May 28, 2007

Crazy Days

So, our crazy life has finally settled down a bit. School is out for both Jacob and Emma. Jacob has officially finished kindergarten, it is nuts! He is getting so old. Emma had a graduation program in which she very willingly performed with her class for all the parents. She doesn't have a drop of stage fright. Nate is going to work about half the day most days, and then he and I head to the hospital. I am getting better a lot slower than I would like, but each day is a little better.
Now, an upda
te on Peter. At the end of last week they removed all his IVs because he didn't need any more antibiotics (which they give every preemie). So they also took him off the TPN which is just feeding through an IV. So he began just getting milk through the gavage tube that runs in his nose, down his throat to his stomach. He did very well and each day they increased the amount of milk they were giving him. Now they are giving him milk with a fortifier to increase the calories. As they did this he kind of bottomed out weight-wise at 2 lbs. 6 ounces. He has been going up most of the time since then. There has been a day or two that he lost some weight but he is back up to about 2 lbs. 9 ounces. He has also been on and off with the billi-lights. His billirubin goes up and down, but the doctors aren't worried about it. It is expected with these little guys I guess.
Today was a hard day. I haven't been feeling well, so I
haven't seen Peter for 2 days (2 very long days). When I went in today I walked over to his bedside I saw that he was on oxygen and under the lights again. My heart just sank. I just hate seeing him like that. He has the feeding tube and the oxygen tubes taped to his face. The doctors told us that between 2 and 4 weeks preemies sometimes outgrow their lungs and they have to give them some help breathing for a week or two. They made sure it isn't an infection and that he hasn't aspirated something, so they don't seem too worried. But they aren't his mother. There was some good news though, they are going to try giving him a bottle.
Hopefully this week will bring more good news.

May 18, 2007

I'm Home!

It's been almost a week since I slept in my own bed, but I am finally home! Before I left the hospital I spent some time with Peter in the NICU. Everyone seems really happy with how he is doing. They are consistently increasing the amount of milk that he is getting and checking to see how he is tolerating it. So far so good, but he is still losing some weight every day. Today he was down to 2 lbs 6.5 ounces. The Neonatal Nurse Practitioner said they hope that he will stop losing weight soon, but as of right now they aren't too worried about it.
I did get to hold him again today for about 30 minutes. He opened his eyes and tried very hard to look at me while I was holding him. I know that it takes all his energy just for me to hold him, but I think it was really good for both of us to have that time together. He has big, dark eyes. If I was a betting woman, my money would be on brown for his eye color because they really remind me of Jake's.
They have this new pillow in the NICU since Jacob's stay. It is a gel pillow. It is supposed to help the baby’s head not flatten while it is still so soft. I think they are a great idea.
It was really hard to leave the hospital without my baby, but I know that I can't take care of him the way he needs right now. I am just glad that I am home where I can spend more time with the kids and Nate. Now I just have to continue to let myself heal and not take on too much, ha, ha. I am a Mom; taking on too much is what we do.

May 17, 2007

"Presenting Peter Eli"

As Jacob and Emma have been anticipating the arrival of their brother all too often visiting me in the hospital they would play "baby". One would hide in the closet in my hospital room and the other would stand on the outside and say "Presenting the baby!" So, now with no further adieu, "Presenting the baby!"
On Monday morning the doctors had become nervous about the baby's heart rate and decided to do a contraction test early that morning. We knew it was coming, but we didn't plan on it leading to such a quick delivery of our little guy. He didn't tolerate even one contraction, so they decided to hurry and take me into surgery and deliver him as quickly as possible. I did call Nate, but apparently I didn't communicate that they were actually wheeling me out of the room to the operating room and he needed to get to the hospital NOW. Anyway, about a half hour later Peter was here. He was born at 8:54 am on Monday, May 14, 2007. He weighed a whopping 2 pounds 10 ounces and was about 14 inches long. As soon as Nate and the kids arrived at the hospital Nate went and found the baby in the NICU and took care of him as much as they would allow.
That day he struggled to get breathing on his own so they did put him on a respirator and give him some medication to help open his lungs. This is all hearsay for me because frankly I spent all day coming out of anesthesia.
By Tuesday they were able to take him off the respirator and get him breathing on his own. He is now breathing room air, although in an isolette. He did have low blood sugar right after he was born so he was on some sugar water for a little bit, but now he is being fed through an IV and some through a tube that runs from his nose down his throat and into his stomach. So, he is receiving a little milk every three hours and his tummy has been digesting it. He also had to go under the lights for jaundice for a couple of days, but they took the lights off him today.
We just have to wait for him to learn to eat from a bottle and gain weight and hopefully his little lung muscles will continue to handle breathing and not get too tired.
I will try to keep updating pictures and information here about him. Emma has a preschool graduation and Jake has a kindergarten performance next week, so there should be some good pictures in the next couple of weeks.
Thank you for all the love and support everyone has offered at this time to our family. I am just so grateful that Peter is here and is doing so well.