Helena is still doing well. The only real hiccup we've had is that at her surgical follow-up we discovered she wasn't gaining enough weight. Because of her heart defect and the shunt, her body is working a lot harder than a normal baby's and so she's burning through calories much faster than a normal baby would. She was already on fortified formula (we have our own special Helena recipe for mixing up the Similac) to get extra calories, and when we learned that she hadn't gained weight in like two weeks (but she also hadn't lost, so that was good) we upped the calories on the mixture. So we're rocking 27 calorie per ounce formula and it's working because she's been gaining weight daily since we made the switch (we also are now those people with a baby scale and are weighing her daily per the doctor's instructions). She's tolerating the new mixture and now she's growing which is great.
We worked with her cardiac nurse to try to wean her off the NG tube but she wasn't having it, so we just adjusted her feeds so that now she's eating every four hours instead of every three which is so much better for those of us who have to feed her.
We've been just hanging out at home and adjusting to our new normal. My Husband returned to work (boooooooo!) so My Guys and I have been home with Helena ourselves during the week now. They adore their sister and are so happy to help and try to calm her down when she cries and are just in love with her.
My Big Guy talking to Helena
We did have a fun adventure where Dr. Mommy and Dr. Daddy had to put in a new NG tube for her. I had put Helena in her bathtub on the kitchen table and was just finishing up her bath when her brothers came home. They hadn't seen me bathe her yet and were super excited to see what was going on. So I let them pour a bit of water on her tummy and wash her feetsies and then I said it was time to take her out. I had cleverly draped the feeding tube over the side of the tub so it wasn't sitting in the icky bath water. As I lift the squirming, wet, slippery baby out of the tub My Little Guy leans over to see better and leans right on the NG tube hanging off to the side. It snagged just enough to loosen the tape on her cheek. I yelled out "Noooooo!" and tried to grab it to hold it in place, but you know, I was also holding the naked, squirmy, slippery baby who was now crying because she was out of the tub and cold and so I couldn't. Helena sensed that the tube was loose and made a weird snorting noise sending it flying, covered in snot out of her nose. That was that.
On the plus side, we did get some adorable shots of her without anything on her face (it was one of only a handful of times even we have seen her without anything on her face!).
And Dr. Mommy was awesome and inserted the tube on the first try. Both Helena and I were super excited about that.
I've also started to dabble in babywearing. Helena LOVES to be held and snuggled which is delightful, but at the same time Mommy has shit to do. As much as I'd love to just lay on the couch snuggling her and watching HGTV I can't. I was going to investigate wraps and carriers (the Baby Bjorn was a disaster with My Guys that ended with all of being super hot and sweaty and miserable and a donation to Goodwill) when my nextdoor neighbor came over with a wrap/carrier thing and said it was her favorite when her kids were infants and she gave it to me. So far so good, as evidenced by this super flattering pic of me this morning enjoying my coffee while Helena sleeps nestled up in there.
So that's going well. I'm going to show My Husband how to wear her so he can enjoy the snuggles and freedom too.
That's pretty much it. We have our slew of doctor's appointments set up and we'll just keep doing what we're doing since it seems to be working for all of us.