Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Monday, October 29, 2007
Huge news for tomorrow!! They started Kathryn on steroids today is preparation for tomorrow's big event. I heard straight from Dr. Strange that they are extubating tomorrow!!!
Please pray that it works!! Greg and I plan to be there so we can hear our miracle baby for the first time!!
Sunday, October 28, 2007
At our church's fall festival this afternoon - it's princess Belle doing the pumpkin toss!
Friday night, Greg, Maddie and I went for a visit with Kathryn
Saturday - Greg's parents and brother came for a visit. We went to the zoo, to the hospital to visit, and then to dinner to watch the first part of the Auburn game - WAR EAGLE!
Sunday - we had Sunday School, then the hospital (I got to hold), back to church for the fall festival and then on to bible study til 8 pm
It was a fast weekend and we look forward to a busy week again and then hopefully some serious resting and relaxing next weekend. October has completely kicked our butts, but I hope November is a little calmer.
Kathryn is now considered a feeder and a grower - what great news!! She is at 20 ccs Neocate and 6 of Similac Special Care. They will continue decreasing the Neocate by two each day and increasing the Similac by two until she is fully on Similac - we hope that the switcheroo goes that well!! We also hope that they may start weening the pressure support on her ventilator this week so that we can tell that blue machine to take a hike soon and welcome the C-Pap mask!!
Please pray for lung development and toleration of the formula switchup!!
Friday, October 26, 2007
She was up to 3 pounds 3 ounces, but dropped last night to 3 pounds 2 ounces. As you can tell, the weight thing is a constant fluctuation - I guess much like us!! She is also having a follow up eye exam today to determine if the eye surgery from two weeks ago is still showing good signs. When I know the results of that, I will pass it along!! I am praying that things are still looking better!!! She is still on the ventilator and they are trying to do some weening. She seems to be loving her clothes too as they continue to let her wear them.
I guess these are some slow days lately which is not a bad thing, just slow!
Please pray for Kathryn to tolerate the Special Care substitution and that the eye exam shows good things!! Also, please pray for strength in her lungs so that maybe a ventilator ween is not too far in the future!!
Update from the eye doctor - in his words, "Her right eye is looking much, much better and her left eye is looking much better." He said that they are both showing positive results from the eye surgery just a little more robust in the right eye. They are pleased with the response!! Yeah!!!
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Please pray for Kathryn (and my patience with the ventilator!)
Kathryn hit 3 pounds, 3 ounces yesterday and then dropped a little to 3, 2 again last night, but that's normal. She is up to 26 ccs on her feed - inching in on that first whole ounce!! She also wore clothes again for the second day yesterday and looked adorable. Nurse Christy also knitted her a hat (an Maddie one just like it!). I have a picture of her with it, but don't have time to post it this morning. They started her on caffeine for her lungs since she is doing more of the breathing on her own now!! But our biggest news is that they are going to try to extubate her today!! That's right they are going to try taking her off the ventilator and put her on a C-Pap mask instead!! That's a huge step up!! No more tube down her throat which means that we might be able to start hearing her cry and make noise today!!
Please pray that she tolerates the extubation well and that she takes to the C-Pap. We really want to get rid of the ventilator!!! I will update more today as I can!! Greg and I are hoping to be at the hospital today after they do it to be able to see and hear her!! What music that will be!!
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
I also held Kathryn today again while they gave her a new condo. The kids get new beds each week, so they figured that if someone needed to hold her, why not mom!! And it was my first solo hold without the machine telling me of her heart rate and sats because they have to disconnect her from the monitor. She was still hooked to the ventilator, but they told me that the only way to know if she was doing ok was to look at her to see if she looked ok and not rely on the beeps and buzzers.
How do you moms do that and not know if they are dropping their sats or having an apnea or a brady?? I am just kidding - but that just gives you a taste of the fact that moms of NICU babies have a whole different set of problems to concern themselves with, over and above the general concerns of having a baby at home!! I think I will be elated when they tell us she can come home and I also think I will be scared to death (and keep in mind that I have already raised one, but this is a lot different). Anyway, here's the picture of me and my girls!!And last, but not least, they let Kathryn wear clothes for the first time today!! This dress was given to Madelyn by the Northside Hospital NICU ladies guild when Maddie was a 3 pounder!! So I thought it would be fitting that this is Kathryn's first outfit she wears!! Doesn't she look beautiful??
Eat your heart out infant boys!! (Of course, Kathryn already has an older man waiting on her - Maddie and her boyfriend, Alex, have decided that Kathryn and Alex's baby brother, Jacob, can also get married!!) Jacob is only 2 days older than Kathryn - his mom and I were in the hospital together just a few rooms apart. Course, won't that work out wonderful for the holidays - both of the girls will have the same inlaws and Greg and I like them a lot, so it works out great all around!!
