Tag Archives: pacifier

the eric update – day 73: no nasal cannula! all bottle feeds! nursing! infant cpr. loads of postcards!

day 73: free of nasal cannula. I.

woohoo! in the morning, eric’s nurse decided to see how well he’d do without any supplemental oxygen, so she removed his nasal cannula. he did fantastic and spent the entire day without free of any breathing support.

he’s breathing on his own and apparently racing for the exit door to the nicu!

day 73: free of nasal cannula. II.

an added bonus of being free of the nasal cannula is that he also doesn’t have any tape on his face, which means we can got an unobstructed view of face all day long. it’s crazy to thing that this is the first time in 73 days that we’ve seen his entire face for the whole day.

he seemed to do even better off the nasal cannula than on and didn’t have a single alarm all day long. he’s still desatting and threatens a brady or two during feeding times, which is related to his ongoing reflux issues, but otherwise, he showed no signs of needing any oxygen thoughout the day, which is all the more impressive because he was working extra hard today.

day 73: free of nasal cannula. III.

in addition to breathing on his own, eric has been taking all of his feeds by bottle for the past 36 hours. yes, you read that right – no tube feeding! i’m not sure i can find the words to adequately describe just how remarkable it is that he didn’t need any supplemental oxygen while taking bottle feeding after botttle feeding, considering all the extra energy that is required to bottle feed versus feeding via a tube. and even better – he’s really starting to get the hang of “regular” nursing. i know, it might be too much to absorb all at once, but he’s also nursing at least two times a day!

day 73: free of nasal cannula. IV.

it can sometimes be difficult to understand why micropreemies start on bottles and then transition to nursing, but there really are valid reasons why the staff insist that eric is able get his nutrition from a bottle before attempting to nurse. but even while working to ensure that eric is able to bottle feed, the staff have been working hard with kris and eric find ways to start nursing on a regular basis as he gets stronger. kris has begun to use a nipple shield to great effect. in a week, eric has gone from latching for very short periods of time, to nursing for 20-25 minutes before being given a “comp” bottle to ensure that he’s getting enough milk to keep him gaining weight. it’s not abnormal for micropreemies to not fully get the hang of nursing before they reach 40 weeks, so it’s great news that he’s already avidly nursing at 36 weeks. it still takes a lot of energy on his part to nurse, which is why he’s limited to doing it twice a day, but i don’t see any issues that would prevent him from quickly moving to nursing much more often in the very near future.

day 73: infant cpr

since eric is breathing on his own, taking all of his feedings by a bottle ( and nursing ) and maintaining his body temperature, he’s very close to meeting all the “exit criteria” for busting out of the nicu! that means we need to make sure we learn infant cpr, since it’s not uncommon for micropreemies to stop breathing after they get home.

there were several sets of parents taking the infant cpr class today and they brought a bunch of replacement faces for the infant cpr dolls so that we could remove the face and hand the doll to the next family after we practiced cpr.

i’m not sure why you couldn’t just reuse a face after wiping it with an antiseptic wipe, but what do i know.

and yes, the postcards are still coming in! we’re still trying to figure out a way to put all the postcards in eric’s nursery; we’re open to suggestions. maybe tack them all on a corkboard?.

the eric update – day 53: supersized paci. yet another spit bath. first laundry load!

day 53: supersized paci

tonight, eric was upgraded to a really, really big paci, which is yet another sign that he’s getting to be a Big Boy. the pacifier is a special preemie, orthodontically-correct paci which the nurses claimed would be difficult to find outside the nicu. it doesn’t seem too difficult if you know where to look, but maybe there’s a difference that makes a difference that i’m not seeing. i’m sure someone can help me clear up the confusion. in any case, the supersized paci is a big step on the way to getting prepared for breastfeeding. it’s neat to see him start to suck on everything in sight when it gets close to feeding time, even though his feedings are coming through the feeding tube.

day 53: bearer of the ring

maybe someday, i’ll stop documenting every bath that he gets, but today was not that day. kris looked at me with a raised eyebrow when i told her that i was going to photograph yet another spit bath, but i just couldn’t quite bring myself to not take the pictures. hopefully you’ll still enjoy the fruits of my obsessiveness.

day 53: yet another spit bath. I.

no, this isn’t a mere product placement for johnson & johnson shampoo; it’s time for another “spit” bath! eric can’t have a full tub bath because his IV is in his arm, which makes it more difficult to keep water from infiltrating the line.

day 53: yet another spit bath. II.

first, the eyes must be scrubbed.

day 53: yet another spit bath. III.

and then the inside of the ear.

day 53: yet another spit bath. IV.

don’t forget the back of the ears. you don’t want any yeasty growths accumulating behind the ears.

day 53: yet another spit bath. V.

scrub his head!

day 53: yet another spit bath. VI.

rinse his head!

day 53: yet another spit bath. VII.

aahhhh. a brief respite from the rigors of the spit bath.

day 53: yet another spit bath. VIII.

a bath can be pretty tiring and one must yawn at least once during the process.

day 53: yet another spit bath. IX.

scrubbing bubbles.

day 53: yet another spit bath. X.

during the bath, eric decides that maybe the new, supersized paci would be a good way to help make the best of the situation.

day 53: yet another spit bath. XI.

it’s always nice to end a bath with a little fingergrab.

day 53: tucked in for the night.

tucked in for the night. well, not really, because the nurses will still be doing their nursing duties every couple of hours, but we like to imagine that he’s really settled in for a long night of restful sleep.

i think the muscle shirt with cars suits him well.

day 53: decreased nasal cannula flow

in one of the most subtle changes of late, eric’s nasal cannula air flow was decreased from 2 liters to 1.5 liters, which is a huge step forward in the process of getting weaned from the respiratory aid. the nurses thought he’d need to have his supplemental oxygen turned up to help offset the decreased airflow, but he didn’t, which they said was quite impressive.

the floating ball indicates the flow rate. when it gets to zero, he’ll be able to get rid of the nasal cannula altogether and be free of tubes up his nose!

day 53: his first load of laundry!

they also told us that, as soon as he gets the IV taken off of his hand, we can start bringing in his own personal clothes! the clothes he’s wearing now are special tops with velcro that make it really easy to get on and off in the event of an emergency, but soon he’ll be able to wear regular street cloths.

so, late in the night we did his very first load of laundry.

the eric update – day 49: eric’s 7 week birthday!

day 49: 7 week birthday kangaroo care

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.

day 49: ouch!

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.

day 49: pacified. I.

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.

day 49: pacified. II.

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.

day 49: longhair

eric’s hair is getting so long that it’s growing over his ears!