Teeter's Story


Only a couple of days later, we got some very unexpected news - Lizzie was ready to go home. We were really caught off guard - it was still three weeks before her due date, which they had said was the earliest possible date she could go. They said she was ready - but were we? We insisted she be kept on the heart / breathing monitor for at least six months, as she was still having occasional episodes of racing heart. The monitor is a Velcro band which wraps around the chest, holding two sensors in place on the skin. For the next six months, she would wear it 24 hours a day except for bath time. It was sad for us to leave NICU and also scary - neither of us had any experience with babies, let alone a child with such special needs. She still weighed under 5 pounds when we left the hospital with her for home. It was May 22.

We began settling into our routines. Cathie did develop some pretty severe post-partum depression, and it did not really take hold of her until after Lizzie came home. She had swings up, down, back, and forth until August, when Elizabeth had her first cranial surgery. She was frustrated at not being able to breastfeed - her milk was stopping. Nothing seemed to go right some days. I took a lot of time off from work to help out. But our little girl was the center of our lives, and every moment was spent tending to her. We meticulously wrote down how much formula she took at every meal. We got her on a schedule by waking her up at regular intervals to feed her around the clock. We gradually increased the time between meals, then stopped the middle of the night feeds. To this day she sleeps through the night with no problems - usually between 10 and 12 hours! This is the best single advice we could give to any parent - put your baby on a schedule (your schedule!)

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