Thursday, June 28, 2007

Big Girl Bed

Posted Jun 28, 2007 2:23pm

Elizabeth continues to amaze all of the NICU staff. She is doing great and they all love her. The big news is that she has been moved to a big girl crib! As long as she continues to maintain her temperature and weight gain she will be out of the isolette. Her weight is up to 2lbs 10.5 oz, she will be weighed again tonight.

The eye exam showed that she still has some more growing to do and the doctor will be back to check her next week. There is about a 50/50 chance that Elizabeth will need laser surgery. The good news is that the vessels have grown in correctly that are used for her main vision, now they are watching for her peripheral vision and to make sure that her retina does not detach.

What a beautiful baby!

Elizabeth and her bear 10 weeks

Big Girl Bed

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Still Growing

Posted Jun 26, 2007 9:07am

Elizabeth continues to do well. Her weight is up to 2lbs 9.5oz and she is 14 1/2inches long now! Feedings have been increased to 24cc every three hours and Elizabeth seems to be handling the amount fine. Her cannula air flow has been weaned down to 1 1/2 liters from 2 and so far she does not seem to notice the difference.

Elizabeth will have an eye exam this week, so we are praying that they are growing as they should. Right now my big goal for her is to nurse, she will latch and try, but soon stops. This is normal for tiny babies because they get tired very easily. Hopefully she will get the hang of it soon.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Double the Baby

Posted Jun 22, 2007 4:52pm

Elizabeth is still doing really well. She is doing great on her cannula and requiring low amounts of oxygen, today she was at room air for a few hours. The next step is to wean down the amount of air flow thru the cannula.

Elizabeth has doubled her birth weight, she is 2lbs 6oz. Her feeds are up to 22cc every three hours. We are trying to breastfeed twice a day now, try is the word. Elizabeth usually lactches and takes a few sucks and is done; right now all her food is given via a feeding tube that she likes to take out.

The eye exam this week wasn't great news, but was expected. The eye doctor who did the exam said that Elizabeth needs close watching and will start weekly exams. Elizabeth is at a huge risk for some problems. Right now the doctor is watching how the vessels are growing, if there is a need for surgery it will be done latter on. It also looks like the hernia Elizabeth has will probably need to be repaired close to discharge.

Please keep praying and enjoy your weekend!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007


Posted Jun 19, 2007 2:36pm

Elizabeth is now almost 2lbs and 5oz! She is growing, but not as fast as they would like, so her milk has been fortified to 27 calories and she is now getting 21cc at each feed. We are also starting to breastfeed once a day. The first try was more of an introduction; Elizabeth didn’t do much and went to sleep. Last night, try two, she actually latched and nursed for a little bit. The nurses and I were amazed not expecting her to do much. Her nurse checked her tummy and Elizabeth took 1cc! This is a very small amount, but we are so happy that she was able to get any at all.

This leads me to the next topic. Many people ask how big Elizabeth has to be to go home. There is no minimum weight, she has to be able to take all her food by mouth, so either by breast or bottle and be free of events. One of her doctors told me that Elizabeth should be home in about six weeks. This was the first time any doctor had said she was going home, it was huge for me. There are still lots of hurdles to cross. There are a number of eye exams and a possible laser eye surgery, hearing tests, feedings, oxygen weaning, and all the development issues later. There is about a 1 in 4 chance she will come home on oxygen support.

Today Elizabeth is officially is off her CPAP and on nasal cannula all the time. Unless she gets tired will stay off CPAP, I have been told that babies get tired and go back to CPAP for a little while. Since Elizabeth has proven everyone wrong (never going back on the vent and having no real issues with her feedings) I think that we have seen the last of the CPAP machine. Elizabeth has a possible hernia that is being watched, this is something that isn’t unusual for preemies who have been on a course like Elizabeth. Hernias usually result in surgery, either right before discharge or a few months latter.

Please continue praying for our tiny little girl. She is an amazing little baby and her continued improvement and beating all the odds can only be the work of God. All of these prayers are being heard. Thank you for all the love, prayers, and support.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Posted Jun 14, 2007 11:11pm

What a big day! All Good!

I can’t believe that Elizabeth will be two months old tomorrow. She has come so far, what a little miracle! Like all babies, Elizabeth has to get her two month immunizations tomorrow. Her nasal cannula time has been extended to six hours twice a day. Elizabeth is doing great with it; her oxygen requirement is almost the same as when she is on CPAP. Elizabeth is becoming such a big girl, that they put her in clothes for the first time today. She had on a little t-shirt and was swaddled in a blanket and was very happy tonight. There was an “educate and create” class for the NICU parents yesterday, which was a lot of fun. One of the doctors talked about developmental care for preemies, we had lunch, and made a picture frame craft. It was great to meet other parents and do something social; sitting in the NICU can sometimes be less than socially stimulating. Of course I talk to the nurses and therapists a lot, but it is nice to talk to parents who are sharing a similar experience.

