Kaitlyn is doing very well. It seems like every morning when we get to the hospital she has learned something new. She is no longer in the incubator, because she is able to hold her temperature. Once in a while she'll have a day where she is quite drowsy, but most days she seems more and more alert. After losing a little weight, yesterday she finally started gaining, and is now slightly up from her birth weight. She now weighs a hefty 5 lb 3 oz, and counting. They now have her eating 45 ml (1 1/2 oz) at each feeding. She tolerates it well, but occasionally has trouble staying awake for the whole feeding. They put an NG tube from her nose to her stomach to finish off all of the feedings that she is not able to complete on her own (which at this point is all of them). Yesterday she did drink 35 ml from the bottle, which is the most she has done on her own. Her back is healing amazingly; you can see in the last two pictures below that her skin has almost healed entirely. The second-to-last picture is the day after she was born; the white areas are the gaps where the skin had not quite closed yet over the skin patch, and as you can see in the last picture taken yesterday, our little Wolverine has incredible healing powers. Cathing is going well. It is now very easy for us to insert, and we're glad that it has not been difficult to learn. Her leg movement is still great for how high her lesion level is. When we place her on her tummy, she is almost able to push up onto her knees. Her head size is at the 50th percentile for her age, and no one has noticed anything that would make them think she might need a shunt soon. She will have an MRI tomorrow, and that should tell us quite a bit about what is going on in that cute little head of hers. Quick warning: I'm going to go into a little bit of diaper talk, so feel free to skip over this next part. One thing the nurses told us is that most myelomeningocele babies tend to constantly dribble their bowel movements out, because there is not much sphincter control. So, they typically have a terrible diaper rash. But Kaitlyn seems to have some control, because her diapers are not always dirty, and she has not developed a diaper rash at all yet. This may not seem terribly exciting to most of you, but we are thrilled that her little bum is not sore yet. So, there you go. The latest on our little cutie pie. We love holding and cuddling her, and can't wait until she's well enough to come home with us.
Kendall's parents were able to come up last week, and spent a lot of time in the NICU with Kaitlyn. It was great to have them, and we're so glad they got to meet her before we took her halfway across the country. Damon and Audrey are still in Hurricane with Grandma and Grandpa Ferrin, enjoying all the great family and cousin time. Damon told me that I "better gotta watch the mouse movie (Stuart Little) when we get back to our house." I can't even begin to tell you how happy it will be to be together as a family back in our own home. I am so excited to see how the kids do with Kaitlyn, and to be able to care for and pick up my children. That was really tough when they were staying here, because I could not lift them, or hold them like I wanted to.
I was looking back at the posts we had written after the prenatal surgery, and I cannot believe the difference between that one and the c-section. Night and day. I guess not having had a caesarian before, I thought that the fetal surgery was not too different, but hindsight certainly tells me otherwise. I am really fortunate to have healed wonderfully from the c-section, and out of necessity, am already walking about 1 1/2 miles a day to and from the hospital on no pain meds. I am absolutely astounded that I feel so good. It was a long and hard pregnancy, and it is wonderful to have her out and not in.
So all in all, things are going great. Kaitlyn is on a good track to be released at the end of the week, if nothing goes wrong, and we are getting closer and closer to the end of this road and the beginning of a new one. We're so grateful for all of the prayers and service we've recieved and we can't wait to see all of our friends in Houston again.