Monday, October 22, 2007
Please pray for Kathryn!
Sunday, October 21, 2007
Here is a closeup of Kathryn!! Check out how big she looks!!
She also went up to 19 ccs of formula and if she tolerates three feedings of that, she will move up to 20 ccs this afternoon at 5pm. She also went down on her hyperal and lipids today and if all goes well, we may be off of those tomorrow!! We also got a big surprise today, Kathryn is now up to big girl panties and is finally wearing preemie diapers (no more cuddle buns!!) Preemie diapers are still tiny in the grand scheme of things, but to us they are huge and they are still big on Kathryn, but she wet through one of her cuddle buns today, so they moved her up to big girl panties!!
Kathryn is also up to 3 pounds, 1 ounce (just 2 ounces shy now of where big sister Maddie was born!) She is absolutely showing all of us just what miracles are!! I got to hold her again yesterday and hopefully, Greg will get to today!! She actually opened her eyes yesterday when I held her and she just looked at me like I was her long lost home!!
Oh, and she is still only on one vent!!
Please pray for Kathryn!!
Friday, October 19, 2007
It seems like Maddie was glad to get back to school and see her friends and Greg and I both needed to be back at work. We are both swamped!!
Kathryn has been doing so well. She was down to 2 lbs, 15 ozs last night, but could very well be back up tonight. We'll know in the morning. She is up to 16 ccs per feed - which is half of an ounce. She is also still on just the one ventilator and seems to be tolerating it well so I am now at peace with my worry over that. She finally lost the purple spot on her toe that was a result of the UAC gone bad almost 2 months ago and her foot looks absolutely normal. I'll be willing to bet that you'll never be able to tell that she almost lost half of her foot and could have lost several toes!!
We also received huge great news with Kathryn today. The follow up eye exam showed that the signs of ROP are regressing!!!!!!!!!! Praise God from whom ALL blessings flow!! That is wonderful news!!! Dr. White who performed the surgery said that he is pleased with the results and will do another follow up next Friday. Wow, so far Kathryn has defeated the odds for 87 days, possible loss of her foot that turned out OK, a two week bacteria infection, no brain hemorrhages, no signs of NEC at this point, good report on ROP following a laser eye surgery, and hopefully kicking one ventilator!! Not bad for a two month old that nearly weighs in at 3 pounds!!
Well, off to bed. Please pray for Kathryn!!
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
I am taking Lemon pound cake tonight - last time, we did Cinnamon pound cake!! She is also up to 14.5 ccs per feed and a lot of times lately, she has absolutely NO residual! (One starvin' marvin'!!) She also had a little interesting night last night. Evidently, her blood gases from her labs were much higher than what Dr. Dicarlo liked so they decided to do some ventilator tweaking!! Guess what they tweaked? They tweaked the jet ventilator off - that's right, they turned it off!!!!!!! (She may go back on it if she needs to, but for right now, we have kicked one machine to the curb!!!!!!) - Well, maybe like we moved it away from her bed by three inches, but to me that's wonderful!! I was a little apprehensive about it today because the nurses couldn't really tell me if they consider it a set back or a good thing. I have come to the thought process of, one less machine has to be a good thing, right??!! That means that the conventional vent is a little higher settings right now than it was, but it will be compensating for two vents where there is now one!!
Anyway, what else for our family? I am finally starting to recover(I think) from my bacteria infection after 4 weeks and 6 rounds of medication. Greg is feeling better from his doctor visit last Friday. Madelyn had to go to the doctor today (meaning I missed work). She woke in the night at 2:30 (AM - whew, I am tired!!) with a fever of 104.4 and we were worried that we needed to take her to the ER. Her doctor's nurse said that as long as we could get her fever down by one full degree in an hour, they could wait to see her today. We got it down to 102 by 4 am, so I took her this morning. After a throat culture and a blood stick, they determined that she has strep throat, so she then got a shot for that. The nurse said that she was giving Madelyn marshmallows in her leg (the medicine was thick and white). Madelyn has sense determined that putting marshmallows in your leg hurts!! Anyway, she has to stay out of school tomorrow and can return on Friday. She already acts as if she feels a little better.
Please continue to pray for Kathryn. Pray for good results from her eye surgery (she has her checkup on Friday), pray for good feedings, pray for relaxed breathing and good toleration of the one ventilator, and pray for some more weight gain!! Pray also for Dr. Dicarlo, Dr. Strange, and Dr. Mena and all the nurses.
