Saturday, March 27, 2010

Day 11 & 12 (march 22 & 23)

These two days have been the hardest days so far. On day 11, they informed us that Martin isn't gaining weight fast enough. I don't know how much he lost, but they decided they needed to supplement his milk with some sort of human milk fortifier, that helps increase the calories he's getting, so he can start bulking up! He's also spitting up a lot after feeding, that they increased his feeding time to 45 minutes, in hopes the slower intake will help decrease the spitting up.

We were hardly able to be there day 11, Matt had to get to work, and we didn't get out of the house fast enough. We didn't even get to hold Martin, we just got to put our hands through the isolette and touch him.

He had a head ultrasound in the morning as well, but they didn't have the results of that when we were there. They do the ultrasounds to make sure there's no bleeding on the brain, and everything looks ok.

The nurses always comment how he always has his mouth open when he's sleeping. We just laugh to ourselves because I sleep like that too.

Here he is all curled up, cuddling with his pacifier. I'm always shocked when they put it in his mouth. It's so big, I'm surprised he doesn't gag on it!!

Day 12--This is the sign above Martin's bed, they were finally able to get his hands and footprints. They're so tiny! But his feet are actually rather long I noticed.

This is just a picture of me 'holding' martin. Sometimes that's the only holding we get.

But this is my favorite type of holding. I can't get enough of this right now. But it makes it harder and harder to leave every day.

Day 12 was really hard for me. I fell apart before we even walked out of the room. It's just so overwhelming having our baby in the NICU. We were prepared for it, moreso than I think most parents are. We knew Martin would be early, and that he would spend time in NICU. We had researched about preemies and what problems they could potentially face. But it's still difficult being in the situation, and dealing with the day to day things. While we were there, another baby starting crying. She's mature enough that she's in an open-air crib, and the let her swing in a little port-a-swing. The poor girl was having a complete meltdown and no one was responding. It just broke my heart. I know Martin is getting the best medical care, but I can't think about him being ignored when he needs some comfort like that little girl did. This is why it's so hard to leave him every day. This is why I cry on the way home. The thought of my little Martin not getting the comfort he needs. Granted he's not quite at that point yet. He just sleeps all day and works on growing. It's still hard though, and we've got a long road ahead of us still.

We got the results of his head ultrasound back. They said everything looks good, but there might be a small cyst. They said that the brain often just closes over it, and it cause no damage, but they're going to do another ultrasound in about 2 weeks just to check on it.

They also found some blood in the diaper in the morning, and so held off a feeding and drew some blood and ran a lot of tests. They also did an xray on his tummy to see if there was something wrong. They didn't find anything with any of the tests. They thought it could be because he's pooping ALL THE TIME, but they dropped the milk supplement in case that was the case.

Monday night he weighed in at 2lbs12oz, and they were glad with that because he's gaining. But it's happening so slowly that they're concerned. Part of me wants to know how much he dropped, but another part of me does not want to know at all!

Day 9&10 (march 20&21)

We're so lucky that almost every time we go to see Martin, we get to hold him. I didn't expect to be able to hold him for the first few weeks. They actually told us not to expect to hold him for a long time. so I'm so grateful that we get to hold Martin when we're there.

Here's day 9--Matt and Martin just having a snuggle.

I love that he just looks like a normal newborn in the picture. You can't see the tubes or wires attached to him.

They upped his feedings on day 9, from 17ML to 24ML, and it takes about 1/2 hour for a feeding. They hook it up to the IV machine, so they can regulate how fast it goes in. I got to hold him for the entire feeding, which is so nice.

They've been taking blood everyday, so we've yet to be able to get hand or footprints, but hopefully soon! His billi levels were also low enough that they didn't have to put him under the lights, which is great.

Day 10--Martin is holding Matt's pinky finger. That's how tiny his hands are. It's amazing to me.

day 10--a little snuggle time with mamma. Everytime we get to hold him, they can turn down the flow of oxygen coming in his nasal canula. He's on low flow room air oxygen, usually between 20-30% (yeah, I'm not quite sure what that means either) but when we hold him, his oxygen gets too high, because he's so content being with mom and dad. It's awesome! That's how I know that us holding him is beneficial, even when some nurses don't think so.

