Sunday, April 26, 2009
Saturday, April 25, 2009
Doesn't he just look so peaceful!? even with the kinked neck!?!? He was out cold! I even had to check him a few times to be sure he was still breathing! He is out like this again for bedtime (since 8pm) and I am hoping it goes for a few more hours...I am not waking him at night for feedings (not that we ever had to) and last night he went two stretches of over 4 hours.
OH and...we had lots of poops today! (I know you just wanted to know that!) He certainly made up for the last 2.5 day sof nothing..I think I changed 5 or 6 dirty diapers. Not fun and very stinky!
Friday, April 24, 2009
He is getting so so big! I've been looking back at some pictures from the first few weeks and how he snuggled right int he crook of my arm and now his head barely fits there! He definitely would have been quite the big boy if we had gone to term.
You might like to know that Charlie is also eating tremendously well these days! I really did let myself relax after our follow up appt. and he now only has about 1 feeding per day that he only eats a little bit. For a few days, this feeding was in the middle of the night and then he would go back to sleep. I was hoping that was a sign he would start sleeping longer (ideally through the night)! We do not wake him for his feedings, he wakes himself so it is really up to him to start sleeping longer and going longer in between meals. He still isn't pooping everyday, but hopefully that will come soon.
Here are some recent pics (I realized yesterday that I have about 1,000 from his first week and about 10 from the last two!):
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
The appointment was VERY helpful to me. We met with a nurse practioner and a dietician. Without even asking us, she voiced and eased EVERY concern that I have had over the last four weeks of Charlie being home!! She obviously sees many many parents that have the same worries and must see patterns. Although it makes me wonder...if ALL the parents coming out of NICU have the same fears and same tendencies that are probably hammered into us by the nurses, shouldn't they change their approach? Or give us a bit more guidance from the beginning??
So here's what I learned:
- Feedings: They last only 30 minutes. No longer. If he eats it faster that's great, but any longer than that and we run into a 'snacking' cycle. And he has to wait 2.5 to 3 hours before getting more food. It takes about 2 hours for all the food to get out of his stomach so if we start any earlier than 2.5 hours, he really isn't hungry enough to eat a full bottle. And it was suggested that we make a pitcher of formula instead of one bottle at a time to 1)minimize the air that is added to the mixture during shaking or stirring (it will settle eventually) and 2) to enable us to give him more or less than the instructed ratios (scoops of powder to ozs of water).
-Pooping: It's ok for him to go up to 4 days without having a dirty diaper! That's a long time!! We are going on another 24 hours of no poops, so I am scared to see what it's going to be like...but we don't have to worry.
-Sleeping: when he gets drowsy he is supposed to go in hs bed so he gets used to putting himself to sleep in bed..not on us! This does not mean though that we shouldn't snuggle, hold and cuddle him! However, it will still be a few weeks before we can start letting him sleep through the night. Now we start at the newborn milestones/guidelines...as if he was just coming home with us today.
Now for his stats!! He weighs 8lbs 4oz without a diaper! This puts him in the 5oth percentile; length is 20 3/4, 75th percentile and head is 34.8cm, 25th percentile. he is going to be tall and skinny!!
The dietician also told us that the standard weight gain is 15-30 grams per day...Charlie is averaging 51.1 grams per day! They were impressed and we no longer have to use the extra calorie formula.
The NP also did alot of movement and reflex tests. He is very strong and is doing more than what they expected; For instance, if you stand him up he will bare weight on his legs and hold it for a few secs before collapsing.
Overall..they just kept saying he looks great!! And he does! He is thriving and growing as if he was a full term baby! And I feel TONS better about everything. I am going to try really, really hard to not worry so very much!
Monday, April 20, 2009
I headed up to my mom's today around 10 am to parade him around some of her 'customers' (she is a mail carrier) worrying a bit (yes, again!) about my poor little man because he hadn't pooped in over 24 hours...and he would only take about 2oz before getting really really agitated. We got back to her house around 12:30. She was holding him and said 'I think he actually pooped' well I wasn't too excited (yes, excited over poop!) because he also has had some really nasty smelling gas. She wasn't wrong this time! Upon opening his diaper I found it FULL of this thick mud consistency green poop. Called mom into the room to see and immediatly she says that is from the iron in the formula...obviously much higher than in breastmilk. Also after this he sucked down 3oz..no agitation, drools, breaks in 10 minutes!! Go baby!! But he wasn't done! He filled another diaper and then sucked down another 1.5 oz! Finally!
It may be a few days before his little body gets acclimated to the higher iron and nutrients in formula, but atleast I know he does eat! And I am more comfortable with the 'why' he slowed down. Hard to explain, but I feel better knowing there is a tangible cause as opposed to him just not wanting to eat.
We haven't had any more poops yet the rest of the day, but hoping for one tonight. He is eating better though...closer to three ounces each time. Awesome baby!
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Actually, I still am a little bit. He is not very consistent..2ozs at one feeding 3 at another...sometimes 4. Sometimes every two sometimes every three hours. No pattern what-so ever.
