|Camille isn't quite in this baby's league, but she is at least starting to look almost normal.|
Saying that Baby Camille is getting fat is a slight exaggeration. She gained two ounces in a day. I think it was all the strawberry waffles her mother ate. Her mother doesn't eat whipped cream, so she didn't have the added fat, but she had two waffles with strawberries, which may have translated into high-calorie milk for Camille.
In any event, Baby Camille Catherine weighs 5 lbs., 2 oz. When she puts on two more ounces, she can eat every ninety minutes instead of every hour on the hour. That seems like a small step, but to her parents, who take care of most of the feedings, it's huge. Then once she reaches 6 pounds, if jaundice is gone, the interval between feedings can be lengthened to every two hours, and if she sleeps through one night feeding, they can let her.
Jillian is eating as much as she can to produce plenty of milk and to make it rich in fat and nutrients. Jillian has lost all her baby weight and is fighting to keep at her normal weight because she burns up so many calories by nursing. She'll only have to produce milk for another six weeks or so, although her doctor said if her CF symptoms hold off as well as they have been and if she can keep her weight up, she can continue a little longer. Breastfeeding is healthful for both babies and mothers.
If the breastfeeding becomes too much of a strain on Jillian's body, she can slow or stop. There's a three week supply in storage, and two aunts who are still lactating are storing extra milk for her as well. At the rate she is going, this baby will be in a good position to audition for a fat baby in a circus before long, though she's still quite scrawny at the moment. It's been very interesting to watch her come out small, then drop almost to a scary level, then slowly but steadily grow both taller and fuller.
What's weird to me is to think of how much smaller I was than she was when I was born. My mom and dad both say that I was 2 lbs, 2 oz. My mom remembers being told, and my dad actually observed the weighing-in process. For some reason it was recorded as 2 lbs., 4 ox., but my parents are both sure it was 2-2, not 2-4, and I trust their memories. Regardles, 2-4, 2-2, it's still very small. I think my very lowest weight was one pound, thirteen ounces, and I wasn't there for long. I was on some sort of constant food drip into mt stomach, which Camille would have probably needed if she'd lost much more weight. My dad said I was considered healthy, though, and that my lungs were strong and my survival was never in doubt. I was the loudest crier in the NICU and considered the healthiest baby in there even though there were larger babies in there at the time.
Baby Camille seemed so tiny at 3-13, and then down to 3-3, while I was only about 2/3 her size. I must have looked a bit strange. I was classified as a micro-preemie even though my gestational age wasn't clearly established. My birth weight may have been due to insufficient placental nutrition. Sometimes with twins, one baby gets a better placenta and the bulk of the nutrients, while the other baby is stuck with what's left over. Matthew was the hog, and I had to scramble for the little food left.
My dad, and even my mom to some degree, say I was quite cute, especially for a baby so small. They say that other people visiting the NICU would sometimes comment on it. The people, visiting other babies, would pause at my incubator and say, "This one's almost cute." It was so nice of the people, and it seemed to happen consistently, to insert the almost. I couldn't merely be "cute," or "kind of cute," or "a little bit cute." I had to be "almost cute." i'm glad I cannot remember it, because if I could, my feelings would probably be hurt. Since I can't remember it, I can just marvel at the rudeness of people.
Regardless, at least I wasn't so appearance-challenged that any nurses made barfing gestures when they looked at me, which happened with poor Camille. She's catching up in cuteness, however. I'm just waiting until she gets to the "really pretty'' stage, which she'll almost for sure reach considering what her parents look like, and probably pretty soon.
I know the name of the nurse who made the barfing gesture. I will take a photo of Camille in all her cuteness and send it to that witch. I'll include a message that she only wishes she could produce a baby even half as pretty as Camille. I'll sign my own name to it so that the parents don't get the blame, though there's nothing illegal in my sending the picture and message to the nurse. Furthermore, no litigation is being pursued -- the hospital agreed to pay the costs of all the transfers in exchange for no legal action on the part of Camille's parents -- so my communication to the nurse won't some how throw a wrench in any legal actions.
Chances are that Scott and Jillian will never know it happened, but I'll know and the nurse will know. If she has any sense of propriety whatsoever, she won't show it to any colleagues, because it will only make her look worse than she already looks, if possible. If she does show it to someone, however, I don't care. I would NEVER work in any capacity in any hospital that allows its nursing staff to get away with such unprofessional and cruel behavior. I won't be applying for an internship or residency there.
My textbooks for the next quarter arrived. i opened them and scanned the chapters. Tomorrow I'll actually start reading them in my spare time. I have lots of doctors around off whom I can bounce ideas and to whom I can ask questions if there's something unclear in my readings. Some of my peers would consider it a waste of vacation time, but it will make the next quarter infinitely less stressful.
I hear the baby crying. If I hurry, i can grab a bottle of breast milk from the fridge and heat it and let her parents sleep. Around here, one has to move really quickly to get a chance to feed the baby even at 3:00 a.m.