Our little boy

Our little boy
Our Little Miracle

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Drained

Sorry for the sporadic posting everybody.

Mason Stone is doing great. He had a doctors apointment on Monday and our pediatrician told us he is doing well.

He is up to 7 pounds 9 ounces now so his growth has been doing great. The best part of the day was when he listened to his heartbeat.

He said he could not hear that "murmur" at all! What an answer to prayer that is.

We will keep you all posted if anything changes on that front. For tonight though, it is time for bed. We are beat!

Have a great day everyone!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

First Christmas Day

Merry Christmas to everyone, first and foremost.

Since our gift came 3 months early, we were lucky enough to share Christmas day with the little man. He made out like a bandit. He got some new clothes, a rubber ducky, a really cool CD for sleeping time later in his life, and an awesome snail toy with a mirror that I might borrow and play with.

I have a couple videos of the special day for you all here;

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Since this is our first child, we really have no "family traditions" though I am pushing for a Star Wars Saga tradition for future Christmas days. I am sure that will not be met with the best of acceptance, but its worth trying, right? ha ha.

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The first gift is something we have both waited for. Since it only happens once, we figured we better catch it on video. He was totally enthralled as you can see. He slept thorough pretty much every single gift so I guess that means that I get to play with them all first, just to see if they are working properly *wink*.
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After a rough morning of sleeping the little man really needed a nap. He crashed out and started his "snore/cooing" that he does so we captured it for him to hear later.

Prior to the 25th, we did some photos with Julie's family so here they are. The little man LOVED all the attention, though he, again, slept through it all.

Wishing you all the merriest of Christmases. I have no idea if I have spelled that properly, but it sure looks cool so its staying.

Have a wonderful day with your friends and families!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Naughty Bits?

Did I really say naughty bits last post? I think I did.

Moving on...................little man had his circumcision today. The doctor was very nice and gave us the "its really only cosmetic so we want you to know that" speech prior to wheeling him away.

We finally heard him cry for the first time. This was a true on WAIL!

The funny thing is that getting the snipping was not what caused him such consternation, it was being strapped to the board to even have the procedure done. Good thing he won't remember this as it is probably not something anyone wants to recall at will.

So, just when we thought all was well, he began bleeding a bunch more than expected.

Circumcisions are about a 20 minute procedure and ours took just under 3 hours.

After the procedure was completed, they wheeled him into our room and told us to wait and they would see how things were looking before they sent us home. The nurse came in, pulled back the diaper and pretty much gave the same diagnosis that Julie got day 1 of this whole ordeal.

"This amount of bleeding is not uncommon, but I want the doctor to take a look at it before I discharge you."

I am officially sick and over that political response.

What was actually said was "I have never seen something like this and have no idea what to really say, but I can't say anything that might get you angry or scared because I don't want you yelling at me so I will pass this off as normal until the doctor looks at is while you are nowhere near us. That way, we can wonder to ourselves what happened and not send you into a panic."

We took it like champs, and sat there patiently as the doctor stitched his package back together to keep the bleeding to a minimum.

When they came back they insisted on showing us what they had done and prefaced EVERY sentence by saying "This will not look like this forever."

I am not sure which was worse, the eye exam or the reveal of this procedure...............probably the eye exam, but this was sure gross looking as well.

From there we headed home and got him some much needed rest and relaxation. He carries on as if nothing has happened even if his Dad keeps grabbing at his crotch as if there is pain occurring for him.

We will check back come Christmas day and should have some great photos. His first Christmas experience should be a great one.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Up All Night...............

But unlike Slaughter, we do not sleep all day.

I figured that I would drop a quick note to say that everything is doing well. Mason is feeding well and sleeping well and everything seems to be all systems go.

He is going in for his circumcision today so things could take a change DRAMATICALLY after they snip away at his naughty bits. Poor little man!

I will probably not include photos of that as I am sure that it might affect me like the eye exam did.........my kingdom for a "mind wipe" of that moment, still.

For those that are tracking, he has taken favorably to Fletch so that sets my mind at ease. Perhaps great taste is inhereted?

I will keep you posted on that one ha ha.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Just as we expected

Let me tell you, we are beat. Julie is doing double duty being a wonderful mom and a fantastic wife. I am working and burning the midnight oil.

So far, we have made a great team in taking care of Mason.

