we’ve been staying on top of brushing frida every day so this is a small amount of hair from one brushing with a “shedding rake”. if you don’t brush every day then you get a large amount of hair which can be enough to fill a garbage bag.
hey, today was pretty boring, in a good way. we just sat around waiting for tommorrow when we’ll hopefully have a much better idea as to when eric will get a the “o.k.” to go home. he didn’t have any alarms and seemed to continue to recover from his recent severe episodes of reflux.
i’m not sure we’ll get much sleep tonight as we ponder whether he’ll be coming home in a day or two or three or six or ten. and with not much by way of “excitement” ( in a good way ), i fill the time by taking macro shots of my son 🙂
i guess it’s a good thing that the recent big news is that we’ve discovered that we’ve been adding too much rice to his feedings to control his reflux. yesterday we discovered that we were adding twice as much pulverized rice to his milk than he needed which is nice to know since the solid food in his diet is making him a little gassy. hopefully less rice will mean that he’ll have less gastrointestinal troubles.
for the record, if your adding pulverized rice to milk you only need 3/4 of teaspoon per 45 cc’s of milk. previously we were adding 1.5 teaspoons per 45 cc’s which is correct only if you’re using rice that isn’t pulverized.
you really do learn something new everyday in the nicu.
after staying not gaining weight for almost a week after coming off the vent, eric seems to have started adding on a modest amount of weight each day, which is great. tonight’s weight-in put him at 1535 grams or 3 pounds 6.1 ounces and he’s on 14 cc’s of breastmilk every hours. last night they started to double his daily increases in breastmilk from 1 cc to two cc’s, by adding a cc in the morning and, if he tolerates the increase, they’ll add a second cc in the evening. so, late this evening, he’ll get another increase to 15 cc’s. since he only needs to be on about 20 cc’s every two hours to be considered to be on “full feeds”, i think it shouldn’t be too long before he’s off the intravenous drip entirely, which is great news since the IV line is a great entry point for all manner of infectious agents that we’d like to keep far, far away from eric.
and there’s good news regarding eric’s direct hyperbillirubemia; the sonogram of eric’s liver came back negative for any serious structural defects or major blockages and the first round of liver function tests also came back negative. this means that most of the really bad things that could be causing the condition can be safely ruled out ( well, really only about as ruled out as you can rule out something with a negative result on a micropreemie. remember, the small sample sizes can sometimes give you false negatives. ). given the lack of positive results ( in this case, positive is actually a negative ), the prevailing educated guess is that the condition is “merely” due to changes that occur when you switch back and forth between intravenous feeds and breastmilk, and it should resolve itself after eric goes back on full feeds, which will hopefully be very soon.
today, our neighbor who has 2-year-old triplets who were born preterm, gave us a “preemie calendar” which has a sheet of stickers that you’re supposed to put on the days on which certain milestones are reached.
kris and i laughed at some of the ones that we’re still anxously awaiting, such as “Moves to Isolette!”, “Saw Your Face Without Tape on It!” and “Off Oxygen!” ( you’ll probably have to view the large sized image to actually be able to read the stickers ). i’m not sure how i would have reacted two and half months ago had anyone told me that i’d be patiently awaiting for the day i’d see my son’s face without a single bit of tape. but, i guess you’ve got to celebrate the milestone’s you have, not the ones you thought you were going to have. or something like that.
in case you were wondering, the postcards are still coming in! i know i’m probably redundantly repeating myself, but i really, truly am appreciate of every single postcard and i can’t wait until eric is old enough to understand what it all means.
let’s all give odin a little birthday cheer, as it’s his 7 week birthday today! he gained a few grams and is now solidly in the 3 pound category at 3 pounds and 3.5 ounces. he also added a half a centimeter and is 38.7 centimeters or 15.25 inches, which means he’s added 3.25 inches to his length in the past seven weeks! woohoo! he’s rapidly being weened from the cpap and is on 6 hours of nasal cannula and 4 hours of cpap. since he’s doing so well breathing on his own, i suspect that within the next few days they’ll see if eric can go 25 hours on the nasal cannula. despite having to do more breathing on his own than ever, he’s throwing very few alarms; he only seems to alarm when the nurses are doing their “meanies” or when he’s put his head in a position that’s not conducive to breathing. his breastmilk feeds stayed the same as yesterday, as they’re pulling up more undigested food than they’d like to see, so they’re going to back off a bit on increasing the amount of milk that he’s receiving. you might remember that anytime digestion slows and milk starts hanging around, there’s an increased risk for a gut infection, so they’re just going to take things slow.
the nasal cannula needs to be taped on his face to reduce the chance that he’ll pull it out and the process of repeatedly removing the tape when he goes back on cpap has made his skin a little raw. tonight, he even has a tiny bit of flesh pull away, which he obviously didn’t care for at all; nurse peggy put little pieces of what’s known as comfeel on his face to prevent it from happening again because open, irritated sores are not a good thing when you’re enduring a prolonged stay in the nicu.
eric’s getting much better at coordinating his sucking and breathing; a mere week ago, he’d alarm when a pacifier was in his mouth for more than 15 or 20 seconds, but now he can keep the pacifier in as long as he’d like. since he’s doing so well, nurse peggy said that it’s a good time to introduce a pacifier during his breastmilk feedings so he can begin to associate sucking with feeling of food in his stomach. this is but the first step in a long process of getting his used to having to coordinate the sucking, swallowing and breathing that must occur for real breastfeeding, so it’s a big step.
sometimes he has trouble keeping the pacifier in his mouth with the tubes in the way, so peggy has “illegally modified” the paci by notching it so that the tubes can stay where they need to stay and he can more easily keep it in his mouth. nurse peggy is thoughtful like that.
eric’s hair is getting so long that it’s growing over his ears!