September 30, 2010

Photo Shoot Fail!

I'm sure this is just one of many future photo shoots that could go better.  Andrew was not very cooperative on his three month birthday!


My. Picture.

Finally, a few good shots!

HA!  Gottcha while you were sleeping!

Finally - one with open eyes (kinda)!

Happy Three Months, Andrew!  You are doing so great!

In other news, his doctors and nurses continue to push him, and Andrew keeps pace!  They've lowered his flow on the cannula to 1, have compressed his feeds to 1.5 hours, and are feeding him via bottle small amounts every other feed (4 times a day!)  There is talk of sending him to the step-down unit soon (which is right next door to the NICU) and at the pace he is going that could be in a week or so.  Eeek!!  Moving to "Room 200" is a huge milestone, and the nurses and doctors in that unit will make sure he is ready to go home.  They'll also make sure J and I are prepared to care for him on our own.  There's a lot of nervous energy in our house right now!

Nervous?  I'm not nervous.

We are heading up to NJ this weekend to see family and friends and to have my baby shower.  Next week we'll need to finish up Andrew's room and begin to figure out what else we need before he comes home.  We are so happy that Andrew is doing well, and hope October brings our last weeks in the NICU.  Who knows, maybe he will be home for his four month photo shoot!

September 29, 2010

Three Months and 4.5 Pounds!

It's hard to believe that Andrew was three months old yesterday.  When you look back at how far he's come this month, it's amazing.  At the two month mark, Andrew weighed right around 3 pounds, and was still on the CPAP machine for breathing.  A few days after that, he transitioned to the nasal cannula, and hasn't looked back!

I'm getting so big!

Practicing my sitting up.
What's the big deal?

No brady's or desats when
Dad fed him!
We got good news yesterday after his follow up eye exam.  His left eye looks "excellent" and the right is "improving".  Hopefully next week he'll get two excellent marks and we'll be able to space out his exams a little more.  He's also doing so well in the eating/gaining weight department.  He hit 4.5 pounds yesterday, and his feeds have been compressed more to 2 hours.  This means he gets fed his entire feed (a little more than an ounce) over a 2 hour span, then they turn off the feed for an hour, then start the process over again.  This helps stretch his stomach out and lets him learn what it means to be "full" and "hungry".  He's still having some reflux issues, but not nearly as bad as a week or so ago.  He is also now getting TWO bottles a day of 5ml each.  J and I have both been able to feed him, and we're learning how to follow his cues.  We're not surprised that he seems to like his bottle with how much he enjoys sucking on the pacifier.  He's done great - pacing himself, and remembering to breathe in between the sucks and swallows.  All of his nurses are so proud of him, and so are we!

Taking the bottle like a champ.
Look at that concentration!

Yum!  This is sooo good.
J & I are spending some time this week interviewing pediatricians.  The reality that he will be coming home is starting to sink in.  Oh my!  We have a lot to get ready over the coming weeks, and the mental aspect of it is probably just as hard as getting all his "stuff" together.  We can't wait though to be home as a family!

I got a new swing, and I LOVE it!
I'm a little small, but they prop me up with some blankets
and it's all good!

Passed out after a long day.

September 26, 2010

Fly, Birdie, Fly

You know how they say that mommy birds will push their babies out of the nest to teach them to fly?  Well, Andrew got pushed out of the nest this week.

We arrived on Thursday morning to this:
Big boy crib!
Yup, that's right...he's in a big boy crib now!  We knew it was coming, but still very excited about the change.  So are his nurses.  Since he's more easily accessible now, he'll get lots more cuddles and snuggles from the nurses when he gets upset - and they've all been anxiously awaiting a chance to hold him!  He's been doing a great job maintaining his temperature, so hopefully he is here to stay.

He also got his first taste of the swing.  Not a great picture, but we were told he loved it!

Leave me alone, and let me swing in peace!

Just hanging out!

We also had a meeting on Thursday with his doctor, two primary nurses and a social worker to get all our questions answered, and to talk about the plan to get him home.  It was a productive meeting, and while (of course!) we don't have an exact plan or timeline (it's really up to Andrew) we know what needs to happen to get him home.  The biggest challenge upcoming is eating.  Preemies often have problems with remembering to suck/swallow/breath when they take a bottle and can aspirate (swallow fluid into the lungs), brady (heartrate drop) or other issues.  We know he is already dealing with reflux, so of course, that can be a problem too.  The doctor was hopeful that he was ready to try feeds again.

