August 4, 2010

Kangaroo time!!

Another great day today for Andrew, and us too! My first surprise was when I got in for my morning visit, A's CPAP settings were down to about 37% O2. Since he had been hovering around 50% for the past few days, I was thrilled to see this. He began a series of steroids over the weekend, which are supposed to improve lung function, and help with inflammation, and they seem to be working! Of course, like everything in the NICU, with every step forward we can also expect some steps back. The doctors and nurses have warned us that with this steroid improvement is usually seen quickly, but once they start weaning the dose and take him off them, there is often some regression. He only has one more day of his 5-day course (they are weaning it already) so J & I are bracing ourselves for potential increase in settings again over the next few days.

A had a new nurse today, which happens when his primary nurses are off. Our NICU has 100 beds, so there are a lot of nurses, and so there are multiple days a week when we get new ones. Luckily, they are all so great (and it is good for us to get different perspectives, so we like it) and today was no different. When I told her that I held Andrew for the first time the previous night, she asked if I wanted to kangaroo. Luckily, I had worn a button-down shirt b/c I was hoping this may happen!

Kangaroo care is basically skin-to-skin contact between baby and parent (dad's can do it too!) Instead of swaddling the baby, the baby lays on your bare chest and a blanket covers you both while you settle back for a good cuddle. They have reclining lounge chairs they use just for this. Kangaroo care has proven benefits to both the baby (less desats, more weight gain, better sleep and temp regulation) and mom (lactation) so I have been itching to do it. If the baby is tolerating it ok, you can do it up to 2 hours at a time, but today I think our session lasted about 45 minutes.

Let me tell you, I was excited last night to hold Andrew, and this was even better! He snuggled right in and fell asleep almost the entire time! The only bad thing about it is since he is sitting so high up on your chest, it's really hard to see him. I've read you can bring in a mirror to check out his little face, so I will try to remember that for next time. He did have some desats (but resolved them on his own), and his nurse C had to turn his oxygen up a little, but she was patient with us and watched him closely. She said he did really good for his first time, and that as he gets used to it, the time we do it will increase. I'm looking forward to the next time already - hopefully I will relax a little bit more (I think I stared at the monitor screen almost the entire time waiting to see if he would desat.)

Nurse C took these pictures for me...unfortunately, J wasn't with me today. We took the blanket off him for this pic, just so you can see Andrew a bit better! Look at his little hand on my chest - so precious!

When we got back for our night visit, we were hoping that John could hold him too, and they let him! After the kangaroo care that morning, A had a great day, so our nurse felt comfortable taking him out again. Andrew looked even smaller in J's arms than mine, but he was just as comfy! I think John held him for almost 45 minutes as well - and Andrew slept soundly the entire time. Notice that J is basically holding up A's head with two or three fingers! I loved watching Daddy hold his son!

While J was holding him, we had a nice visit with Dr. B who was the neonatalogist who helped deliver A 5 weeks ago. We love Dr. B's personality, and both remember his calming presence that night. He came up to me, before I went into the c-section and introduced himself. "I'm Dr. B. I'm the baby doctor. I'm going to take care of your baby." He was so confident, and kind, and while I went into that operating room not sure if there would be a baby to take care of (b/c Andrew was too young to make it) he helped give me a seed of hope. It was great to catch up with him tonight, and for him to say that A is doing really well. He obviously has been following his case, since he knew about the steroid treatments, and was confident they are going to help A get stronger and stay off the vent. That was great to hear!

One more family shot - a great reminder of a big day for all three of us! This one is a self-portrait, and I think it is funny how it looks like A is popping his head in to be included in the pic! Please keep A in your thoughts the next few days and pray that he doesn't have any big setbacks. While J and I are so encouraged and hopeful because of all his progress, we know he still has a long road in front of him. Your love and prayers from near and far are so appreciate by us all.


Anonymous said...

Just amazing! I love reading the updates and feel your excitement through everything you write. Keeping you all in our thoughts and prayers. - Jackie

Libby said...

Awesome! Awesome! Awesome! Love the pictures and the good news. Sends lots of prayers, love and POWERFUL thoughts your way. :)


Ohio Kate said...

So so so so very happy for all 3 of you! Kangaroo care is the best!!!!

Janet Jones said...

These pictures and commentary are so amazing! Eric and I feel like we are right there with you. Watching John grow up and sharing highs and lows with him, makes us feel like we know you, Kristin. We are sending all our love and strength to the three of you. Andrew is a courageous little guy with wonderful parents. Hang in there!!

Beth said...

Love the pics! What a beautiful family. Lots of prayers for more good days to come.


Karyn said...

Love hearing the great news and I am happy that John had a chance for some daddy snuggle time too.

Linda (LQ) said...

John, Kristin,

We're in WTG and saw your pic on FB! Roger B. is with us for a few days - it's such a joy to see the three of you in a family pic. We love the blog - it's great to hear the progress day by day. All the best to all of you. We've got you in our thoughts and prayers. Linda & Jim.

Oneneedler said...

Kristin love the pics!!! He is sooo precious. Praying for you, your husband, and little Andrew!

Oneneedler said...

Sorry forgot to sign that previous comment. Oneneedler is me, Kim (Baxter) Smith