Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Monday, April 28, 2008
Friday, April 25, 2008
Thursday, April 24, 2008
The X-ray came back showing no obstructions (good news) but lots of air in his stomach which is causing pressure on his diaphragm making it difficult for him to breathe. Right now it looks like the problem with breathing is just a mechanical one, caused by the bloating of his stomach. Stopping feedings via tube and putting him on an IV for a little while (72 hours to 7 days) should help bring him back to normal.
A bit of good news in all of this - today he started taking to the pacifier like a mad baby. He's got the suck/swallow/breathe reflex and when he's back to food he'll probably be able to go to the bottle or breastfeed. Additionally, he's still gaining weight, despite the lack of food. He's up to 3 lbs 9 oz. The bigger he gets the more out of the woods he becomes.
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Monday, April 21, 2008
Coulter had a rough night as a result of the excitement. His apnea started up again. His heart rate did some bradycardia (drop rapidly). Then he blew chunks out of both ends a couple of times. All his outfits are getting good, deep washing.
The upside is that his weight is up to 1500 grams. We're limiting our holding time with the little guy for the next couple of weeks so that he can get more uninterrupted rest, fatten up faster, and come home sooner. Having a preemie is little like having a sore tooth. You want to keep touching but you know that the more attention means slower healing.
New photos of the little guy are coming soon.
Sunday, April 20, 2008
Coulter looks awesooooooooooooooooooome
and he is verrrrry cuuuuuuuuuuuuuute.
Yup terrible lyrics.
Today was Coulter's Welcome to Earth Shower. Danielle and Tim threw an awesome Jack & Jill party. They wanted to create a party that was very Nichole and Sean rather than based on what it's supposed to be. Danielle is in the middle of moving houses and has a crazy work schedule so I cannot figure out where and or how she finds the time to do things like this. She sent out Sesame Street (circa 1977) invitations. She kept the Evite up to date amongst all the craziness and the unpredictability of the past several weeks. Organized a big event for Oprah at Nike (no kidding). Pulled together a funky & fun shower complete with wings from Fire on the Mountain, beer, wine, champagne, cajunized tots, quiche, bagels, and coffee. No lack of food. Heather, our amazing Cordon Bleu trained chef turned Nanny friend, made a cake and cupcakes. So rich and light at the same time - don't know how she does it. (We once bribed nurses in Labor & Delivery with her cupcakes for preferential treatment - completely worked)
Saturday, April 19, 2008
Thursday, April 17, 2008
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Counting down the days until our peanut comes home.....
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Coulter... When you can take the pebble from my hand, it will be time for you to leave... aha planning on staying I see. You are not even moving towards the pebble. Do you know what a pebble is? Should we review the different names for rocks so you can more easily identify a pebble? Maybe after a nap you say? You are wise beyond your weeks.
I think I will start a counselling fund along with his 529 College Savings fund. He may need both.
Monday, April 14, 2008
Coulter is doing great in Bunny. His O2 intake is up as his lungs get stronger. His Respiratory is lower as he labors less to breathe and his little heart is a steady 155 bpm. His feedings have been getting increased every 12 hours as he can handle it. So far he's been increasing 1ml every 12 hours over the past 6 days. Right now (and I may be off +/- 1ml ) he's eating 15 ml every 3 hours. For conversion sake that's 0.5 ounces per serving. These feedings mean that he's now gaining weight again. He dropped 6 ounces after his birth and during his time as a Duck, but now that his feedings are increasing in volume and frequency he's packing on the grams. He's up to 10 grams more than his birth weight of 1310. They also have him on a preemie weight gainer formula with extra calcium and protein. I feel like he now has something in common with the muscle-bound, strong men with a handlebar mustache in the circus in the 1920s.
Additionally he's beginning to really develop his suck/swallow/breathe muscles. According to Dr. Baxter, normally preemies begin sucking at 32 weeks, but at 30 weeks he's already working it. I think he may be gifted. I might need to get a T-shirt that reads something like: My Kid Sucks at 30 Weeks. I'm sure that everyone will understand what I'm referring to just fine.
Saturday, April 12, 2008
Friday, April 11, 2008
The NICU is divided into 6 sections:
1. Isolation: Oh man... send them all of your good thoughts.
2. Ladybug: Send them your good thoughts when you aren't thinking of the Isolation room.
3. Butterfly: Hang on kiddo. Let the doctors do their thing. We're all pulling for you.
4. Ducks: You're critical, but you're looking good. Be strong. Hang in there.
5. Bunny: You are out of the woods. You're stable, but you're still in the NICU. You've got a ways to go, but your vitals look good and the doctors are seeing you as a success story.
