We've been home for almost a full week. Today is day 6, and I think we're actually starting to adjust to life with a preemie at home. Judith's original due date is exactly a week away, and by this point it's very possible that she could've already been born. Especially since my blood pressures were an issue from the start of the second trimester. Do I still have some regrets that I couldn't keep Judith inside me where she belonged for a longer time? Yeah. Would I change the path set out for us? Never. The whole experience is not something I would wish on anybody, but I really think it's made us stronger having to go through it.
Today's the first day that I've really had a moment to sit down and update things. Not that anything super exciting has happened - I live in a world of changing diapers, bottle prep, and pumping. We had 1 outing this week, the only outing allowed right now: we were at the pediatrician on Monday. Judith gained only an ounce from her final NICU weigh-in (she's 5 lbs 10 oz). That's not bad, but not great either. We were having a heck of a time getting her to eat even her minimum amount the first couple of days, but she adjusted sometime Sunday night or Monday and has been eating relatively well since. We have to have a follow-up appointment to check her weight gain, making sure it's adequate, and she'll also get her 2 month shots at that time. I'm really hoping that she doesn't get super cranky from them, because she's been sleeping pretty well between feedings at night. I hope I didn't just jinx that though.....
The dogs are doing fine, but are acting like they're attention-starved. That is certainly not the case, but if you asked them they would show you otherwise. Lady's still somewhat indifferent to Judith's presence, but she's showing some signs that she's warming up to her more: she will come over to her and sniff her occasionally when she makes a noise, and likes to sit beside me when I give Judith a bottle. Buster's funny though - we all kind of thought he might have the harder time adjusting because of his sensitive nature and how much he dislikes change. But he's the one that's become Judith's keeper and buddy! He always wants to sniff her, he checks on her constantly, and will sometimes push Lady out of the way so he can sit next to me while I feed Judith. I'm glad that my dad was here the last 2 days to help out, because the doggies got a little extra attention.
I've come to a roadblock in the feeding process though. On Monday the mastitis flared up again. I don't think it was completely gone from the last time (partially my fault - I missed some doses of the antibiotic while running back and forth to the hospital). I'm glad I didn't have to go into the germy doctor's office though - she was able to phone in a prescription for me, and I went and got it right away so I could start that night. Things are easing up, and they're not as sore right now. But I'm also being really diligent about taking the antibiotics as prescribed so I can get this cleared up. I absolutely hate taking antibiotics anymore, and try to avoid them as much as possible, mostly out of a paranoia of all the "superbugs" out there. Normally I'd try to get rid of this through an alternative method and just riding it out, but since it's a bacterial infection it won't go away without help. Anyway, back to the feeding thing. I put a lot of thought into it, and I've come to the decision that I'm going to start weaning off of the pump once the mastitis is under control. I personally can't go on like this, and the thought of an abscess really skeeves me out (not to mention the thought of constantly using antibiotics and having to go to the doctor). I feel like I can't enjoy my time with Judith, and it makes it very difficult to go anywhere. So you can say a small factor in my decision is convenience. But the major factor is health related: we have so many appointments for Judith, and that means I usually can't stick to my regular pumping schedule. That's how I ended up with it the first time, and I think that was another factor into the resurgence. I have enough of a freezer stash to last us at least a good 6 weeks, if not longer (one benefit to her not eating as much the first few weeks in the NICU). So she'll have received my milk for at least 3.5 months before being switched to formula. I'm honestly proud of myself for making it this far - had Judith been born at term, I would've formula fed anyway. But as a preemie, she needed my milk, and I'm glad that I could do it for as long as I could to give her that added boost. I feel comfortable with my decision, though, and in the end I'm sure she will still turn into a great person.