Sunday, January 31, 2010

Colton's Surgery is Tomorrow

Tomorrow will be Colton's VP shunt placement and bilateral hernia repair.  Please keep him in your prayers.

Colton is now 5lb 6oz and 15 3/8 inches long.
Sean is now 3lb 6 oz and 15 inches long.

Sean has been retaining some fluid.  A chest xray showed there was fluid in his lungs.  This fluid has made his breathing more difficult so his vent setting were increased.  They have given him a few doses of lasix and hopefully that will get some fluid off of his lungs.  Poor baby can't catch a break!

Friday, January 29, 2010

34 WEEKS!!!

The boys are 34 weeks today.  I've spent the day taking phone calls from the surgeons and anesthesiologists as we prepare for Colton's surgery on Monday.  It appears as if he has hernias on both sides - I thought I had noticed it last night, but the nurse said she didn't think so.  I was happy to hear that the anesthesiologist likes to extubate the babies before they go back to the NICU.  Of course, she warned that sometimes it doesn't happen.

Both boys have had their oxygen support lowered.  :)  Sean's vent is giving him 30 breaths a minute.  They lower it by 5 a day.  When he's at 20 they can take him off the vent.  So, let's hope he gets off the vent this weekend!!!  Colton is now getting 1/5 liters/minute. 


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Banned from the NICU!

Mommie was kicked out of the NICU today.  :(  I have caught the cold that Bubba had last week.  NICU rules say I am persona non grata.  :(  I knew that when I left the house.  I was really going to deliver milk.  I took a peek at both boys and grabbed their dirty laundry and headed home after a quick trip to Babies R Us (I got a nice price adjustment on the carseats!). 

But how about some good news about the boys???

Weight check:
Colton 4lb 11oz
Sean 3lb

Sean is on his way to TRIPLING his birth weight!  This is a huge feat considering how he has struggled.  He is doing okay on the vent - his settings were lowered - but the ET tube causes some irritation and he has bronchospasms.  When he bronchospams, he is literally clamping down his lungs and not breathing at all!  When that happens his heart slows to the 70's (his normal heart rate is 150's).  A lot of times he recovers on his own, but a few times the nurses have had to help him out.  He is continuing his antibiotics for his pneumonia.  And, remember his broken leg?  He's moving it all over the place!  Poor nurses keep trying to get him to hold it still, but he refuses.  Spunky little kid!  He is now eating 27ml every 3 hours.  :)

Colton is actually big enough to come home!  He is waiting for his double surgery on Monday.  The general surgeon and the neurosurgeon agree to do his shunt placement and hernia repair at the same time!  WOO HOO!!  After his surgery, we are going to work on getting him to take a bottle.  Babies don't general know how to suck, swallow and breath until about 34 weeks.  On Monday, the boys will be 34 weeks, 3 days.  We would do it sooner, but the surgery will require him to go back on the vent (for maybe a day or two) and then starting over once he's extubated. 

Because the boys were so early, they have not been able to breastfeed - they both are tube fed.  I have been pumping every 2-3 hours with a 5 hours break during the night.  Even though my milk never really came in like it does for most women, I've done okay with my volume up until now.  The boys are now eating more than I am producing.  :(  Because of this, Colton is now getting some formula.  He's the bigger, stronger boy so his system will have an easier time with the formula.  This is a real big bummer for me.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Special Visitor/Rough Day

The boys had a special visitor today.  Their Auntie Lisa came all the way from Virginia to see them!  She spent several hours at their bedsides talking to them and touching them. 

Remember before when I said Sean had pneumonia?  Turns out he didn't.  Well, now he does!  He is going to be getting 7 - 10 days of antibiotics.  Hopefully this is what he needs to get off that dang ventilator!!!  Also, he hasn't gained any weight recently.  He is still 2lb 8oz!