Elizabeth is “The NICU’s Next Top Model”! One of the lactation consultants asked me if I would be willing to have a picture taken while kangarooing. I said sure, thinking it would be a quick snap shot with the NICU digital. It turns out the picture is for a breastfeeding brochure for the hospital and they wanted to show skin to skin care. One of the hospital’s photographers (who does beautiful work) came and took some wonderful pictures of the two of us. I will have the pictures in a week or so and will post them. I don’t know when the brochure will be published.

When I came in tonight Elizabeth’s nurse told me it was a bath night. This usually means a wipe down. Tonight was her very first “tub” bath. Because Elizabeth is such a special baby she got the royal treatment. Her nurse but some soap in the water and turned on some oxygen and put the hose in the water. She had her very first whirlpool bath, almost like a trip to the spa! I gave her the bath and she loved it (mostly)! Elizabeth was weighed tonight and is now up to 2lbs 3oz! I forgot to bring our camera, so we have to scan in the pictures that were taken tonight and I will post those soon too.

Thank you so much for all the prayers and support. Please keep them up, I hear everyday from the medical staff what a little miracle she is. The power of prayer is truly working!

Check out that huge belly!

Another picture that shows how small Elizabeth still is- her head fits in the palm of my hand

Monday, June 11, 2007

Big Belly

Posted Jun 11, 2007 3:56pm

Big Belly Baby!
Elizabeth is doing well, the only concern her doctors have right now is the size of her belly. The CPAP machine blows air into her lungs and some of the air is swallowed causing her belly to get very big. Right now it is soft with good bowel sounds, which is what we want. A major concern for all preemies is NEC, an infection of the intestines which can be very serious. The nurses and doctors are very vigilant checking for any signs of NEC in order to treat it as soon as possible. Right now her belly is just full of air, but they are keeping an extra close eye on her. Last night her belly got really big, they cut her feeds down by half and “helped” her to stool. After a few hours it looked a little smaller, but her doctor ordered an x-ray just to be careful. As she suspected, Elizabeth’s belly was full of air with no sign of anything bad. Elizabeth just has to work the air out of her system. She was also put back to full feeds. To help her belly and give Elizabeth a challenge, she is going to go back on her nasal canula for 3 hours twice a day! We will be praying that she tolerates her time on the canula better and can keep advancing her time off CPAP. She did awesome today with an oxygen requirement down to 25% for part of the time (21% is room air)!

Elizabeth’s weight is up to almost 2 lbs 2 oz. She had lost some weight due to some diuretics that she was put on, but seems to have gain most of the weight back quickly.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Two Pounds!!

Posted Jun 6, 2007 4:53pm

Two Pounds!!!
Elizabeth has finally made it to two pounds; in fact she is 2lbs and 1/2oz! The nurses made a sign for her bed “Welcome the newest member of the 2 pound club”.

Elizabeth is still doing well. She had a lot of events yesterday, her caffeine was checked and she had a low level. The doctor upped her dose and Elizabeth has had a much better day today. She had her first eye exam today. This was more of a base line check and she will be checked every-other week from now on. The doctor said Elizabeth had a lot of growing to do (surprise!) but so far so good. Most of the problems that Elizabeth could develop in her eyes can be treated with laser surgery, which I found very reassuring.

Ava made some black and white drawings to tape in Elizabeth’s bed to give her something to look at. Ava also enjoyed drawing all over herself with the black marker!

Monday, June 4, 2007

A Hard Day

Posted Jun 4, 2007 3:33pm

Elizabeth is doing great!
She has gained weight 1lb 14oz. Elizabeth will be weighed tonight, I think she will break the 2lb mark! Because of her weight gain her feeds have been bumped up to 18cc (more than 1/2 an oz) every three hours! They add extra nutrition to the breast milk to get more calories, each feeding is about 24 calories. This doesn't sound like much, but is about the same as an adult having 10,000 calories a day! All of Elizabeth's IV's are out which is great news and one less source of infection, which right now is the biggest threat.

Today was a hard day in the NICU, while Elizabeth is doing great there are two babies today who are very sick. I don't know their situation, but a little boy is dying today which was very hard for everybody there today. I had introduced myself to that mother a few days ago. He was born at 24weeks and 1 lb 9oz, it is hard to know why some babies do well and others don't.

On brighter news, I was able to visit a good friend right before her little boy was due to be born and am looking forward to seeing him during his very short hospital stay while he and mom recover from birth.

Thanks again for all the prayers,we truly belive that they are working and the reason our little girl is doing so well. Please keep them up!