Friday, January 31, 2014

Three Weeks... and a few days...

Hi sweet boy,
What a crazy week it has been! Your tummy is still causing Momma a bit of stress. You were doing great with the lower volume earlier in the week after Saturday's events, but when you got back up to full feeds again yesterday you had a large residual and a distended belly again. This time the doctors had a different plan that just involved giving you some glycerin (stool softener) and letting you work through your feeding and hope for the best. They kept you at a full feed and you did great throughout the night, you had small residuals and a big poop at 6pm.  You spit up a few times when we were with you last night, and it looks like you have some reflux issues. Even this morning you had small residuals, but you did spit up a few more times. At rounds, everyone decided to back off on the volume of your feed from 30 ml (1oz) to 25 ml and see if it improves. I do not like watching you struggle with the reflux! You look miserable as you fight to keep all of that milk down in your belly! Momma didn't hold you today because I wanted your tummy to rest. If you did spit up, I wanted to know that it was because of your tummy, not because I was moving you all around. That was a tough decision on my part, I wanted to be selfish and hold you because I love it so much, but I knew it was better for you to rest. I just got off the phone with your nurse and she said that you did great this afternoon! You had a "huge" poop, and a .8 ml residual at your 3pm feeding. Hopefully, you will get used to the high volume of food soon and start to get a little more regular on your own. We are asking for lots of prayers that your tummy gets better and the reflux starts to go away! The doctors and nurses keep stressing to Momma and Daddy that this is all perfectly normal for a preemie, but I still want you to feel better SOON!
On an AWESOME note, you weigh 3 lbs 8 oz, and your lungs are doing great! You are still on 21% oxygen (room air) and they are weening you off of your cannula, today it was at .400 flow! Last week you were at 1.5 liters! You have also been wearing clothes this week, your incubator temp has been turned down, and you have been maintaining a good body temperature on your own. These are all great signs and mean that you are that much closer to coming home. We love you sweet boy! Below is a video and some pictures of you this past week!
You always seem to be getting the hiccups!

Momma loves her boys :)

I think you look like Daddy and Momma here!

Our house in the snow

Daddy took me to the hospital to see you that morning, he can't wait to drive you in his Jeep!

Big yawn in your monkey outfit that Linda  Hedrick bought you!


Enough is enough with these pictures!

Sweet sleeper!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Let it SNOW!!

Guess what, kiddo! It snowed today for the first time in years! There has been nothing but chaos in Winston-Salem today. Schools dismissed early, people raced to the store to stock up on milk and bread, and all for less than an inch of snow :) It has been CRAZY cold around here since the week you were born, Al Roker calls it a "polar vortex." I call it "my worst nightmare." Momma HATES cold weather, and I'm not found of the early morning treks in 10 degree weather through the hospital parking garage. I would ONLY do that for you, Jackson Crews, and don't ever forget it! While everyone else was running around town in a frenzy, we spent the afternoon snuggling and napping. I could not imagine a more perfect way to spend a snowy afternoon. Here are some pics of you and your first snow. Sorry you don't get to go out and enjoy it, hopefully, we will see it again before you go off to kindergarten!

Holding you as the pretty snow fell... Yes, we know your arms are too long for preemie clothes!
View of the snow from your window. 
Can't wait to get rid of that IV! 
You pulled your hat over your eyes, not really sure how you did this. 

Monday, January 27, 2014

Capturing Hopes Photos

Hi sweet boy,
We got your photos from Capturing HopesTara Joyce took some beautiful pictures of you when you were 8 days old. You have already grown SO much since these pictures were taken, today you weighed 3 lbs 7 oz! I'm hoping that another volunteer photographer will come and take some more pictures sometime this week or next. They like to use the photos to help document your progress while you are in the NICU. I especially love the pictures of you and your daddy, you two are very handsome :)

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Tummy Troubles and Your First Bottle Feed

Hi sweet boy,
Yesterday you decided to bring a little action to our day. Everything has been going so smoothly lately, everyday during rounds your doctors and nurses have told us that its good to have boring reports in the NICU. You've been gaining weight and your lungs are improving, we have felt just a little bit of relief. However, yesterday, right before your 11:30 am feeding, Nurse Lori was checking your residual from your earlier feeding, and you had a lot more than usual. She pulled back on your feeding tube to see how much milk is still left in your belly in order to measure how well you are digesting your milk. Normally, you only have 2-4 CC's max in your belly, yesterday it was 10+ and your little belly measured at 26 cm, very distended for you. The doctors took an x-ray and noticed that your intestines looked bigger than it should.They take bowel issues very seriously in the NICU, there are some pretty scary things that can happen, so scary, I won't even mention them here. Your feedings were up to 30 CC's (1 oz) with a human milk fortifier (HMF) that adds an extra 24 calories to Momma's milk, every three hours. That's a lot of food for a little guy like you, even if you are a Crews boy! So they decided to let your bowels rest for 24 hours. That meant no milk (poor kid), an IV back in your little arm :( and a tube down your throat to suction out any extra gas or residual in your stomach. You were rightfully not very happy about any of this and it was hard to watch you take a brief step back.  Doctors were hoping it was just a bad reaction to the higher volume of milk plus the HMF, and that a big poop would solve the problem. I never thought I would be so excited to see a poop filled diaper (or two). After your poop your belly automatically went down 2 cm! If you want details, you can view the text conversation I had with your daddy right after. Momma was disturbed, your daddy was proud!

Yes, your daddy is listed as "My Hubba-Hubba Hubby" in my phone, don't judge.

This morning your x-ray looked better, your belly was down to 22 cm, and you had pooped two more times, thanks for the scare kiddo! So that yucky tube got to come out of your tummy and you can start eating again! The doctors backed down on the volume and the HMF to just to be on the safe side. 
What was even more exciting is that they wanted to see how you would do with a bottle since your feeding tube was already out and because we had been working on sucking on your paci the last few days. Babies in utero start to suckle between 32-34 weeks, and the sooner we get you to take the bottle I can try to breastfeed some too. We knew that you were still learning, so we weren't expecting you to eat that much. Well, Jackson Crews, you drank all 20 CC's! You also took all of your milk out of the bottle at the 2:30 feeding too! Check out the video below, you were so cute! 
We love you sweet boy!

Hungry boy!
Milk coma
Happy boy!