Saturday, May 30, 2009

2 Months...



Greyson is 2 months old today. He weighs 3 pounds 9 ounces, which is very exciting to us! Our nurse mentioned tonight that I could start bringing in some little preemie outfits and we can attempt to dress him. I didn’t even know what to say? Can I find an outfit that small? I ordered him a “NICU suit” online, which was handmade by a woman in Australia and this will probably be the first outfit. He is going to be so cute in this suit! Honestly, I totally forgot about the idea of clothes and dress-up. I guess I thought I’d bring him home is a diaper.

Gigi (my mom) and I had a late night at the hospital. I held Greyson for over an hour and we truly examined every feature! Apparently he looks just like Matthew but I am determined to find one of my features… and I’ll continue to search that sweet face. I know I have mentioned this before but Grey is absolutely adorable. Lately I’ve actually been looking in his isolette and gritting my teeth! He is no longer breakable and I am eager to give him a good squeeze but I’ll wait a little longer before delivering my passionate love hug.

When Greyson was first admitted into the NICU he was neighbors with Willow, a 26 weeker born premature because her mother’s water broke at 24 weeks. Willow’s mother managed to last 2 weeks after her water broke and sweet little Willow was born weighing a little over 2 pounds. However, this tiny miracle only needed 8 hours of ventilator support. When we arrived, Willow had been in the NICU for over a month and weighed 3 pounds. Well, I checked in on Willow and momma tonight and was overwhelmed with joy to see a healthy 5 pounder ready to go home. I’ve followed their difficult journey and to see that home is in their near future feels amazing- there is a world outside the NICU for our babies.

Greyson has been having some “spells” these last few days and we are hoping this is something he will outgrow very soon. He’s been dropping his heart rate and desating, which use to make my knees buckle. I am now confident that Grey Grey will pull himself back up and breathe like a big boy. Sadly, I use to think that he was giving up and it would literally break my heart. Now I understand that being 3 pounds and doing all this incredible work is exhausting.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Crafts


So everyone warns you that when you have a baby it changes your life. Well, I’ve witnessed a major change tonight… my husband sitting at the kitchen table making treats for Greyson’s nurses. I could not hide my huge smile as I watched him cut ribbon, tie bows and center stickers. By the way, the stickers read "NICU Nurses ROCK!" Maybe I can depend on him for some kiddie arts and crafts session later on down the road. I hope he doesn’t mind me posting the few shots I was able to steal while he was conscientiously working.

Matthew and I have decided to leave a glass treat jar in Grey’s room for his nurses. Who doesn’t love candy and chocolate? And I am sure they could use a little sugar rush every now and then. Furthermore, we want them to know we truly appreciate them. Lately we’ve been plotting ways on how to take home nurse Carlye! She taught us today how to swaddle Greyson and I hope Matthew absorbed the technique because I can only imagine what my swaddle style will look like… more like a lump than a tight burrito.

We really hope to see a weight gain tomorrow. It seems that Greyson is content weighing 3 pounds because the scale isn’t moving! However, his weight might not be changing but his character is definitely evolving. He is so funny to me. He makes faces and acts grumpy. Sometimes I look inside his isolette and wonder how my baby turned into ornery old man.

Out and About...








Matthew and I took turns holding Grey today. Above are a few of the close-ups we were able to capture. We didnt have any major changes today. No news is good news, right?

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Is that an elephant on my back?




Funny story, so I told Matthew the other day that I wanted to take a picture of Greyson with his elephant. This elephant is Grey’s first stuffed animal, Matthew purchased it from the VCH gift shop. I explained that I wanted to have a picture of Grey with his elephant at 3 pounds and another photo taken with the elephant when he is one year old. I’m sure the comparison will be astounding. Anyway- I was working the other day when Matthew visited to take the photos (so he received no direction). Above are a few of the shots he snapped. Now I was visualizing the elephant simply lying next to Grey’s exposed body but I guess you will get the same effect with the stuffed elephant laying on his back… haha. Matthew is too funny.

