Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Celebrating 32 weeks and 4 lbs with a crazy hat!

Just a little sleepy

Could you please turn that light off and put that thing away!

Alright, alright is this what you want? Are you happy?

32 weeks and 4 lbs!

She came in at 4lbs and 1 oz. Contrary to popular opinion, she doesn't have to weigh 5 lbs to come home, she only has to be eating well and gaining weight. But it is cool to hit these milestones.

Another good day with Sara. Good holding time, bathing time tonight, driving home with baby lotion lingering in the air time. I still can't get over what a difference it makes to actually bath your baby, touch her, rub lotion on her. It just builds connections that are very powerful between parent and child. And the fact she was wide-eyed and awake made it so much better.

She goes for her 4th CAT scan tomm. If you remember her 1st was horrible, second was better and her third was even more improved. We expect more improvement with tomorrow's scan. How much? Only the Lord knows, and that's why I am glad He is in charge of that department. She is supposed to be tapped after the scan.

Thanks for praying for Sara's little friend in NICU, it looks like she is supposed to go home soon. She is doing very well.

Monday, June 29, 2009

We've Been Hired by NICU

Due to a shortage in nurses and our familiarity with Sara, the NICU went ahead and put us on staff to take care of Sara. Yes the hours will be difficult, but somehow we will manage. And the extra money will help pay for the gas etc.. Here are a few pics of our first night taking care of her, just weighing her, bathing her, you know normal stuff.

Jennifer is weighing, she came in at 1771 grams, 3lbs 14oz!


The 2 new nurses hard at work

Hey mom, I like this!

Ok, ok we haven't been hired. We just had one of Sara's fantastic nurses let us really do some hands on taking care of her tonight. It's amazing how doing these little things make her feel so much more like she is yours. When other people are doing 99% of the taking care of her, it's almost like your coming to visit your child, but she's not yours yet. But when you leave the hospital with the smell of baby lotion on your hands that you just rubbed on your daughter's back - you know she is yours. And you wish you could slip in your backpack and take her home. Soon enough.

We did have a good laugh when she decided to do #2 during the bath. The bath wasn't in a tub, but wet rags rubbed over her in her aquarium. So here it comes. Thankfully it wasn't the volatile explosive kind, but more like toothpaste coming out of a tube. My amazing wife was able to quickly put a diaper on her while she was on her stomach. Maybe it's just because I'm a dad, but that takes talent! And while we finished her bath, she finished her... well, you know. And did she finish! Filled it up. I let mom go ahead and take that one.

Praying for another great week!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Sara has gained 1lb!

Sara's weight last night was 1757 grams - 3lbs 14oz. If you remember she weighed 1300 grams at birth. 453.59 grams = 1lb. She has gained a pound. Amazing! And you can tell - her little cheeks are getting chubby.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Saturday PM

Another good day with Sara. We walked in this afternoon as the neurosurgeon was tapping her reservoir. It continues to look better. He is still pleased. Jennifer and I were then able to hold her and do some oral stimulation. This was after she was suctioned really good and an obstruction was taken out of her O2 line. How would you like a saline solution squirted up your nose and then a vacuum cleaner to follow? That's basically what they do to clean her out good. She had a very busy two hours, so they went up on her O2 the rest of the day to help her recover.

One of her nurses today shared with us the fact she was also born a preemie and her parents faced some of the same obstacles we face. How cool is that? Now she is doing a great job taking care of Sara. This is the second nurse we have met born as a preemie and now working in NICU. Very neat. Have a great Sunday worshipping our King, Savior and Father!

Oh yeah, her weight was over 1700 grams last night!!

It's a Milkshake Night!

That means it's been a really good day and so we celebrate with a milkshake on the way home. Only Sonic is still open (well McD's is, but their shake machines are always conveniently down 20 minutes before closing, hmmm). Caramel for me, chocolate for Jenny. Man were they good. And this day was good also.