We have found that he reacts favorably to "white noise" due to the NICU never being quiet. We both read that this was likely, so we are experimenting with different shows or movies to make things seem "normal" to what he knows.

In the NICU there was never a time that it was dark, so light is somewhat helpful at this point as well. We have discovered that he likes movies. He really loves A River Runs Through It and has done alright with Spies Like Us. He does not like The Office very much so we are trying different films to make sure we dont tire of some of the movies we like.

I will probably introduce him to Fletch and GPB (Grosse Pointe Blank) on DVD very soon. Matt will get that one.

In all, things are going great and we are learning an awful lot about him and about ourselves at the same time. We really are happy to have him here and we love him very much.

Prayers go out to Crystal who is at T-minus as well with her miracle baby. Go get em Crystal!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Little Man, the center of attention!


Little man decked out in his new Christmas outift, hangs out with his Uncle Jonathan. He learned all he needed to know about the beer brewing process and got a verbal commitment to sponsoring him in his quest for his 8 straight Masters titles.

Grandma time is an extra special time. Little Man learned the Ohio State fight song and why Buckeye is far superior to a Wolverine. He listened intently, then apparently threw up at any mention of Michigan.

Grandpa was exhaused from a long trip out here, but found a few hours to extol the Little Man on the bennefits of electrical power. He also filled him in on what he has to look forward to at Cedar Point. Grandpa has already scoped out his first trip and has found a way to get him on every major ride in one day. Get ready Little Man, fun will be had.

What a wonderful day!

Uncle time!

Little man's uncle Jonathan just arrived. He is asleep in his arms and we have photo proof. We will put them up tomorrow when his Grandma and Grandpa arrive.

Little man is doing great and he and I shared a bit of talk time while Julie was down picking up her brother. He cooed at me for about 40 minutes after we had some food.

He is adorable!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Mind is racing

In the fever of it all, we forgot a few things.

Namely thank yous!

First of all, thank you Lord for all you have done for this baby. Thank you for holding him in your hands and looking upon him so favorably. Thank you for protecting him when he needed it, cuddling him when he needed it, calming him when he needed it, feeding him when he needed it, and carrying him through this period.

Thank you for protecting us. While we have felt the most stress we have ever felt in our lives, thank you for keeping us together and keeping us grounded in your love. Thank you for a consistent reminder of our lack of control and of our need to let you take the reins and steer us towards the clear.

Thank you to the doctors and the NICU nursing staff. I would name you all here, but I would leave one out and would feel awful so I will just say thank you to the teams that were there for all this. Thank you for the way you cared for our baby boy and the way you cared for us too. Your jobs are centered around making sure the children are taken care of, but you do so much more. Your positivity and the way you all have calmed our stress is a testament to you as people. Your professions do not require that attribute, and you all have it. Very special people, all of you.

Thank you to our families. The Wurms and the Flynns. This has been the most brutal time we could have ever imagined. Thank you for your support, phone calls, well wishes, prayers, encouragement, visits, etc. He is blessed to have Grandparents to begin with, to have these is truly above and beyond that. Words can really never describe.............yeah.

To brothers and sisters and families attached, thank you for being friends. Being siblings is something we did not choose, but to have you choose to be friends with us is something we cherish. Thanks for the calls, the cards, the emails, and to my sister, thank you for being here that day. I keep saying that God wanted to make sure you got to see him, and I still stand by that thought.

Thanks to our friends. To Matt and Jen, Tony and Collette, Brandon and Eva, Justin and Jo, Ben, Starr and JJ, Nicole and Derek, Danielle and Rob, Staysi and Dave, Tiffany, Jesse and Sara, Kareem and Mandy, Nick Z, Steve and Heather, Kyle and Jenny, Crystal and Annette, were still praying for Crystal's miracle, The Costco family, The City of Fife family, Chad and Jen, The Yahoo fantasy football posse, Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, friends of friends, people we don't know, people we haven't met, all the way down the line. We could not have made it through this the way we have without your support. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!

The parking garage team at the hospital. Thank you for being so patient with us. Seeing the same faces for 90+ days has to be strange for you, too. We thank you for being so kind and helpful. I am sure you can get bored of the same old thing, but your smiles sent us away with good feelings and that was something we needed now and then.

The Overlake team. Thank you for starting us off on the right foot. Thank you Dr. Mann for following us around.

