Saturday, July 30, 2011

Week 34

34 weeks gestational is hard to think that we have been on this roller coaster of a ride for 7 weeks now. I am quickly reminded by just how long our stay has been as the families around us that started our journey in the NICU  have long gone and have been replaced with several different new families. I would not be telling the truth if I said it did not bother me for the babies that came in after us have left before us. I would even say that I am jealous of them. I am also surprised at how little these guys are and how much they are able to do and endure! I am in awe of them. Most families have a picture of the entire family by seven weeks of the baby being thing that many take for granted that I envied having. However, thanks to the amazing nurses we had this past weekend; they made our family picture come true!!! With a quick change of all of the boys to make them match, a couple of portable oxygen tanks, and a few rookie nurse photographers, are family pictures were not only a reality, they were perfect and are something I will cherish!!!

To continue the high to the start of the week, Jeff's sister and family came down for a vacation. Not only were they great company to host; they made life better! The room where we are housing all of the kids' things has overwhelmed us to the point where we sort for a few minutes here and there and then we are done. After coming home from the hospital we found that Jennifer and Earl had sorted through and labeled the entire room....AHHHHHHHHHHHH; this was HUGE! How thankful I am for their organizational skills! This took a load off of my plate which is pretty full!
This week we started bottling the boys (well; not Grayson since he has too high of flow of oxygen and bottle feeding would cause him to aspirate). They all are able to is just the suck, swallow and remembering to breathe part that is tough for them! Not to mention I am learning myself of how to hold them in a way that makes it easier for them, how often to burp, etc. They are able to attempt to bottle once a shift, so once every four feedings. Although the majority of the formula ends up on their clothes, they are trying; and just like the old quote goes...practice makes perfect!!!

Camden has still had large residuals even after all of the breaks, tests, etc. They concluded it was from him being on a 24 calorie formula. When they cut it back to 22 he still had some and when they cut it back to 20 the residuals lessened drastically. The only problem with this is that he needs the extra fortification to grow. They are figuring the best plan and right now it is to increase the volume of the 20 calories feeds and then if added nutrition is still needed, to look at other formulas.

All four boys had their ROP eye exams on Monday. I usually leave the NICU the second I here of the eye doctor coming; but Grayson was laying so sweet that I continued to hold him throughout the other boys' exams. As always, each boy cried and bradied and I did everything in my power not to lose it. I anxiously rocked Grayson until it was his turn. When the exams were over I was told that all four boys have stage one of ROP (the early signs). No treatments or serious concern is needed until stage 3 or 4. The boys will be examined every week to ensure the condition is not worsening.

The pediatric surgeon came into the unit early this week and discussed the boys (all buy Brock) surgery. All of their hernias will be removed on the 19th of August. Hopefully this will be the last surgery my little men will have to endure. I feel at ease as she explained  the procedure in great detail and although every surgery is not to be taken lightly; I feel that this one is small in comparison to what could be.

SIGH. There is nothing like walking in to see the boys and to see the dropped face of a nurse to inform you that your child is not doing well. That was my Thursday. Camden began requiring more O2 and could not hold his temp so his isolette top was dropped to keep him warm. He continued to have residuals even after the formula change several days prior. With these things all occurring, they decided to take a film and draw labs. Of all days to have my postpartum appointment which was not at Wilford Hall but across was today when I wanted to be with my little man as they continued testing him to figure out the cause of his issues. During my ridiculously drawn out appointment, i got a call from Camden's doctor to inform me that his blood work came back indicating he had inflammation caused by an unknown (still testing for ) source and that he was anemic. After consenting; they continued testing by drawing spinal fluid and getting a urine specimen. When we went back that night he was receiving a blood transfusion and was already started on antibiotics. As many times as I have seen the boys with IVs in their does not get any easier. I am well aware that an IV in the head is the same as in the hand, arm, or foot....but it just looks so much worse and hurts my heart every time I see one in one of my boys. Sweet Camden toughed it out during all of the tests like a trooper. Only a small bit of bacteria grew out of the cultures but since his numbers were still rising showing signs of infection; antibiotics were started for at least 72 hours.

5 pound Keaton!

Camden getting snuggle time with momma

Brock rockin a mohawk!

Happy Grayson:)

1st Family Photo!!!...notice all boys waving...or saying "no pictures"!!

Love my family!
I will take everything that comes our way, for the good and the bad...all in anticipation of the day I get to bring home my four little men; the thought of this day is what keeps me going day in and day out. We are simply blessed,

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