Sara has had an occupational therapist working with her on sucking and she has showed us what to do. Tonight we did our own little session with her. (Sorry no pics, I forgot the camera) It basically consists of using your pinkie to try and stimulate her to suck on it. The cool thing is, the OT suggested we get some of Jenny's breast milk and dip our pinkie in it and then stimulate. So Jennifer did it tonight, and it was officially the first time her milk has been in her mouth. Up to now it has all been straight down a tub into the tummy. This was her first taste. You might not know what this does for a mom, but it does wonders! Very cool thing, and it was a great experience for Jennifer.

Her oxygen levels have also continually dropped. Tonight she was doing really good at 21% O2 (same as room air) and 4.0 liters per minute. It wouldn't surprise me to see her off the O2 by next week at this rate. She only had two drops in heart rate and SpO2 (oxygenation of the blood) today. That seems to be her routine lately. We are praying as the neuropathways in her brain continue to develop she will grow out of that.

Jennifer also had the cool experience of holding Sara tonight and having her cry. I guess you would have to have had a really sick child to be happy when they cry in your arms, but we were. For no apparent reason, Jennifer was kangarooing and Sara just kind of cried like a normal baby will do. It was so strange yet so familiar to us. Jennifer felt really good being able to soothe her and she calmed down. Just another reason to get a shake!

Sara also had her eye exam today and it was also good news - no ROP. That is retinopathy of prematurity. There has been no damage to her blood vessels in her eyes due to O2 exposure. These babies are given so much oxygen and too much can actually damage your eyes. But Sara is good to go.

So now you know why we got the shakes. Just a great day of good news. Yes we also celebrated in prayer, and in worship, but sometimes you just need a milkshake to drown your joy. God has been so gracious and good to us. We don't know why us, but we thank Him, praise Him, and walk with Him. It's nice to have some company on this walk - thank you all again for your prayers. Go have a milkshake Saturday for Sara!

Now that looks comfortable!

Sign 379 you live with too many girls: You cut your finger slicing onions to grill for a burger. You need a band-aid. All there is in the house is Barbie band-aids. AAAGGGHHH Well it's better than the Hello Kitty Band-aids!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

One Month Old!!

Some of my nurses love to take my pics early in the morning when I am awake and email them to mom and dad - aren' t they great.

Some of my nurses are funny so I smile and laugh when they take my pic

Today she has made it one month! Just to highlight how remarkable, amazing, and awesome that is, consider this. When Jennifer's doctor was looking into getting her transferred from the hospital where she had Sara to our current hospital, she called over to check on how Sara was doing. The NICU pediatrician said - "The baby is in really bad shape, you need to get Mom over here right away" This doctor is known for his optimism - we never heard that from him. We just found out about that conversation and it gives us more reason to stand back and be amazed at the gracious hand of God. The Giver and Sustainer of Life has so filled Sara with life, vitality, health, and she continues to improve. And we continue to worship.

Sorry about the delay between posts, I have had some late nights this week. I wish I could say it was all because of Sara, we do visit late each night. Or I wish I could say it was some other noble ministry endeavor, staying up late writing sermons, studying etc.. Or I wish I could say it was stopping to change tires for people on the highway home each night. But I must confess, Fil (my Father in Law) and I have been staying up late watching LSU win another national championship in baseball. Geaux Tigers! But now they have it and we are back on track.

Sara's weight last night was the highest so far - 1654grams (3lbs 10oz). She has had some weight fluctuations, which is normal, but maybe now we can eat our way to 1814 (4lbs). She ended up only having one transfusion to get her hematocrit level above 40. She was at 28 and they want it at least above 40. She still may get more, but so far one was enough. She only had one episode of Bradying yesterday. In fact it was when Jennifer was kangarooing last night. (I know you all thought it would be me).

We saw the neurosurgeon yesterday and her pressure was good - so no tap. He is still very pleased with her progress. We also had our first session with an occupational therapist who is super nice. We got to watch her work on oral stimulation in preparation for bottle feeding - which we pray will go well and eventually be breast feeding. (That's a good prayer request). She showed us what to do and we can actually work her suction muscles ourselves when we visit. I think she said later this week, definitely next week they will begin trying a bottle! At one time we were told she may never be off a feeding tube, now we're trying bottles at 32 weeks. I don't even know what to say about that.

