Saturday, June 27, 2009

Home at Last

We’ve been living together as a family of three now for an entire week, and I can admit that this is a much harder adjustment than I imagined. All I’ve prayed for over the last four months was for Isabelle to come home with us, safe at last. Now I find myself praying for strength, energy, patience, sleep, etc.

Isabelle is doing well at home. She now weighs 7 pounds 7 ounces – that’s an ounce a day so far. She has also been tolerating even less oxygen than she was getting in the hospital, which we are very excited about. We were taking the cannula completely off of her face, but we decided to just lower the setting gradually and see if that works better. She came home on 1/8 of a liter, and she is currently on 1/16. If she can handle it for a few days, we’ll change it to 1/32, and then hopefully start taking it off throughout the day until she’s ready to fork it over for good.

She did develop a little cough and was wheezing a bit, so we took her to see her pediatrician, and he gave her a breathing treatment. He said her lungs sounded much better after the treatment, so we are giving her breathing treatments at home every 4-6 hours. Hopefully the treatments will do the trick and this won’t develop into anything ugly.

Our only problem has been lack of sleep, which I’m sure is not a surprise to anyone. Isabelle really loves being held, and it may be my fault. Actually, I’m sure it’s my fault. When I visited her daily at the hospital, I would hold her just about the entire time I was there, which was often a good chunk of the day. I missed out on so much time with her, that all I wanted to do was cuddle with her as much as I possibly could. Well, now Izzy wants nothing to do with her bassinet, and the only way we can get her to sleep for any decent length of time is by holding her. We’ll wait until she is sound asleep, then slowly walk over to the bassinet. We try to hold her close to us all the way down to her bed, and slowly move our hands away. She is no fool. She knows she is no longer being held, and within a few minutes, sometimes even seconds, she’s screaming. We can only make so many attempts at this game during the middle of the night before pure exhaustion sets in and we’re sleeping on the couch, holding her on our chest.
We’ve tried everything – white noise, classical music, swaddling, a bouncy/vibrating chair, diaper change, bottle, bath, Mylicon, etc. I’ve read all that I can find online, and the consensus seems to be that newborns shouldn’t be left alone to “cry it out.” As a new mom, I’m a little confused. I’m not supposed to let her cry, and I’m not supposed to bring her into bed with me. So…do I really just sleep on the couch with her on my chest for three-four months? There has to be a better solution. We keep trying to put her down in her bed when she falls asleep, day and night. Tonight, she lasted 45 minutes in her bed before she cried and Daddy picked her up. Seems pathetic, but it's progress...

The one thing that makes all of this okay is that she is here, alive, with us. I feel so guilty even getting frustrated at not getting sleep when I think about all that my poor baby has gone through to get to this point. She is truly a miracle, and I suppose she has earned every bit of spoiling she gets, so until I find something else that works, she will be held.


  1. Hi Isabelle it's Leah, my boyfriend Camron works with your daddy. We are just so happy you are home. Must be a little frustrating for your parents and their lack but they love you very much and will hold you as much as they can. They have God on their side and lots of friends and family love and prayers so you'll always be in good hands. We can't wait to see the day your are big and strong and wearing Texas Tech outfits supporting the Red Raiders!! We'll be following your blog.
    ~Leah & Cam

  2. Hi Isabelle! It's your neighbors from the NICU, William and John-Raven Cobb! Glad to hear you have joined the land of the free by breaking out of the NICU prison. We know you are so glad to be home with your mom and dad. We will have to try to get together to play one day. Be good for your mom and both need lots of sleep. :)

  3. Jen,
    When Hayden was in the NICU, I was holding him one day and whispered to him, "I will never get mad at you no matter what". All of the nurses laughed at me. I totally thought they were crazy, how could I ever get mad at my sweet baby that is connected to every machine in the hospital. I did, and I felt guilty too. But that is what makes us human and good mommys! Your doing a great job and you too will be giving advice to sleepless new parents someday and telling them the same thing. Hang in there! You're doing a great job!!!
    Love you!!! Kerri

  4. I love your new blog. Great first post. You are human and you are doing great! You will survive these hard months and she will sleep on her own some day!

    You may want to try letting her cry for just 15 minutes... maybe you already have? I wouldn't classify that as "crying it out" and maybe she will settle down after a few minutes...?

  5. I went through the same thing with's a HARD transition, being a first time parent. Especially for you guys, BECAUSE of what your baby has gone through. Sleep is a huge issue. Exhaustion is an even bigger problem. My advice is what you need to do to get the rest you need. Release the guilt of "spoiling" her (and of not being able to get anything done!). Sleep when she sleeps, but attempt a regular schedule. And lastly, remember, it won't be forever, even habits they learn young can be undone later. Let us know if you need anything.