August 17, 2010


We received news the other day that the visitor restrictions (to parents only) will remain in effect indefinitely - probably through cold and flu season!  While we knew that last year they were on restriction from Oct - April, we were hoping that it wouldn't happen again until we were close to bringing Andrew home.  We got a letter describing the new policy, where it said that five babies have contracted MRSA. We understand that this is what is best for the babies, and a more controlled environment can help with sterilization, but it is still disappointing. 

J and I have enjoyed the visits that my mom has made down.  While it is clear she is down to see Andrew, she's been so helpful around the house (doing laundry, running errands, and cooking) and she's been good company for me during my daily NICU visits while J is working.  It's much easier to walk into that room with backup - someone to talk to and a second pair of ears to hear what is happening with him that day.  As you can imagine, she and the rest of our families, are bummed about this new development too, and are going to have to rely on our pictures to see how much Andrew has grown!

Hi everyone!  Just hanging out.
Trying out the nasal prongs on the CPAP machine!
Andrew continues to gain weight and take feeds like a champ.  He's up to 1180 grams (2 lbs, 9 oz) and getting 6.5 ml or breast milk an hour (still through the feeding tube).  His extra-small preemie sized diapers are fitting, and even getting a bit small!  The next size up (regular preemie sized) look huge though, so I think we have another week or more with this size.  They've moved up in size on his leads, and have been able to try out the nasal prongs on the CPAP machine (instead of the full mask over his nose).  The nurses say that he'll begin to put some baby fat on his body in the coming weeks - we're looking forward to that!

What a peaceful sleeping boy!
In all, things are going really well, and the doctors and nurses seemed pleased with his progress.  His O2 requirements vary on a daily basis, and have been a bit higher the past few days (in the 50's instead of his usual 40's).  No one seems concerned, so we are trying not to worry about it.  They say this his blood work is all fine, and that his lungs just need time to grow and heal from the damage caused from the ventilator.  Everyone has warned us that we are in a stage where he just needs to put on weight, and continue to grow.  It can be a bit boring - but boring is good in the NICU!  When I came in yesterday, Nurse M had him swaddled, and he was wearing a little cap under his CPAP headgear.  It was adorable! 

We have been enjoying his hand-on time, because that is really when he is the most alert and awake.  Usually, soon after being flipped onto his back he wakes up.  I can't get enough of his little eyes, wide and exploring everything around him.  He doesn't like the diaper change much - but that can be said of all little ones, right?  But, he usually calms down as soon as mom or day put their hands on him to comfort him.  As much as time in the NICU sucks, this is one part of our days that I will remember fondly.

Awake Time!
We got news that his first eye exam is later today.  Preemies often have some eye damage (caused in part by prolonged oxygen usage, surprisingly) so they will monitor him every two weeks from here on out.  We've been warned by the nurses and other parents that often these exams stress them out for the entire day (they dilate the eyes for the exam, then the exam itself isn't that pleasant), so we'll see what the day brings - both in terms of results of the exam, as well as how his day goes.  We'll keep you posted!


Beth said...

Great pics. Sorry to hear about the lockdown in the NICU and that the family won't be able to visit anymore.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, this may be the season of lockdown for a lot of babies. Here in LA we have an outbreak of whooping cough. My friend who had her baby in June was told to avoid all crowds until her son had his 4 month shots!

I know pictures and a blog are a really poor second best for anyone who has had the joy of seeing/holding Andrew. But, you are doing a wonderful job of capturing all of these milestones and your pictures are amazing. I feel very connected to Andrew and am cheering for him (and you) all the way!

Jenn L_Z

Amy (Smyth) Murphy said...

Hi Teetles,
Congratulations on your son! He is so cute. Here hoping he will be home soon!
Love Amy (Smyth)

Anonymous said...

Wishing all three of you the best. It looks like he just keeps growing and growing which is GREAT! Thinking of you and can't wait to see Andrew when you all get out!
Tammy and Jay

Anonymous said...

Thank God I got to hold Andrew before the lockdown. It rated right up there as one of the happiest moments in my life! It's hard to believe how much you get to know him while visiting the NICU. It seems like he's always been a part of our family. I love you, Andrew. MM

Christy said...

I just recently found your blog and have been reading about your NICU experiences. Our son was born in March at 32 weeks, and reading your posts brings back all of the emotions we experienced during his 8 week stay. I'll be keeping Andrew in my thoughts. Stay strong, you will all make it through this!