Friday, December 30, 2005

Days 107-109

We took Aerin to Dr. Al-Mateen this morning. She still has a cough and some congestion, so we wanted to make sure everything is okay. Aerin is fine - her lungs are clear, her breathing is nice and slow, her pulse ox was 95%, and she's gained 12 ounces in the last 8 days. She now weighs 7 pounds, 4.5 ounces! Obviously, she's eating extremely well.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Day 106

Aerin had a fussy day. She hadn't pooped in approximately 36 hours, which would make anyone fussy. The doctor said that as long as she was wetting and her appetite was okay, she can go for 2 days without pooping before we have to worry. Of course I worried anyway, but her appetite actually increased and her wetting was normal. She ate 100 cc's at one feeding today and finally pooped twice this evening. She weighs 7 pounds now!

She's been home for almost 2 weeks now and we haven't had any alarms at all, which is awesome. As Aerin gets healthier and bigger, she gets more amazing. She can almost turn herself over from her tummy to her side. She's figured out how to suck her thumb, but it's too tiny to be satisfying, so she prefers her WubbaNub.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Days 104-105

Aerin certainly keeps us hopping. Her feeding take an hour to an hour and a half due to her reflux. She doesn't eat that entire time, she just needs breaks. She and I slept through a feeding today and it threw her schedule off somewhat. She only ate 30 cc's at her 3:00 p.m. feeding, but she made up for it by eating 95 cc's at her next 2 feedings.

We are constantly amazed at how strong and alert she is. She will look for the source of noises like keys jingling or Momma's voice and she can push herself up with her arms and legs.

I am so happy to have her home this Hanukkah. I prayed for this the entire time she was in the NICU - it was my secret hope. I hope that y'all's Hanukkah is as happy as ours is.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Day 103

I am happy to report that Aerin continues to thrive at home. She's eating extremely well and sleeping in her bassinet for decent clips. We took a 3-hour nap together - she still sleeps best with her Momma.

Merry Christmas to all of our friends who celebrate.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Day 102

Aerin is sleeping peacefully in her bassinet, so I'm taking advantage. She's going down much more, which is a great help to me. Not that I don't love holding her and cuddling her, but sometimes I have to do things like eat and use the bathroom. Every day she does something new and adorable. Yesterday she grabbed hold of my shirt when I was feeding her and held on until she was done. Her grasp reflex is very strong - I've had to stop wearing necklaces.

Aerin is feeling better. Dr. Al-Mateen adjusted her medication and it's made a huge difference. She now gets Zantac every other feed for her reflux, instead of twice a day. She's also on Reglan, Mylicon, iron, and multivitamins. We give her the meds with syringes and she takes them easily, except for the vitamins. I don't blame her - they probably taste as bad as they smell. I mix them with a little bit of milk to make them go down easier. Dr. Al-Mateen's nurse, Tammy, could not get over how big and beautiful Aerin's gotten.

Yesterday I had to run some errands at Henrico Doctor's Hospital and I visited the NICU. Everyone was happy to see me and thrilled to hear that Aerin is home again. I was talking to Dr. Sequira, who was at Aerin's delivery, and he was amazed at how advanced she is. It was weird being back there, but it was good, too. It reminds me of how far Aerin has come and how remarkably well she has done.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Days 100-101

Sorry we neglected to post yesterday. There wasn't much to report on anyway: only that Aerin got high marks from her pedriatrician, Dr. Al-Mateen, and weighs 6 lbs., 8 oz.! She's been home a whole week. That's her longest stretch out of the hospital ever! Yesterday's trip to St. Francis, home of Swift Creek Pediatrics, does not count.

While Kira ran some errands this morning, Aerin and her dad were left to fend for themselves.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Day 99

Aerin is a remarkable baby. Not only does she make eye contact, but she's able to track objects. She loves to stare at her momma, especially when she's eating, and today she looked at her daddy. Yesterday, she astounded me. I was holding her on my chest and she pushed herself up with her arms and held her head up and looked at me. I couldn't believe it. She has excellent neck control and a very strong grasp. She's eating very well and getting bigger every day.

She did not want to stay in her bassinet today, so Momma and Daddy held her. She's in her sling right now.

Yesterday Aerin got to meet her Aunt Cara for the first time, which was very exciting.

We're going to see Dr. Al-Mateen tomorrow morning and Aerin will get her second RSV vaccine.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Day 97

Today is Aerin's due date. She celebrated by eating a ton, sleeping in her bassinet for a couple of hours, taking a nap with Momma, and making the biggest poop I've ever seen.

Aerin is very advanced for a newborn - she can hold her head up and makes great eye contact. She focuses on objects for significant periods of time. She's also a Momma's Girl and will look around for me when she hears my voice.

It's a bittersweet day for me. It's wonderful to have our baby home with us, but I can't help thinking about what it would have been like if I had carried Aerin to term. The important thing is that she's healthy and thriving.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Day 96

Aerin had a good day at home. She spent most of it in her Maya wrap, which is a godsend. We're trying to get her used to sleeping in her bassinet or Pack n' Play, but she'll only go down if she's extra tired. She slept in the bassinet for 3 hours last night and about 1 hour today, which is progress. I also gave her a bath today, which she didn't like at all. However, it's much quicker and easier to bathe her at home - I have a great infant bathtub and much more room than in the hospital.

I also put my infant scale to use. Aerin is now 6 pounds and 2 ounces.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Day 95: Seriously

Aerin is doing wonderfully at home. She is eating and sleeping well and even slept in her Pack n' Play for a couple of hours. Mostly she likes to be held and snuggled and we are happy to oblige. She has gotten so big that we had to remove the preemie headrest from her car seat and readjust the straps. She is a whopping 6 pounds!