Her oxygen was down to 21% for the first time a few nights ago. It is a constant game of fluctuation. They turn it down, try her out, then turn it up a bit. But each day it is a little less O2 or a little less volume. She is hovering between 21-24% O2 and 3.0-3.5 liters per minute. Her body temp is also holding more steady. Last night she was staying at 36.6 degrees C, and the bed was only having to warm to 31 degree C to keep her there. The less the isolete had to work to keep her temp up - the better. It shows she is holding her temp steady. It's really kind of cool. They set where they want her temp and then the bed automatically reads her temp and slowly adjusts downward. When the bed gets down to 26-28 degree C we are close to moving to an open crib. What's so great about that? She can wear clothes! We can pick her up as often as we come. Even both sets of grandparents can hold her (and believe me - they can't wait).

What's in the bag? The picture above is our normal routine, which includes me carrying this backpack. Apparently there has been some discussion about the contents and reason for this daily ritual. So we were asked when we left yesterday - what's in the bag? You have to understand I married one super uber-prepared woman. Jennifer could be a logistics supervisor the army - they would never forget anything and always have what they need. If Jennifer and the girls went to the mall one day and World War 3 broke out, and she couldn't get home, they would be ok for 3-6 months off of what she packs. (ok, maybe that's ridiculous or redunkulous for Bolt fans). So when we go, we go prepared.

The other reason is out of necessity. Living 30 minutes from hospital, pumping every three hours, holding and kangarooing for about 2 hours each time - we just aren't going to the hospital without having to pump. In fact we schedule our visits if we can so we get there, pump and then hold and snuggle. So that means we have pumping accessories to bring (the hospital provides the pump you have your own attachments for obvious reasons). A insulated lunch bag with ice packs. We also carry the kangarooing shirt, camera, and a magazine or two to read for me. So that's it, that's whats in the bag. Nothing exciting, just necessary. Hope you all have a great Thursday! Oh yeah, Sara's friend in NICU is doing well - keep praying for her and her parents. And always please remember to pray for the doctors and nurses - they work so hard. And while I'm at it - remember the other babies and their families.

If only that nasal thing wasn't in the way I could go to town

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Dad's Blood to the Rescue

Sara got the first of probably two blood transfusions today. She had several her first week of life. It was strange seeing so much blood going into her, but it was good because she is so much bigger now than her first week. They are thinking after the second transfusion she should be doing so much better and we might go home with her Friday. Ha! I'm kidding, I wish my blood had that kind of power.

It will take a few days for us to see the effects and hopefully her heart rate will no longer drop. This is called Bradying (why I don't know but google probably does), and her heart rate will drop from 150ish down to 70ish. Most of the time she can get it back up on her own. Sometimes they have to stimulate her to remind her to breath. This is very common with preemies.

Jennifer didn't get to hold her this afternoon, but she was well enough to hop in the kangaroo pouch tonight. Besides that it was a regular day in NICU, day 29. God continues to help us, give us strength and stamina. He continues to fill our hearts and minds with hope and faith. We have even begun some work to get her room ready at the house. It won't be long now. Thanks for all your prayers and love!

Kicked back getting a little of Dad's blood. That's ok, he has plenty to spare

Reservoir tap today - getting much clearer - Yeah!!!

4 weeks old!!

Had a slight scare, or I should say concern Monday night. Scare is too strong a word. We came to kangaroo and was told we wouldn't be able to because Sara's heart rate had been dropping too often along with her SpO2 number (this measures oxygenation of the blood). The nurse's concern was she might be sick, starting to get sick, fighting some kind of infection, or it could be her blood count was low. The nurse had drawn some blood and sent it right to the lab to check. I had to go get Jennifer who was changing into her kangarooing shirt and let her know the inconvenient news. (News I did not want to deliver because Jennifer loooooves to kangaroo with her).

