Thursday, August 25, 2011

Update


So here is the update from yesterday:
I talked to the doctor last night about doing the 3 day versus 8 day monitoring. From what I understand, the 3 day is more strict and harder to pass. If he fails it, they have to wait 2-3 days and then try it again or start the 8 days over again, so if he doesn't pass then we are looking at him staying longer than 8 days anyway. For the 8 day, as long as he doesn't have any major spells he is fine. We were really struggling with what to do because obviously we want him home as soon as possible, but we also want to do what is best for him. If he comes home in 3 days and then has a spell 2 days later, how would we know without him hooked up to monitors? As hard as it was, we have decided to go ahead and do the 8 days. That is what the doctor recommended and we feel it is the safest thing to do. These "spells" are just a prematurity thing and he will grow out of them. As I was holding him last night in the hospital trying to decide what to do (and crying from the stress of the day), his heart rate dropped again. It didn't stay down long and isn't considered a spell since he was able to recover on his own, but it seemed like a sign to me that he just still isn't ready to come home.
With that being said, I talked to my doctor's nurse this morning about extending my disability to 8 weeks and she said that they can't. She was really nice about it and was very understanding of my situation, but said that they have to follow protocol. Because they will do a 6 week postpartum check up and clear me, I will no longer be under their care.
So the timeline we are looking at now is Carter coming home next Thursday or Friday and me going back to work on Tuesday. I have a few vacation days so I will probably take them to give myself at least a week home with my child before I have to go back to work, but I don't exactly want to use all of that and have nothing left either.
I also start grad school Sept 6 and will have class 2 nights a week, on days that I work, so those days I will leave the house around 6-7 am and get home around 10 pm and not see anyone in my family. It sucks, but I don't really have a choice - neither one of these classes are offered again for another year and 1/2 so I have to take them this semester.
So overall the situation just sucks, but we will figure something out. It will be a rough few months but I'll just have to suck it up and deal with it. Nothing about this summer/pregnancy/year has been ideal, but that precious baby is worth it all :)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Home Soon!!

*UPDATE: About 2 seconds after posting this the nurse called and said that he just had another spell where his heart rate dropped. He is supposed to go 8 days spell-free before he can come home, but she said sometimes they do a different monitoring for 3 days. I have to talk to the dr when I go over tonight and we'll see what they decide to do. Kind of a discouraging phone call. While I want him home, I also want to know that he is ready to come home. If he is still having problems with dropping his heart rate, we won't have monitors here to tell us so it could be dangerous. I want what is best for him but I really would like for him to be here.

Carter has been a rock star with eating and on Monday they switched him over to "ad lib" so he now eats what he wants, when he wants. When they switched him, the put him on a lower calorie formula so they said it may take a couple of days to adjust and start to gain weight. Once he gains weight 2 days in a row, he gets to come home!! He gained 4 grams (pretty much nothing) Monday night but then lost last night. They said he has been taking more than his usual amount at his last few feedings today so hopefully he'll gain tonight and tomorrow and then get to come home on Friday!! We are trying not to get our hopes up or get set on a certain day, but we are pretty sure he'll be home by the end of the weekend.
He is a month old today and we are so proud of our little miracle baby. I can't wait to have all of my family here together (but I should probably get started on the nursery...)
Thank you all for the prayers and support over the past few months. This summer didn't exactly turn out as we expected but we are thankful for how well everything is going now and are looking forward to the future :)

Oh - and I had to post this picture of him with no feeding tube! His little cheeks have fattened up quite a bit - he is up to 5 lbs 12 oz.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Growing Boy


Carter is still doing really well!! He is growing like crazy - as of last night he was up to 5 lbs 9.7 oz!!
He is starting to get the hang of taking a bottle - he took a full 2 oz for me today but he still has feedings where he gets too tired or starts breathing too fast and has to stop. The plan is that once he takes 80% of his feedings by bottle (he is a little over 50 now) then they will switch him to eating on demand - he can have however much he wants whenever he is hungry. He has to gain weight for 2 days doing that method before he can come home. We seem to be getting pretty close to that, but he also has to go 8 days "spell-free" before going home (heart rate drop below 80 for more than 20 seconds). He had been doing awesome and had not had a spell since July 31, but then the little stinker had one 2 days ago, so now he has to start the 8 days all over again.
At this point, if he gets his feedings figured out and has no more spells he could come home as early as the 25th (next Thurs). We are hoping he can come home by next weekend!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Sweet Little Peanut


Carter is doing great!! He has gained up to 4 lbs 11 oz (as of last night) and according to the nurse he is 18 1/2 inches long, but that seems like a huge difference in just 2 weeks!! (He was 16 inches when born.)
They have discontinued the caffeine, so as of right now the only thing he is getting is vitamins. He is working on taking a bottle but only take about 1/4 to 1/3 of his feeding and right now is only allowed to try once a shift (twice a day). His breathing is still fast at times but seems to be getting a lot better. He had a follow up echocardiogram yesterday but we don't have the results yet. I guess his heart murmur is still pretty loud so they want to make sure the hole isn't getting worse or something.
The past couple of days have been great - I have been able to take the boys to daycare and then spend a majority of the day over at the hospital, but today was their last day so it will be a lot harder to go see him starting tomorrow. Actually, Rubin is working until at least 7 tomorrow night so it will be pretty much impossible to see him. I have made it a habit to go to his 9 pm feeding every night and it is really nice because I can stay as long as I want and don't feel guilty about not being home with Brayden and Cam since they are in bed by then anyway. I am just ready for him to be home so I can spend time with all of my boys at the same time, but I know that he is where he needs to be right now. I feel like the past 2 weeks have gone by pretty quickly so hopefully it will keep going by fast. I just hate feeling pulled in different directions.
Other than being a little tired at times, I am feeling great! I haven't needed pain meds other than ibuprofen every once in a while. I had my incision check yesterday at the dr and everything looks good so far. I need to start dieting to try and lose this baby weight and actually am looking forward to being able to work out again. None of my clothes fit (really wish I wouldn't have gotten rid of all of my "fat clothes" last summer!!). I'm sure it will take a while to get back to my normal energy level after the bedrest combined with the blood loss but I really can't complain - I just love being allowed to get up and move whenever I want!!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Brothers

Carter was moved to a regular crib by a window last night so the boys were able to come see him today for the first time. They were so proud and excited! It was adorable to watch the boys reactions to seeing him for the first time. I think Cameron is finally starting to get that he has an actual little brother - when we left the hospital this afternoon he asked to see him again. So sweet!!

As far as an update on Carter's condition, he is doing really well. He has gained up to 4 lbs 4.5 oz and has consistently been gaining weight every day which is great. He is in a big boy bed and is off of all oxygen and his IV. Other than the feeding tube he is doing everything completely on his own. The speech therapist stopped by to evaluate him today to determine if he is ready to bottle feed yet. He still has some work to do and isn't showing an interest yet, so we just have to work on it and be patient.

I am doing really well. I am still pretty sore at times but nothing I can't live with - especially when I remember to take my pain meds which I'm not so great at doing. I am feeling fine and have been out and about several times over the past few days. (Somehow I feel well enough to go to the store but not well enough to clean the house yet ;) The more people I talk to the more I realize how crazy and dangerous the whole situation was. I'll save the details for another post, but will sum it up with the fact that God had absolutely everything to do with the fact that Carter and I are both alive right now. And another huge thank you to the doctors and nurses that were there that night - they were all seriously amazing!