Today he is doing terrific!! Particularly given the grim possibilities that were facing us around his birth he is truly our miracle baby. He is tolerating his breast milk feedings fine. Something that the doctor’s worried about due to his intestines not getting all the blood and oxygen they needed to develop in utero. In fact they have also recently been able to add some oil and multivitamins to his feedings and despite previous problems with intolerance to any additives, he seems to be handling that very well. Additionally he is gaining weight now at a semi steady level and is currently just over 2 ½ lbs. This is something we have recently been very concerned about because we knew that to develop properly he would need to increase his caloric intake and weight.
Initially (when he was born at 27 wks, slightly over 3 months early) they told us a good target date to shoot for was his due date which is 2/14/08, Valentine’s Day. However, he has to meet certain milestones before he will be released from the hospital. He has to first and foremost gain weight because that is key in him being able to maintain his body temperature. Currently he is still in the Isolette which regulates the temperature for him as he doesn’t yet have enough brown fat to do that himself. Additionally he has to take all of his feedings by bottle or breast. Although we have made great strides in that regard, he still gets tired and he bradys (heart rate drops) during his feedings, which means that he is still very much relying on his NG feedings (feeding tube which goes from his nose to his stomach) for at least half of his meals currently. The last thing we will need to tackle is his heart rate. He can not have a brady or sudden drop in his heart rate for a week prior to going home. He used to have multiple occurrences an hour, now it’s just down to a few times a day. We’re anxiously awaiting the day when he has none, then hopefully those days will add up to a week and we will be able to take our precious baby home with us.
How have you liked the Presby NICU and all the nurses?
We have been very fortunate to have great primaries (nurses which sign up to be with a particular baby every time they are on their shift). Over the past 9 weeks we have really gotten to know them and vice-versa and we feel so comfortable when he is in their care. They all have different personalities but the similarity is that they all love and take great care of him. We have also been very fortunate in that all of the neonatologists are wonderful. On numerous occasions they have called us at home to update us with the latest on Colin and have spent a great deal of time with us bedside explaining different tests or procedures.
Well that’s a great question. I tend to be slightly (ok, a lot) more paranoid and conservative than my husband on many issues. So after years of trying to get pregnant when we found out we were finally expecting and had to go about choosing an OB/GYN, I was determined to pick one that was affiliated with a level 4 NICU. That meant CMC Downtown or Presby Main. I had visited both when friends of mine had babies and thought they would both be just fine. However the group that I was referred to only had privileges at Presby so that is how we decided upon that. Since we live in the University area my husband did question why we didn’t just use that hospital. He didn’t really give me a hard time at all, it’s just his thinking was that all would go smoothly with our pregnancy and we would be fine to go there. I felt that IF anything did happen to go wrong then years down the road I would likely still be kicking myself for not going to a hospital with the highest level of NICU. However, I knew that years down the road I wouldn’t be kicking myself for having driven 20 extra minutes for my appointments and birth. It turned out such a blessing that we delivered at Presby. It saved Colin from having to be transported there after his birth. We’ve been told that in those first few hours time is so critical and transporting a baby although often necessary can result in some delays of treatment and testing. We also want to mention that currently at Presby Main they are using bubble c-pap to help these babies breathe. It is such a blessing in that it allows many of the babies that previously would have been placed on ventilators to be put on this instead. In our case it saved us from having Colin ever be put on a ventilator and because of that his risk of ROP (retinopathy of prematurity) is dramatically decreased. ROP is an eye condition that in it’s worst stages can cause blindness. With all of this in mind as well as the fact that there is a neonatologist on staff at Presby Main 24/7 we feel comfortable with his care at night when we have to go home and leave him there. I certainly understand that most pregnancies are without incident and any of Charlotte’s fine hospitals will do a wonderful job and I don’t want to imply otherwise or panic anyone that is delivering elsewhere. For us though it was the perfect decision and the one part of this pregnancy that we will never have to second guess.
A big milestone for you was when you were finally able to breastfeed Colin, what was that like?
Unbelievable, there’s not even any words to describe that moment. Since he was so tiny we didn’t know if he would be able to latch on, but he did. He’s only been able to do it twice since recently I have gotten sick and we do not want to expose him to anything that could cause him to get sick. I absolutely can’t wait to try to breastfeed again. Being a first time mom I didn’t know what that would be like, but it’s the sweetest and most loving thing in the world.