Here is an update on Baby Molly....
Molly Kathryn Mueller is still holding her own, and fairly well, I might add. She is now 3 weeks old (yesterday). She's up to 2 lbs., 10.4 oz., and we are thrilled with her weight gain. We plan on throwing a party when she gets to 3 lbs.! She is eating 22 ml of milk every three hours now. Because of how fast she was able to increase her feedings, she has been weaned off of her IV fluids. We were thrilled to see her left hand and forearm without an IV...so cute!! And we're thankful that she is tolerating her feedings well enough to get rid of the extra fluids.
Molly loves her pacifier, so they've started dipping it in her milk while she is getting her feeding (through her feeding tube). It's so cute--she totally loves that milk directly in her mouth!! She goes to town on her paci--fast enough that it squeaks. They gave her 3 ml from a bottle the other night, and she did well. Food is not an issue for her, which means she fits right into this family. :-)
Two days ago, we met with an occupational therapist and learned how to do preemie infant massage, and Molly seemed to enjoy it. She was calm while I worked on her head, back, shoulders, arms, and legs. The OT did a great job of encouraging and teaching. It was a neat experience. The point of this is to teach preemies positive touch. A lot of times, the touches that preemies feel are when the nurses are sticking them for blood, putting in IV lines, etc., so touch isn't always a good thing in their experience. Besides being held, infant massage is a good way to introduce positive touch. I'm pretty sure she loved it because she was relaxed and sleepy all afternoon.
We helped give Molly a head-to-toe bath the other night, including washing her wild, dark hair. She did great, didn't cry or anything. They bring a scale in and cover it with a blanket. They put little Molly on there--she looks super-teeny with nothing on--and weigh her. Then, we get a tub of warm water and washcloths and slowly and gently get her clean. She was wide awake, just looking up at us with her big dark-blue eyes.
Molly's oxygen saturation level has been pretty good...there have been some "episodes" where she gets down too low and the nurses have to turn up her oxygen intake. These are so scary...of course, the monitor goes off and makes a horrible beep, and you can tell that she has to work harder to breathe. She usually recovers quickly, and sometimes even before the nurse can come in to turn up her air...then we sigh in relief and get our own breathing back to normal.
They are still trying to get Molly used to keeping herself warm enough for an open crib. Right now, her Isolette/incubator is set on 28.5 degrees C...to put it in perspective, an open crib would usually be 26 to 27 degrees C, so she's not requiring much help at all. They are hopeful that she will get a crib soon. That would be so nice, but I know it's important to keep her warm, so we'll see how she does.
We are still spending most of the day with her. I'm usually there around 9 in the morning and stay for the "work day" until 5:30 or 6 or so. Garrick is back to work, though they are trying hard to be flexible. He is able to break away for longer lunch hours and/or sometimes leaves a bit early in the afternoons to be with Molly. Grandparents are helping us "babysit" some mornings and also in the evenings, which has been such a huge help. We get to hold her just about all we want now since her body temp. is better...we just have to keep her swaddled in blankets.
I know all of this sounds so good, and it is. We are so proud of our little fighter--she is a joy!! The hard part still remains that there is no way to know how long Molly will be with us. Each day we come away feeling so positive--that's just what Molly does to you--she is a little bundle of hope wrapped up in a less than 3-lb. package. Every day is a gift, just like she is, and we enjoy it to the fullest.
Continue to pray for our strength--we are both admittedly exhausted in about every way possible (but Molly is worth it!). And, of course, continue to pray for Molly and her health. We can't thank you all enough for your support.
Please keep the Mueller family in your prayers.