So I rushed over to the hospital on Friday afternoon because I had been thinking about holding that adorable little tater tot all day. I held him for over an hour and he was awake the entire time- wide eyed and looking so cute!! I realize that every mother thinks she has the cutest baby but Grey is so cute that I might consider eating him!! I guess cute is now edible. I told the nurse that when he comes home he is going to have mother induced rosacea because I am going to kiss his cheeks off. Besides being scrumptious, Greyson was being a bit impressive as well. The nurse was very impressed with his tracking ability. He now follows voices with his eyes. Maybe Greyson is going to be nosy like sweet cousin Taylor. My sister Emily has a baby girl (6 months) who is extremely observant and we relate that to being nosy. It is very entertaining to watch her eyes zoom around the room to follow every voices and all activity.

Now for the medical update: Greyson is 3 pounds 1 ounce. I just called the hospital to get his nightly weigh in and he didn’t gain any today so hopefully tomorrow he’ll gain an ounce. The nurse told me that he was so awake and active that she felt bad putting the cover back on the incubator. I have to admit that tugged at my heart… I wanted to run down the stairs yelling “Matthew, Grey is awake and wants to look at his parents!” However, it’s 11pm and my husband already thinks I’m obsessed with our 3 pound blessing and he’ll see enough of my face tomorrow. Back to the report- Grey is still tolerating his vapotherm well and we are consistently weaning him down, usually weekly. We continue to go up on feeds as well. Feeding is going to be our next big challenge. It has been determined that he definitely has reflux and soon we will have to move his feeding tube from his intestines to his belly and this is where the hard work begins. We also have to watch his heart-rate because it has been running high lately, which could be the result of several things. Overall, we’ve had another good week

Sunday, May 17, 2009

My Little Burrito


video

Our little baby burrito with the hiccups!

Since Grey loves to pull out his nasal canula, his nurse decided to roll him up like a burrito on Saturday to restrict his arm/hand movement. This is the first time that he has been swaddled. He didn’t get upset but we weren’t sure if he liked being a burrito. He had a really funny look on his face… almost saying “where the heck are my arms?” Matthew was filming and I was hoping he got some footage of the crunch face. Grey was definitely furrowing his brows and looking confused. Needless to say, I could not stop laughing. He is so cute!

We didn’t gain any weight this weekend but we are going to go up on his calorie intake. So the breast milk will continue to be fortified and hopefully Grey will gain a few ounces this week. Greyson and I enjoyed some kangaroo care this weekend and we shared a special moment when Matthew mentioned that he hadn’t kissed Grey. He gave him the sweetest gentlest kiss. When you wait 45 days to kiss your baby it’s safe to say you appreciate the small things in life.

Oh and some good news to share. Greyson had another echogram on Friday and the results were normal… meaning no PDA at this time. So the ductus arteriosus has closed! Now, I asked the nurse how likely it is for the ductus to open back up and she said “very unlikely.” I couldn’t be happier with these results.

Thank you all so much for thinking of Greyson and keeping him in your prayers.


Thursday, May 14, 2009

Did I hear a squeak?

Well, Grey Grey is having another good week so far. Yesterday we did kangaroo care for 2 hours and it was wonderful. His stats were prefect the entire time. Greyson was moved on Tuesday night to the Children’s Hospital NICU. Matthew and I have been looking forward to this move. Grey now has his own private room which allows our visits to be more personal. It is also much quieter and relaxing.

I’ve been a little worried this week because Grey has lost a couple ounces. Today he weighed 2 lbs 14 ounces. However, there are two good reasons this weight loss has has occured: 1) He is burning more calories on the vapotherm because he is working harder to breathe 2) His PICC line has been removed, which provided additional nutrients, so now all his nourishments are coming from my breast milk. We began adding extra calories to his breast milk this week to help him beef up so hopefully he will start gaining again.

I went back to work this week so life has been busy. However, I do have lunch each day with the best company… Greyson! We have lunch together and then we visit after work. Greyson being within walking distance from me definitely alleviates some of my anxiety. I can check in whenever I want.

