Our little Miracle

Our little Miracle
"And the Child grew and became strong in spirit, filled with wisdom; and the grace of God was upon him." ~Luke 2:40

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Weds. 11/9-Mon 11/14

Austin is hanging in there.  He is such a tough little guy!!!  We love going to see him.  When we talk to him, he opens his eyes.  Kangaroo care time is so amazing.  Austin is still defying the odds

Wednesday, November 9, 2011
 Today at the doctors morning rounds, they told us how well Austin is doing.  His sodium levels have been dropping and are now where they need to be, and are maintained.  His feeds are going up to 5ml's for four feeds, then up again to 6ml's.  His septum has become very bruised from his CPAP, so they changed out the padding and the prongs. His bilirubin is still slightly high, but he is looking better.  He will remain under the lights.

Today they are doing his brain scan to check for any brain bleeds.  Brain bleeds are very common in extremely premature babies (born under 30 weeks gestational), and even more common and expected in micro preemies (born 26 weeks or earlier- Austin).   Babies born at 26 weeks and under 3 lbs almost always have some bleeding in their brain.  I read this and confirmed with the doctors. There are different levels of bleeds: Level 1 (which may or may not "fix" itself) and up to a level 4 (the worst type and is likely to injure he brain).  Brain bleeds  or IVH (Inraventrical hemorrhage) are not something if the baby has can be fixed... but if detected the doctors have a better idea of what type of behaviors and trends to look for in a baby.  Levels 1 and 2, are the most mild, and most likely will take care of themselves, levels 3 and 4 are more severe.  At this point I am praying for just a level 1 or 2.  I am sure, from statistics, that this early of a life, he must have a bleed.  The scans can take up to 24-48 hours for results.  Dr. Heather called us this evening at 6:30 p.m.  (And in case you were wondering- when your caller i.d. reveals its the hospital, your heart drops and you become nervous nancy immediately).  She asked if my husband was home... he was not- he had just left to pick up our son at church.  She told me she had the results of the scan... and that they are "normal".  I asked "Normal?  As in a level 1??"  She replied, "normal, No bleeds!"  I began to cry and thanked her!!!  When my husband came home, my mother -in town to help out- asked my older son to join her on the computer.  I looked at my husband and said "the hospital called" and I began to cry.  The look of fear came across his face, and i blurted "no bleeds- he has no bleeds".  He was so thrill, yet did tell me when I have good news, I cannot approach him and say the hospital called followed by un-readable tears.  :O)  This was AMAZING news.  Almost unbelievable.  A true MIRACLE!!!  The Lord is on our side!!!  God Bless!!!

Thursday, November 10, 2011
Happy 1 week birthday AUSTIN!!! 
WoW!   I cannot believe its been one week since that crazy night in labor and delivery, BUT, on the same note, I cannot believe its only been one week since I've been making my trips to the NICU... it feels like much more time has passed.
Austin is still doing well.  He's still having minimal A's and B's (apnea and bradycardia spells - A pause in infants breathing that causes the heart rate to slow- common and easily treated).  He is still doing well on the CPAP and continues to require minimum oxygen.  His bilirubin numbers are borderline where they need to be, so doing one more day of lights, and hoping to check the levels tomorrow morning and find they are where they need to be, so that he may come off the lights.

Under the lights
 Today they are double upping his feeds.  Yesterday he did well with 5 and 6mls... and today they aer going to increase his feeds to 9ml's for four feeds, and then up to 10 ml's.  (5mls = 1 teaspoon).  His septum looks so much better today.  Bruise is minimal, and he seems more comfortable with the new prongs.  Today I was able to change his diaper all by myself!  I was nervous for 1/2 a second, but then the mom in me kicked in and I was so excited to feel like I was able to "take part" in the care for Austin.  I am also allowed to "wet his whistle".  LOL.  His little mouth gets so dry.  He has a feeding tube down his throat, and he seems to almost always have his mouth open.  It gets so dry... So I get to swab his little mouth with sterile water.  Nobody wants a dry mouth!  Scotty and I both agree how wonderful Ausitn is looking.  He's beginning to rest more and more (which will allow him to grow and mature), yet he is still feisty when being "messed" with.  His skin color looks excellent.  Another positive day! 