My grandmother's birthday is tomorrow and she will be 88.
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Just call Greg and I, Uncle Greg and Aunt Kelly. We have a nephew!! John Reed Daniel was born to my brother and his wife today. He was 8 pounds - what a whopper to us!! It was so strange to see everyone holding him already and to see him with no attachments and no nurses around.
Welcome to the world, Reed!!
Please pray for Kathryn!!
Monday, October 15, 2007
Now for the really big one . . . . . .
We got to hold Kathryn for the first time today - 83 days and the first time to hold our daughter!! It was absolutely surreal. I can't even begin to describe the feeling of completeness I had - after 83 days, I was back together with my little munchkin!! The nurses were fairly surprised that I let go of her because they say that moms usually don't volunteer to let go, but I did so that Greg could have his first hold too!! We both held her like it was the most natural feeling even amidst all the wires and tubes. It took the nurses and the respiratory therapist about 15 minutes to get everything ready for us to hold and then it was like a quiet fell over the NICU. That's the first time that I didn't here the beeps and buzzers (and I am certain that they were going off). At one point I looked up and saw at least 10 or 15 nurses around us just watching, so amazed at how well she did. By the way she was satting at 100 % on 40 % oxygen, which is great!!
Anyway, here are some pictures!Me and Kathryn!
Greg and Kathryn!
Me holding Kathryn with Greg!
Greg holding Kathryn with me!
Sunday, October 14, 2007
She is up to 12.5 on her feeds and tolerating them well. Her weigh in last night showed 2 lbs, 13 ozs. She was pretty sacked out tonight. The surgery was at 6:15 and we stayed while they did it until about 9:00. The surgery was over by about 7:45, but we stayed just to hold her hands!
Still waiting on Reed.
Please pray for Kathryn!
Saturday, October 13, 2007
She is now up to 11.5 on her feeds. I think it was around a week ago that Dr. Strange said to pray specifically for 10 -12 ccs by the time she came back on. Specific prayers have worked, because it looks like we are making that one!!
She is now weighing 2 lbs, 14 ozs so she has gained an entire two pounds since birth!!! The next time you have that extra piece of cheesecake or pizza and are worried about the two pounds you will gain from it, I promise that to you, 2 lbs is not that much. To us, of course, it's HUGE!! (definitely relative!)
The new development is that they have noted on her last eye exam from Friday that she has developed some signs of Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP). An eye specialist saw her today and called Greg and I to give a report. They are planning to perform a laser "surgical" procedure on her tomorrow that will take about 30-45 minutes per eye to hopefully stop the progression of the ROP and to maybe even help her regress from the current state. After they perform the procedure, they will do a follow up eye exam in about a week in which they hope to see no progression of the condition. There are very little complications that could result from the procedure, but the biggest risk exists if they don't do it. The concerns from this could lead to eyesight problems and absolute worse case scenario would be blindness. The doctors seem fairly confident that they can perform this procedure and that there should be very little complications down the road. They also seem confident that blindness should not occur, but as a mom that's really difficult to stomach. Dr. Dicarlo did mention that she will most likely be a candidate for some time of corrective vision (glasses), but Greg promptly responded and said that it is common from his side of the family to wear glasses. So please add this to your prayers for Kathryn that she tolerates the "surgery" tomorrow and that it is successful in halting the progression of ROP and hopefully reverse it. Our specific prayers about the feeding have shown prosperous, so now we are praying specifics about her eyes!
On the rest of the family front, I am finally feeling a little better. Dr. Kennedy did determine that it does appear to be a bacteria infection and we may have finally found the right medicine (after 5 tries) that will treat it effectively. As a result of the appointment I had with her though, they have determined that I do in fact have a cyst on my right ovary. They want to check it again via ultrasound in a few weeks to make sure it is ok. They seem to think that it is a normal thing, but they have to make sure!! I sure pray that it is.
Greg is doing fine and recovering with a little TLC from me and Madelyn. Madelyn is also doing great. She is definitely a 4 year old!! Her Nini (my mom) gave her a CD player for her birthday and she seems to love it. I think it is definitely her favorite gift and may even trump the bicycle. We have caught her several times standing in her room in her underwear singing Hannah Montana songs or songs from High School Musical.
Still no news on nephew Reed who is due any moment. If he doesn't appear on his own by Monday night, he is being induced Tuesday morning. So it won't be long now. We are all prepared for a quick trip to Montgomery whenever we hear news that he is on the way. We are not used to waiting on babies like this so it is definitely different. How do you moms that go full term wait this long?? :-)
Please keep Kathryn in your prayers. Specifically this week, pray for great eating abilities, good eyesight, good toleration of the surgery, and maybe some ventilator weenings!!
