Sunday, April 18, 2010

Day 31 & 32 (April 11-12)

DAY 31-

We had a crazy nurse today, I hope we never have her again. She wouldn't leave us alone!! She just talked the whole time. I don't mind a little bit of chit-chat, but eventually, I just want to be left alone and enjoy the time with my baby. She actually TOOK the camera out of Matt's hands to take a picture of us. That's just a little too forward for me. And she told me how to parent Katryn, because apparently ALL two year olds act the same. Poke me in the eye.

Anyway, they dropped Martin's O2 level from 3 liters down to 2 1/2 on the low flow because he was doing good. Hopefully they can keep dropping him, and get him off the cannula! Then he just has to learn how to eat and put on some more weight and he can come home!!

One month already. I was hoping to still be on bedrest at this time. Martin is still growing good. He's now 3lbs13oz and 17" long. While we were there, the neonatologist came and talked with us. They took another xray on his lungs, and they look exactly the same as last week. The steroids had no effect on him.

They don't know what it is, but they're still not ready to stick a tube down and take a sample. They think it might be cystic fibrosis. There's no family history of that though, so we hope that's not the case. I read the life expectancy is around 30years for people with CF. I can't imagine that for my boy.

They're going to run some more tests and we'll get the results back in about 2 weeks. In the meantime, they're going to start antibiotics and see if that has some effect. We're hoping it's just a lung infection that can be easily taken care of.

Day 29 & 30 (April 9-10)

DAY 29--

four weeks today!! wow, it doesn't feel like it to me. They did some head shaping today, you can kind of see a little fabric doughnut under his head. Because he's always laying down, they rotate how they lay him, left side, right side, tummy, back, so his head doesn't get misshapen.

and here's his cute little feet. As of today, nothing has changed. He's still on the high flow O2, and the same medications (iron, sodium-chor-something, and caffeine). They're also giving him some steroids to help his lungs. But he's still growing good!

DAY 30--
The nurse told us that Martin was really puffy today, and retaining water. So they gave him something to help him pass the water and the puffiness went down. They'll now be watching that, to make sure it doesn't happen again.

The nurse was also kind enough to take a picture for us. If only we could have Katryn in the picture too, it would be perfect!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Day 27 & 28 (April 7-8)

DAY 27--
I went up late today, so I could attend the parent-to-parent group. It was canceled of course. I just have that luck. I did however, run into a lady who made blankets for the moms on bedrest, and the babies in the NICU. She had a baby in the NICU, who passed away soon after she was born, and she was also on bedrest. She does this just to cheer the moms up, and trust me, it worked! So it was nice to see her.

I was there in time for his cares, and was able to do that, and hold him for a little while. Not too long, because of the shift-change. Martin was so good while I was holding him. He seems to just be a good baby. However, Becky, the Parent-to-Parent Rep, told me that she went and checked on Martin this morning, and he was not a happy camper. He wanted to be fed, and he wanted it NOW. He made sure everyone was aware of that too.

He also had a MAJOR growth spurt!! I asked the nurse how much he weighed and she told me 1650grams--the equivalent of 3lbs 10oz!!

That's about 10 oz in a WEEK. And they thought he wasn't growing fast enough. . . .Amber now calls him "little chubber".

DAY 28--
I plan my trips around when Martin has his cares done, every 3 hours, because then I can take care of things, and the nurses are much more willing to let me hold him. The nurse informed me that they dropped him feeding from 27ml to 25ml, because he's gaining so fast now. He gained another ounce since yesterday. WOW.

He did really well while I was holding him. He was rooting around while he was eating so I gave him his paci, which he sucked on for a minute before falling asleep. It was great to see him rooting around, hopefully in another week or two, I can try breast feeding him!!

Because he was doing so well while I was holding him, the nurse told me that I could hold him as long as I wanted. I would have stayed all night if I could have!!

Day 25 & 26 (April 5-6)

DAY 25--
I was able to talk to the Neonatologist Nurse Practitioner today, and she explained things a lot better to me about Martin's lungs and the xray. I asked her what they meant by the lungs being 'hazy' and she said they don't know (????) and the only way for them to figure out exactly what could be causing it is to stick a tube down into his lungs and take a sample.

Yeah, that sounds like a wonderful thing to do. She said they don't want to do that. Amber came up with me today, and all she could keep saying was "he's so small!!" "he's so cute!" over and over again. Although, they are both true statements.

I hate not being able to hold him, it makes me feel worthless. It's hard enough just holding him for an hour or so a day, but to just sit there with a hand on his head is difficult.

DAY 26--
Matt and I were both able to go up and see Martin today, and we were able to hold him! Sometimes I think it depends on the nurse, and how much work they want to do. This nurse was very helpful, and we asked her to be one of martin's primary care nurses. Now, when she works, she'll work with him, which is great. She'll get to know him really well.

