Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Early Bird - Day 17

Here we are at Day 17...sorry its been so long since I posted. Its been more of the same the last week or so. Early Bird has 8 feedings a day and its "doctor's orders" that she "nipple 8 out of 8" so that means...at the appropriate feeding time (every 3 hours) the nurse/parent gives her a bottle (almost all the time containing breastmilk - woo-hoo, my milk has come all the way in.) and then its a numbers game...Early Bird drinks as much of the bottle as she wants (or can possibly stay awake for) and then the rest goes into her tummy through her feeding tube. And until she gets 75% of her total daily calories from those bottle feedings (not what goes in the tube) she can't bust out of the joint.

Its hard for premature babies to get the hang of "suck, swallow, breath". And that's what drinking a bottle is all about. In the womb, babies are developing that reflex right around 35-36 wks, while floating in a bath of amniotic fluid...but with EB having entered the world around 34 wks...she has to learn this skill in a different way (every 3 hours with a latex nipple and breastmilk) and at a different time (NOW!).

But the good news is...
Day 14 - 64% of her feedings from the bottle/breast
Day 15 - 72% of her feedings from the bottle/breast
Day 16 - 82% of her feedings from the bottle/breast

The end is in sight...they pulled out her feeding tube yesterday at the 6pm feeding and she's been keeping her numbers up. They are going to keep watching her for another 24-48 hours and if all goes well...she's going to be pushed out of the NICU nest and ready to fly on her own (at home with us). :)

Monday, February 16, 2009

Our Family - Early Bird Day 8

Last night, we all visited Early Bird. We prepared the kids for double hand washing and quiet voices...and all went to NICU. Here's our first family portrait.

Early Bird is doing really well. She's getting the hang of the bottle/breast feeding, slowly but surely.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Early Bird report for Day 6

Today was a pretty good day. We spoke with one of the physician's assistant who was rounding this morning. She said Early Bird was doing well, but that she was at about 25% bottle feeding and before she goes home, she needs to be at 75% to get discharged. That really made it all set in...she will probably be in the NICU for at least another week. :{
I'm exhausted tonight.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Panda is Early Bird - Day 5

Well, we got some bad news overnight when I called her nurse to check on her at 3am. She had had several "residuals" overnight and they were kinda big. But when we got there at 8am, Early Bird was alert and ready to eat. So we bottle fed some bmilk and then she got to just lay on my chest snoozing. It was bliss. We got to talk to the Neonatologist when he came around to check on her. He was nice and said that her billirubin labs came back and that she could get out of the box and into a crib. Her billirubin count yesterday was 14.7 and today it was 7. So that is so wonderful. :) At the 11 o' clock feeding I got to try nursing. :) She did really well and took in 14 mL. Yeah. Then throughout the day she was very sleepy and took in her feedings with a bottle or straight into her gastric tube. She seemed pretty content sleeping the day away.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Panda/Early Bird - Day 4

Today was kind of hard. I got a couple of updates from her night nurse throughout the night and she seemed to be doing pretty well. But when we arrived at the NICU she was "in the box". Her labs had come back and her biliruben count had jumped 1.75 points in a day, so they wanted her under the most intensive UV rays they have. Fortunately, they let me hold her for the 8 am feeding with a bottle of bmilk. And she did really well. But then she went right into the box and I didn't get to hold her again until the 8pm feeding. :( The lights were so bright it wasn't even much fun to sit by her beside and watch her. But we did a fair amount of that anyway. My milk has pretty much come in, so I'm getting more for her feedings. Hopefully soon she won't have any formula supplements. :) We'll hope for no Light Box tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Panda - Day 3

Yeah, we made it to the NICU in time for her feeding and I had enough breastmilk for a full feeding! Woo-hoo. It was a banner moment. :) She doesn't have any tubes in her nose this morning! They took out the forced oxygen and she's totally breathing and maintaining her oxygen levels on her own. Yeah. Unfortunately, she has to have her IV moved...again. Awful. I might get to feed her with a bottle at the next feeding. :) More later.

12:45 pm
Great News...they decided to keep her IV out and increase her feedings. So as long as her "residuals" (the stuff that doesn't get digested in her stomach) stay low, no more IV fluids. :) This is awesome news. And I got to feed her Bmilk with a bottle. :) She gobbled 22 mL down and then fell into such a deep sleep the rest went into her feeding tube. Which, by the way, they moved from her mouth to her nose, yeah! It annoyed her laying on her tongue and she'd gag on it occassionally. Not fun. And now...she is wearing clothes! She actually has on some of the NICU wardrobe...a cute pink sleeper. Yeah.

