Monday, June 29, 2009

No more Tube

Justin called me today and said that Duncan had his breathing tube taken out. I was really shocked, they didn't think that they would be able to take it out until the end of the week. When I got to the hospital he was doing pretty good, but then he started to just have a hard time and his oxygen level just kept going up and down. His nurse Brooke, said he was just too tired from all the work it took him to breath. Before we left tonight they put a different nose tube on him. They switched him to a cpap (i think thats what it is called) which will allow more pressure for his lungs and make it so he doesn't have to work so hard. I personally think they took the tube out too soon. I asked Brooke what made them decide to take it out and she said she asked Rusty, the NP (nurse practitioner) to take it out and they did. His settings were really low and his blood gases were coming back really good and they thought he was ready. I think that they should have waited at least another few days. He is only 31 weeks old. The one good thing was that we finally got to see his whole face. This is the first time we have been able to see this much of his face. I told Justin that he has his lips, he was happy to finally have something of his be on Duncan. They may have to put the tube down this trachea again, it all depends on how hard he is having to work to breath-they want him to conserve energy, not use it up. We shall see.
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Sunday, June 28, 2009

A sweet day

They are letting us hold Duncan more often now. It is really exciting. His nurse today Scott (my other favorite nurse) said that he could be off this vent by the end of the week, it all depends on how he does. So far he has been doing really great. We keep praying that it will continue that way.

Moving along

If you look closely you can see Duncan sucking on his fingers and he has his finger in his ear-very cute. See his arms? No more lines in them-makes him very happy.

Trying to get him with his eyes open

Too cool-they found him a hat to wear while we hold him so he doesn't get cold too fast, it is so cute and it has a puff ball on the top.
Duncan continues to do very well. He is 31 almost 32 weeks old. He is gaining weight steadily. He is no longer on any sedation therefore he is able to move more so he is burning calories. Also they are weening him off the vent so he is having to work more to breath. This means that his weight will go up and down for a little while. They said that is normal as long as he doesn't drop too much weight. He continues to stool regularly, and that is good. He knows when it is time to eat because he gets really grouchy and moves a lot when he is hungry-wonder where he gets that from. He continues to make great progress and they are saying in the next two weeks they should be able to have him off the vent. Before we know it he will be moved to the intermediate room which is where babies go when they are getting ready to go home.
Also today my mom and dad called from Alaska. They are on train tour to Denali National Park. They said it is really beautiful and my mom was so excited. When they went out of their hotel this morning there was a family of moose in a grassy area near the parking lot. She loves moose and said they were so beautiful. They are in Denali park and will be there until Monday and then Tuesday they will be in Anchorage meeting with their cruise tour group for site seeing and then again on Wednesday and then that evening they will board the ship. I don't know why, but I have really wanted my parents to take this trip for a couple of years. I'm really glad they went. I know my mom was very apprehensive about going, but my sister and I ensured her that they needed to go, and besides it's just a plane ride away if they need to get back.
Speaking of Alaska, tonight Justin and I went to see The Proposal and it was great!! I highly recommend it. I love a movie that makes me laugh and I laughed a lot at this one.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Chunky Monkey

3lbs. 1oz.-That is how much Duncan weighs now!!! We are so excited. It is so great that he is gaining weight because that means that his body and organs will grow and develop. Other good news is that his pic line was taken out today because he is tolerating his full feeds and doesn't need the line anymore (if you look at his arm at the top of the picture, that is the pic line- it was giving him his lipids). He is just doing really great. His Dr. is back and she was so thrilled with how he is doing. She told me she almost fainted when she saw him, she said he looks like a totally different baby. When she read his vision test results she smiled and gave me a thumbs up and said,"This is so good." So now the only lines he has in him are his feeding tube and his breathing tube. They are in the weening process on the vent. It will be a couple of weeks more on this vent and then hopefully onto a nasal vent. It will be so weird and exciting to hear his voice. They are going to give him caffeine to help stimulate the part of the brain that registers that he needs to breath on his own. When babies are extreme preemies they don't have this ability and they have to get this to help so he doesn't get apnea. He is watched very carefully and I have been really happy with most of his nurses. It is really nice when his has the same nurse several days at a time. I really like his day nurse Brooke and his night nurse Lara. They are really great and they both asked for him as their primary-and it is really nice to have that consistency.

I got to hold him again today for about 5 minutes. I was changing him today and he had a poopy diaper, as I was changing him I lifted his legs and as I did he pooped more! Luckily it didn't get on my hand because it was stinky. So he did get it on his blanket that you see in the picture and she had to change that blanket out. As she changed it out she let me hold him and it was really nice. I can't wait to hold him without the breathing tubes, it kind of limits how long and how well you can hold him.

