Video of Michael doing nothing, and of Isaac and Sydney fighting each other

As if you hadn’t heard enough from us lately, here’s more. Liz wanted me to post this video clip of Michael. Typical of little babies, he’s pretty boring.

Isaac and Sydney were happy to test for their yellow belt in Tae Kwon Do. As if he knew what would happen, the instructor put Isaac and Sydney together for sparring. It was a little one-sided. They both passed, and Sydney was awarded “Best Test” of the 7 or so folks testing with her.

Going Home Soon!

Michael is officially out of the incubator. He only needed the gavage tube for one feeding in the middle of the night. If he can eat all of his feedings on his own tonight then he should be coming home Tuesday!

Peter and I had a nice day together at the hospital and Peter enjoyed being able to really sit and hold his new son. We’re thankful that our family is all well and over the colds and flu bugs that were hanging around last week.

Thank you for all your prayers and encouraging comments. It has been wonderful knowing that our friends and family have been looking out for us these last couple of weeks.

Today’s Update on the Little Man

Michael is being weaned out of the incubator and should be in an open crib by tomorrow! He has been keeping his body temperatures steady and still putting on weight the last three days.

For the last 24 hours he has been having some bottles. He only needed a little bit topped off through the gavage tube. The doctor predicts he should be able to feed himself orally for all feedings in the next couple of days.

When Michael A) can get all of his calories by mouth for 24 hours, and B) can keep his temperature steady in an open crib for 24 hours then he will move into a hospital room with me for 24 hours; if all goes well then he gets to go home! If he keeps up progress at this rate he should be home in the next three to five days.

Michael and Other Things

Peter and the kids showed up for a little while to see Michael last night before going to their TaeKwon-Do class. Being a very hands-on dad, Peter volunteered to change Michael’s diaper and proceeded to get exploded on. Ten points for Michael!

Michael’s update:

  • He’s still cute
  • Around his feeding times he has been more wakeful
  • He poops a lot
  • He likes to nurse (he does NOT like the burping process)
  • He likes warm water pored on his head

I was able to give him his first bath yesterday; it’s been a while since I’ve done that. He did not appreciate being sponged off and having some tape removed from the sides of his face, but he loved being snuggled in a blanket and having his hair rinsed off with warm water. After his sponge bath, I got him dressed and snuggled him up warm in a couple of blankets and got to sit and hold him for quite a while before needing to lay him down in the incubator. I’ll take these little moments of heaven!

Peter is holding up well with the kids. They seem to be doing well and keeping busy; Peter has been doing some fun science experiments with them and taking them to any available TaeDwon-Do classes to keep himself sane. We’re trying to arrange for someone to watch our kids on Sunday during the day so Peter can come spend a whole day with me at the NICU. We have hardly seen each other since Michael was born!

Hurry Up and Wait

Yesterday the realization hit that Michael could be in the NICU quite a while longer; maybe as long as 2-3 weeks. The major hurdles have been met, but now he just needs more time to bake in the incubator while he develops his strength; a job that would have been much easier had he just decided to stay put a couple of weeks more before making his grand entrance.

Although he knows how to nurse, his little body is by no means ready to do it around the clock so today the doctor suggested giving him a break and only trying nursing twice today. So be it. We are going to start doing some feedings by bottle in a couple of days; not my ideal solution, but he needs to be able to feed himself by bottle or breast for 72 hours around the clock before he can go home (among a few other milestones that need to be met). I will have to wean him off the bottle one feeding at a time once we get home; this should prove easier than it did with Sydney because Michael has been a better nurser than she ever was.

Michael is doing an OK job keeping his body temperature at an even keel. When he gets to an open crib he needs to be able to regulate his own body temp for 24 hours before being discharged.

Overall, this process is going to take longer than we originally thought, but I am thankful for the great communication we have with the doctors and nurses. They have been very helpful letting us know exactly what progress has been met, and what needs to happen still.

We are thankful for wonderful friends and neighbors who are helping out our family in the meantime. Peter is going to take ten days off of work to spend time with the kids (he does have to go in a couple of times for meetings), and my mom is coming next week for a few days.

Life is hard, but life is good.

I Love Staying at the Hospital…

Not exactly the Ritz Carlton, but the hospital stay has been going just fine. Thankfully I did have two sets of underwear so I could hand wash one pair at night time and wear the others during the day. Scrubs make ultra comfy pajamas and are so stylish. And I think stringy, greasy hair that hasn’t been washed in five days is making a come back; just consider me a trend-setter. But just to keep me humble and not too comfortable with my established routine, I have a neighbor bringing me a bag packed with all of the important modern-day toiletries and changes of clothing (I am interested to see the outfits that Peter packed for me). So by the end of the day I will be showered, blow-dried, plucked, and dressed in a different outfit than the one I have worn for three straight days. No more modern day pioneer woman for me!

Michael has been doing really well yesterday and today. He has figured out how to nurse and can do it effectively but it tires him out a LOT. Right now we are nursing three times a day – 8:00 AM, 2:00 PM, and 8:00 PM, and feeding through a gavage tube during all the other feeding times (which come every three hours). His little body needs some time to get strong enough to nurse around the clock before he can come home. There is no way of knowing how long this may take for his little body but he is making steady progress.

The poor little guy pulled out his gavage tube two times in five minutes this morning; he must love having it re-inserted…either that or he’s just being a little muscle man show off. He’s very sneaky.

Right now I am missing my husband and kids that are at home still recovering from colds. Michael’s cute and all, but I want to spend time with Sydney and Isaac; reading to them, giving them hugs, and ordering them around the house with chores. If they are feeling well by tomorrow evening they may come and see Michael through the NICU window.

As if life weren’t complicated enough…

OK… The bigger kids are both sick (Isaac with a fever and an overly hefty dose of high drama), Michael is in the NICU about 30 miles away, I’m still fighting a cold that is taking its time going away, Liz is at the hospital with Michael, and now we’ve got almost 18″ of fresh snow on top of the 2 feet we already had. I can barely get the back door open far enough to let the dog out, and then he has trouble finding a place to go… he’s an 80lb dog… I’m glad he’s not an ankle-biter. He’d get lost in a drift and never resurface. As is, he’s standing on about 1ft of packed snow, and the porch didn’t get as much snow as the rest of the yard. Our 5ft fence looks 2ft tall.

Thanks to the weather and the sick kids, the folks at the hospital asked Liz to spend the night there in one of the extra rooms. Now it’s looking like she’s going to end up there for another night with a high probability she’ll be there until Michael comes home. When she went there yesterday, it was just supposed to be for the day, so she didn’t pack clothes or toiletries. Now I’m in a position where I can’t get those items to her because the roads are impassible. She’s going to have to rough it for another night.

Lots of good news for Michael today!

  • Michael has been off of the oxygen for over 24 hours
  • The bili-lites have been turned off. His jaundice went way down.
  • The IV was taken out of his head this morning. He is getting plenty of fluids from his regular feedings.
  • He is able to rest better between feedings and continues to gain strength.
  • He has started opening his eyes to look around when it is time to check his vitals and eat.
  • It is so nice to see what he looks like without having his head covered in tubes, wires, and gauze.

I am doing well and enjoying each day; being with Michael during the day, spending time with Peter, Sydney and Isaac in the evenings and early mornings.

Unfortunately, Isaac has been pretty sick this morning (Peter and Sydney also have mild colds) so I have to wear a face mask at home and keep my hands washed; also, I have to kind of stay away from him. If I get sick I can’t go to the NICU, so here’s hoping that I stay well during the next few days.