Friday, November 11, 2011
Austin has graduated from the lights!  His bilirubin levels were 4.3, well below where they need to be.  He's gained some weight.... 866g.  Up 38g from birth!  His feeds are still at 10 mls and they are adding calories to my milk.  Yesterday a small, unmeasurable amount of bile came up after one feeding, however it was such a small amount, it didn't raise concern.  With as much air pumped from the CPAP, his belly gets some in there and it sometimes may cause some "back up".  His septum looks great.  He did very well over night.  Is having frequent bowels and urination.  This morning Dr. Heather referred to Austin as a "ROCKSTAR".  I must agree.  Nurse Kelly is so happy to hear the good news that Austin does not have any bleeds!!!!  My in laws were able to touch their grandson for the first time today!!!  They were in heaven!

Saturday, November 12, 2011
Today my mom touched her grandson for the first time.  She was so elated.  His nervous system isn't quite developed, so when he is touched, it must be a firm, hold your hand there kind of touch.  No rubbing his back, or stroking back and forth.  Once you put your hand there, leave it.  Firm.  Other wise he twitches alot, and that's causing un needed stimulation... remember, we want him to gain weight, so any movements he's burning calories.  My mother has been so great to have down here all week.  She helped out so much.  Between housework and cooking, she would watch our 7 year old son at the drop of the dime, so we could get down to the hospital with Austin.  With her here, we were able to learn how to get our day started and down to the hospital by rounds.  We had some adjusting to do, and with her help, it worked out!  Austin is still moving in the right direction.  He gained 3 more grams and is now at 870g.  Kangaroo care today was so relaxing.  My mom was there to see this!!!

Sunday, November 13, 2011
Scotty and I make it down at the very end of rounds.  Austin looked a little agitated and stressed to us today.  He kept squirming and tensing up, kind of squeezing his eyes closed.  I mentioned this to his nurse, Kelly.  She said he had a very fussy night.  He was having spells of A's and B's.  His lowest bradycardia hit 56.  Most of them had been right after feedings.  His belly was a little bigger (1.5 cm) but wasn't hard, discolored or loopy feeling.  To err on the safe side, the doctors have ordered some blood work.  A cbc (complete blood count)-to check to see if his bacteria fighting cells are increased, a blood gas-to check his carbon dioxide and oxygen levels in the blood, and a blood culture-to check for infection.  This is all proactive, to be sure nothing serious is going on.  Starting Austin on antibiotics in case his blood culture comes back positive (takes 48 hours).  Austin's blood gas shows his carbon dioxide levels are slightly high.  The RT's (respiratory therapists) up his oxygen peep to 6, and his percent to 30%.  His weight is up to 916 grams (2lbs 1oz).  He is holding onto his weight, and that is good.   We do not do kangaroo care today, as he has been poked and prodded alot and needs some rest.  Bless his heart.  Lord, Jesus... watch over my sweet boy.

Monday, November 14, 2011
Austin's weight is up to 927g, which is still in the 2 ob 1oz range... but again he is moving in the right direction.  Early morning scans of his belly came back normal.  His 24 hour blood culture came back negative of infection, and will be checked again at 48 hours.  His blood gas numbers are improving... moving in the right direction.  These numbers will continue to be checked every few hours to make sure the numbers are moving in the right direction.  He has no heart murmurs and his heart sounds good and strong.  His feeds are up to 16 mls.  He went off his TPN's (total parenteral nutrition- provides nutrition through an IV mixed of carbs, fats, proteins, vitamins and minerals), and off of his lipids (fats) and is strictly on my breast milk, fortified with more calories.  I was able to do kangaroo care twice today.  I called his nurse before bed-11:45pm-(Lauren-she's so sweet) and since she had arrived on shift at 7pm, he hadn't had any A and B's.  My husband and I were able to go to bed and feel good about the end of the day.   
       Lord, continue to bless Austin with strength to get through his day.  Continue to have mercy on his small body, and allow his numbers to improve and continue to move in the right direction.  Give the nurses and the doctors caring for Austin the knowledge needed to care for him in any and all specific ways.  Please give me and my husband the strength and courage to continue to stay positive on our new path of life! 

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