Tag Archives: sids

the eric update – day 89: a little nissen clarity. goodbye gassy barley, hello rice.

day 89: YAFG

tonight we finally received some clarity from a nurse as to why the neonatologists and surgeons are so seriously considering eric to be a candidate for g-tube and nissen surgery, despite the fact that he seems to have stabilized and isn’t showing any obvious signs of abnormal discomfort during feedings. his upper GI series showed that he he begins to reflux at around 10-15 cc’s ( which isn’t a lot when you consider that his entire feeding is 45 cc’s ) and babies that begin to reflux at such low volumes get immediately put on the short list for being candidates for the surgery, since it’s often their experience that babies who begin to reflux at such low volumes eventually need the surgery and procrastinating just leads to esophageal damage.

so, it looks like we may need to balance the doctor’s recommendations against the growing number of negative opinions we’ve received from parents who have had children that have had the surgery. indeed, our nurse tonight who clarified why he was a candidate told us that she had three (!) children who had the surgery done and she wouldn’t recommend it unless it was absolutely, positively necessary and all other options had been exhausted.

day 89: rice feeding

speaking of exhausing all options, while the barley we’ve been adding to eric’s feedings has been working well to control his reflux by thickening the food and helping to keep it in his stomach, it seems to be giving his “gas”. and when he grunts trying to relieve himself of the gassy feeling, he pushes the milk out of his stomach and through his nose, which is pretty much defeating the purpose. so we decided to replace the barley with pulverized rice on the hopes that it would be a little more gentle on his digestive system. apparently there was some debate amongst the nurses as to whether or not the pulverized rice would simply dissolve in the milk; some of the nurses thought that barley should only be used for breastmilk and rice for formula, but others thought that was nonsense. it’s funny to see how much debate there can be over relatively simple things, little less the much bigger issues. in the end, the rice seemed to stay suspended in the breastmilk just as easily as the barley.

day 89: swirls and curls

i think i’ve mentioned this before, but against the recommendation of the “back to sleep” advocates, we like to put eric on his stomach to sleep because he seems to enjoy it so much. micropreemies are at greater risk for “sudden infant death syndrome” when sleeping on their stomachs but we break the rules as long as we know that someone is always nearby to watch him closely.

when he’s on his stomach, it’s much easier to just what a head of hair he’s developing. it’s a little tough to tell from the picture but he’s got quite a “swirls” coming and maybe a few curls.

the eric update – day 75: no clarity on the plummeting platelets. expensive babysitters. hearing good!

day 75:  post feeding paci

there’s not too much new to report today on the plummeting platelet and elevated bilirubin issues. his direct bilirubin dropped quickly back to its previous mildly elevated levels which is being interpreted to mean that the spike was due to the blood transfusion. so that’s good news. however, his platelet count dropped another 10K and his hanging around 60K. the good news is that it’s not dropping anymore. the bad news is that it’s not increasing and there’s no clear evidence yet as to what might have caused the drop. if you squint at the graph of his platelet counts over the past couple of weeks, you can maybe see a decline that’s tough to discern through the noise which finally becomes apparent when it drops quickly below 100K. a gradual decline would fit into the theory that posits that the bone marrow was gradually shifting production away from platelets and towards red blood cells before his transfusion to help satisfy the demand for RBCs. thankfully, he’s not presenting with any other signs of a viral infection, which you might remember could also be causing the abnormal lab results.

day 75: hands crossed while sleeping on stomach

eric really likes sleeping on his stomach and the nurses like to put him there, which might come as a shock to those who are familiar with the “back to sleep” campaign which discourages placing kids on their stomachs in an effort to reduce the chance of sudden infant death syndrome.

while he needs to be watched extra closely while lying on his stomach ( all the more so because micropreemies have an increased chance of SIDS ), the nurses all think it’s silliness to take things to an extreme and never put a baby on their stomach to sleep. amongst other things, sleeping on the stomach helps to strengthen important neck muscles that don’t get stronger if a baby is left on his back or sides all the time. but that is easy for them to say when they have the advantage of being notified by alarm when he stops breathing. unlike most parents.

kris and i actually spent very little time in the nicu ( and by very little, i mean less than 5 hours 🙂 ), which felt quite strange. the nurses have become much more assertive with their recommendations that we take advantage of the world’s most expensive babysitters while we still can and finish up all the unfinished business that needs to get done before little odin comes home.

oh. i almost keep forgetting to mention that odin passed his hearing test with flying colors!