I know this is a blurry picture, but look at that smile!! He kept smiling, and it was awesome. Makes a mamma happy!

Day 10 was very similar to day 9. We held Martin while he ate, and just enjoyed being there. Because it was sunday, we were able to attend the church services at the Hospital, which was nice, since I hadn't been for the past few weeks, and when I did go, I was in a wheelchair. It was nice to be able to walk in.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Day 8 (march 19)

It's this right here that makes it so hard to leave everyday. Every time I get to hold Martin, I have to drag myself out the door, and become a bit of an emotional wreck. Moreso everytime. It's getting harder and harder with each passing day.

They upped his feedings again, which is great. Although Martin spit up on both of us. I guess that's his way of saying "thanks for leaving me in this place!" They use an IV machine, so they can decide how long to feed him for. they set it for about 30 minutes I think, and it pumps the milk in slowly.

They moved him to a new bed as well. It's pretty much the exact same thing he was in before, but for 'older' babies. The isolette he was in is for the new babies. His billi-levels were up again today, so he was under the lights for a while, but it's normal for them to go back and forth for the first few weeks. They check them every morning.

We also caught him sucking his thumb. Yup, that's my kid for sure!!

Days 6 and 7 (march 17-18)

Martin was looking really good when we saw him today. The feeding tube was moved from his mouth to his nose, and so his face looks a lot better, since it just looks like he has the nasal-canula; the feeding tube hides behind it.

They moved his IV once again, from his foot to his hand. He's only needing the extra fluids for a little while longer. As his feeding amount goes up, his need for fluids goes down. I'm glad, because I know how painful getting IVs can get, and he's just so tiny!

He's on the lowest level of oxygen, which is awesome. He's on room-air, but they keep the canual just to monitor is oxygen amount, and that way if he does silly things like hold his breath, they can up the oxygen a little bit to help him out.

(day7) This is his 'ring of confinement'. It's a little U-shaped foam thing, that they surround him with. It helps simulate the womb, and they can put him in positions that he's used to being in. This helps him be more comfortable, and feel more secure.

They increased his feeding amount again, to 17ML, which is high enough that they took his IV out! His poor little hand is all bruised up, but it's so nice to see him with hardly anything intrusive. Just the feeding tube and the nasal-canula. Everything else is stuck to his skin, or wrapped around his little foot as needed.

He let out a pretty good cry today too!! Surprised me to hear something so loud from something so tiny! Katryn didn't cry for like the first month, she was just such a mellow baby. Although, she didn't have anything to cry about. I can understand Martin crying. It's also reassuring to hear him cry, as heart-breaking as it is since I'm pretty much helpless to him. But it's a great sign of his lungs working good.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Day 4 and 5 (march 15-16)

Day four was another big day for Martin. Well, everyday seems like a big day when there's so much happening. They moved him AGAIN! It's actually a good thing when they move him. He's still in a similar area, but in a place where instead of the nurses taking care of 2 babies at a time, he's in a place where the nurse takes care of 3 babies at a time. That means he's in good enough condition that he doesn't need heavy monitoring.

Here he is getting a nice tan from the bili lights. They check his levels everyday, and depending on where they are, they put him under the lights for a while.

here I am changing his diaper--he's a rather sensitive child, doesn't like being moved at all. But then, his skin is probably still really sensitive, and being touched probably drives him crazy. Poor kid.

Here they are moving him to his new area. You can see how big the isolette is. It's massive. But it does so much! it monitors his temp, and adjusts accordingly to either cool him down or heat him up. and, um, a lot of other things that I can't think of.

Here he is with his little sunglasses! This things are TINY, but huge on him. probably 5 inches long, and less than an inch tall.

Here's day 5. We don't have a lot of pictures from this day, because Martin was just so content lying there. They upped his feeding from 6 ML to 12 ML! That's a lot, a whole syringe. They feed him every 3 hours. Martin didn't have to have any lights on him, which was great.

He looked bigger to me, but perhaps I'm just getting used to his size. or perhaps it's because he kept stretching out his legs.