After the meeting, they lowered his flow on his cannula to 1.5 liters of oxygen/min, which he handled just fine.  (Less flow means less chances to aspirate)  They also pulled the feeding tube back to the stomach again.  We were a bit worried that they were making too many changes too fast for him to keep up with.  Thursday was a big day, but our boy did well!

Cuter every day!

Andrew handled the change in feeding well this time (when they moved the tube last week he was spitting/throwing up and was so constipated that he couldn't move anything through his system).  He finally worked out his constipation issues, and is back to "normal" now - including a few blowouts!  We took advantage of the fine nursing staff to handle those! 

Saturday brought more changes.  They began to compress his feeds, so now he is getting the same amount, just over a shorter time.  They will continue to compress the feeding time, so that eventually he'll be getting an entire feed over just 30 minutes or so through his feeding tube.  His stomach is beginning to learn how to expand and contract when he gets food, and he'll begin to get on a schedule so that he's expecting food every three hours.

Don't I look like the Pope in this hat?
In other good news, he's been gaining weight again this week (after a large stall around the eye surgery week) and is up to 4 pounds, 6 ounces.  That's three times his birth weight - crazy!  He's beginning to outgrow some of his preemie outfit already. 

And, when we called in this morning, the nurse told us he took his first bottle this morning.  Only 5 ml (so a tiny amount) but she said he did very well - paced himself, sucked strongly, and didn't have any breathing problems during or after!  I can't wait to see this in person!

We felt like he was pushed this week.  But we are OK with that.  We know he still may have some steps backwards, but the doctors and nursing staff will be there to make sure he is OK and gets back on track.  And, each step brings him closer to coming home.  Fly, Andrew, Fly!

“When you have come to the edge of all the light you have
And step into the darkness of the unknown
Believe that one of the two will happen to you
Either you'll find something solid to stand on
Or you'll be taught how to fly!”
- Richard Bach

Flying is for the birds...I'm tired!

The hat says it all.

September 23, 2010

Kindness and Progress Makes for Good Days

I posted about gratitude a few weeks ago, and I have to say that it just continues to flow.

Cute new outfit -
Thank you Robin & Quin!

Last week J went in for his nightly visit (I was home b/c my parents were in town that night) and he came home with a gift bag in hand.  Inside was an adorable onesie (preemie sized, of course!) and a fluffy blue blanket with "Miracle Baby" and angel wings embroidered on it.  It was a gift from another set of NICU parents who we've become friends with during this journey.  Included was a lovely note with sentiments regarding Andrew's progress, and looking towards the future of when our children play together.  How kind and thoughtful of them to be thinking of us while they are going through their own rollercoaster.  Amazing!

Appreciation for my work also deserves mentioning.  I am fortunate to work for a large company, with generous benefits.  We haven't seen a dime in hospital bills for Andrew, and let me tell you the amount so far is staggering!  Between my benefits, and the Medicaid that he qualifies for since he is hospitalized, practically everything is covered.  In addition, my company has a great maternity leave policy, which allows you to take up to 6 months without risk to your job.  I plan to use every minute (and more if I can gain approval, since we are already at the 12 week mark).  We also have a leave donation program, where you can request a leave campaign once you've used up all your paid time off and colleagues can donate time to you.  I was amazed, humbled, and thankful to all my colleagues, when I found out on Friday that 160 hours of paid time was donated to me (the maximum the program allows).  The fact that the request email was sent out from HR at 8 a.m. and the campaign was closed by 1 p.m. because the hours had been donated already just fills me with so much gratitude.  I am blessed!

Happy daddy!
Andrew has had several good days this week.  He had a follow up eye exam yesterday, and he is healing well.  He'll continue to be monitored, but so far we are very hopeful that the ROP has subsided.  Also, they lowered his flow again on the nasal cannula to 2 - so he continues to need less respiratory support while hanging out around 21% oxygen (room air).  We think he will get his first (small) bottle in the next few days, and hopefully will begin to make progress with eating.  And, the best news is that he hasn't had any major spells (requiring bagging) in two weeks now!  He is 36 weeks gestation today, and it is amazing to think how far he's come in the past 12 weeks.  We're so proud of our boy!

September 20, 2010

A Long Week

It's been a long week for our boy. Sorry in advance, this is going to be a long post.  Short version: Isolation, eye surgery, constipation, and desats, spitups, recovery.  Keep the thoughts and prayers coming!

