Monday, March 30, 2009

Still Going Strong

Sorry it has been so long since I have posted... just been a little busy. Everything is going well! Nick has adjusted so well to being at home. He has gotten on a schedule somewhat. He has done well with his bottles and eats well. He wakes up about twice a night, takes a bottle then goes right back to bed. Overall things have been really good. It is definitely the hardest job I have ever had, but so rewarding. I love cuddling with the little man.

Here are a few pictures from the last few days...

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Home Sweet Home

Nick is home! All is great. He did well the last few days, and we got to take him home today. I am so excited, although, I feel like it may be a little surreal. I think I still can't believe he is here. He loved the car ride home. I thought he would be asleep for most of it, but he actually just looked out the window most of the way home.

Once we got home, he has really enjoyed his swing. Especially since he can see the ceiling fan, and look out of the window from his swing. Now he is sound asleep.

Here are a few pictures from the day...

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Fingers Crossed, Prayers Said

They have set a day for Nick to come home! Saturday is the day. He has had the oxygen off for over a week. He has the tube out of his nose since Tuesday. He is taking his bottles and gaining weight. He has had his hearing test (he passed!). His room is ready. Batteries have been put in the swing, bouncy seat, and mobile. So, I am ready... or as ready as you can be. (All of you moms feel free to laugh now.) It is looking good. Of course nothing is a guarantee until he is in the car seat and on his way home.

Some of the nurses have started saying good-bye. They won't be on service tomorrow or Saturday. I have already started getting teary-eyed. Saturday, I should probably bring a whole box of kleenex. They will be good tears though. Tears of happiness, tears of relief, tears of disbelief, that after 3 months and 19 days, I can finally bring my little man home. I still can't believe it, but everyday I get more and more excited. I can't wait.

The next time I write, I hope to have pictures of Nick riding home in his car seat, asleep in his bassinet, and just taking in his new home. Saturday can't get here soon enough!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

A Favor

Nick is doing well. We are actually starting to talk about a possible discharge date. Nothing has been set in stone yet, but we are discussing it. As soon as I know, I will let you all know.

Now, for the reason I am writing today... I have a favor to ask of you all. I know many people read this blog. People I have never even met. It means so much to me that friends of friends of friends read this and keep up with Nick and his progress. I wish that I could thank each of you personally for the wonderful thoughts and well wishes you have sent our way. I would love for Nick to know about all of the people who read the blog and watched him grow and progress while he was in the hospital. I would really appreciate a quick note on the comment page just letting him know who you are, and how you know us... even if you are a friend of a friend of a friend.

Thank you for everything you have done over these last 3 1/2 months. I know that I couldn't have made it through with out so many of you. Each of you have supported me in so many ways, through your thoughts, prayers, and phone calls. I will never be able to repay you all for the support I have received from you over these many months. Thank you.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Changes Good and Bad...

Nick has been doing really well with taking his bottles. They are still giving him a bottle every other feed. He has taken every bottle they have offered him for 2 1/2 days now. He has also been off oxygen since Tuesday. I hadn't wanted to blog about it, because it seems like when ever I do, he ends up going back on. We will see. So far, he has been doing really well with it. His breathing is a little rapid, and his heart rate is a little elevated. He is definitely working hard, but he is doing it. On a really positive side, he seems to be taking the bottle better without the oxygen. So, hopefully, the third try will be the charm for him. The only problem we are seeing right now is his weight. He was 7lb 14 ounces on Wednesday, then Thursday, he dropped to 7 lbs 10 ounces. All the breathing on his own, and bottle taking is using a lot of energy and calories. That might prove to be the thing that prompts the doctor to put him back on oxygen. Last night, he did gain an ounce, and is 7lbs 11 ounces. It is something they are just going to watch closely for the next few days.