I am completely done pumping now too. We have half a bottle left of breast milk but otherwise he is 100% on formula. I also switched from the preemie stuff (a higher calorie version) to the regular stuff and using a gentle formula for his gas. Not sure if it's helping or not. I tried the gas drops, but he seemed to spit up more.
As long as he is eating something, I'll try not to worry too much.
Also, some non-baby news. We started looking for a house this week! There is a lot out there...I found a couple I like, now just to convince W. Wish me luck on that, he is VERY picky!
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
I sure hope we are not back where we were in the NICU..but it sure feels like it. I hate seeing him not eat and it makes me extremely nervous. Of cousre my stress doesn't help him at all.
Fortunately we already have an appointment scheduled for Friday so we will definitely be talking to her about it. Really I am hoping he resolves the issue on his own and we don't have to talk to her about it! He'll get hungry enough, right?
Saturday, April 11, 2009
He really puts his arms like this on his own...I almost always find him in some weird position sleeping. And when he wakes up, he kicks off all of his blankets, even the one swaddling him tight!
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
We went for our follow up today after getting the MRSA diagnosis...His spots are gone and the Med student and the Dr both confirmed that the Bactrim Charlie is on will take care of the MRSA. I still really really like the NP, but she really did put the fear of god in me! Dr P told us we should do 'normal' things...So we are out of the self imposed 'quarantine' :). I have already been out to my sister's, FIL's and tomorrow we are going to see a good friend! This does not mean, however, that we will be going to malls, restaurants, stores, etc. We don't want to get carried away in other germ infested places!!
Oh and I freely admit that I may have over reacted. It has just been a hard road to get Charlie to the point he is now..through a tough pregnancy, a NICU stay, and trouble eating...I just don't want to take any chances. I have never been and hopefully never will be a germ-phobe. In fact I fully believe that exposing a child to germs helps build immunities, BUT..we don't need to expose a 'weak' vulnerable teeny tiny baby to these things just yet. A few more pounds and we'll be good.
Speaking of a few more pounds: Charlie got weighed today!! 6lbs 8ozs!! He is up 10oz from last week!! And up to eating 65ml per feeding (he ate 43 when we came home two weeks ago)!! He'll be big before we know it!
Sunday, April 5, 2009
Saturday, April 4, 2009
We got the results yesterday: MRSA. My biggest fear. Here is a definition of MRSA provided by Mayo Clinic. It is a form of Staph, just more resistant to the antibiotics. Charlie is on Bactrim (sp?) and fortunately the strain he has is not resistant to the bactrim.
What is really difficult about this is he is still very small. It is hard to medicate correctly an infant, no less a preemie, that is that small. The NP called the Neonatalogist over at RMH and was able to confirm our dosing. So far we are on the right path.
So what do we do now? Well, for starters I am asking everyone to give us a bit more time before coming over to visit. Charlie is very susceptible to infections and it is hard for him to fight them off. It makes him very tired..if he is too tired he doesn't eat, if he doesn't eat he gets dehydrated, if he gets dehydrated he has go to the hospital. See where this is going? Also, Daddy and Grandma need to get tested (I was tested multiple times in the hospital as the hospital is a breeding ground). However Daddy is very low risk so he may not get tested. Grandma goes on Monday. She can't hold him or be around him until she is confirmed negative.
Honestly, we don't know where the infection came from. He very well could have carried it home with him from the hospital. But we have to rule out the possibilities.
Charlie doesn't seem sick and is still eating really well...but we want to keep it that way. We need him to get bigger and stronger so that these things are no longer a worry for us.
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
I also had a bout with a mild case of baby blues. It's hard for me to admit that I can't do everything or to admit that some thing didn't feel right. Fortunately it only lasted a couple days and I am feeling much better. Also I havet he best support person...W let me cry and talk about what was bothering me. Yes he teases, but that's his way of lightening things up a bit. He has always been the type that doesn't worry too much about anything, he has the 'it is what it is' attitude. Sometimes I wish I could be like that, but I'm not. I worry and stress.
Speaking of worry..Sunday after his bath, I notice three little spots on Charlie's skin in his diaper area. They were clustered together and looked like pimples, puss filled yellow spots. I called the clinic on Monday to see if I should worry or if it is something that just happens. The nurse said to bring him in if they don't get better in a day or two. Well they seemed to get bigger and two of them popped on their own so I decided to take him in anyway. I saw the nurse practioner who was awesome. She was very reassuring that we have a healthy baby and that Mom and Dad didn't do anything 'wrong' to cause the infection. She couldn't definitively say what it was but she is treating it as if it is a staph infection. She also voiced one of my worries and my main reason for taking him in: we don't want it to be MRSA! So he is now on antibiotis for 10 days.
He also got weighed at the Dr's office: 5lbs 14 oz. He is growing fast! He gained half a pound in 4 days! (Friday he was 5lbs 6oz)
Here is a pic of W holding Charlie and W's cousin holding his 5 month old...HUGE difference!
And here is Charlie so hungry he felt like he should hold his own bottle! Too cute!