Well, mom was not very happy about the news, kind of like another punch in the gut, but we held out hope knowing that this was a normal thing for a preemie. How come even though you know it's normal, you know it can be corrected, it's still no fun to go through? The good news, within an hour we knew she was not sick, she was not starting to fight an infection, her blood count was low, and she needs another transfusion. The pediatrician was planning on checking her blood count Wednesday and was pretty sure she was going to need a transfusion. So at some point today she will get some of my blood that I donated about 3 weeks ago. Thank you Lord that it wasn't something more serious.

On another good note, we talked to the Neurosurgeon today. He did not have to tap her, and he was very pleased with how she looks. He said she looks much better. We will wait until next week to do a CAT scan. We're still praying and hoping for the best about the shunt, so please pray with us.

I am almost convinced that Jennifer needs to do all the holding, had another episode this afternoon when I held her. He SpO2 number started dropping as I was talking to the doctor and as Jennifer wasn't there but pumping. So the doc begins to adjust her O2. It wasn't helping. The machine cuts off which is a sign that there could be an obstruction in the line. The doc calls the respiratory therapist in to check that. She starts suctioning Sara, put a breathing bag over her mouth, asks me to help hold in the place. By now about 3 other people have gathered around us, and her numbers still aren't coming up. I'm sitting there holding her surrounded by these professionals. The machine is beeping, they are discussing her, I'm siting there trying to be calm like no big deal. She checks the line, apparently there was an obstruction. Gets her going again, and while her numbers lingered low for a few minutes, she got them back in the mid 90's. So all these people walk away and in walks Jennifer and she asks, "how's it going?" Ohh just fine, it's been great, here take your daughter!

Thanks again for praying, caring, loving, and walking with us! When you pray for Sara today, also say a pray for a good friend of ours whose baby girl was born last night at 36 weeks. They went ahead and put her in NICU to observe breathing. Scary stuff for mom and dad. I don't know the baby's name, just pray for Sara's little friend in NICU. Thanks

Some more great pics from some of Sara's wonderful nurses!

Look Ma, no junk on my face!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Father's Day

Had a great Father's day, and hope you dads did also. Made to feel like a superhero by my wonderful girls. Got some new golf shoes from Jenny, a garden hose sprayer and candy bar from Abigail, windshield and mirror cloth from Emma Grace (they picked these out themselves from the dollar store), and some good holding time from Sara who was wide awake. Can you beat that! Well, I'm sure you could, but from where I'm sittin' you can't.

Me and Abigail headed out to a local par 3 course for 9 holes Saturday. Can you say hot! But fun

Sara continues to do well. There are some issues with her weight fluctuating, but we were told by her wonderful nurse tonight - don't sweat it. Everything else is doing so well the weight thing will come around. So we said - ok, we won't worry. That's easy enough, right? Jennifer is really enjoying the kangaroo times. We finally found a good shirt that kept her cool on the back, and opened easily in the front. One of my button up short sleeves. I may never wear it again, but it is worth the sacrifice for kangaroo time.

Webster's definition of contentment. Go ahead look it up

What a nice nurse to take our pic. And what a cool hat Sara has to go along with our cool smocks, we are one fly family!

She is up to 32cc's every three hours. Her oxygen still hovers at 4.0 liters per minutes, and between 23-27% O2. The nurses have orders to wean her, so they watch her numbers and adjust and see how she does. She'll get it.

Her reservoir was tapped today and it was considerably better. In fact, I'm including a picture to show you the significant change. Thanks for praying, God is so good to take care of this. Tomorrow we hit the 4 week mark. If we are able to bring her home at 35 weeks adjusted age (that means she will be at 35 weeks gestational age) then we will be half way home. If we can't bring her home them, then we are less than halfway home. Notice the key word there - home. She is coming home, and we can wait if we have to, but boy do we wish it was today. Either way, she'll be home before we know it! God is worthy to be praised, loved, followed, and adored!

Sorry for the fuzziness, the vial on the right is a tap of her reservoir about 1 week ago. The vial in the middle is the 16th, the one on the left is today. Wow! When it is all clear it will be about the color of vegetable oil.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Kangarooing Again!