Last but not least in any way, the rest of the NICU families. I am not sure where to even begin with all of you, but thank you for sharing your lives with us. Thank you for sharing in our stress and for sharing the lowest points imaginable with us. Thank you for looking out for Mason when the monitors were going off. Thank you for a smile as you passed. Thank you for kind words and for lessons in diaper choices. Thank you to Mandy for reaching out and showing us that this is not a death sentence. Thank you to Anju and her family for showing us what being steadfast looks like. Thank you to Alex and Collin for being so darn calm and so cool. The diaper class was a very positive memory among a clouded reality. Thank you to Jodi for your fire and passion. Thank you to all of you for sharing in our joy and our fear.

Special thank you goes out to Kelia and Elanor. Thank you for showing us that fragility and fear is not something to run away from, but something to stare down. We pray for your little one and know that you will be well taken care of. We look forward to sharing your success story with you all the way. We will be keeping up with the progress the best we can.

If I have missed anyone, I am sorry. Trust me that you are thanked as well.

God bless and we will check back later. The first day has been great.

Naming the little man

The mystery is over. Some of you figured it out through video or through some of the photos we have posted but we felt it was time to introduce the little man to the world.

He made it through his first night fairly well and we even got a bit of sleep.

Okay................enough stalling................

His name is Mason Stone Flynn!

Welcome to your new home Mason Stone

Friday, December 17, 2010

Just figured we better recognize

The significance of the day.

Today is December 17th. 91 days after he is born and 3 months, to the day, after God decided he wanted this baby in the world.

Quite a journey looking back on it all.

We do not look at this as a completed task or a final chapter, this is just the close of the prologue of the book of this baby's life.

Chapter 1 begins tomorrow. Though updates might be fewer or contain less exciting news, were not going anywhere. He might not be "Truman" but this is his show and we feel blessed to be viewers.

Stay tuned..............

Mission...............changing now!


Because this site is a little skechy with some videos, our journey starts here:
Click on that link and please excuse the stupid baby talk at the start, Julie and I were playing a little game. From there, you can proceed to the following videos to experience our day together.

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There are a couple videos between the last and this next one,  but after watching, some of them are a bit personal or really long. So we jumped down to the car here:



video video

BLAST OFF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Not just yet.....................he is still at the hospital. We are just finishing up getting ready to go down and break him out Shawshank style.

Soon we will be swimming in the same "smelling foulness that I can't imagine, or don't want to" that Andy Dufrane crawled through to his freedom.

But we can't wait.

At any rate, stay tuned tonight, there might be some tears on both ours and your keyboard.

I will leave you with this link.............I wish I would have found this feature sooner, but that might have been boring for you, the reader.

While this may be one of my least favorite artists, the words are just too fitting for this moment. Change all the "I" lyrics to "we" and you have about how we feel at the moment.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZPUE8aEn20M

Just a few short moments away now buddy...............Mom and Dad are coming!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

1

I had a cute video of one of the nurses to commemorate today.

I forgot to bring the camera home because I am a moron. Sorry.

I will leave you with this though.........well worth the click ha ha. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7_IKcMl_a9A

Viva la 80's!

WE CAN'T WAIT TO HAVE YOU HOME LITTLE MAN.........

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

2.............

We have go for launch!

Friday still looks like the day. He is feeding well and things are going well. His dad is a bit stressed, but that seems to be par for the course according to what I have read.

Looking back on this experience gives me many emotions. I am sure I will be able to explain them soon. Stay tuned for that after he gets home.

The car seat test was postponed and so I will update as soon as it is completed.

Prayers for Crystal as it looks like she is ready to have her miracle very very soon!

Have a great day everyone!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

3

Fire boosters!

He has been doing great lately. He has had no issues in the breathing department and has been feeding very well.

The next "test" that he will undergo is the dreaded car seat test..........dun dun dun

The car seat test is exactly as it sounds. He has to sit in a car seat for an hour and a half with no issues breathing at all. The reason for this is that car seats position the baby at very different angles than he is used to.

He takes this test tonight at some stage and we will know the results tomorrow.

Please be praying that he gets through this as we are chomping at the bit to get him home ha ha.

Monday, December 13, 2010

4

Went and saw little man today and he is doing fantastic.

The countdown continues!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Resume countdown

7.............................