T-Dad and I just got back from the NICU. Fortunately, my sister flew in from PA on Sunday night to help us out. Its been so awesome to have her here and offering moral support, kid help, household help, "drink your water" help, etc. Now on to the important Panda News...
T-Dad feed her a bottle of bmilk, 34 mL, at the 2:00 pm feeding and she drank the whole bottle in 12 minutes! He says it was amazing. She is doing so well. Tonight, I fed her another bottle of bmilk and she drank all 34 mL. Unfortunately, her billirubin is high so she is having to wear a special blanket that has fiber optic UV lights to get rid of the billi rubin. Hopefully when I check in on her later..her billirupin counts will be down. Other than that she is doing really well. And she's opening her eyes more and more. They are still "newborn" blue.

Panda - Day 2

I visited the Premature Panda the NICU at 2:00 am this morning. The nurse had her on her belly in the isolette and she seemed so comfortable. I went down to the 9th floor to visit her at 6 am too. She gets fed every 3 hrs. She is still just wearing her diaper, with lots of wires and stickers all over her body. She has 2 wires with "button" stickers on her chest that monitor her heart rate and pulse. She has an IV in her left right hand that is giving her lipids and electrolytes. She has a oxygen monitor (shiny red light) taped to the bottom of her foot, and she has an oxygen tube pushing 5 ml(?) of oxygen constantly into her lungs, and she has a shiny gold heart stuck to her belly that monitors her temperature and keeps the warmer unit at the ready to heat her up when needed. We're going to go up and check up on her, the neo natalogist should have made rounds. We'll see what changed. :)

I'm Home, She's Not. :(
Boy, am I tired. Today Panda got an increase in her food intake...and at this point it is mostly formula, my milk is just now coming in. Yeah! :) And they are lowering the air pressure of the oxygen flow in her nose, which is a good sign. She had a rough morning...they had to draw blood from her foot for some blood tests...and then they had to put the IV in her foot because her hand IV was closing up. She got really upset the nurse said, I think it probably a good thing I wasn't there for that ordeal. Todd and I both held her for several hours today. I just love to feel the weight of her in my arms. Rebecca and I were present for "rounds" this afternoon and got to talk with the neonatologist. He recommended her formula change from the "high calorie" speciall blend to just a standard Good Start formula. Also we were able to ask questions and I asked..."because Miranda was born "big" for a preemie at 6 lbs 10 oz, does that make her any less of a high risk, preterm baby? ...and the answer - No, her ability to adjust and adapt to life outside the womb is mostly dependent upon the week of gestation...in her case 34 weeks and 1 day. He said her "weight percentile" has no real bearing on her preemie success. Very interesting. But it means she's still got a long haul...even with her extra padding. :) Tonight, right before I was discharged I brought 5 mL of milk (woo-hoo) and said good night to my baby girl. She seemed very content, burrito wrapped, and getting 14 mL of Good Start formula pumped directly into her stomach. At one point she even lifted her little arm out of her blankets and raised it up above her head. I got to tickle the tiniest little armpit I've ever seen. :) Good night, Miranda. Sleep well and we'll see you in the morning.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Wow, never thought I'd have a preemie.

So I'm not sure what it was...the trip to the new Meijer after work on Friday, or the crawling on my hands and knees picking up all the toys covering the floor in the the kids bedrooom, or then maybe it was the swim lessons on Saturday morning. But something, made the little baby in my belly want to jump ship...immediately. And now we've got a preemie. Mind you a good sized preemie, but a baby not internally ready yet. Definately not cooked through or well done. But she's a cutie and a keeper. Welcome to the world, baby girl.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

New Baby, New Me

There are big changes going on in my neck of the woods....
The new baby is knocking at the door just waiting until its time to come out. And we're furiously trying to get her room ready and ourselves ready. And we're going to be making a big change....drum roll please....MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT COMING...

But for now, I'll leave you with this....I got my hair highlighted and cut...thanks to Miranda, Stylist Extraordinaire and to my awesome friends - you know who you are - who gave me a super-duper gift card to Hair Design and Day Spa at Knollwood.

Feast your eyes on the New Me:

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Wisconsin Dells 2008 with the Cousins

The Dells got lots of snow while we were there...unfortunately it wasn't snowman-snow AND our little crew wasn't up for skiing yet.

Bug and P LOVE playing legos, star wars, magnastix, anything! together

The multiple arcades provide hours of entertainment, even without any tokens!

Preparing Dinner with GramHarriet and Aunt Ecca (Mealyworm forgot how to smile temporarily)

The annual cousin pajama photograph...take 1

The annual cousin pajama photograph...take 37