Our NICU pediatrician has convinced the other doctor to restart kangaroo time. Yeah! Even though we really enjoyed just holding her, skin to skin is much more intimate. Her tap yesterday was better and clearer, so thank God for that. She dropped a bit of weight, so pray that turns around and gets going in the other direction again. She was really alive and alert last night, which was a lot of fun. When you talk to her it really seems like she is trying to focus in and turn her eyes in your direction. Very cool.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Thursday Night

Sara's reservoir was tapped again today an it looks better. We have learn that her official condition concerning her head is called hydrocephalus. Here is a link you can get a little info about it - www.kidsgrowth.com/resources/articledetail.cfm?id=785 After talking to one of Sara's nurses, and doing some research we feel much better about the shunt. The neurosurgeon is convinced she will need it. But, you never know. He won't do it unless she definitely needs it done. So, that's why we pray. Pray that her body would not continue producing excess cerebral spinal fluid. Pray that the blood in that fluid would clear so it could circulate without impediment. Pray that there would be no building pressure in her brain. And maybe, just maybe she won't need the shunt, and we'll have another reason to fall down and worship our God. But even if she does, we still worship Him!

Sara is showing signs of reflexes also. Grasping with her fingers. In fact she loves to pull out the nasal cannula. You can grab both hands and she will attempt to pull head up. This is all good, even though it is too early for those to be full bore. She may need another blood transfusion to give her a little more strength. But the doc wants to wait to see if her body will just produce more blood. If she does get a blood transfusion it will be the blood that I donated several weeks ago.

Had a slight incident today. Jennifer got to hold her for quite a while this afternoon before she finally handed her off to me. (I'm not really upset, I love to let her hold Sara for as long as she wants). So I'm holding her and they start feeding her. Well the nurse heads out and all of a sudden Sara spits up (which we have never seen) and then I look down and her feeding tube has come out of her mouth. So I have dilemma. Do I send Jennifer for the nurse or so I try to get the tube down her esophagus and into her stomach? My choice - Jenn go get the nurse! (Are you crazy, do you think I would do that?) No big deal, we passed her off and the nurse fixed her up. Thankfully my holding time tonight was uneventful.

Here are some pics for you all, have a great night and great Friday!

Here I am for a few minutes without my nasal cannula. Just a little sneak peek for my future life in a few weeks!

Here I am wide awake just when mom and dad have to leave. Ah, kids...

I still have a right hand, I just can wave it fast enough to make it invisible

That's my mom's finger, I can really grasp it now

Aaahhh, the life of an infant, sleep, eat, sleep, poop, sleep, eat, sleep.....

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Meeting with Neurosurgeon

Had a good meeting today. He is very pleased with her progress. He said he is much more optimistic about her, and our baby is much better. They will tap her each day now to clear up the fluid faster. He is sure she will need a shunt. We are still praying and hoping that she won't. You could really tell a difference on the CAT scan compared to the second one, the brain looks much more consistent and healthier. And the second scan was improved from the first. God is surely making himself known already in her life and in this situation. Thanks for praying - keep em' coming!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Tuesday Night

Another great day for Sara, although we were not sure for a little bit. She had her CAT scan this morning. We get a call around 11:45 that the neurosurgeon wanted to meet with us. Jennifer's parents have gone home for a couple of days and other family members have come to stay with the girls, and Aunt Jill wasn't going to arrive until 12:30ish. So Jill steps on it, we rush to get ready, make it there, but he had to leave. We meet with him Wed at 3pm.

Going through our minds was exactly two weeks ago today when we first met the neurosurgeon. They did her first CAT scan and we heard the horrible news of severe bleeding and infarctions. And if you have been keeping up with Sara's story you know the next CAT scan was better and she has done so well. So we hear that he wants to meet with us and in the back of our mind we think - uh oh - how could we bear any more bad news? How do you go back into that hole again and come out? But we also told each other - God hasn't brought us this far to leave us now and no matter what we hear - He is with us. And so we keep believing, hoping, and praying for good things.