Here's the update since my last post:
I went into the hospital for his eye exam, hoping to talk to the opthomologist.  It's not fun to listen to your son cry as his eyes are pried open for the exam.  He handled it well though.  Unfortunately, his ROP did progress to Stage 3, and the doctor recommended the eye surgery.  We were somewhat prepared for this, but still disappointed that he needed another surgery and scared that he could potentially have some long-term vision issues.  Based on my research, 80% of preemies his age get ROP, but only 5 - 10% need the surgery.  Most do well afterwards, but there is still a chance the ROP can still continue and he'll need additional surgeries, or experience vision loss.  The surgery is scheduled for the next day.

On a good note - he hit 4 pounds this day, and seemed to be handling the move of the feeding tube to his stomach well.

Isolation - gown and gloves.  Andrew doesn't mind!
We got a phone call before our evening visit from the doctor, to discuss the surgery and the consents we'd need to sign.  He also dropped the bomb that one of the MRSA cultures taken from Andrew the day before was growing something in the petri dish.  It was inconclusive, so they were watching and waiting to see what it was - some sort of staph or other bacteria, or even just a contaminant.  They were hoping it was nothing, and he wasn't showing any signs of infection from b/w or observation, but they did have to put him on isolation as a precaution.  Isolation means gowns and gloves each time you enter his area, and in this case (where he possibly has a bacteria on the skin that could be very dangerous if it got into the blood stream) isolation is more another layer of protection for the nurses and other babies around him.  Grrreeeat.

Night after surgery

Really long day.  This surgery was scheduled for 8 a.m. so J and I got the hospital around 7:30 to see Andrew and meet with the surgeon.  We were happy to see that one of primary nurses, Nurse L was on that day with him.  She let us know that the culture was still not conclusive, and so they were going to take another one.  They were all thinking it was probably a contaminant, since there was no clear answer after culturing it for 48 hours.  Good news!

Andrew handled the surgery very well, he barely needed any additional oxygen, the sedation went fine, and the surgeon was pleased with the procedure.  He'll continue to have eye exams weekly to see if the ROP has stopped - we have our fingers crossed.

Recovery went OK for the little guy - he did have some brady's, which were expected and he was pretty much out of it all day.

He's off isolation!  His culture came back negative this time, so no more lockdown for Andrew!  J and I are so happy to hear this, especially that he does not have any sort of infection or bacteria.

I spend most of the day holding my sleepy boy.  The sedative should be out of his system, but his eyes are still pretty puffy and he is definitely not back to normal yet.  They turned his feeds back on, but his system is not moving anything through yet.  Constipation is still here, and the medicines are not helping!

Sweet dreams!

I also got to give him a bath today - which we was NOT pleased about.  It was a quick one, due to his screaming.  The boy has some lungs on him!

The screaming began moments later...
Not a fun bath!
One good thing today is that they lower his flow on the nasal cannula to 3.  We keep chipping away at respiration!

Friday - Sunday:

Andrew is more awake each day, and his eyes are looking so much better.  By Sat, he's back to his alert self.  On a bad note, he has been throwing/spitting up somewhat regularly, so they are not sure if his belly is just still adjusting to the feeding tube there, he has reflux (already on meds for this), or his stomach is just too full b/c he hasn't gone poo yet.   They finally get him to stool on Sat night - we all celebrated! The doctors decide to give him a few days to see if he can handle the feeds better, but overnight on Sunday, they move the feeding tube back to his intestines.  Along with the throwing up, he's had more respiratory spells since the surgery (no bagging this week though!) so we are hoping those diminish in the coming week.  It's a slight step backwards, but we know he'll go better next time!

His weight at the end of the week is pretty much the same as he started it - right around 4 lbs.  Between the throwing up and the surgery, we are not surprised he hasn't gained much.  Lots of ups and downs this week, but hopefully the surgery was successful, and we can move forward again soon.  Andrew turns 12 weeks old today, and will be 36 weeks gestation on Wed.  We hope he comes home soon, but it looks like the milestone of his due date will probably pass with him still in the NICU.  But, as long as he keeps making progress we know he'll be home with us soon enough.

One more sleepy picture.  It was a long week!
I'm also a man of many hats this week - and
am beginning to grow out of some of them!

I'm getting so good at my paci -
I can't wait until I can try a bottle!

September 14, 2010

Let's talk constipation!

