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.


jjonesaz said...

What a change !! He is so darn cute; I can't wait to see him without tubes!!

Lorie said...

Stellar!! Good for all of you. And wow - SOMEBODY, likes like a Boyden (well, for this two weeks anyways)

Anonymous said...

Love you buddy... keep kickin butt and taking names!! Uncle JCR

Beth said...

Woohoo! Keep it up Andrew!

MoDLin said...

Yes, your little guy certainly is adorable! Perfect hat! What a delight to read about so many positive changes. I look forward to your future post about his arrival at home!