Tag Archives: fingergrab

the eric update – day 32: yet more alarms. bile. gifts!

day 32: another finger grab

yowza. even after getting a dose of lasix, which is a diuretic meant to help his get rid of the fluid that he was retaining after the transfusions, eric weighed in at 978 grams or 2 pounds 2.3 ounces, which would seem to indicate that his weight gain over the past few days was more “real” than not. yeah!

after a cluster of alarms in the morning, eric had a quiet afternoon and then started up with them again in the evening. though he “only” had eleven a’s and b’s by the time we left, they were disturbingly “deep” in the evening, requiring a lot of effort to get him “jumpstarted”, necessitating a big jump in ‘oooooohs’ ( supplemental oxygen – remember, anytime they increase his ‘ooooohs’ he’s at an increased risk for eye problems down the road. it’s all so very, very connected. ). at a certain point i was left wondering if it might be best to just put him back on the vent to give him a rest. and we noticed before we left late at night that he was starting to use his intercostal muscles, which are the muscles lying between ribs, during his breathing; it might seem like a minor point, but it means that he’s he’s getting quite tired, and trying to recruit more muscles to help him to breath, which only makes him more tired. his nurses were still holding out hope that he’d settle down over the night, so i guess we get to play another round of The Waiting Game.

day 32: bile on the side

at one point i was able to capture one of those special nicu moments that involves bile, poop and breathing. the syringe is filled with a mixture of undigested milk with a little bile, which is what gives it a green tint. the tube gets filled when he refluxes fluid back out of his stomach. there are a number of reasons why he might reflux , one of which being that he might be trying to poop, which is why kris is checking his diaper.

if he struggles to poop, he’ll put too much pressure on his abdomen and force the contents of his stomach up into the tube.

besides being slightly gross, the pressure will also affect his vagus nerve which will slow his heartrate and breathing, resulting in bradycardia or apnea – which is exactly what happened right after i took this picture.

day 32: his first collegiate t-shirt!

amongst the postcards we received today, we also were happy to find a toddler t-shirt from some of eric’s new friends who are attending penn. i doubt they have micropreem cloths at the penn giftstore so they sent him a 6 month shirt for a full term baby.

as you can see, it might be awhile before he’s able to wear it.

thank you very much melody ( and your roommate too! ). i can’t hardly wait until i can take a picture when it fits him properly. it’s astounding to think that complete strangers have gone through all the effort to send him such a gift and words really can’t describe how touching we find the gesture.

we also received a bunch more postcards today. it means a great deal to us to be able to walk into the nicu and read everyone’s supportive postcards. i need to get my act together and find a way to show everyone where all his cards are coming from. special thanks go out to adam and johanna who are friends from california who appear to be traipsing around california and sending postcards from los angeles to sonoma to san francisco. eric IV enjoys each and every one of them ( as do we, of course ). thanks!

day 32: his new favorite blanket

later in the evening we would get the chance to put him under a super soft blanket that some friends gave eric when he first arrived in the nicu. the nurses all commented on how comfortable he looked nestled in it. it’s big enough that i think he’ll be able to enjoy it for his entire stay. he seemed to like to rub his hand against the plush border of the blanket.

day 32: being held

after a tough day, eric enjoys being held by kris. it’s not quite as good as kangaroo care, but it’s good enough.

much, much later in the evening ( o.k. really, it was early, early, early the next morning ) we called the nicu and eric had finally settled down with his alarms, so it looks like we can sleep relatively easily.

the eric update – day 28: eric’s four week birthday!

day 28: new bedding!

maybe i’ll have to stop making “the eric update” if things keep continuing like today. he had the quietest, most serene day he’s had yet today. he’s on 6 hours of the nasal cannula and 2 hours of the CPAP, which means that he’ll probably be off the CPAP soon; his bloody goo is improving and they are suctioning his less often. while he’s alarming at a slightly higher rate than previously ( 10-15 “a’s” and “b’s” a day ), their quality is changing, as they are becoming more “shallow” and he’s beginning to recover from some of them all by himself, so even though the number of alarms are higher, the staff are less concerned about them. and he’s getting more food – 7 cc’s of breastmilk an hour, which leads to the really, really big news; he’s up to 1 pound 13 ounces! i think, barring any downturns, that he’ll hit the 2 pound mark sometime this week, which will be very exciting. it’s staggering to think that he’s gained nearly a half a pound in the last month.

day 28: ho hum.

late in the night, they put him in his new bedding that we received the other day from a stranger and he loves it! his new bedding helps give his that “bundled” feeling which simulates a womb-like environment. the nurses kept commenting on how neat it was that somebody sent us the bedding because micropreems really enjoy it, which makes you wonder why somebody doesn’t mass market the bedding.

day 28: 4 week weigh in.

1 pound, 13 ounces! w00t! in 4 weeks he’s gained 6 ounces.

day 28: contour and mottle

contoured back hair and mottled skin. mottling can be indicative that he’s “sensitized”, which means one should be careful about how much sensory input he recieves ( i.e. talk but don’t touch him or touch but don’t talk ).

day 28: on his stomach.

he’s 4 weeks old. and he likes being on his stomach.

the band-aid on how foot is new. i wonder where that came from.

day 28: alien?

don’t even think that he looks like an alien.

the eric update – day 15: more of the same. in a good way.

day 15: yet another finger grab

nope. you never get tired of seeing the finger grab.

we had another great day today. his white blood “differentials” are all back to normal and he’s now getting a whopping 1.5 cc’s an hour of breast milk, which – if i’ve done my math correctly – is a little over an ounce a day. he didn’t forget to breath at all today and he had 8 episodes of bradycardia ( slowing of the heart rate ), but they can all be attributed to a buildup of saliva in the back of his throat. micropreems don’t have a fully developed swallow response ( and all the tubes don’t help ) and somehow that leads to his heart rate slowing down. nurse cheri said he lets them know that he needs his mouth suctioned by throwing a bradycardia alarm or two. he’s funny like that.

day 15: the finger grab

day 15: and still even more kangaroo care

and he got two more hours of kangaroo care with kris. maybe tommorrow i’ll get my chance.

day 15:  something bulbous

he’s got a bit of a bulbous growth near the entry point of his pic line. besides being fairly nasty looking, it’s not anything that overly concerns the staff. fluid collects at the entry point of the pic line that threads close to his heart. he keeps his hand folded in such a way that fluid tends to pool in the area. it’s really not very pleasant to look at, but it’s fairly harmless. they did try to get him to keep his arm extended more today and it got better, but he didn’t cooperate for very long.

day 15: fingernails

i’m studying his fingernails, which have just started to grow out past the end of his fingers.

nurse denise said that they won’t ever clip them; apparently, they are so soft that they wear down simply from rubbing them against the blankets.

the eric update – day 14: a late night massage from mama and holding hands!

day 14: a late night massage from mama

kris decides to give eric a late night massage to celebrate his 2nd week birthday. the massage helps keep his thin skin from drying out under the heat lamps.

day 14: holding hands

during the massage, eric decides he really just wants to hold kris’ hand.

it’s amazing to see him actively search out her finger, grasp it tighly and resist her pulling her hand away.

day 14: bruised foot

i’m on a self imposed massage hiatus, as you can see the results of what happened the last time i gave him a massage.

yes. i bruised my premature son’s foot because i rubbed it too hard. the lesson is that you don’t have to rub very hard at all to bruise a micropreem, which makes giving a massage more difficult than it might seem.