We have two wonderful nurses her, helping us out with Aerin - Anais and Rennie. We want to make sure that Aerin remains healthy. We're all hospitaled out.

Day 95

Aerin has grown so much since her first homecoming. We had to take her home by other means this time.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Day 94

Aerin is being discharged from the hospital today! We're picking her up at noon!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Day 93

I am thrilled to announce that Aerin has been off oxygen since 9:00 a.m.!! Her pulse ox is 97% and she's doing great. We're looking at discharge tomorrow or Friday!

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Day 92

Aerin had a great day. She had a test to see if she had any micro reflux, which involves aspirating milk into her lungs and it was negative. She was on room air (21%) all day long. Now we just have to get her off the flow, which is at .75 liters. She gained 2 more ounces and is all the way up to 5 pounds, 14 ounces.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Day 91

Aerin is three months old today!

She was on room air for about an hour and didn't go above 30% oxygen. She was on 25% the entire time I was there. She spent some more time sleeping in her sling. She also had a chest x-ray, which looked good.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Day 90

Aerin is down to 30% oxygen over .25 liters. That's basically just a little breeze. She's up to 5 pounds, 12 ounces.

She's 39 weeks gestational today and we had a milestone - Aerin went in her sling for the first time. My friend, Jenna, gave me a Maya Wrap, but I couldn't use it until Aerin was over 5 pounds. Well, she fell asleep in it and woke up when I got up and walked around (although I couldn't go far because of her leads and the oxygen). Now I can hold her and have both hands free, which is especially nice because Aerin doesn't like to be put down.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Day 89

Aerin has completely charmed the St. Mary's PICU nursing staff. Every time we come in, a nurse is holding her and cooing at her. Even nurses who don't have her come in to fuss over her. She gets cuter every day. Bigger, too - she's up to 5 pounds, 10.8 ounces! She's on 30% oxygen over .75 liters.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Day 88

Slowly, but surely, Aerin is getting well. She's down to 32% oxygen over 1 liter (down from 1.5 liters). She's eating like a champ and is all the way up to 5.5 pounds! We're hoping she'll get up to 6 pounds by her due date, which is rapidly approaching. It looks like she'll be home again early next week.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Day 87

Aerin's recovery is progressing very nicely. She's down to 35% oxygen on the cannula and she's eating like a champ. Andrew fed her this morning and she took 80 cc's, which is the most that she's ever eaten! She only took 50 cc's at the next feeding, which is her average. It looks like she'll be home before her due date after all.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Day 86: Good Morning

According to Aerin's day nurse, she is doing "great" (Aerin, not the nurse). She's eating plenty, and getting by on very little extra oxygen. Now that she's turned the corner, she's gaining weight again. At 5 lbs., 4 oz. she's gained about 6 oz. in a week (she had dropped a couple of ounces before going to the hospital). Now, the doctors and nurses at St. Mary's agree that Aerin's a "fighter", as Kira and I have known for nearly three months.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Day 85

Good news! Aerin was extubated at 11:30 a.m. today. She's on a nasal cannula and doing well on 40% oxygen, though she is a little hoarse. She's still getting respiratory therapy every 2 hours. The respiratory tech pounds (gently) on her back with a little rubber cup to loosen the mucus and to keep it from building up. Aerin absolutely loves it - she satted 100 the entire time. Aerin is thrilled to be eating again and inhaled 40 cc's on her first bottle. I finally got to hold her and feed her and it was indescribable.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Day 84

Aerin is making good progress. She's doing well on the new vent settings and has gone down from 50% oxygen to 35% oxygen. They're going to extubate her tomorrow or Wednesday. She's still getting Lasix to get rid of the excess fluids. Her feeds are back to every 3 hours (rather than continuous) and she's tolerating them well.

Day 83: Delayed

It turns out that Aerin probably won't be extubated on Monday. There's nothing really wrong; the doctors want to give her some time to recover on it, as she seems to be very comfortable with the current ventilator settings. She's still improving gradually; a couple of days ago, her secretions became clearer; then they became less copious; now they are "thinner." Her puffiness is subsiding a bit as well. Anyway, the plan is still to extubate her sometime this week. Being on a ventilator at this stage is nowhere near the problem it can be at birth. Certainly for a 26-weeker, the ventilator can cause lung-scarring and brain bleeds, and the weaning process can be difficult. None of those things are issues this time around, fortunately.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Day 82: Belated

Aerin is still improving. Her settings on the ventilator are being turned down slowly, with an eye toward extubation on Monday. If she gets the tube out and does well, she's probably looking at 4-7 more days in the hospital. Among other things, she has to get back to full bottle feeds, and that takes time. There are "signs" that her illness is subsiding; she seems to be coughing less, and her secretions have decreased. Yesterday, she was getting suction every couple of hours, rather than every hour.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Day 81

There have been some very slight improvements in Aerin's condition. Her secretions are clearer and less in volume. Her chest x-ray was a bit better, especially after they changed the position of her tube. She's getting Lasix to help get rid of the fluids that have built up inside her (she's quite puffy). She is also back on feeds and getting 8 cc's every hour.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Day 80

Aerin's condition is about the same. The respiratory technician said that her lungs sound better, which is good. She had a central line put in early this morning, to make it easier to do tests and dispense meds. She is sedated and blissfully unaware of what is happening, which is a great comfort to us.

We so appreciate all of the prayers and good thoughts that so many people have been sending to Aerin. Please keep it up and hopefully we'll have our baby home again soon.