Nick had his discharge MRI on Tuesday as well. All babies born before 28 weeks get a MRI before being discharged. They were looking at his brain, making sure there were no more signs of brain bleeds or another disease, the name of which escapes me because it is so long I couldn't even begin to tell you what it is. He does not have the disease. His brain, however, did have a little atrophy. Basically, a portion of his brain is underdeveloped. This is somewhat common in preemies that were born as young and sick as he was. The atrophy portion of his brain is on the left side, in between the two speech areas of the brain. There is no way for anyone to know what kind of affects this will have on Nick in the future. They feel that it is a mild case of atrophy, however, they can not tell me what it might affect on him, or what, if any, problems might arise due to this. The brain was just underdeveloped, and will not be able to catch up. Because he is so young, they do feel that other parts of his brain might just take over the functions that portion should be in control of, and he may be totally fine.
Some of the issues we need to watch out for with this, are problems with gross and fine motor skills, especially on the right side of his body. Issues with cognitive development, especially once he starts school, and speech issues. Just because he has this brain atrophy doesn't mean that he will have issues. If he does, it shouldn't be major, just something that may need a little occupational therapy, or a little extra help in school. Right now, we are hopeful, and praying that he won't have any issues. We always knew this was a good possibility, as with any preemie. Like I said, there is still a good chance that he won't have any issues. It is just something that will be monitored as he starts to reach certain developmental stages.

All in all, we are doing really well. Right now, his nurses have brought in a bouncy, vibrating seat. He loves it! Lately, he really likes to look out in the hall while he is awake. When he is in the vibrating seat, he can see all the fun stuff going on in the hall. His eyes get real big and he just watches everything. I got to take a few photos yesterday. Sorry the paci is covering his face so much, that is also a new favorite thing of his. He is so funny, he holds it while it is in his mouth...

Monday, March 9, 2009

Still Working on Bottles

The doctor decided to try a few new things with Nick to see how he would do with the bottle feeding. They changed him to eating every 4 hours. They are hoping he will wake more hungry and be more interested in taking his bottle. They also are offering him a bottle at every other feed. They will do the tube on the other feeds to give him a rest between taking the bottle. This worked well for a while. He took all his bottles yesterday and last night. Today, he was not all that interested. He is showing positive steps forward. It will just take him a bit because his lungs were so sick. The doctor feels that he just may need a little more time to get this whole bottle thing down.
Everything else is going really well. Still getting big. He seems to have gotten a little bit of a reputation for his chubby cheeks. Nick is now weighing 7lbs 13 oz. He will be 8lbs before I know it.
Here are a few new pictures... Enjoy!

always with the face...
my Uncle Buddy always makes me happy.

I am getting SO BIG!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

We are still working on the bottles. He seems to be able to take more full bottles in a row. After a few, he does get tired and need a break for a while. They are content not to push him too hard right now. They allow him to dictate when he wants to take a bottle and when he doesn't.

Other than that, there isn't much of a change with him. He was circumcised today. He did well with it. Not much discomfort. They gave him a pain blocker for the procedure, and Tylenol for pain the rest of today.

He is still on .75 liters of oxygen. They are hoping to be able to turn him down to .5 before he goes home, but they are waiting for him to get a little better at the bottle feeding before they do that.

Still don't have a definitive timeline of when he will get to come home. I feel like I keep saying 2 or 3 weeks, and that was 2 or 3 weeks ago. I don't think it will be long, but they aren't exactly in a hurry to get him home either. I know he needs to jump a few more hurdles before the time comes for him to go home. I just hope it is soon!

Monday, March 2, 2009

So Big!

Nick is growing at a rate that astounds me everyday. They told me that when he got to be "term", he would pack on the weight, and boy is he. Last night he weighed in at 7lbs 4 oz. I can't believe how big he is. He is going to grow out of his newborn clothes before he even gets home.

The bottles are going better. He still isn't taking every bottle, but he is doing better. It has become more apparent that his lack of taking every bottle has little to do with his ablity and more of him just being stubborn. He can take a bottle, and often does, when he feels up to it. We thought maybe he needed more oxygen, or a rest in between bottles. Nick will take 2-3 in a row, then not take a few. He really likes to exert his will into what he does. That is okay though, his will has carried him this far, who am I to ask him to stop now. When he comes home, I may change my mind on that!