Monday, August 8, 2011

Week Five

This Friday Lillian turned five weeks old.[1] She's made some more progress:
  • She's up to 6 pounds 5 ounces and 19 inches long, which means…
  • She's stopped wearing preemie clothes and preemie diapers and moved on to newborn sizes
  • They've stopped giving her protein supplement [2]
We're still 'feeding' her three times a day. I put it in quotes because once or twice each day she refuses to wake up and eat. We pester her in all kinds of ways to get her to wake up, but she wants nothing to do with it. She'll fuss as long as we're bothering her, but as soon as we stop she falls right back asleep.

WARNING: If you are bothered by pictures of rashes or of infants in intensive care, you probably shouldn't read on.

Not only have we seen the completion of five weeks, but Lilli's one-month 'birthday' was this week. To celebrate Leann dressed Lillian up in some purple clothes given to us by our friends, Destin and Autumn Christiansen. Leann also put a purple headband on her that she made herself. Once Lilli was dressed, we propped her up in the Boppy, and had a little photo shoot. Lilli slept through the whole thing.

This was a week of complications for the parents. I started getting a rash on my hands from the hand sanitizer they have us apply three times [3] before entering the NICU. So now they just have me wash my hands with an antibacterial soap [4] and hot water.

Leann also had a health issue—hayfever. Though, when it started manifesting, we weren't sure whether it was allergies or a cold, so she stayed away from the hospital for two days. I was still able to go in, so I took lots of videos for Leann so she wouldn't miss her baby as much.[5] On the first day of Leann's absence they moved us again. This time we stayed in the same room but moved over by the window. It's brighter over there and sometimes Lilli would rather look at what's going on out the window (nothing) than eat. Eventually we decided that Leann's symptoms coincided with a recent uptick in grass pollen. But that was two days where Lilli didn't breastfeed, so we're still at three times a day.

This week we added a couple new ambulances to our sighting list: American Fork city and the Lone Peak Fire District (which covers Alpine, Highland, and Cedar Hills). Also, last time I forgot to mention that in Lilli's second week of life we saw an infant arrive via LifeFlight. We're not sure where the baby was coming from, but the LifeFlight NICU apparatus looked like a suspended animation pod from some sci-fi movie. This week we saw them getting it ready to go out and pick up another infant. Hopefully everything went okay (and is still going okay) for that family.

I'm surprised at the range of expression that Lilli already has. Her smiles are involuntary (and only happen in her sleep), but everything else seems deliberate, though we're not always sure what the faces mean. I've already said (last time) that when she yawns sometimes she reminds me of Yoda or the aliens on Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Well, I have a few more to add to the list: sometimes when she yawns she looks like the face of Voldemort on the back of Professor Quirrell's head on Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone. Other times she looks like Squirt, the baby sea turtle on Finding Nemo.

I kind of wonder if she'll have any suppressed memories of her time in the NICU—especially since I'm always dangling a camera over her face. Perhaps someday these memories will return to her while under deep hypnosis and she'll (mistakenly) realize that she was once… [6]

As long as I'm talking about things that technically happened during week 4, I'll mention that one of Lilli's nurses inked Lilli's limbs and made handprints and footprints for us. She also made molds of Lilli's hands and used them to cast some plaster of Paris.

Every so often we find a little gift left on Lilli's bassinet from the Common Bonds [7], a support group for parents with babies in the NICU. If I remember correctly, one of the times they gave us a newborn-sized onesie. This time they left a little scrapbook for Lillian. They spelled her name wrong (not a big deal—she's going to have to deal with that all her life), but that's not hard to fix. And given Leann's fondness for birding, they made a good choice with the cover art. Besides bring us presents, they also organize a pizza night on Tuesdays (we've been once) and scrapbooking on Thursdays (we still haven't made it).

In the elevators we take up to the NICU [8] there is a sign explaining how to recognize the symptoms when someone is having a stroke. The second step is to have the person raise both arms parallel with the ground. If they're having a stroke, they'll be unable to hold up both arms (i.e. the arm on the side with the embolism/thrombosis/hemorrhage will droop). Some clever individual saw this for what it truly was and wrote, "Brains!" next to the picture of the woman with uneven, outstretched arms. (You may have to click on the picture to be able to see this.)

Last week I noticed that near the south entrance to Labor and Delivery at UVRMC there are a few banana trees.[9] Around one of them is tied a string. And on that string dangles a fake monkey. Leann sometimes likes to pretend that Lilli is a pygmy marmoset (because she's so tiny and cute).

Put 'em up, you little Crook![10]

I know that last time I predicted that we'd seen the end of Lilli's lilies, but they just keep on coming! This time some white ones bloomed.


[1] For more about her unexpected arrival, see here. For week one milestones, etc., see here. For week two milestones, etc., see here. For week three milestones, etc., see here. For week four milestones, etc., see here.

[2] The protein supplement, called Beneprotein, had the unfortunate side effect of making her a little constipated, which we suspect was negatively impacting her ability to nurse.

[3] Once all the way up to the elbow of the left arm, once all the way up to the elbow of the right arm, and once more on the hands up to the wrists. The brand name of the hand sanitizer is Avagard (made by 3M) and has two active ingredients: chlorhexidine gluconate and ethyl alcohol.

[4] Most likely the active ingredient is Triclosan.

[5] In one of the videos you can hear a baby crying in the background. He looked like his parents were probably from one of the Polynesian islands. His name was Titan. And he deserved it. He was seriously the biggest newborn I've ever seen. Easily three times as large as Lillian.

[6] Actually, I suspect that people who, while under hypnosis, recall being kidnapped by aliens and experimented upon are actually recalling a bad visit to the dentist. Think about it. They're lying on their backs, humanoid beings with strange appearances lean over them, stick them with needles, and embed a mysterious substance in their bodies (teeth). All the ingredients are there, just waiting for the hypnotist to bring them all out in the right order and without key details to indicate the true nature of the encounter.

[7] If you're curious, you can see their blog here.

[8] We actually noticed this when Leann was first admitted to the hospital, but I haven't thought about bringing it up until now.

[9] How they keep them alive during the winter I can only guess.

[10] To learn about the origins of our last name, see my post What's in a Name?


  1. Yay! I'm glad to see Lillian thriving. :-)

  2. Oops! I forgot to mention that I removed the sound from the second to last video because something private was said in the background. This is what I said:

    "What is that, honey?" (referring to the camera dangling over her)

    "It looks like an alien probe!"

    "Oh, no! You've been kidnapped by aliens!"