Also, if you look at the picture of my dad and then at Duncan they have the same chin. I think he looks like his Papa. Justin is so surprised at how much Duncan DOESN'T look like him. I am a little too, because I really thought he was going to look just like him. He is total opposite-he looks like me. When Duncan gets the tape off his face we will take a picture and put a baby picture of both me and Justin on here and see what everyone else thinks.
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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Happy Birthday Dad and Henry

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I forgot my camera today, so no new pictures. Duncan is doing really great and best of all his eye exam went great and he didn't have any abnormalities!! He is a blessed baby. I didn't go to the hospital until I knew he had already had the exam. A couple of nurses said it isn't something you want to be there for just because it is upsetting (for both mom and baby).

I had a Dr. apt. today and he went over what we would have to do the next time we get pregnant, that I would have to be monitored very closely from now on, etc. I decided to go home to my house after that and get a few things done. I cleaned out my fridge and cleaned all the shelves and drawers. It was needed and I now have a very empty fridge. It feels good to have a clean fridge-check one thing off the "to clean" list.

Justin and I went to the hospital together after he got off work and we had a good time sitting with Duncan. Justin had to leave at 7pm, but I stayed and got to help change his diaper and then best of all --I got to hold him. It was so nice and he had his eyes open wide. Even after I put him down he had his eyes open for 40 minutes or so. He is doing really good and we couldn't be happier.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Puppy Love

The hospital receives beanie babies that they use in the babies beds to help comfort them and they give them support to stay in certain positions. Well, Duncan's nurses keep putting cat beanie babies in his bed. Justin hates cats and he couldn't stand that he had cats in his bed. So it just so happens that I have an ample beanie baby collection from years ago and they are still at my parents house. I got them out months ago to find the bears and never put them away. I dug through them all and pulled out the dogs and washed them and took them to Duncan so he could have them in his bed to replace the cats. I knew one day there would be a purpose for those beanie babies. I'm going to go through and take out the ones that I know I don't want and I'm going to wash them and donate them to the hospital. If anyone has a beanie baby collection that they don't know what to do with now, if you want to get them to me I will wash them and take them to the hospital. I asked if they took donations of things and actually they love getting things like mobiles, bouncy seats, things that could be used with little babies. So if you have things that you don't know what to do with, I can take them down there for you if you want. Just let me know.

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Monday, June 22, 2009

Feeling Good

On the oscillator. . .
No more oscillator, just the regular ventilator.

After three weeks Duncan is finally off the oscillator!! YAY!! We may get to hold him tomorrow and I am so excited. He is doing great. After he was on the regular vent for two hours they took a blood gas, and when it came back it was great!! He is doing really good. They adjusted his feeds so his full feed will be 20cc's which will happen tomorrow night at 5pm. They will add calories to his milk and he will begin gaining weight steadily.

He has an eye exam on Wed. so please pray that his eye exam goes well.

He is just doing what he needs to be doing and we pray that it continues that way.
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Saturday, June 20, 2009

Doing really good

Duncan is just doing really great. They are slowly decreasing the settings on his breathing machine and increasing his food. He is now 2lbs. 13oz.

My best good friend Christy came and spent the day with me at the hospital. We had a good time sitting with Duncan, talking with Brooke (his nurse) and just talking about what we want to do with our classes next year. We are not looking forward to going back to work. Every year at the end of the school year we have to take everything off our walls and pack everything up. It is such a pain and Christy did my room, her room and moved her room so that we could have a connecting door. She was stressed out, but she was a trooper for doing it. So needless to say we are not looking forward to getting all our stuff out and putting up our rooms again. It really takes almost two weeks to get ready for the beginning of the year. This is going to sound weird, but I'm glad this happened when it did. I'm not glad this happened, but because it happened at the end of the year I am able to save my maternity leave for when he gets out of the hospital and then take my time then. I am looking forward to it. I can't wait to take him home, we still have almost two more months, but they really are going by quickly. June is almost gone and it will be the end of July before we know it and then back to work and hopefully that will help the time pass quickly until he comes home.
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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Famous last Words

Justin swore that he would never change a poopy diaper. Well that lasted until today, today he changed a nice poopy diaper. It was really cute actually. I had to help talk him through it. I don't think he had ever changed a diaper before. I had to even tell him which side was the front and which was the back. He did a good job and I look forward to him changing many more.

Duncan is doing really well. He is on the oscillator still and will be until they can turn the settings down really low. He is now eating 10cc's of milk every three hours and they are still increasing 1cc every 12 hours. So by Monday night he will be on full feeds-this means that he will no longer get lipids (nutrients) but they will add more calories to his milk and he will really start beefing up. The orange cord you see in his mouth is his feeding tube. He weighs 2lbs. 11oz.- getting closer to 3lbs!!

