroking Maggie's face! It happened so fast and I was so completely stunned that I didn't even say anything. Not only would I never do that to a normal newborn, but a preemie who is so vulnerable? Come on. And the crazy thing is that she has a preemie herself! But it was quick and harmless so I tried to let it go. But then she proceeded to tell me that they had just been in the hospital because her baby just had RSV! I mean, seriously, are you kidding me?
As soon as they walked away I broke out the disinfectant wet wipes and started rubbing Maggie down. Then I got in the car and just started sobbing. Here I am trying to do everything I can to keep her well - not allowing a lot of visitors, taking Mary Lawrence away from all of her friends - and then something so stupid like this happens. I think I was mostly angry at myself. I thought after all I have been through I would have grown a little bit more gumption. .Why did I hesitate to say anything to them? I don't think I could have prevented it but I should have said something! I think I am way too worried about hurting people's feelings or offending anyone. Seriously, what is wrong with me?
I am still so upset with myself. But as one of my friends reminded me recently, I can protect her the best I know how, but in the end it comes down to doing what we did before - which is praying that God will protect her and keep her healthy and safe. You think the strong lesson I learned about entrusting our children's lives to God would have stuck, but it obviously hasn't! Sometimes it's easier to cover our children with worry than it is to cover them with prayer. But I am going to try and focus on doing the latter. Praying that Maggie can be healthy and I can be a bit more fiesty!