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Archive for May, 2008

Level II

Look Sunlight[Update: Added Picture]

We finally moved yesterday to Level II. Things are a little different there so we are adjusting. I meant to take a picture but I forgot. I’ll probably stick one in later. Gideon continues to breast feed and we think he is doing great. It is just hard to see progress some times when you are looking from feeding to feeding. Which is a shame since it is the ONLY thing keeping us here. We also learned that it will probably take about 2 to 4 days, depending on doctor, of monitoring his breast feeding progress after they take out his NG tube. That can be frustrating because we really want to take him home.

He has been a little fussy lately, whenever he is not eating or sleeping. He has a pretty bad diaper rash and I think it is significantly irritating him.

We took infant CPR class. That’s good. But we still have to take car seat training. Let me reiterate that, I said car seat training. It takes an hour long (an hour!?) and we will take it without complaining. But if it came down to that one thing keeping us from leaving I would be pretty furious.

I have to admit that I am starting to get frustrated. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and I want to start running faster, but I feel like we are being held back. I try not to show it to Michelle because she is pretty fragile.

–Ries, patience wearing thin

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A Verse for the Day

My sister-in-law, Katy, sent this to me and I wanted to share it:

“I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” Romans 8:18

It reminds me that everything has a purpose and all things can be used for God’s glory if we open our eyes to the possibilities.

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Movin’ On Up

Not to a penthouse in the sky, but to NICU Level 2, where they put babies who are not very sick and who are almost ready to go home. Woohoo!

We are waiting to see if they have a bed available and then we will move sometime today. I am going to miss having our own room and very attentive nurses, but I am excited about this step.

I have been at the hospital with Gideon since Sunday, working on breastfeeding. Yesterday, I forgot to sign up for a room for the night, so I took cat naps in Gideon’s room in between feedings. Luckily, you can get a room during the day for naps. I signed up for one so I can take a shower.

It is strange staying at the hospital. I have not left this floor for days and the only reason I have been outside is because there is a garden on this level in between two of the places I go to often, the Milk Bank and the Ronald McDonald House. I keep expecting the world to not be going on without me, but that is not how life works. No one else was in the waiting room this morning and so during one of my breaks, I watched CNN. It was nice.

Currently the man in question is sleeping soundly. I hope he wakes up for his noon feeding.

Nothing else to report.

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Sorry there was no update yesterday. Gideon realized both of his parents were here and if he cried and acted like something was dreadfully wrong, one of us would hold him. Spoiled already! Without all the tubes, he has only monitors and a feeding tube in his nose, we are free to pick him up whenever we want. It is nice.

Breastfeeding is progressing. Luckily, the doctors are supportive of not mixing bottles and breast so that is one battle I do not have to face. Gideon has stopped fighting at the breast and stays latched on longer. His latch is not always great, but it is usually pretty good. He is doing more productive, stronger sucks more often and the time he nurses ranges from 10-20 minutes. Gideon is a leisurely nurser and likes to sit there as much as eat. I do not mind. I think he is making progress and the staff here seem pleased with how he is doing.

I feel less frustrated because I know he is getting better and we can do this. I appreciate everyone’s advice and support. Figuring out the breastfeeding relationship in a hospital, on a set schedule, is grueling, but we seem to be doing ok.

My progress has been harder because I have been battling mastitis in my left breast. It has been uncomfortable to very painful off and on for a couple days now. Heat, massage, Tylenol for the fever, and long pumping sessions have helped. I was feeling sorry for myself yesterday because I know the best cure for mastitis is to go to bed with your baby and nurse and sleep for a couple days. I want to do that!

Ries talked me out of my pity party. I have rarely given in to the “I wish X” thinking through this, but yesterday I was feeling crappy. I heard from several people that mastitis was painful. They were not kidding. One more hurdle for me, I suppose.

Today is another day, camped out in Gideon’s room. I owe several people phone calls but I mostly only leave to eat, go to the bathroom, and pump. It is a routine in which time loses all meaning. Phone calls, except to update Ries, take a back burner.

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IMG_7258

Originally uploaded by Wandering Eyre

Gideon is currently sleeping like a log. He kept himself awake most of the afternoon and night, fighting sleep like only babies and small children can do. He finally went into a dead sleep between his 3 am and 6 am feeding. This resulted in him turning his nose up at the boob at 6.

I think maybe he just needed his dad to be here to give him a booby pep talk. I am not sure what is involved in this sort of cheerleading session, but I suppose that is a secret between Ries and his boy.

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I promise to write a longer post later about what it is like to live in a NICU room with a baby. Like any new Mom, I only have the minutes this moment to type while I wait for the sleeping beauty to finish his nap and be hungry.

Because Gideon was so sick and eating is such hard work, any eating, bottle or breast would be an uphill battle. Breastfeeding is more challenging because it involves me and the doctors have no idea how much he is getting. Amounts are very important in hospitals. Everything is measured and this is no different. As a result, here is the course of action the doctors, nurses, and I are taking to get my little man to eat what he needs to so he can go home.

Gideon gets fed every 3 hours. I try to breastfeed him right before his feeding time. I have to hope he is hungry and not too sleepy for us to be successful. We will weight him before and after I feed him and they can use his weight to estimate what he is getting. They will subtract that amount with what they want him to have (currently 70 cc or a little more than 2 oz) and tube feed the rest. I think it is a decent plan that makes everyone happy. The doctors and nurses have something by which to judge his progress and I get to feed my boy.

He did get a bottle at 12 and he will get one at 6, but those may be the only ones he receives. They wanted to check his actual sucking mechanics to make sure he had no muscle damage and see to see how much he would take. I think he got less from the bottle than from me as he was not that interested in it. *shrug*

Gideon and I are doing fairly well with the breastfeeding. As long as he is amenable, read not sleepy or grumpy, he will eat for 7-10 minutes on one side without a nipple shield or extra help. I think that is pretty darn good for only a couple days of effort.

It is still hard and I feel more pressure with the weighing business, but I know we have to do it. The nurse practitioner seemed to think it will be 7-10 days before he will get this down enough to go home.

In other Gideon news:

  • he is completely off the morphine
  • he passed his hearing test today

I hear rumblings from the bed. Please excuse typos. Wiggly babies come first.

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Michelle and I are spending our Memorial Day weekend like any other parents, with our kid.  Today Gideon got out his PIC line so he no longer has anything that provides a source for infection.  They were able to do this because they have canceled all his intravenous feeding.  He is now getting 70 CCs (~2 1/3 oz.) every three hours.  The only things tying him down now is his nasal cannula, his feeding tube, and his monitors.

We have just a few more obstacles to overcome.  He has to be weaned off his morphine, which will end this week.  Otherwise, the biggest obstacle remaining is learning how to feed.  Michelle tries every time now that he feeds.  I think he is sucking on his pacifier better now so I don’t think he has an oral aversion.  However, I think he is becoming frustrated when he can’t keep all of Michelle’s nipple in his mouth.  It is very frustrating for Michelle and I know she gets worried every time they mention the word bottle.

We have just one specific prayer.  We pray that Gideon learn to latch on and learn how to feed on his own.  I also pray that Michelle be given the patience and perseverance that is needed to work with her son.  This is very important and very hard on her.

–Ries, keeping the praying up, in bad times and good

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