They also took out the lines in his belly button, which is nice. I'm sure it's hard enough when your diapers are too big, and they rub against the sore belly, AND having some lines to draw blood cannot be an easy thing for a tiny kid! They have been giving him light sedatives to help keep him calm, because he's probably in pain, and if he gets too riled up his oxygen levels get too high, or too low and that's never good.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Day 3

This was a huge day for all of us!! We drove up to see Martin (and drop off what little milk I'm producing right now) and got there just in time for the excitement. First they fed him his first taste of mamma's milk.

I got to put on hands on him for just a few minutes, while the milk was finishing up, before they announced that he was doing so well, we was getting moved out of room 1!! Room 1 is the super high risk room, where babies fresh out of the womb come, and babies who need lots of monitoring and attention. Martin is doing so great, that they decided he can move to the next level!

He's breathing on his own, but needs to keep the cpap attached to help keep his lungs inflated as they still need a lot of growing. I was able to get a full dose of the steroids when I was first admitted to the hospital, but that only lasts two weeks. I got the 1st of 2 shots before he was born, which is still beneficial for him.

He was a little cranky as they moved him down the hall to the next room, which is heart-breaking for a mother to hear. His little meows are so sad. I think he was just upset with all the jostling and shaking of the isolete.

While they were hooking all the tubes back up in his new area, I tried to comfort him with my hands, and calm him down a little bit. It wasn't really working. I expected the nurse to give him a little bit of sedative like they often do, since if he gets too riled up, his heart-rate goes to high.

But then she turned and said "I know what he needs"

and she pulled him out and placed him on my chest!!! It was amazing to hold this little boy, he is just so tiny I was afraid to move for fear of hurting him. They wrapped us up with the blankets they keep in a little heated container and let me hold him for a little bit.

Dad even got a chance to hold him. He looks even tiny laying there.

The nurses were so kind, they took a picture of us together.

Unfortunately, and a little disappointing on my part, we didn't really help calm him down. For a minute, when his head was right up near my heart he calmed down, but I think he was just overstimulated by it all.

They put him back in the isolete, and taught us another way to comfort him. We turned him just slightly on his side, propped up by towels and such, curled his legs up and put 1 hand on his head, and the other on his legs, putting some pressure on his feet. We also put a little pressure on his head, just to mimic the pressure he felt in the womb, and the position he was in there.

It was amazing to see how quickly that worked!! He calmed down very fast, and was asleep in no time.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Day 1 and 2

here's a few pictures from the first 2 days of Martin's life. Actually, he hasn't even been alive for 24 hours yet, but he was born at 7pm on Friday March 12, weighing 2lbs15oz and 16inches. He was 29 weeks gestation.

Getting to touch him for the first time, on his second day. He's under the bili lights, and is on a cpap tube, instead of more incubated like he was the first day.

More of day two, me enjoying just being able to touch his little body. We even got to hear him cry. That was difficult, since we're unable to comfort him like we want to, and we don't know if it was our touch that was bothering him.

Day two, touching his hands. We're unable to caress his skin, because it's painful to him, he's too sensitive. We can just lay our hands on him.

Day two. You can see the cpap tube coming out of his nose, and his little sun shades to block out the bili light they have on him.

Day two, showing off the awesome spotlight he's under. He's a star!

Day Two. You can see how small he is with the comparison of my two hands, and the nurses hand on his head. I think his foot is about an inch and 1/2.

Day One. This was just a few hours after birth I think. You can see how he's more fully intubated (I think that's what it's called) with the oxygen tube down his throat. he's also a little sedated.

Day one. The first time I saw him. I actually couldn't see his head very well from my wheel-chair, so daddy took these pictures of his little boy, so I could look at them.

Day One. he's got a little bit of dark hair, about the same amount as Katryn had when she was born.

Day one. This was more of the view I saw from my wheelchair. He's got the oxygen tube down his throat, and a feeding line as well. Blood pressure cuff on his arm and foot. A few tubes in his belly button that they draw blood from and do other various tests, since those are the largest blood vessels he's got right now, the ones from the umbilical cord. he's also got an IV in his hand that they're using to keep him hydrated, since they haven't started feeding him yet.