Friday, October 12, 2007
Kathryn is up to 9 1/2 ccs per feed and doing well. She is also hanging steady at 2 lbs, 11 ozs. Just a good ole boring day.
I have to share two things:
1. We watched Evan Almighty tonight and Madelyn told Greg, "Daddy, you have to pray if you don't feel better and God will make it better." As if that wasn't sweet enough, I asked her what she prays for and these were her words . . .
I say thank you for my class. I say thank you for my food. I say thank you for my party. I say thank you for my family. (at this point, we thought she was done because she paused) and then she said, I say thank you God for holding Kathryn's hand.
Well, wipe me off of the floor. If we could all have the innocence of a 4 year old. She said that holding Kathryn's hand was the best part of her birthday. Greg was holding her when she held Kathryn's hand and he said he thought she was going to cry that it was that special to her.
2. Greg was really touched by the family we met last night and he said that the father has to leave his two grown boys, a wife, and a tiny baby in the NICU in a week or so to go overseas for a year. Greg said that he knew that he could never do that. I was so touched by the bond that we feel to other parents in this same boat!
We have had a blessed day! We hope that you have too.
Please pray for Kathryn! (And tiny Kamora)
Thursday, October 11, 2007
Madelyn thoroughly enjoyed the hand holding experience last night. We videoed it and I have no idea how to post video, but if I can figure it out, I will share!
We met a new family tonight at the NICU that has a 23 1/2 week baby that was born at 1 pounds 3 ozs. Her husband asked us to talk with them and encourage his wife since we were in their shoes not too long ago. When I saw their little girl I could believe how tiny she looked and to think that Kathryn was smaller! They have a long way to go, we know!! The baby is named Kamora and the mom is Monifa. Mom and Dad have two older boys that look to be in elementary school and maybe the oldest is in Jr high. Dad is in the military and leaves in one week for a trip to the Middle East for one year! I asked if we could pray for them and she said absolutely!! I don't have a last name but please pray for Monifa, her husband, her two boys and little Kamora.
It just makes me realize that no matter how difficult your situation may seem, someone ALWAYS has it harder than you do!!!
Please pray for Kathryn, and the rest of us!!
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Happy Birthday to You, Happy Birthday to You, Happy Birthday dear Madelyn, Happy Birthday to You!!
Just checked on Kathryn and another good night!!
Tuesday, October 9, 2007
Madelyn's birthday is tomorrow so we are gearing up for that. She and I made cupcakes today for her to take to school. She has cupcakes tomorrow, then dance class, then Chuck E Cheese for dinner and then to the hospital to hold her baby sister's hand!! What a big day for her birthday!!
And we got news that cousin Reed is coming sometime between today and next Tuesday! We are really having a crazy two weeks. I can't wait for things to calm down - come on November!!
Please pray for Kathryn!!
Monday, October 8, 2007
Maddie and the Cake!!
She really loves her pacifier but you have to old it for her because of the vent tube and her feeding tube.
All dressed up with no where to go!! What is a girl to do?
She is also now 14 inches long and is up to 7.5 ccs per feed. She is just having a good week!!!
Sunday, October 7, 2007
Kathryn is on 7 ccs of formula now and is weighing 2 lbs, 9 ozs. Everything else is slowly and steadily progressing with her!! Please keep praying for slow and steady progress with no setbacks!!
We are headed to Madelyn's birthday party so check back tomorrow for some birthday pix and then we are celebrating Pawpaw's birthday tonight with the girls' Aunt Jenn and cousins Dalton and Olivia!!!
Oh and by the way, WAR EAGLE!!!!!
Please pray for Kathryn!!
Saturday, October 6, 2007
My doctor visit showed that I have a bacteria infection, probably from my c- section incision. Hopefully the not so in expensive medication that they prescribed will clear it up - this is the 4th round of medications in three weeks.
Last night, Greg and I actually had some us time for the first time in a while. We spent the first half of it at his office catching him up on some work stuff - isn't that exciting?? Then we ran to Moe's and caught a movie. We saw The Gameplan with The Rock. It was a very cute movie. Then we went for a visit at the hospital and finally got home around 10:30 from 5:00 yesterday morning!!! We have very long days lately!!
Hopefully, I can update later today after the Auburn game with more news on Kathryn. If not, it may be Monday morning before I get back to the computer. Madelyn's 4 year old birthday party is tomorrow, so it's going to be a busy day!!
Please pray for Kathryn!