When J and I got to the hospital last night we ran into Dr. B.  We hadn't seen him in a few days, and have gotten most of our updates lately from the nurses.  This is a good thing in the NICU.  The later in the day the baby sees the doctor, the lower on their radar they are that day.  We like stable days where there is no need for the doctor to rush over to Andrew's bedside.

Lots of naps in mom and dad's
arms this week!
Happy boy

J and I asked Dr. B about Andrew's apparent constipation issues...he's been straining a ton, but not producing much on the other end!  He used to be a champion pooper, and hadn't needed any help (glycerin suppository) until about a week or two ago.  We hate when he turns bright red and is obviously trying to push (and he tends to desat when he does it).  Anyway, the doc isn't concerned, and as we sat and discussed the wonders of the bowels (I'll spare you all) Dr. B said, "I can talk constipation all day!  I love talking about constipation!"  We But then he said, "Isn't it nice to be talking about constipation as one of our biggest worries...remember back to when he was first born and we had to talk life and death for those first weeks?"  Great perspective.  And a great reminder on how far Andrew has come.

Dad's hair is tickling me!
In good news, Andrew hasn't had any major spells since the big one last Wednesday, and most of his desats have been minor and self-resolved. His lungs are clearly getting stronger. We learned that they decided to lower the flow on his nasal cannula to 3.5 from 4 earlier on Sunday afternoon, and he was handling it just fine! The doc wants to just keep chipping away on the support he is getting, with the hope that Andrew can keep his oxygen requirement low with less flow (he's been hanging out between 21% - normal room air o2 level - and 25% for most of the past week or so). So far, the change hasn't bothered him in the least!

I'm trying to suck my thumb, but
this pacifier is in my way!
Another exciting change happened today and that is they moved his feeding tube from his intestines to his stomach!  So far he's doing well with the change, and if he tolerates it well for a few days they will begin to compress his feeds, so he won't be getting a slow, continuous stream of food, but the same amount over a shorter time.  Eventually, he'll be getting his entire feed in a 30 - 45 minute span (every 3 hours) to simulate the feeding schedule of a newborn.  This is a big milestone for him, and we hope he does well with the changes.  We've been warned that feeding (like everything else in the NICU) can be a two steps forward, one step back process.  So far, day one has been a step forward!

Wide awake and practicing my sucking!
I'll be ready for a bottle in no time!
Andrew gets his next eye exam tomorrow, and we are hoping that the ROP hasn't progressed any further.  Last week, the opthomologist thought it could be getting worse.  We are hoping the good news continues, but realistically are bracing that laser eye surgery could be in his future.  The roller coaster continues...

Is it time for this ride to be over yet?!?

September 11, 2010


Oprah does it again.

Each month, for many years now, I've gotten her magazine.  Sometimes they sit on the table for weeks or months before I read them, but every time I open it up I find an article that inspires and touches me.  This month was no different.

After a few tough days at the hospital (set off by another scary spell on Wednesday night) I took some time on Thursday afternoon to grab some lunch at my favorite deli, sit outside to enjoy the most beautiful weather I can remember, and to read my magazine.  A few pages in I found article called "Lying Low," talking about how to deal when things are falling apart, and you can't do anything to put them back together.  Timely.

One of the most difficult things dealing with the NICU is that I have so little control.  Andrew's path is his own, and the doctors and nurses respond to his needs as he presents them.  I'm just following along side, doing my best to provide love, love, love to my little guy.  There's not much else I can do. It's scary.

Losing/giving up control is something I've kind of worked through for awhile now - when you deal with infertility you quickly learn that there is much you can't control, and you "hurry up and wait" months at a time while waiting for treatments, going through treatments, waiting to see if the treatments worked, and starting that cycle over again.  I thought I got pretty good at it, but apparently not! :-)

Anyway, the article in Oprah caught my attention, and one part really resonated.  It talked about working through fear - and that our brains can not simultaneously experience fear and appreciation.  Making a list, or talking through what gives you comfort, support, and hope allows you to move past the fear.  Throughout this journey, Andrew, J and I have been presented so much love and support and while it's been appreciated (a ton), it's not been officially recognized.  We spent some of the afternoon on Thursday taking a walk and talking about our gratitude and what we've gained in this hard journey since Andrew entered the world.