Colton had his head tapped today.  This was the first time I witnessed the procedure.  That boy is tough!  He didn't even flinch!  I had thought the nurses gave him Sweeties (sugar water).  The nurse said no because they had tried to give it to him and he choked on it and because he has never flinched when he's been stuck with a needle!  The neurosurgeon and I talked about the VP shunt placement (scheduled for February 1st).  I asked if having a VP shunt would mean that he should avoid certain activities.  He said he allows his patients to participate in all activites: scuba diving, roller coasters, sports, etc.  In fact, he said there is a professional basketball player with a VP shunt. 

When I was getting ready to change Colton's diaper, the nurse says something about "Colton's hernia."  UM, EXCUSE ME!!!  WHAT HERNIA???  Well, about 3 days ago the doctor noted an ingunial hernia on the right side.  As soon as I took of his diaper, I saw it.  DANG IT!!  This means this poor kid needs another surgery!    UGH!!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Big Boys!!!

Well, it's official.  Colton has doubled his birth weight!  Sean reached this milestone last week - he weight was up and down due to him needing some diuretics so I don't know which day it actually happened.

Nothing new to report other than this . . .


Monday, January 18, 2010

Monday Morning Update

Little Sean is still hanging out on the vent.  He doesn't seem like he is wanting to get off of it. :(  He does seem like his leg is bothering him less.  He is taking less morphine, but is getting a little ativan.  The doctor is giving him the ativan because he thinks that his behavior is agitation.  He does seem to be doing well.  I just wish he'd want to get off that dang vent!  It's shaping up to look like he has chronic lung disease.  What does that mean?  He will probably have asthma and be that poor kid that even the common cold is a big deal.  How about some good news about Little Seanie???  He's back to eating and they are now feeding him 25ml!!  And, he weighs 2lb 8oz!!  Such a big boy! :)

Colton is enjoying his open crib.  It does have a little warmer so he gets some warmth.  He is now eating 35ml!! And, he weighs 3lb 12oz!!!  HOLY SMOKES!!!  He is getting BIG!!  When he's 4lb, he can have his permanent shunt placed.  Won't be long now.  The permanent shunt will mean the neurosurgeon will stop tapping him.  The most worrisome thing for me is that surgery means going back on the vent.  It usually means about 24 hours on the vent.  UGH!!  I just want to get that part over with.

Poor Bubba is sick.  He has some sort of cold.  I'll be heading to see the boys by myself today.  Yes, it all this horrible rainy weather, I will be driving up to see the boys!  First, I need to get my windshield wipers changed.  :)

Friday, January 15, 2010

Seanie is feeling better :)

Seanie is feeling a little better this morning.  His vent settings are being turned down.  He is still getting the morphine, but appearing less like he is in pain.  And, shortly, he will be feeling even better - he gets to eat!!! :)  It's not much food, but at least it's food. 

Colton is also doing well.  The neurosurgeon came by and had to take some fluid of his head.  But, this was after two days of not having to have anything done.  I don't think I've explained that it appears that his temporary shunt isn't working.  But, as a fail-safe, the neurosurgeon had put in a port so that fluid can be drawn off as needed.  So, everyday, they measure Colton's head to see that it's not growing too fast.  If the measurement is too big, the neurosurgeon has to "tap" him.  Despite having that done, his oxygen flow rate was turned down to 2L.  And, yesterday was a big day for Colton.  The nurses aren't keeping him in a closed isolette anymore!!  He gets to lay in bed wrapped in a blanket like the big kids.  And, he's big enough to be dressed.  Talk about being a big kid!  :)When we arrived last night, he was wearing a little blue and white onesie.  We also left him some clothes that we had bought for him and that his cousin Patsi had sent him.  Maybe tonight I will actually remember to take some pictures of him dressed up. 

