That is how long we've been in the NICU. 8 long weeks of traveling back and forth to the hospital every day. 8 long weeks of seeing my baby x-rayed, tested, stuck with needles, connected to countless tubes and wires, and forced to deal with conditions that she shouldn't have to be dealing with yet. 8 long weeks of listening to monitors going off and checking to see if it's my baby causing the noise. 8 long weeks of medical lingo and learning how to care for a 29 week preemie. 8 long weeks of an emotional roller coaster, watching my baby mostly thrive, and watching her struggle at times.
We're finally nearing the end of our NICU stay. We know that, and are looking forward to it. Judith's still doing everything she needs to for discharge - it's the antibiotics that still hold us back.
She's up to 5 lbs 1 oz, and continues to gain weight well. She's outgrown 2 of her preemie sleepers, not so much in weight, but in length. I'm amazed at the variance in preemie sized clothing, even among the same brand. And honestly, it kind of makes me a little sad that she's already outgrown those outfits. I'm realizing how fast she's already growing, and I know it will only continue. But I've made a promise to myself that I'm going to enjoy every moment of her infant years as I can, because before I know it she'll be in preschool, then kindergarten, and so forth.
Our journey is just beginning, and in the next week the path will begin to change. Discharge is going to be a significant change for all of us, and it's going to take a while to get used to. Both John & I are relieved to see an end to the constant running to the hospital, but we also know that we'll be hit with a different kind of exhaustion once she's home. We're working on getting the house in shape again (somehow things turned into a giant mess in the past week - yikes!), and I'm trying to plan out when to start sterilizing bottles and whatnot. I'm planning out how many outfits to take to the hospital so I don't have to worry about doing laundry more than once next week (some newborn sizes will have to be included since I'm now 2 outfits short in the lineup). At the hospital, and once the antibiotics are finished, Judith will have her list of "to-do's" before she can come home: she needs to pass her car seat test (I'm sure that won't be a problem), get her Hepatitis B and Synagis (RSV) shots, and have her hearing test. That's quite a lot to accomplish, but at least we have a week to get it done!