Before panicking after reading the title, I offer a caution: no, Judith does not have ROP. In fact, the opposite is true. My little sweet pea had her follow-up ROP eye exam this morning, and she has made progress! Last Friday, they performed the first exam and found that she had Stage 1 ROP in Zone 3 (meaning: the vessels in her eye, specifically the retinal area, didn't have a chance to grow into their proper place; most of the vessels were present, but short and underdeveloped, and they were through almost all of the eye except for the outermost perimeter). Today the results were great - there was barely a visible line in her eye that didn't have vessels in it, an improvement from last week! So now her eyes are just immature, and the vessels need a couple more weeks to finish their growth. They'll do another follow-up in 2 weeks, either in the hospital if she hasn't been discharged or as an outpatient if she has been discharged.
And speaking of, I'm daring to get my hopes up that my baby will be home with us in another couple weeks. She's doing so well, and is doing everything they would expect a preemie to do. We're still having a few issues with bottle feeding - she doesn't always take the entire bottle, and still has a few small problems with the suck/swallow/breathe reflex - but that will come with time. I have a feeling that, within the next week, something will just click in her brain and things will really start to come together. Her temperature control's getting much better though! Since she's up to 1670 g (or 3 lbs. 11 oz.), she's very close to the point where they will start to wean her down to room temperature more quickly. Her isolette temp was 29.0 degrees celsius last night, but her nurse was going to lower it again if her temperatures were still stable at noon today (not sure if that happened yet, but I will find out later!). The nurses and my favorite nurse practitioner said that, once the temperature weaning begins, they can have her down to room temp quickly. That means we can then graduate to an open crib! We might be in the open crib for a while, but that's ok - it'll be a lot easier to change her, bathe her, and pick her up to hold her. And we won't have to try to do so many things through the portholes anymore (if you've never had to do this, let me tell you how much of a pain it can be, especially with a squirming 34 week adjusted baby)!
In other news, I went out and got our car seat the other day. I took it out of the box, and the dogs promptly sniffed it an proceeded to deposit hairs all over the dang thing. I started reading the user manual today, and had a 45 minute adventure of adjusting the straps to the approximate places. Everything has to be in the smallest holes (that's pretty much a given), and the only thing I have to wait to adjust is the tightness/length of the harness straps. Lady seems to think that she needs a car seat of her own now - she kept looking at it like she wanted to go for a ride.
I think they're starting to figure out who Judith really is. I often let them sniff her outfits that I bring home to wash, and they're showing a bit more interest in them than before - I brought home the blankets we used for Kangaroo care, and even let them sniff her first hats from when she was born (Lady assumed that Judith's hat was a toy for her and batted at it). I know they could sense that I wasn't pregnant anymore, but I really believe that they were confused as to why we didn't bring the baby home.
I know they'll be fine with Judith, and I don't have very many concerns. The 2 that I do have: 1. they'll want to jump up like they always do, and I'm afraid they'll scratch her by accident; and 2. they'll want to lick/kiss her. On the face. Especially Lady, because she likes to give kisses the most. And Lady is "self-cleaning" (gross factor, skip to next sentence if you are squeamish: Lady likes to eat poop). The kissing thing is going to be interesting for the first few days.