Saturday, June 18, 2011

above birth weight!!

Yesterday we had another pediatrician appointment to check on his weight gain...and he is up to 6lbs8oz!! (edit: R pointed out after reading this, he is 6lbs, not 8lbs like I originally put...apparently I went from pregnancy brain to mommy brain).  My little baby is getting bigger already.  So this takes some of the pressure off from sticking to a strict feeding schedule.  Waking a sleepy baby in the middle of the night is not as easy as one would think.  I'm still struggling with my milk supply...holding steady around a production of about 10ml an hour.  Colton eats about 70ml every 2-4 hours, so I'm coming in a little under half of what he needs now.  I'm taking Fenugreek right now, and I am going to add in Blessed Thistle before giving my OB a call and asking for Reglan, an anti-convulsant with a side effect of increasing milk production.  Hopefully I can get my supply high enough to do a "breast feeding challenge" and wean off the formula in an attempt to continue the higher supply naturally.

Overall things are going well.  We did have first trip to the ER earlier this week because C wasn't maintaining a high enough body temperature.  At least we didn't have to go to the regular ER with god knows what kind of scummy idiots.  Instead we went to the local children's hospital, which was absolutely wonderful.   They put him under the warmer for a few hours and ran bloodwork as well as a urinalysis (which required a catheter...I'm not sure if that was more traumatic for me or him).  Everything came back fine, so we weren't admitted.  We've kept him double swaddled most of the time since then.

We also had his newborn photos taken this morning and I can't wait to see the proofs.  As I expected, C wasn't thrilled when we tried to place him on his tummy, but I think we got some really good shots anyway.

Friday, June 10, 2011

36 weeks....old?

That is still his gestational age anyway.  So hard to believe my little guy is over a week old already.  I think we've done amazingly well since he has been home.  While pregnant, everyone always tells you to sleep when the baby sleeps, and that you'll never know sleep deprivation like you will after having a newborn.  Well, I suppose we have to attribute some of the ease to extra sleepiness from jaundice, but we are both still functioning on a regular day and night schedule.  The only time I reached the borderline of delirium was last Saturday, after a long day at the hospital...we came home and I told R that I had to lay down.  Our current night schedule is worked around 3 feedings 11-12ish, 2-3ish, and 4-5ish.   I usually head to bed early after pumping and R stays up to do the first feeding.  Then I take over for the next 2 feedings, then head back to bed and sleep in while R takes over around 6.  Colton is increasingly alert and awake in the early hours of the morning though, so we'll see how long this schedule works.

We are still having follow up appts with the pedi, and the NICU requires bi-weekly home visits from a nurse for the next two weeks, but everything appears to be on the right track.  His bilirubin levels are dropping again, and his weight is starting to increase.  He is now back up to 6.04lbs, from a low of 5.13 in the NICU.  The pedi did tell us today that she would have liked to see him gain a little more, so we need to adhere to a 3 hour feeding schedule a little more closely.  My biggest frustration right now is my milk supply.  It just isn't increasing.  Based on pumping amounts, I'm making about 10ml an hour.  Colton eats 60-70ml every 3-4 hours.   I talked to multiple lactation consultants while in the hospital and was told I'm doing everything right.  I started fenugreek yesterday and I really hope it helps. 

Monday, June 6, 2011

He is home!!!

A week ago I walked into the maternity wing at the hospital with a baby in my belly.  Today, I rolled out with a baby in my arms.   We were given the option to have a wheelchair escort or the nurse rolling the crib from the NICU to the entrance.  I opted for the wheelchair and holding him (in the carseat, odd rule but hey, I still had a cute baby in my lap) and while I was not being discharged with the flowers and balloons, I still got the exit I had always pictured.

The pets have done really well so far.  The dog just did a sniff check and wanted to go back outside.  My youngest cat, whom I assumed would immediately confine himself to the bedroom absolutely fascinated.  Colton is sleeping in the pack n play at the moment, and I suppose it must look like a giant cat carrier, because he is watching it intently.  Very cute.  My older cat is a little more wary, but he is still being affectionate to me, so I know he isn't too upset.

Tomorrow we have our first pediatrician appointment and we have to go get C bloodwork in the morning because his bilirubin levels were 13.7 today and 14 is the highest they want to see it for his age.  If it goes up much more, he may have to go back in to the hospital or have some type of home treatment phototherapy again, but he won't be readmitted to the NICU, so we are done with that part of our journey.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

No Homecoming today.

The past two days we have been working toward being discharged today.  Everything seemed great when we got there.  It was only at 12:30, an hour before we expected to be close to heading home, that the doctors made rounds and told us that Colton had lost too much weight and would need to stay another day.  Apparently he is at 9% weight loss and the cut off for his gestational age is 10%.  If he looses more weight they will want to place a feeding tube...and I'm guessing that would add another 3-4 days to his stay.  We are little frustrated (beyond the obvious disappointment) because no one said anything to us about this being a concern until now.  He was on ad lib feeding, meaning he was only fed when he woke up...sometimes in 4-5 increments, and eating around 25-35ml each feeding.  Now they want him eating every 3 hours and at least 45ml. couldn't have reached this conclusion yesterday?

So needless to say, the afternoon was a little rough.  We did have our first real breastfeeding session though, so that was a bright point.  Being a preemie, he latches, starts sucking, then forgets what he is doing and stops, but we got a good 10 minutes in before he quit for good today.   And I am happy to report that he did take 45ml between the breast and formula at his evening feeding before we headed home.  Fingers crossed he can maintain his weight for tomorrow.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Discharged today. Just me, not him.

Let the tears commence.  We knew it was a strong possibility that he would not be ready to come with us, and I cry every time I think about it.  He is still making great progress, and was weaned off his IV fluids as of our last feeding this morning, but he was also placed under the billirubin lights because he is showing signs of jaundice.  So now we can't even look at him for extended periods of time because the lights will actually make one sick enough to vomit if looked at too long.   I feel so bad for the poor little guy.  He has spent the first two days of life getting stuck repeatedly in the heel to test his blood sugar (he cries and cries when this happens, it is so heartbreaking to hear) and now he has little foam goggles strapped to his head.  As of now, he is slated to come home on Sunday.  Not bad at all for his gestational age, but just a few days is harder emotionally than anything I could imagine.  My heart truly goes out to all the parents with babies in there longer.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

He is here!

I'll post a detailed birth story (probably several posts) later, because the whole experience was so long with so many parts...some absolutely amazing, like his actual birth, and other parts, like my recovery, that were anything but.   

Baby Colton was born at 8:43am June 1st, weighing 6.7lbs!!  He is in the NICU now because his blood sugar wouldn't regulate on feeding alone.  We are about to head down there now, but here is a picture taken yesterday before the Peds. team took him down to the NICU.

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