He seems to be doing really well today, which is great. One of the Occupational Therapists that works in the NICU came up to me and said that Martin is the cutest baby on the easter bulletin. She said when she saw him picture on there, she had to come figure out which baby was Martin.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Day 23 & 24 (April 3-4)

DAY 23--
Martin gained about an ounce since yesterday. If he keeps gaining like that, he'll be home in no time!!

Besides that, nothing else has changed; he's still getting the same medications, and eating 25ML every feeding.

My mom came with me, so she was able to take some pictures of us. I just sat there and held Martin the entire time. It's wonderful to be able to do that, I've grateful that I can at least hold him for a little bit!

DAY 24--
Happy Easter!! They have a bulletin board out front of the NICU of most of the kids in the NICU with bunny ears for easter. I love it, because there are no tubes or anything on his face. They dressed him up in real clothes (the first time he's been in something besides just a diaper!!) and they took a bunch of pictures of him, and gave them to us.

He looks a LOT like Matt.

It was a busy day. We went up in the late morning, around 11am, and got there about noon. When we got there, Martin was in a different isolette, and we learned he had some breathing troubles during the night and they had to increase his O2 from1 liter to FOUR. That's a lot!! and he's also on high flow now, instead of the low flow. They also took an xray of his lungs and they looked hazy. Not quite sure what that means. But he now has a large tube from his cannula to the O2 machine. It seems like just a week or so ago, they were talking about weaning him off the cannula completely.

Everytime something happens that sets us back it just completely shakes me up. I end up feeling overwhelmed by it all. I think it's because there is nothing I can do to help him. I just end up sitting there unable to do anything about anything.

Matt's parents came up to see Martin today as well, so we spent quite a bit of time there today. The two of us with martin, than a lunch break, then Matt with each of his parents (since only 2 visitors are allowed at a time, and 1 of them has to be us) and then us again.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Day 21 & 22 (April 1 & 2)

DAY 21--Today felt very overwhelming, and it feels like a lot happened. When I got there the nurse informed me that the ran some tests on Martin and he has low iron and low sodium-chlor-something. So he's now getting a supplement for each of those, as well as the caffeine medication to help his breathing.

He's also not gaining weight fast enough (about 3 weeks old and just barely back to his birth weight) so they added more calorie supplement to his feedings.

I was there at his care time, so I was able to hold him while he ate, and do the cares. it seems like his accellerations, and decellerations occurred more today than when I'm normally there, but the nurse didn't seem concerned. His heart-rate also got a little high while I was holding him.

DAY 22--Martin is 3 weeks old today!! I was expecting to be on bedrest still, I'd be 32 weeks pregnant. We went up super early today (hence the pj's I'm still wearing) and were there in time for his 9am feeding. The nurse let us take him out!! I took my time, but I got him out ok and without him fussing. I felt very proud of myself.

We were also there for rounds, and got to hear what the doctors had to say, which was nothing different from what we'd been told by the nurses. But Martin now weighs just over 3lbs!! WOOHOO!!! Slowly, we're getting there. He's just barely over 3lbs, but he's over it!!

The doctor explained the extra calorie supplement to us this way, which I liked: "it will help him gain weight, because the faster he gains weight, the sooner he comes home" I can handle that!

Day 19 & 20 (March 30 & 31)

Day 19--The nurse told us today, that during the night Martin had a high temp, and was working too hard to breathe--using the wrong muscles so it's more effort. The nurse practitioner ran some tests and everything came back normal, so they just watched him closely during the night and his temp eventually came back to normal.

matt was adjusting Martin, to be more comfortable and the blanket fell over his face. He was actually holding onto the edge of the blanket, and it looked like he was playing peek-a-boo with use. I loved it.

And I just love picture of Matt holding Martin. It's just precious to see a day with such a fragile little baby.

He's continuing to gain weight--so close to being back to his birth weight!! He's just under 2lbs 15oz.

The nurses always tell us that Martin is a mouth breather. He always has his mouth open when he's sleeping (and thus has poorly chapped lips!). It's like he's saying "I don't need this extra oxygen, I'll just breathe through my mouth!" but then he get some decels, showing that he obviously still needs that extra oxygen.

DAY 20--The weather was absolutely horrible today. huge snow storm. I went up to see Martin in the evening, so I could be there for the parent-to-parent group. It's a support group through March of Dimes and we meet a few times during the month and having little activities. The lady at the hospital who is in charge, also put together our bedrest lunches once a week to get us out of our rooms. She was on bedrest with all her kids, and I think all her kids were born premature as well. So she really understand what we're going through on BOTH ends of the spectrum.

This week was the survivor beads. I'll post a picture and explanation eventually. Basically you get a bead for certain things your baby does or has done to them. For example, a bead for each day/time they're on the vent. A bead for each visitor. A bead for each pound they weigh. A bead for a bath, a bead for surgery. and so on and so on. My bedrest survivor beads were what kept me going for the 5 weeks I was in the hospital. I looked forward to them everyday.