Friday, October 5, 2007
We upped last night to 4.5 ccs and Nurse Mindy said this morning that she did great last night with the feeds and had very little residual. Kathryn is probably thinking, "hey, where's my other two ccs?" Mindy also said that she did very well with her sats last night and hardly dipped from the 90's!!!! Overall a really stable day.
She is still weighing around 2 lbs 6 ozs or 2 lbs 7 ozs and as the feeds increase this week, we hope that does too!!
Last night during our visit, Dr. Strange came by and "stated positive facts" and said she was pleased with Kathryn's day and that we are feeding again. She said we are feeding nervously because we don't want to cause NEC, but we have to feed. She said we just pray really hard this week that Kathryn keeps doing well with the feeds!! So prayer warriors, please pray for Kathryn's tummy and pray that she can digest what she receives and grow big and strong. Dr. Strange said that she is off for a week now and she hopes to see some big differences when she is back. So asked what we could pray for specifically. She said that to be able to increase 1 cc per day would be super and that if she could see Kathryn at 10 -12 ccs per feed in a week, she would be tickled!! So there is our specific prayer - each day we would love for Kathryn to tolerate her feeds and be able to accept another cc of formula per feed with little to no problems!!! Can you pray that with us?
While Dr. Strange was with us, Maddie asked her for a birthday present. In the NICU, they only allow mom and dad to touch babies this small. And Madelyn asks all the time if she can touch Kathryn. So she asked Dr. Strange if she could have that as a birthday present. If you could ever meet Dr. Strange, you would know what a huge deal it is that she said yes to Madelyn. She even told Mindy to write it as an order for next Wednesday night on Madelyn's 4th birthday that she be able to touch her baby sister. What an amazing gift!!
Well, better run for the day. I meet with Dr. Kennedy today to see what is going on with me. I have been feeling not so well for about the last three weeks and hopefully today they can find out what is going on. I'll update later.
And by the way, I wanted to share that I work with some really amazing and thoughtful people. I won't share with everyone what they did, but they know who they are!! I am certainly blessed!!
Please pray for Kathryn today and most importantly this week for her feeds. You know the needs, we want 1 new cc per day if we can. Most importantly, we want God's will, but I sorta hope he wants the same that we want!!
(By the way, Madelyn was in the Over the Mountain newspaper yesterday for being a part of her dentist's No Sugar Bug Club!!)
Wednesday, October 3, 2007
Please pray for Kathryn!! And just so you know, 2 lb 6 oz babies do not break when you change their diapers!! (And it really made me feel like a parent to Kathryn!!)
I talked with Nurse Mindy this morning around 5:45 and she said that they had suspended feeding last night. The concern is possibly an issue with NEC, but more so it sounds as if they want to be extra special careful so as not to cause it!! Mindy said that her belly looks good - it's not round, distended, or discolored, so that's a good sign. She did have some residual last night that made Dr. Dicarlo want to suspend the feedings. Mindy said that it was the ok kind of residual with a little bit of formula, but that with yesterday's odd diaper and the residual, Dr. Dicarlo just wanted to give it a little rest to make sure she wasn't having a problem.
I know that they took more x-rays this morning to see if they saw anything, but I don't know of results yet. I talked with Nurse Christy around 9am and she said that Dr. Strange may start feedings back this morning, but I will find out more around 12:00.
Please pray for Kathryn that she continues to accept the feedings!
Tuesday, October 2, 2007
Please continue to pray for Kathryn!!
Monday, October 1, 2007
Well no big news. Kathryn held steady last night at 1010 grams which is 2 lbs, 4 ozs. She seems to be doing better with the Neocate. She still has residuals, but just tummy stuff, not much if any formula. So, they have increased her feeds to 5 ccs last night and 5 1/2 ccs today. Hopefully she will just keep plugging right along. She is also back to getting blood every 3-4 days and just started on directed bags from our friend Brian, and my step sister, Jenn. I am so thankful for everyone who has volunteered to give a little bit of your life to help save hers!! You can never know what your gift means to us!!
On another note, I went to the doctor today. I have been experiencing a little discomfort the last few weeks and they can't quite determine the cause. They have suspected a bacteria infection and an infection of the uterus, but have still not prescribed anything that has fixed the problems. I had an ultrasound today and they found a cyst on my right ovary. Hopefully it is nothing, but they are going to review the ultrasound pictures and they may repeat it in a week or two. That would not be the cause of the discomfort though so I also go back to Dr. Kennedy on Friday to see what is going on! Please pray for a healthy report and that they can figure out a solution!!
Please also continue to pray for Kathryn and her feeds - she really needs to eat and get big and strong. Pray that her body would just let this formula fill her and allow her to grow!!