We have so much to be thankful for:
  • My OB, Dr. R, for acting so quickly when I experienced spotting at 23 weeks.  Seeing me immediately, and diagnosing the dilation, allowed me to get the cerclage that I'm convinced bought me five extra days of pregnancy.  With a baby this young, every day makes a difference.
  • Dr. T, the OB on call the weekend Andrew was born.  He took many fearful calls from J and myself that weekend, and didn't hesitate to have us come in when I began to experience a fever.  He also pushed to have us transferred from Reston hospital to INVOA Fairfax so Andrew could receive care from the best NICU around from the moment he was born.  I have no doubt this factor saved his life.
  • Dr N, the OB who performed my emergency c-section.  Less than 30 minutes after I arrived at Fairfax, Andrew was born.  Although my placenta showed signs of infection, it did not pass onto Andrew which was a blessing.  Her calm, determined demeanor helped calm both J and I in the most terrifying moments of our lives.
  • Dr B, the neonatologist who was there at delivery to immediately care for Andrew.  He's our doctor now too, and we have so much faith in him, and all the doctors in the NICU.
  • Andrew's primary nurses (and his pseudo-primaries) who care for him every minute of every day, and love that little guy, celebrate each milestone with us, and keep J and I sane during good days and bad.  They are truly special people, and I hope we keep in touch with them for years to come.
  • Each doctor, nurse, and respiratory therapist there in the NICU.  You have to be pretty amazing to do that job day in and day out.  I know every nurse and RT in our room has tended to Andrew at some point or another - if not for an entire shift, then to calm him when he is upset, tweak his settings when he needs it, or even just to give me a reassuring smile on a day when I need it.  Angels.
  • Thank you, IOP!  I LOVE IT!
  • Our jobs.  I'm so lucky to work somewhere with amazing benefits, where I am able to take this time off to be with Andrew, and still be secure in a job when I return.  We are also thankful that we are in a secure financial place (especially in these tough times) where we can afford for me to take time off comfortably.  J's job has provided him great flexibility the past few months, which has made the transition of him going back to work much easier for both of us.  Just yesterday, they gave us (Andrew) an amazing gift - a beautiful quilt which we can't wait to use and display.  Thank you!
  • Our family.  Even though they live far away, they have provided us so much support and love.  My parents got in the car minutes after I called them to say my water broke, and arrived at the hospital from NJ just after Andrew was born.  They got to see him that first night in the NICU (even before I did) and were so comforting to have there during those extremely scary first days when his life was in the balance.  We are so happy that all of our immediate family was able to visit in the weeks after his birth and meet Andrew.  Your calls, emails and support keep us going.  We wish you were closer, and can't wait for you to see him again when he comes home.
  • Friends.  Neighbors. Old friends that we haven't seen in years, friends we see often, friends met on my IF message board, even friends-of-friends (-of friends).  The love and support is palatable!! The visits, dinners, calls, emails, messages, texts and even replies on this blog and Facebook let us know we are not alone.  The inspirational success stories that you have shared about other preemies, words of encouragement to J and I (and our families), hugs (real and virtual), and many gifts for Andrew (books, clothes, toys) help us through tough days.  We appreciate all of you who have sent us positive vibes, added Andrew to your prayers or prayer lists, and are thinking about him often. We know there will be a huge celebration across the country the day he comes home. We are humbled by the support.
  • Friends in the NICU.  You all deserve a shout-out of your own.  We've met some amazing families during our time there.  People we would have never crossed paths with otherwise.  Friends we will stay in touch with for the rest of our lives. Only parents who have gone through a similar experience truly understand, and we gain strength in your bravery, celebrate your children's milestones, feel your pain during tough days.  Our "tiny warriors", as one of our new friends call our little ones, all have some fantastic parents.  We can't wait to watch them all grow up.
  • My husband.  You are my perfect partner, and I can't imagine life without you.  I know I couldn't get through this without you.  I love you.
  • My son.  Every day I thank God that you are here with us, and ask him to watch over you.  I'm sorry you have had such a tough start at life, but can't wait to see who you become!  You've already shown us what a fighter you are.  The past few months have been difficult for dad and I, but you are the one who is going through the most.  We worry about you each minute we can't be with you, and savor each visit, cuddle and bath.  You make every moment worthwhile.  We gain strength from you, and can't wait to bring you home.  We love you with all our hearts, Andrew.  Keep fighting!
Oprah, you did it again.

September 7, 2010


Up. Down. Up. Down.