The last few days I have really had the urge to hold him. It is really hard to not be able to. When he gets off the oscillator we should be able to start holding him what they call Kangaroo style. I won't be able to nurse him until he's off the oxygen machines so I am still pumping. I have a freezer full of milk, which means no more room for it, so I am just pumping and dumping my milk right now.
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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Gaining Weight

Duncan weighs 2lbs. 8oz. He is at 6cc's on the feeding, but that changes each day at 5am and 5pm. At each time he goes up 1cc on the food. So at 5am he will be getting 7cc's of milk. He is doing really good and the nurses are just letting him tell them what he likes and wants. He loves his fingers and finds comfort in sucking on them. They did have to turn on his light again due to the fact that he hasn't pooped since Sunday. They said that was common and he is peeing a normal amount and it wasn't to worry about. They might give him something to help along, but the nurse said they don't want him to depend on that to go.
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Monday, June 15, 2009

A scale

This is the diaper that they have had Duncan in (not this actual diaper) since he was born. They just recently put him in the next size up because he has been pooping or stooling as Justin calls it. This is a Pampers preemie XS. I could just take a picture, but it really helps to see it next to something.

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Sunday, June 14, 2009

1 month old today

The day he was born. This is all I got to see before he was air evaced to St. Joe's
Three days after he was born
Today. You may not be able to tell in the pictures, but Duncan has grown. His cheeks are so much chubbier.

We went and spent time with Duncan today, for his 1 month Birthday!! I can't believe it has been a month. I got to change another poopy diaper. It's good that he is pooping because that means that things are working correctly and flowing. It is also good because it keeps the Bili ruben (? spelling) down. He is doing really well. A Dr. came by today and said that he was stable and that it was just a matter of figuring out the liquids for him. They are feeding him every three hours and every 12 hours they will increase the amount of milk he gets. They started giving him 2 cc's and at 5am he will get 3cc's. He will start gaining weight now.

We are so happy that he is doing so well. I thank Heavenly Father every day for the blessings he continues to pour out on Duncan. He is a special boy and Justin and I are so in love with him. We can't wait until we get to start holding him, hopefully in a few more weeks.
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Duncan the Great

The front and back cover

The inside of the card

My nephew in Boston, Nicky, sent this card to Duncan a few weeks ago. I've been meaning to post it, but you know how things get. Anyway, I wanted to post it because I am going to take it to the hospital today and hang on his wall. I love all the ways he drew Duncan. There's Army Duncan, Jedi Duncan, Super Duncan, King Duncan. I hope you can read all of them, if not click on the picture and enlarge. He is a very funny and talented kid.
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Blowing Bubbles

WE spent a lot of time with Duncan today. Now that I am feeling better it is getting harder to leave him. We got there just in time to change his diaper. It was an explosive mess. He hadn't been pooping, mostly because they had stopped the feedings when he got sick, and the other night his nurse Gina decided to give him some medicine to get things flowing. Ever since then he has had no problem going. I told Justin that sometimes you just need a little help to go. So I got to change the messy diaper, and it was gross because it was really hard to wipe off. Anyway, I would have taken a picture but Justin thought that was weird so I opted not to. He is doing so well right now. We are feeling so blessed right now. He is strong and breathing so much better. I like this machine that he is on. I feel it has really helped his lungs to get better, it is really gentle on them.

HIS weight has gone up and down. As of tonight he was 2lb. 4oz. They are feeding him every 3 hours now and they will probably increase the amount they feed him in the next couple of days. He continues to love being on his belly and lets the nurse know if he doesn't like what she is doing. He got so upset today. The one thing that is really hard to watch is when he is obviously crying, but you can't hear anything because of the tube down his trachea. But he has the quivery lip and the face of a crying baby, but no noise. I was worried because he had a new nurse today and she didn't really know his temperament, but it was nice that she was asking us what he prefers, how does he like to lay in the nest. Obviously they would love to keep him on his tummy, but they have to keep switching positions so his head doesn't get too flat on one side.

I love this picture. He likes to blow bubbles once in a while. This one got so big before it popped.
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Friday, June 12, 2009

European Traveler

Can you see her in there? That is my niece Aubree, and on Sunday she will become an international traveler. She is going on an amazing European trip with a group called People to People. She is so excited and she should be. I was the same age just a little older when I went to Europe for the first time (only time) and it is a really great experience. She is going to Greece, Italy, Germany and one other country, but I can't remember which. I am so excited and nervous for her. I'm sure she is tired of everyone telling her to be careful and do this and don't do this, but we just all love her so much and want her to have a safe and fun trip. So Aubree my best advice is enjoy everything, make sure you are in the pictures, try different foods (shouldn't be a problem for her), don't go off without another person-even to the potty, sleep on the air plane, and just have a great time.