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Seanie's Setback

Well, the broken leg is too much for Seanie to cope with.  He had to be put back on the vent last night.  He was also given a blood transfusion. Because of the morphine they are giving him for the pain, they have stopped feeding him.  Poor kid is having a rough time.  :(

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Another Milestone

Well, one of the Coats' boys reached a milestone today.  Unfortunately, it's a milestone that we would have gladly waited for.  Little Sean has a broken leg!!  Preemies are susceptible to brittle bones aka rickets.  Something as simple as a diaper change can break a leg.  Well, it looks like Little Sean's leg got broken last night.  The orthopedic doctor is going to put him in a splint that immoblize his leg.  He is currently getting tylenol and morphine for the pain.  The concern is that this might be a big set back for him.  The doctors and nurses are trying to balance pain control and keeping his respiratory drive (too much pain medicine can cause him to "forget" to breath!).  Too much trouble breathing and he will have to go back on the vent.  :( 

Ok, so now we need some good news!  Both Sean and Colton had their first eye exam today.  Preemies are screened for retinopathy of prematurity (ROP).  At this time, both boys have NO SIGNS of ROP.  Because they are so little, they will have another eye exam in two weeks.  :)

Monday, January 11, 2010

Big Babies!

Sean is now 2 lb and Colton is now 3 lb!  Such big babies!!! :)

No real changes with Sean.  He is just hanging out on his SiPAP.  He has some good days and some not so good days, but overall is doing pretty good.  Last night, while doing his care, his nurse tells me to come over to her side of his isolette.  She says to hold onto him for a second.  Then, she manuevers him into my arms and says, "Here, hold your baby!  It will do both of you some good!" and she walks away. So, there I am standing at the side of the isolette, holding little Sean.  After about 5, minutes the nurse asks if I'm doing okay standing there.  HECK YEAH!!!  Then in about another 5 minutes, she says it's time to put him back.  A little kiss for him and back to bed he goes.  :)

Colton's shunt isn't draining like it should.  Over the weekend, the neurosurgeon has had to tap him every day.  :(  He might have to endure this until he's big enough for his VP shunt.  (He needs to be 4 lb before they will place it.)  He is doing well on his high flow nasal cannula.  They've turned it down to 3L at about 30% (just like on the vent, SiPAP and CPAP, they can adjust the percent of oxygen).   I have gotten to hold him with his nasal cannula now.  :)

This weekend, the boys had some visitors.  It was their Grandma and Grandpa Ralph.  Colton was wide awake for part of the visit so Grandma got to see how alert his is.  Sean, on the other hand, wasn't up for visitors.  He did allow them to sit at the bediside, but didn't want anyone talking around him.  Such the little stinker! 

Friday, January 8, 2010

New Equipment

Tonight Bubba and I showed up for our nightly visit to find a new piece of eqiupment next to Colton's isolette.  His CPAP was gone and he's now on a fancy nasal cannula (nose prongs).  It's giving him 4L of 38% oxygen through his nose.  It gives him more support than a regular nasal cannula, but not like a CPAP.  Because of the change, I wasn't able to hold him.  I did get to visit with his while his nurse left his isolette open for about 20 minutes.  For most of the time, I held his binky in place while he practiced sucking.  Such a sweet little baby!!!  He is now eating 30 ml and weighs 2 lb 15 oz!!

Sean is hanging out on his SiPAP still.  :)  The doctors are watchinghim closely to make sure he doesn't have to go back onto the vent.  I am hoping the longer he stays off the vent, the less likely he will go back on it.  He is finishing his steroids tonight so hopefully that is helping him too.  He is now eating 22 ml and weighs 1 lb 15 oz.  Feedings are increased bacause of weight gain (bigger babies need more food), but Sean's feedings were increased because he hasn't gained any weight in a few days.  He's working hard to stay on the SiPAP and burning a lof of calories.  But if he doesn't get bigger and stronger he won't be able to stay on the SiPAP.  So, let's feed that baby!!!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Colton Want to Know . . .


Little Seanie Coats!!!

Sunday night and Monday morning Little Sean was having a hard time on the vent.  The problem was that his vent tube was too small, but the next size up is too big!!  So, his doctor decided to give him another chance off the vent!  He's back on SiPAP and doing ok.  He does have a little difficulty when he's getting his care (every 3 hours) but he's able to recover pretty quickly.

Just before Bubba and I left, the nurse took off his SiPAP mask.  I had about 2 seconds to take this picture with Bubba's phone.

This little guy only weighs 1lb, 15oz.