We get to the hospital and pray together in the car after we park and then rush to the NICU. He is gone, but our nurse said he wanted to tell us good things. Her tap was much better. Clearer, he tapped less, and the fluid was thinner. All good news. And the CAT scan was better. Again, we don't know anything more than that - but I say that is enough to praise our good and gracious Father in Heaven! And we did, and we have been, and we also got a milkshake on the way home tonight to celebrate with Him! (Hard to find a milkshake at 11:15)

We got some good holding times in today. Tonight Jennifer was treated by our nurse to give Sara a bath. Just wiping her down with a wet cloth and soapy water - but it was very cool. We even got a picture of her non-existent gluteus maximus. Very funny, even though I'm not going to post it. We feel confident she will catch up - it's in the genes.

One happy mom!


"I think I like this.... I don't know"

Jennifer also got to put her first diaper on her, then hold her while I pumped in the breast milk. Her weight is up a bit more - 1613 grams. Continue to please pray, can't wait to share more good news tomm from the doc. God is good - all the time - so let's live for Him.

Changing diaper

No Dad, your not taking my picture again!
Texting from hospital- tap on reservoir was much less, clearer, and less viscous. we hope to meet with neurosurgeon tomm, but we have heard the CAT scan was improved. dont know details, but praise God for the favor He has shown so far.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Happy 3 Weeks Old!

Another improving day in NICU for little Sara. She will be up to 30 cc's of breast milk at her 6am feeding. She continues to require less and less assistance with the oxygen. We got some good holding time in today with her. In fact, both her mom and I got to do some holding. She has a CAT scan scheduled for Tuesday and sometime in the next few days we'll hear the results. Pray for more good news.

As of tonight she is up to 1598 grams!! Can you believe it? In fact the nurse weighed her twice just to make sure it was right. That's 3 lbs 8 oz my friends! Her reservoir was not tapped today, maybe tomm. Pray for continued clearing.

Other than whatever developmental issues we may face due to Sara's bleeding and infarction, her biggest obstacle to coming home and doing well is learning to eat by bottle and/or breast. We are still a few weeks away before any attempts are made. But I wanted to let you all know so prayers can be offered up about that.

Here are some pics one of her nurses was kind enough to notice and take - Thanks! You are all the best!!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

An Explosion in NICU

Ok, ok don't freak out. It was an explosion from the posterior vector canal of Sara Rose. And according to her nurse tonight, it covered her aquarium. She was changing her diaper, had the next one ready to go and BOOM, SPLASH, UUGGHH. So out comes Sara, into the arms of a nurse, and clean, clean, clean, scrub, scrub scrub up the plastic box. Then she goes back in. Well, by the time we got there her temp had not gotten high enough for us to hold her. So, we will wait until Monday afternoon and get 2 good hours of snuggle time in.

But, we did get to do a cool thing - feed her. The nurse, who we had a great conversation with tonight, came in with her syringe of milk. (up to 26cc every three hours) Asked me to hold it to warm it up some more. And then came over to hook it up to the syringe and let us slowly squeeze the milk to Sara. Who could have imagined that? Me, the dad, gets to feed her first. Neither of our older girls ever took a bottle, so this is the first time I have fed them anything this young. Jennifer could have done it, but was worried about squirting the whole thing down her throat. So I gave her the 26cc's in about 23 minutes. And she loved it - her numbers stayed high the whole time.

Warming the milk a bit

Feeding, slowly but steadily

She also had her pic line taken out, so holding will be much easier. And we have a CAT scan scheduled for Tuesday. So we'll keep praying and waiting and watching for God to show up and do more great things in her life and through her life to others.

Aaahhh, less tubing. No pic line in left arm, and no arterial line in right hand.

Was reading through the Psalms this afternoon and came across one of my favorites - 67:1-2 "May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face to shine upon us, that your way may be known on earth, your saving power among all nations." ESV May God do great things in our lives so His greatness is known through the nations! Enjoy

Saturday, June 13, 2009

The Holding is back on!

Thanks for praying, the pediatrician convinced the neurosurgeon to let us hold Sara each day - just not a kangaroo hold. We can hold her on the outside of the clothing until the sutures come out. Her reservoir was tapped tonight and it looked better, clearer. Her oxygen looked better tonight - down to 25% O2. And her weight is up to 1466 grams - 3 lbs 3.5oz. Very good night, Jenny can't wait to do some holding Sunday night. Oh, also her pic line is coming out - so much easier to hold. Have a great Sunday!

