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Monday, February 20, 2006

The Future is Now

When last we left our loyal readers, Jeffrey had just broken 1700g and was eating without the assistance of a feeding tube. Oh, that is sooo last week!
So where to begin? I found out on Wednesday morning that Dr. Thingvoll and some of the other fellows have been reading the blog, and that they enjoy the parent’s perspective on “Life in the NICU”. Hello!
Nurse Cindy has kept Jeffrey on the straight and narrow with his feedings, and he’s being given 2 oz. at each feeding, though he doesn’t necessarily consume it all. I can still remember his first 2 cc. feeding only a few weeks ago – oh how the time flies! It’s been wonderful to see how he’s been able to grow. Just 2 weeks ago, he could barely breastfeed without dropping his heart rate and going apneic after just a few swallows. Now we hardly hear the alarm on his monitor go off during a feed for more than just a quick “blip”. Everyday is a new discovery; a new milestone.
On Friday, Danielle came in to feed Jeffrey and noticed a pleasant surprise – no more nasal cannula! It was so obvious that she nearly missed it. Of course, with babies in an isolette, you can’t very well say, “Hmm… there’s something different about you! New glasses? Are you parting your hair different?” But there it was, as plain as the lack of tubing on his face… his face! It really means a lot to see and hold him with fewer wires and tubes and tape on his body. I took a lot of pictures. When I came up, Cindy had just called to tell us that the PICU was kicking us out of our room because they needed it (the NICU “rents” the rooms from the PICU as vacancy warrants and need merits). Kathy came up to help us in our migratory path across the PICU to the cardiac care suite – the new home of the NICU annex. We had fun packing up an entire room’s contents plus all three babies and setting up shop. Kathy even let us pick which spot we wanted. It’s a corner with a nice view out the window. Finally, when we were done moving, we were able to give Jeffrey his first bath. He tolerated it well and only cried a little as we wiped him clean. You have to wash them very methodically and most importantly, quickly, since his tiny body doesn't maintain heat very well. We wrapped him up in towels, dressed him up in layers and put a cute hat on him before we fed him. What an ordeal!
My Mom and sisters arrived at our house just after we got home on Friday. Each sister had a daughter in tow: my nieces Brianna, 7 and Tori, 6 months. Since Jeffrey’s not home yet, we had perfect accommodations for the baby. Danielle’s Mom graciously offered to come up for the weekend and help us get the house in order for the baby shower, so by the time my family showed up, the house was looking better than it had… well, since Dani’s Mom left 4 weeks ago!
The remainder of the party guests arrived Saturday at around Noon. After a quick tour of the house, we headed to Olive Garden for a relaxing meal and a fun time for all the ladies. I got to tag along, probably because I’m the only one who brought a camera. We got back to the house by 4:30 pm and watched pictures and movies of the boy on our Xbox with Xbox Media Center. Then Danielle opened gifts. Jeffrey received so many wonderful toys, baby care items, bedding, outfits and decorations. Everyone was very thoughtful. I’ve posted pictures of the shower here. It was so nice to be able to see everyone and share this exciting time in our life with them. Normally, being so far away, we really only get to see the entire family like this at Christmas, and then it’s so busy with trying to run to everyone’s house in time, get food ready for 40 people and hold a conversation with so many that it’s hard to get to visit with everyone.
Today we went to see our son and were in for a new surprise. Nurse Judy told us that she’d just ordered an open crib for Jeffrey, and it should be up soon because today was his last day in an isolette. How exciting is that? If you’ve been following along, you’ll recall that an open crib is another check box on his Candy-Land route to coming home. Like Nurse Cindy told us on Friday, things are going to move much faster now. He’s eating more, gaining weight faster and will be whipping through the paces so fast that before we realize it, he’ll be home! And, of course, she’s right.
As each day passes, my alternate lyrics to the song I’ve been singing him are becoming more and more inaccurate.

[To the tune of Bow Wow Wow’s “I Want Candy”]
Change his diaper when he gets wet
Spends his days in an isolette
He just thinks breast milk’s fantastic
Through a feeding tube that’s nasogastric

He’s so tiny, he’s so tiny

Oh, come on… you try to come up with a song that rhymes “Nasogastric”!

Vitals: So close today! With a 60g gain on Thursday, we thought for sure that he’d be 4 lbs (1812g) on Friday. Nope. Saturday? Nope. OK, Sunday then! Nope. Holding at 1795g, just a half an ounce shy. Tomorrow for certain! Follow up vision test tomorrow at 2:00 PM. We’ll be following up with the nurses to be sure that he holds his temperature in the open crib, but we’re not too worried. Cindy and Judy are pretty determined nurses, so I’m sure that if they think Jeffrey’s ready for the open crib, then he’s ready.

103 new pictures this week! Click the link "Pictures and Videos of Me" in the sidebar on the right to view them!


Sue Fisk said...

He looks better & better each day. It's so awesome watching him grow and "fill out" so much!
Come on, Jeffrey... the cheering section is calling for that 5 pound mark!
They are also calling for a ban on your father's song lyrics...

ArthurDent said...

Wow! Lots of progress!

Candyland, eh? Good game metaphor. I guess Talisman wouldn't work so well.

Sheila said...

Hi Guys, we made it home Saturday night somewhere around 11:30pm, we ran into some snow on I-90 so it slowed us down a little. I had a wonderful time at lunch and back at your house. Your new house is very nice. I can't wait until Jeffrey is running around and you're chasing him through it. His new pictures look great, keep your heads high it won't be long and he'll be home.
Love, Sheila

Servo said...

I'm so glad that you guys keep this blog running! I read it while I have my coffee every morning. Glad to hear that Jeffrey's tube is gone and that he is in an open crib now! (Cheering)

Anonymous said...

Open air at last. I do hope that you both have had some time to rest. Wonderful to hear that Jeffrey is on his way home. For those of us that live too far away, the blog is a great way to keep updated on all the updates and wonderful milestones.

4 pounds, here he comes!


M Newberry said...

you go boy - progress is the key, all things are looking up and connor is awaiting his playmate!!!