See you in three week!
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4 weeks in the NYICU

I took this photo by sticking the camera in the hand hole(the thing by his knee at the top of picture)

I love this picture of his hair. They had just finished the brain scan and he had gel in his hair. When she wiped it up his hair looked like it had been styled. Does it look good Aunt Kassi?

I love his feet. I think because that was all I could touch when I first went to see him. (This is the foot that keeps getting pricked for blood).

Today Duncan has been in the NYICU for 4 weeks. I prayed that the time would feel like it is going by quickly and it really has.

Here is the thing about the NYICU, Duncan is in what they call a POD. There are 9 PODS in the level 3 NYICU and each one holds no more than 4 babies. Duncan is in the smallest pod and it gets crowded in there when there are 4 babies especially when each one has its own nurse. So I had to wait to go see him today until 1pm, so it would be 24 hours since I had started my medication. I got there and sat with him for a couple of hours and then had to go pump. That was a little after 4pm. When I got out of pumping at 5pm they were sterilizing lines and when they do that no one can be in there. So I had to go out for that. Well, they were also getting another baby in the pod. Justin got to there about 5:30. We went up and they said the baby that just came in wasn't stable yet and they needed us to wait. So we were fine with that. The other thing is that they kick you out at 7pm and 7am for nurse shift change, so you can't be in there either when they do that and that takes 30 minutes. By 6pm Justin went and asked what was going on, at this point Duncan's nurse came out and told us that the baby they brought in was very unstable and they were putting lines in and we probably wouldn't be able to go back for quite a while. Those who know Justin know he can't stay up late, he has chronic fatigue and it is really hard for him to be up late, so we decided we would go and so Justin didn't get to see Duncan today. He was bumbed about that. But while we were there Brooke (Duncan's primary day nurse-just means she has him whenever she works) showed us his x-ray of his lungs from this morning. His right lung wasn't doing very well, they call it white out (when you look at an x-ray of your lung it should be black to show that oxygen is getting to it). But today his lung was more black than it had been in a long time. It looked really good. He is 2lbs. 3oz. and 14 in. long. His weight will go up and down like that, but as long as he keeps putting on weight.

He had his 3rd scan of his brain today and I actually made my mom take me back to the hospital around 8pm tonight. They had the results back and he had NO bleed or sign of anything wrong. He has some fluid around the brain but we were told that is very common on preemies and it wasn't a worry. YAY!! I am so thankful to everyone for their prayers and I am so thankful to Heavenly Father who has poured so many blessings upon this special little boy. I am so thankful to Him for all He has blessed us with. I love my little guy and just know he is going to be okay and I know that he isn't out of the woods yet, but no bleeds is a tremendous blessing. Please continue to pray for him.

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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Just a couple of my favorites

I just really love looking at pictures of Duncan. He is so cute. The top picture is one of my favorites. He continued to have a good day. Daddy got to go and sit with him for a little bit this evening. He said that Duncan tolerated his feeding really well, so they were going to be feeding him again this evening. He is peeing the correct amount, not too much & not too little. So that is good. They had to put a new pic (? spelling) line in as the other one clogged up. I hope that they get to continue the feedings and get him the rich nutrients that he needs to grow.
I am finally starting to feel better. I hope my medicine keeps me from getting worse. I am also starting to feel better from the c-section. I am still having a little bit of pain, but this week it finally started to feel better. In another week I think it will be completely healed.

Please keep Duncan in your prayers. He still needs lots of them.
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Duncan's update

Duncan is doing good right now. His infection is cleared up and his breathing is improving. His right lung is giving them some trouble, but they are monitoring it closely. They are trying to figure out all his liquids so they can get him more stable. His blood sugar level gets high and they adjust that and then his blood pressure gets out of whack, then he pees too much, then he doesn't pee enough. The Dr. wants to get it figured out so they can get him stable and get him eating again. They may begin feeding him again today. His weight is up he is now
2lb. 6oz. and looking better each day. They have been taking so much blood from his foot though that his heel looks like it has 20 little holes in it. He is feisty and lets the nurse and Dr. know what he wants. He loves to be on his belly and when we were there yesterday he looked like he was going to crawl away. I think he is tired of being in there. Justin keeps asking me if he was like this in my belly, and I say yes, he was just starting to move a lot and when he did, he would really move.

They are going to be doing another scan of his brain on Thursday to check for any signs that he may have neurological damage. The Dr. said that babies that don't have bleeds don't usually have this problem, so she isn't anticipating to see any problems.

The bad news is that now I have some sort of cold. I went to the Dr. and he put me on penicillin. It must be a cure all because they gave Justin the same thing. So I am very sad right now because I won't be able to go see Duncan today. I'm lucky though that they were able to get me in so quickly to see a Dr. because last week Justin had to wait a whole week to get in. The other problem I am having is sleeping at night. I can't. I am so tired, but when I go to try to sleep, I can't. Any suggestions?
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