We've been lucky for mostly ups in this NICU journey.  Andrew continues to do pretty well - although he's had a few bumps.  Just when we begin to feel somewhat comfortable and happy about his progress he throws one at us.  He had another fairly large spell on Sunday night (needed to be bagged).  They can't put a finger on why they are happening, the good news is that there is no signs of infection, his b/w and lungs look good, and he seems fine afterwards.  The bad news is that they are still happening.  At least they have been less frequent (only one this week). DOWN.

He's also not been gaining weight at the pace the doctors would like (approx 30 gms/day).  In fact, he's lost weight the past few days, and quite a bit last night (100 gms).  I feel like we just lost a week in weight gain. :-(  Like the spells, they don't know why (no signs of infection or stomach issues, except he has been constipated.)  When we know that nutrition and weight gain are really his pathway home, these setbacks are so disheartening. They want to move him to an open crib, but are hesitant because of his weight.  He's keeping his temp regulated with swaddling, but they want him to be about 4 pounds before making the switch.  DOWN.

Finally, Andrew had his eye exam yesterday.  While he did well during the actual exam, his ROP issue may be worsening a bit.  He is still at level 2, but the nurse mentioned that the opthamologist said it looks like it may be progressing.  We are supposed to talk to them tomorrow, and he will have a follow up again next week.  We are hoping he doesn't need the laser surgery.  DOWN.

All this just leads to a big BLAH for mom and dad.  We know things could be worse.  We hope it doesn't get worse.  We hope a big UP is just around the corner.

[The good news is that he's been a cute, cuddly baby the past few days and seems to love his snuggles with mom and dad.  Enjoy the pics, and pray for UP!]

Snug as a Bug
(Mom's been calling him Bug-a-boo lately!)

Why do they keep swaddling my arms?
I can't reach my feeding tube!

Much better!  So comfy!

September 4, 2010


No, not coming home yet, but the surprises keep coming!  Here's his new milestone from last night! Who knew we be excited about more shit?!?

Moved from xs preemie diapers to the
"normal" preemie diaper size!
And, just a few cute pictures from the last few days.  Not much else to report, which is good news.  He hasn't had any big spells since switching to the nasal cannula, which we are happy about.  He's up to 3 1/2 pounds, and now getting 8.5 ml/hour of milk.

I love my hands by my face when I sleep.

I can hold my paci all by myself!  (And, I went up
a size in that too!)
Wide awake, waiting to do some kangaroo care with
Sleepy snuggle with Daddy

September 2, 2010

Light Hearts

Woohoo!  21%!
The past few days have been just great for Andrew, and for mom and dad too.  Andrew's had no significant spells since switching to the cannula, his oxygen requirements have been great - even spending part of the time at 21% (same as you and I), and pretty much in the 20's at all times.  The have turned his flow down to 4 already too!  The nurses say his lung xrays are looking clearer, and he seems like a happier baby without all the equipment.

I am cute!

I like to stick out my tongue (and love that there are no
tubes in my mouth!)

It's hard to be me sometimes!
He really is beginning to look and act more like a baby too - more alert, crying when he is bothered (not too much though!), looking for his mouth with his fingers, and even sucking on them when he is successful!  This is all good news, and has made the past few days so much fun!  J and I have both had moments where we were at peace with everything that has happened, and really can begin to imagine having him home and integrated into our lives even more.  We've also had moments where we are just cracking up at his funny faces that he makes.  If we weren't stuck in the NICU, this is how I imagined my first days as a mother - quiet moments rocking my child, singing songs, marveling at each new thing he accomplishes.

Dad relaxes as Andrew checks
out the world
We've spent lots of time holding and kangarooing him, and he is tolerating the attention very well.  I gave him his first bath in the "tub" yesterday, which he loved too!  We can't wait until this can happen in our own home!  He even had a repeat eye exam on Tuesday, and had a very good day afterwards - vastly different from the week before.  His eye exam showed no progression of the ROP - it is still holding at level 2, which is good.  He's also been putting on weight a little more consistently - he's up to 1540 grams - 3 lbs, 6 oz. 

Our hearts are light.  We couldn't be more proud of our little man.  We know things can take a change for the worse at any time (that dang NICU roller coaster) and we are in for more challenges in the coming weeks, but we will ride this wave as long as we can, and enjoy the amazing progress Andrew has made this week.
Sleepy boy
Bath time!  Exccccelent!
When I look at this picture, I remember
how small he still is!  Peanut!