Saturday Evening

Sara has continually progressed through Friday and Saturday. She is off of the continuous feeding, and now is given about 22cc's at one time every three hours. More of a normal infant eating routine. He oxygen weening is up and down, but as of now no one is worried about it. In fact, she may go to another machine which is a step down and closer to breathing on her own.

The neurosurgeon should see her Sunday and he may tap the reservoir, pray that the fluid would clear up. I'll check her weight tonight and see how she is coming along. The line that was in the artery in her arm has been taken out. It wasn't working well, and they didn't need it as much. They may leave it out for good. There is also a chance her pic line will be taken out soon. So when we do get to hold her - a lot less wires and tubing. We will be down to feeding tube, oxygen, and leads which measure heart rate and respiration. Awesome!

Thanks again for caring and praying. Continue to lift up the other babies and families in NICU.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Mun gode maka Allah

We give thanks to you God. That's Nigerian from a dear friend who has spent time as a child and missionary in Nigeria. That's the expression of our hearts to Sara's continued improvement. In fact she is officially a level 2 baby. Level three is the worst cases and she has graduated to level 2! In the next day or two she will receive about 15-20cc's of breast milk every three hours. She still has some work to do on her oxygen, her numbers go back and forth. But on a graduated line, she is slowly being weened. We didn't get to stay long tonight, so I don't know about her weight.

About the kangaroo holding time - we have to wait for the sutures to come out of her head. This is typical procedure after a reservoir. Hopefully it will be in just a few days and we can resume kangarooing. Yes, it was disappointing to hear, but God will give us patience for the long haul. I think the child will be held long enough when she comes home to make up for it. It was also very encouraging to have some nurses and a doctor go to bat for us - to no avail. But that's ok, soon enough, this is not a hill to die on.

Tired, off to bed, have a great night - thanks always for caring, praying, and sharing with us.

Check out my new hat and snugly! Courtesy of Threads of Love, a ministry that makes these items and others for the NICU and drops them off for the preemies.

She got a diaper change when we got there today and was happy and awake for quite a while.

Hey, just what is all this junk hooked to me?

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Weight and Feeding Update

Well, she didn't hit the big 3.0 - how about the big 3.2!! Can you believe it? She went from 1336 to 1407 grams in one day. That's 3lbs 2oz. She is responding so well to the feeding, she may start regular scheduled feedings every 3 hours in just a few days. God has been so good to help Sara do so well. We feel like we are watching something amazing and so we praise Him!

Daddy Daughter Time

Had a good time Wednesday afternoon with Sara. I got to kangaroo, very cool. In fact, due to the nurses being busy my time was almost 3 hours. And despite a moderate case of numbuhonkas it was a great time. Jennifer and I had a little competition about who could keep her numbers higher when we were holding her. We judge by the blue number, which measures how well her blood is getting oxygenated. If it drops to 84 the machine starts beeping. It usually stays between 92-100. I had a rough start, but then we got settled and we hummed along around 98-100. That was a tiny bit better than her mom yesterday, but she won't agree. I did spend more time in the mid 80's - so maybe we'll call it a tie.

The neurosurgeon came around and said no more withdrawals of fluid this week. He will be out of town and won't see her until Saturday. This is all good news. Her fontanel is very soft, which means less pressure. He is thinking a CAT scan next Wednesday and we are praying that God would continue to amaze all of us.

One thing to pray for - the neurosurgeon didn't like the kangaroo hold. He has legitimate concerns. He and the other doc will work it out. Pray we can still hold her even if it isn't skin to skin. Thankfully, she has been doing so well and hoping he will see the benefit outweigh the risks.

She is up to 6cc's per hour. One nurse mentioned when she gets to 15-20 cc's per hour they will begin looking at scheduled feedings. I'll check on her weight tonight to see if she hit the big 3.0 Off to VBS.