Oh and another milestone. Greyson makes sounds now! I actually heard him crying today. He is very hoarse from having the ventilator tube down his throat for 6 weeks but I certainly heard him squeaking out a cry. I felt sadness and excitement at the same time.

Monday, May 11, 2009

At Last









Today was the day... the long awaited day! Matthew and I waited 41
days to hold our precious little Greyson. And the wait was well worth it!

I will no longer be the mother enviously watching as other mothers rock and cuddle their babies. Today was Grey's first day on Vapotherm. He is currently wearing a little nasal canula, which assists with breathing.

Grey is so tiny that I almost hestitated when the nurse spoke the longed-for words "would you like to hold Greyson today?" However, it felt perfect. For a moment nothing else mattered... I am a mother and this proves it! Grey did wonderful and his monitors proved that enjoyed out touch/holdings.

Today I don't want to focus on any other issues. I simply want to enjoy the day and remember our beautiful moment... Matthew and I held our son.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Big Boy Steps

I have to apologize for my delay in postings. I have been a little under the weather due to a recent battle with mastitis and the mastitis proved to be the stronger opponent. After two rounds of antibiotics and several spiked fevers, I was admitted into the hospital because my body does not have the ability to fight an infection due to a low immune system- due to stress. Oddly enough my stay was in labor and delivery! I have to say this is not a place that I planned on visiting anytime soon. I knew every nurse and care partner who entered my room. I even had the chance to say “you had difficulty starting the IV last time I was here.” Hopefully I won’t become a regular there!

Now to the Star of this blog: Greyson weighs 3 pounds! He actually weighed 3 pounds 1 ounce when Matthew and I left the hospital tonight. He is so precious. 3 pounds is still very small but it’s a very large number to us!

And here’s the big news… Greyson is scheduled to be extubated tomorrow morning!! We will have our first run with CPAP. So, Grey’s ditched the ear muffs for a much fancier face mask device. CPAP has been proven to be very successful among preemies. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Positive_airway_pressure Some of you pesky snorers may also be familiar with a CPAP mask. CPAP is used for the treatment of sleep apnea.
I have to admit that I’m already worried that Greyson is going to dislike this hat/mask device. The removal of this device will not be as easy as flinging an earmuff.

So if Greyson tolerates this new device and chills out then we can start some much needed kangaroo care! My aching arms will finally feel relief. Moreover, we will start some skin to skin contact. Matthew and I will be allowed to cuddle with Grey on our chest. The warmth of our bodies will allow him a trip outside his incubator.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Making Progress

Overall Greyson had a good weekend. He is still off the jet ventilator which is great. However, his stats are swinging on the new vent, meaning he is back to desating. His oxygen continues to dip but Grey has the ability to bring it back up again. This makes me sweat a bit but I am comforted by his nurses saying “this is typical preemie behavior.” Although he continues to desat, we are going down on his vent settings- this means he is being weaned from the ventilator a little each day and having to work harder to breathe.

Another echogram was done on Friday and there is still a PDA- however, this one is smaller. The previous PDA was small to moderate and this PDA was trivial. This is also good news because there was a good chance that the PDA would open wider since Grey was fighting an infection last week. Greyson is now testing negative to the previous staph infection. We will continue antibiotics for another few days to ensure the infection is gone.

Now an update on the PICC line. In my last post I explained that Greyson would have his PICC line replaced Friday at another site in his arm. I was happy to learn on Friday that we are going to hold off on that procedure. Greyson is doing so good with his feedings that we may no longer need a PICC line. Furthermore, the PICC line has been used for administration of total parenteral nutrition therapy (TPN). Grey receives extra nutrients through this PICC line. However, the PICC line is not needed if he can tolerate his feeds. As of today, he is tolerating his feeds and continuously receives a small amount of breast milk via feeding tube.

I haven’t captured a photo with the pacifier because he doesn’t seem that interested when I try to slide it in- he probably doesn’t want another object in his mouth right now. Maybe Matthew can snap a photo of the fit he throws when I change his diaper. He turns bright red, arches his back and jerks his little legs around! It makes me laugh and feel sad at the same time.