I know that many have questions about sweet Maisie. Since I cannot answer them all directly, I will try to put pertinent information here every time I have a few minutes in front of my computer. Please ask any questions you have in the comments or on the Facebook post and I will try to get to them as soon as is possible. Thanks!
So here is the skinny:
We found out about sweet Maisie when she was 4 days old and had only a few minutes to decide whether or not we wanted to move forward. We discussed it and decided to take the next step… and then we waited. It was 2 agonizing days before we knew that the wheels had begun turning and we were invited to fly out to meet her. It was still not a sure thing as there were a few complications in the mix but we simply took a leap of faith.
Additionally, we needed to ensure that Eamonn would be well taken care of while we went back and forth to the hospital. My mom stepped up and offered to fly to meet us and stay until Maisie can go home. (Bless you mom!)
Maisie was born at 31-32 weeks (unsure dates), with some respiratory distress which resolved within a day. By day 2 she was breathing on her own with no assistance. Due to the respiratory distress however, she had been transferred to a hospital with a higher level of NICU care.
Maisie is in NICU (Level 2) in the Shands Hospital in Gainesville, Florida. She is in an isolette right now preserving her energy for growing instead of keeping herself warm. They started her on formula initially and she seemed to tolerate it well for the first couple of days and then it was clear that her little belly was not actually doing as well as hoped. They checked her out (ultrasound) and there were no abdominal abnormalities. The team decided to give her IV nutrition for 7-8 days and let her little belly another week to acclimatize to the outside world before starting food again. We arrived on day 2 of NPO (no nutrition by mouth). That worked in our favor as it allowed us to let everyone know that I wished to offer her breast milk and breastfeed when she was strong enough. Since there are so few adoptive mothers who breastfeed, there were no policies or protocols in place, so it actually took them 4-5 days to discuss it with everyone and figure out what to do in this very unusual situation. The day before Maisie was due to resume feeds, I received a phone call from the resident letting me know that everything was good to go.
Maisie seems to be tolerating the breast milk very well and is even learning to breastfeed. She still has a long way to go before we will be headed back to Santa Cruz but she is working hard at eating and growing. Last night she finally had a bowel movement, so we know that all is moving through her system now.
Maisie’s next hurdle is to gain enough weight so that she can maintain her temperature and we can transition her out of the isolette and into a crib.
Then it will be to simply grow.