6. Lambs: You are getting ready to go home. Let's pack on some pounds and blow this joint.
Coulter got checked in as a Duck (not a nod to U of O) when he got admitted a week ago today. It left our hearts in our throats, but it gave us a lot of hope. Reasonably worried but not overwhelmed. Duck parents walk the line of having a hopeful heart and steeling their heart against that dark chance of things going south. Duck stories are often two steps forward and one step back. You just have to roll with the punches. Today, perhaps as I write this, he being moved from Duck to Bunny!
Bunny boy! Coulter is out of the woods! Nichole, Jim and Eleanor went down to the hospital tonight to see the little guy. I took a dog walk, a hot tub, a and glass of Ravenswood Zin to let all of that stress just drop away and celebrate in my own little way. My little man is going to be okay. He's got a little apnea so they are going to give him caffeine for the seven days (his parents will join him each morning doing the same). His brain scan today discovered a brain bruise, but according to Dr. Baxter this is very common among preemies and is nothing to worry about. I mean really who is genuinely hooked on phonics. He's going to be just fine.
Coulter is way up in feedings. He's up to 6ml milk every 3 hours. 48 ml a day. He's coming off of his 2nd treatment of light today for the return of some jaundice and was down to single power light yesterday. He's still off the CPAP and usually breathing between 88% and 98%. However I'm not even talking about the most exciting thing that happened yesterday - Coulter started to breastfeed. He's developing his suck-swallow-breathe ability. Yesterday he latched on and suckled yesterday for the first time. It wasn't a full on feeding, but it was a start. We gave him food via tube while he fed to try to create the association of boob equals food. As I'm sure you can imagine we don't have any photos to post of the big event.
Last night we went back to the hospital for some Kangaroo Care and he fell fast asleep on my chest. He'd been breathing at about 88% when we came in and by the time he fell asleep on me he was breathing at 96%. He just does better with skin-on-skin contact.
Jim and I got Coulter's room prepped, scraped, and mostly painted with zero VOC paint. Actually it's not paint it's liquid clay. It's bizzare stuff. It's starting to peel and crack in places, but I'll get back in to it today and see if I can't scrape, prep, and re-paint those sections. The room is looking really sharp. Very bright with big windows looking out on a red smoke tree, lawns, and ferns. I think it'll be a nice environment for Coulter to begin to see shapes from.
More photos from Eleanor's camera later today - picked up the missing camera/computer cable last night.
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
Monday, April 7, 2008
Sunday, April 6, 2008
Kangaroo Care is the best. It's when you get to get skin-on-skin with the little guy. He settles in and falls asleep. Today he got his very first meal - colostrum aka liquid platinum. Coulter has to use a feeding tube at this time, but he'll graduate soon enough.
Nichole's doctor sprung her from the hospital a day early! She said that Nichole could get released on Sunday as early as Midnight. After talking a little bit more she turned to Nichole as said, "I think you might do better at home in your own bed next to your husband. Do want to get out of here today? Yes? Okay, I'm discharging you right now. You're free." Oh so good to have Nichole home. Good sleep, good food, and Cara, Sean's sister from Seattle, came down to be an amazing help.
Nichole and I had nothing when we got home. No energy, no food in the fridge, no ability to clean, no breast pump... nothing. Cara rocked it and did everything and just let us recoup. We were so tired we didn't even know what we needed. She was a god send. She made dinner, cleaned, ran to the store several times, cleaned the house, did laundry, made breakfast, made lasaugna that's par baked and sitting in the freezer, brought us coffee in bed, walked the dog several times, mowed the lawns. She's leaving for home in Seattle today. How will we live without Cara? How can we go on? It's been so so nice to have her helping hands.
Coulter got something new today. IVs on little guys tend to fail in a matter of days sometimes hours, so they recommended that he get a Heart PICC Line. A Heart PICC Line is a tiny tiny tube that runs up a vein in the leg or arm to the heart to directly administer food and medicine. Coulter's heart pick line insertion went great and he doesn't need any more IVs - a little discomfort to prevent a lot of discomfort. They can feed him food and medicine right through the pick line. A little scary in its concept but the benefits far outweigh the risks.
Updates from the doctor - Coulter's white blood cell count is back to normal and there doesn't seem to be any sort of infection. He's not ready to get off the CPAP yet but the good news is that he's just on room air. He's got a touch of jaundice but it's getting combated with light therapy. The jaundice isn't so severe to need UV light therapy, just a strong lamp. In short, for a 29.5 week baby, he's doing better than average.
Saturday, April 5, 2008
Friday, April 4, 2008
Lots of contractions. Both stronger and more frequent. I'm going to be surprised if this doesn't happen by Sunday. Coulter is healthy. Nichole is healthy. It just looks like this is how it is going to be. I may not post for a little while. I think I'm going to be a little busy. This is good. It's going to be just fine. Coulter is just really ready to be here with us.