We have settled in to the NICU for the most part. It's weird to not yet be able to schedule around two-hour pumpings and four hour "cares" (diaper change, taking her temp, feeding her a drop of colostrum on a q-tip) - we keep having strange meal times as a result. And strange sleep patterns. But I know that's normal for any new parent.
Ivy has been doing pretty well since her surgery. Yesterday afternoon they took out the breathing tube that was holding her left lung open, which was awesome. But at 3am she needed a cannula. I guess that's normal but it scared me a little. This afternoon her lungs have cleared up pretty well, and she has been coughing and swallowing some of her gunk. Hopefully she will get to lose the cannula tomorrow but we shall see - we are trying to get used to hospital time, which is much slower than the outside world.
So the next step is for her to pass a swallow test on Friday morning. They will inject dye down her esophagus and watch it with an x-ray, and hope that none of it leaks. If it leaks, it's anger surgery to repair the hole in the suture line, and another week of recovery before another swallow test. If it doesn't leak, the fun part starts: she will get her nasal tube out (that's what's keeping us from holding her - if it gets jostled it's bad news) and we will start weaning her off her PICC line and onto breast milk, watching her for acid reflux and regurgitation that is common in TEF babies. Therapists and lactation consultants will help us learn the best way to breastfeed for her condition. But the biggest and most awesome part is that we can HOLD her. I cannot wait.
Yesterday, after the breathing tube was taken out but before the cannula. She's super puffy from all of the IV liquids they'd been putting in; today that swelling has gone way down.
More photos on Flickr of course.