Big Brother Colton is being a good boy and just hanging out on his CPAP.  When they take his mask off, he tolerates oxygen being blown in his face!  They don't even have to put a mask up to him, just by him!  He did have to have some fluid drawn off his shunt yesterday.  It seems like it's not draining like it should.  But, when it was put in a port was placed so the neurosurgeon can insert a needle and draw off the fluid as needed.  Colton is now 2lb, 10oz.  He needs to be 4lb, 8oz before he can get his permanent shunt placed.  He'll be there soon.  They've increased his feedings to 26ml of the 24 calorie fortified breastmilk.  Little Seanie is now eating 20ml of the 24 calorie breastmilk!  My little piggies!! :)

Monday, January 4, 2010

Aw, Poor Little Seanie . . .

Sean is having a little trouble on his vent.  He doesn't seem to be tolerating any touching, talking or activity near him.  :(  This is something preemies go through, but this was pretty abrupt and it happened at the same time he had an increase in his heartrate.  So, today they checked him blood levels (no sign of infection there) and sent off a sample of his secretions from him ET tube (vent tube).  So far his ET tube secretions look like he might have an infection.  Guess he wants to be like his big brother!!  Looks like little Seanie has pneumonia! :(  Antibiotics have already been started.  Let's hope they start working right away.

Colton is just hanging out trying to be the good big brother.  He's doing well on his CPAP.  :)

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Poor Little Seanie . . .

Night before last, Little Seanie got tired on the SiPAP.  The doctor tried to keep him off the ventilator, but had to put him back on early in the morning.  Since he was taken off the high frequency vent earlier than anyone wanted, it was kind of expected that he would end up back on the vent.  This vent is the regular vent and not the high frequency vent.  Other than that, he is doing well.  He is eating 17 ml every 3 hours.  It's the most they can give him based on his weight.  So, in order to help him out, they are adding milk fortifier to increase the breastmilk's calories to 22 calories (instead of the normal 20).  Right now he weighs 890 grams.  He's almost at his big brother's birth weight! :)

Colton is hanging out doing pretty well on his CPAP.  Bubba did get to hold him last night.  It only lasted about 5 minutes - long enough for me to get some pictures.  After about 2 minutes of Bubba holding Colton, Bubba says, "I think he pooped.  Either that or he had a HUGE fart!"  Sure enough, he started dropping his oxygen level.  Another poopy diaper!!  Dang poopy diapers!!!  They are getting in the way of Colton cuddling time!!  By the way, this dropping of the oxygen level with a poopy diaper (or even while pooping) is totally normal for preemies. 

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!!

So, mommie had the best NYE's EVER!!!  For about 20 minutes last night, I got to hold Colton.  NICU rules say the munchkins have to be 1200 grams, off the vent and "stable" in order to be held.  Well, Colton was "stable" and off the vent, but had been hanging out just under 1200 grams.  Yesterday, his weight was 1240 grams.  WOOOHOOO!!!  He did really well.  We had planned on me holding him for 30 minutes, but about 17 minutes in, he was having a hard time - his oxygen level kept dropping.  So, back to his isolette.  When we were tucking him in his isolette, we found the reason for his dropping oxygen levels - he had a poopy diaper!!!  A quick diaper change and we tucked Colton in for the night.

Of course as soon as I had Colton in my arms, little Seanie started crying.  Yes, from across the room he knew he was being left out!  Poor little Seanie needs to gain another 400 grams before I can hold him!!  It won't be long because he is eating and gaining weight like a champ!  And, he continues to do well on his SiPAP.  But, I found out that he may not have taken his own tube out.  It may have been that the tube came out when the nurses and respiratory therapist were repositioning him.  If that is the case, I have a serious problem with the doctor who told me Sean did it himself.  I understand that things like that can happen, but don't lie to me about it!!!!  That's a quick way for me to fire you from taking care of my babies!

Both boys are eating well.  Colton did have a big spit up the other night so they are watching him closely to make sure he is tolerating how much they are feeding him.  Sean keeps getting his feeding amounts increased.  Last night he was up to 15 ml (3 teaspoons) but I'm sure it's more this morning.