Martin was doing good today, I just held him for his feeding and then when they kicked me out at 6:45 for the shift change I went to the parent-to-parent group. I am so content just holding him and rocking. It's reassuring as a parent to feel like I'm actually taking care of my baby, even if it's just holding him for an hour every day. Eventually he'll be home, and I might just wish I had a nurse there to watch him most of the time again. But right now, I wish I was the one taking care of him all the time.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Day 17 & 18 (March 28 & 29)

Day 17--it was another late day at the hospital for us. They moved Martin to another room. We really like it, it's an actual ROOM. The other 'rooms' aren't quite rooms. I'm not sure how to describe them. Giant hallways that can be sectioned off in a huge room? Something like that.

We were there just in time to do cares--take temp, diaper change, and feeding. The nurse actually took all of Martin's measurements!

so as of March 28th:
Head circ: 10 1/2"
Lenght: 16.5"
Weight: 2lbs13.9oz

He's almost back to his birth weight! It's so nice that he's gaining weight now. The doctors were worried for a while, and added calorie supplements so he would gain weight faster.

This is me just trying to calm him down. He doesn't like being bothered, so when we put him back in his bed and he has to get all adjusted. He gets a little cranky, so we have to help calm him down.

DAY 18--When I'm the only one there, the pictures are few because I'm more concerned about just holding Martin. And the pictures are also of him in the isolette, because that's all I can take! :) So yes, here are pictures of the back of Martin's head because he was facing the wall. It's good for him to face the wall because then he doesn't have to see any lights.

The nurse that was working was AMAZING. We have requested her as one of our primary care nurses. She taught me how to take Martin out of his bed. Sometimes watching the nurses take him out, I'm just waiting for them to smack one of his limbs on the bed since the opening is so small, and Martin's usually flailing a little bit. What she does is wrap him up with the blanket he's already laying on instead of taking him out and them wrapping him up. Duh!! Why don't others do that??

These are the preemie size diapers he wears. They go up to 5lbs they say, and they almost go up to his armpits. Yeah, they're a little big. Makes me a little worried for the cloth diapers when he comes home. He's not going to fit into the x-small diapers I have for him!!

I learned why they're giving him caffeine and what it does for him. It helps stimulate them, so they remember to keep breathing. Preemies have that problem where their brain isn't developed enough to remember to breath all the time. Martin actually does really well, he recovers from the decells in breathing on his own fairly quickly, which is great.

Day 15 & 16 (march 26 & 27)

We hit the 2week mark on the 26th. It doesn't seem like it's been that long, but it feels like it's been forever already. Natalie was able to come see Martin, which was nice because we didn't have anyone to watch Katryn, so she was able to watch her while we both went in.

They had Martin on his belly, and I wish i would have taken pictures, because he was pushing up with his feet and actually lifting himself up a little bit! It was impressive seeing how strong he is.

The nurse annoyed me, she didn't want to let me hold him! She said it stresses babies out and then they don't gain weight, so they only let them out once a shift. I replied with, "We're only here once a day for about an hour, so it should be fine."

It really bothered me. I can understand if I spent all day there, like some of the other parents, but I'm not able to. I'm only able to be there once a day, for a small amount of time. She reluctantly took Martin out and Matt and I were able to take turns holding him.

I think it's very important that Martin spends some contact time with us, and I know right now, since he's in an isolette, he can't be out very much. But the little time we're there, I want to be holding him. It's important to me.

here he is enjoying time with Dad. :)

Day 16--this was an awesome day. I ended up going up late, and matt was working. They shut down the unit for shift change 6:45-7:45am&pm, so I was up there after 8pm.

The nurse working was wonderful. I've been a little hesitant about kangaroo-care (aka: skin-to-skin) because I'm not in a private room, and the curtains just aren't quite enough for me to feel completely comfortable.

The nurse however was so great, and convinced me to do it. I think I sat there for about 2 hours. It was so nice, he slept the whole time, and stayed asleep when we had to put him back. Martin's O2 level was also higher, which meant he was breathing very well on his own, so they could turn down the O2 they're giving him through the cannula.

Needless to say, I'm very glad I did it, especially after seeing how well Martin was doing.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Day 13 and 14 (march 24 & 25)

I know I don't update as much, but right now, there's not much to update. Things are holding steady for the most part. We still go up every day (at least I do, matt often has to be at work, or do homework) and hold Martin. We're really just waiting for him to gain more weight (he's still not up to his birth weight) and then learn to eat.

On wednesday, I just held him for about 2 hours.

I went up in the evening, since they have a parent-to-parent support group that meets every wednesday. They ended up canceling it so I got a lot of time with Martin.

On Thursday, it was about the same. We just held Martin for a while, and talked to him.

He's closely monitored; his heart-rate, respiration, oxygen, temp. Occasionally, while we're holding him he goes into decells with his oxygen. Meaning, his levels are too low, like he's holding his breath, or not taking deep enough breaths. It's not a good thing, but it's fairly normal in preemies.

Still, as a mother, you don't want to hear that alarm go off while you're holding your baby.

It also can get too high, causing the alarm to go off. I think Martin does it on purpose. he'll hit both extremes in the same minute, and then just lay there looking around. I think he likes the sound of the alarms.