Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Excellent Visit with the Boys! :)

I slept in terribly late today.  I got up to pump during the middle of the night, but I didn't actually get up until about noon!  I had wanted to get up early and go see the boys.  WHOOPS!  But, I have to say that it felt good to get some serious sleep.

As soon as I got to the hospital, the doctor came in to see me.  She wanted to know when we could schedule our overnight visit with Colton!  WOOHOO!!!!  So, here's the plan . . . We are staying over on Saturday night to see if we can manage his feedings.  I have never had a problem feeding him except the first time I did it (you know, when I had no idea what I was doing and made the poor baby cough, spit and sputter!).  But the nurses have had some bad feedings with him, particularly at night.  So, Bubba and I will get a dry run with help nearby.  Then, they will order the apnea monitor and oxygen for him.  The company who supplies it needs to "train" us how to use them.  When the doc told me this, she kind of rolled her eyes like it was no big deal.  I said, "Oh, yeah, I know I shouldn't smoke near the oxygen tank!"  I think she thought I was serious.  I quickly told her Bubba and I don't smoke. (I guess not everyone gets my sense of humor!)  The oxygen he is coming home on is 1/16 of a liter.  It's more than he is actually on now, but it's the lowest the home oxygen tanks can go.  She said it will actually be easier on him to transition home and easier to wean.  I asked about the carseat challenge test.  She said that will probably be done after the overnight visit, but that it only takes 30 minutes.  I thought it was longer than that, but she said no, just 30.  But, they do it when he has a full belly and is sleeping.  This is because that is the hardest time for the babies to breathe.  

He had his echocardiogram and his physical therapy evaluation done today.  The official echo results aren't back, but a little birdie told me everything looks good.  No Viagra for Colton.  The physical therapist called me before the eval and explained how the test is done and what it is evaluating.  She warned me that micropreemies usually score below their gestational age and not to worry when he does.  When she called me back she said she was very excited to test Colton and to calculate his score.  She said she didn't cut him any slack nor give him extra points for being cute.  She said his results were average (there are only two catagories: below average and average) and that a score of -0.5 and above is average.  His score was a +0.23.  According to the test, he is physically between 37 and 38 weeks.  That's exactly where he is in adjusted age!!!  Meaning, if I were still pregnant, I would be 37 weeks and 3 days.  He's not delayed as most micropreemies are!  That's my boy - an overachiever!

The other day, the nurses had some of my breastmilk that was about to "expire" (refridgerated is only good for 48 hours, defrosted is only good for 24 hours when babies are in the NICU).  Because of this, Colton got a few feedings that were almost all breastmilk.  Guess who only wants the breastmilk now?  He is normally given breastmilk first and then the formula.  Not anymore!  Now, he gets about half of his formula, then his breastmilk, and then the other half of his formula.  It's like he's having his dessert in the middle of his meal.  When I fed him tonight, he had no problems at all.  No spitting, no sputtering.  Lots of burping though.  Everytime he burps at least one of the nurses says, "Oh my goodness!  What a burper!  He burps like a man!" 

The doctor and I also talked about Seanie.  We talked about transferring him to my work.  She wants to know the name of the machine that we use for high-flow oxygen and if they are able to do and echocardiogram (and have a cardiologist read the results) and treat him for pulmonary hypertension, if he has it.  She says if that's the case, he can probably go when Colton goes home.  She thinks he will probably be home with us "within weeks," but said she doesn't know if that will be three weeks, four weeks or six weeks.  She says he is a little stuck where he's at with his oxygen support, meaning he is still on the 6 liters/minute, even though his percent of oxygen is down.  They are going to check some of his protein levels to see if he doesn't need a higher protein formula.  Low protein levels in the blood causes fluid to leak out of the blood vessels, causing edema.  Edema is something we are almost always battling with Seanie.  When his edema is bad, his respiratory status is affected because of the fluid in and around his lungs.  So, maybe this is the answer.  We will see. 

I did get to feed little Seanie today.  He ate almost two ounces in about 20 minutes.  He eats like a champ!  He is getting about half of his feedings by the bottle.  The other half are started by bottle and then finished with his tube when he shows that he is getting tired.  They are doing this so that he doesn't get worn out.  It's the combination of the breathing, the forced air from the vapotherm, and the eating that wears him out.  Everyone believes that if it weren't for the breathing issues, he would be taking all his feeds by bottle.  In fact, he is a better bottle feeder than Colton.  About 45 minutes after feeding him, he was really fussy and wouldn't settle down.  I picked him back up and held him.  He kept wiggling and wiggling and fussing and fussing.  Then, he started sucking on my shirt.  Um, kiddo, it doesn't work that way.  So, I tried breastfeeding him.  At first, he wasn't sure about the whole thing and was clearly frustrated.  Then, he settled down and started to feed.  Now, he wasn't getting much of anything since I had just finished pumping and he would suck and stop and suck and stop.  He spent most of the time in the stop mode.  But, it treally settled him down and he fell asleep. 

Night all! :)

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