Shuttle please fire your engines and buckle your safety harness.......we are hoping for a smooth ride this time, but better safe than sorry.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A quick update

Little man is doing pretty solid. He is still having trouble with his feeding in that he is not taking all his food that the doctors want him to. This is a little hurdle that will need to be overcome before we can get back into launch state to go home.

Since he seems to have some minor trouble while he is feeding with his energy level, they have decided to try putting him on low oxygen while he is feeding. I will keep you all posted on how that works.

Other than that, not a whole lot to say. Things are keeping on keeping on.

Thanks for the patience and we will be updating more very soon!

Monday, December 6, 2010

PT

Today was another very interesting day. I have found a good portion of this situation very interesting and almost astonishing.

While the level of stress this has created is unbelievable, some very cool stuff has come from it. We have met some wonderful people who give and give and give from their hearts. We have met other parents of NICU children who are so willing to support and give freely of their time and emotions. We have been able to see marvels of modern medicine in action. We have seen the hand of the Lord at almost every turn.

We have talked about how different it is to actually see the last 3 months of a child's development that should be happening in the womb. It is amazing to see how a created being is supposed to develop. It is almost as if there is a window into the womb and we have a front row seat for the show.

While we would both rather have had a "normal" experience, there are some things that we feel blessed to have experienced.

With that, we had our first physical therapy appointment today. This was an appointment where the physical therapist came in and ran him through a series of tests to check muscle development, reflexes, and overall development of his body.

He did great.........his head is a tad misshapen from laying on one side for so long, but other than that, his legs pretty much checked out, his neck muscles checked out, his upper body and arms were all good, and his hands and fingers were fantastic.

In all, it was a good appointment.

Then he decided to "crap out" again and so we once again hit the "reset" button on the going home process.

I feel like I am playing Madden 96 on PS2 and threw a pick the first play of the game and figured that the reset button was a better idea than playing the game out.

So there it is...........the day was good and semi-good all in the same 2 hour span.

Julie and I then went home and we painted a dresser for the little man. We sure had a blast together and hope the little man likes the colors.

We hope all is well with all of your families and we can't wait till he gets home and we can start building this family. Julie is most looking forward to waking up in the middle of the night to feed or cuddle him..........though she knows she will grow out of that QUICKLY.

I am most looking forward to his first Masters title and getting to see a green jacket up close.

A Dad can dream, right?

Saturday, December 4, 2010

T-minus.......................

Slight delay in the countdown.

Remember a short while back when he decided to practically die in my arms? ( I say that because that is the term the nurses use when a baby's heart rate falls below a certain rate and his bloods oxygenation falls below a certain percentage) Well it happened again.

We were just chillin he and I when he took a big gasp of air and proceeded to stop breathing. This time I knew exactly what to do and so it was not as scary as the previous episode, but it was still a bit perplexing. I held him afterward and he fed afterward and so things are alright, but this sets us back a touch.

We all know what it takes to go home, but in terms of the breathing stuff, he has to have no single episodes for a period of 5 days. To this point, the longest he has gone is a couple days so we will see how this plays out for him.

I can report some wonderful news and a real answer to prayer, though!

His latest cranial ultrasound brought back "resolved" results. This means that both sides of his brain have stopped bleeding completely!

Great news!

So, while the launch is delayed, there are some good things happening.

We want to leave you with a few photos to close this post out. Hope all is well with everyone and we will talk to you soon!

Home for the last 2+ months.


I love the photos where he has his hand around his face as if he is just saying "Uggghhh. Can we stop this whole photo thing yet?"

Thursday, December 2, 2010

New photos

Some exciting new happenings in the little man's life. Things are going well and we have photos to prove it;

Lets see if anybody can see the difference in this photo versus other previous photos. Leave your guesses in the comment section.

For those that know the area we live in, there are train tracks that run very closely to our house. They were once used for logging and some mining but they are pretty much a tourist stop now. Every now and then a life size "Thomas" comes through but they now have old cars staged there for display.

"What is the significance" you might ask?

Well, it turns out that some tracks are now running through the NICU and they have put a special stop right at the little man's house. While this train's final destination might be the North Pole, we are hopeful that he can get a ticket and a one way ride up near us here some day soon!

If you haven't guessed the difference in the first photo yet, here is a hint;

So, this is obviously a photo of me feeding our boy. This is the first time I have fed him and it was a chore, let me tell you. It was one of the coolest things I have ever done, but he didn't seem too interested in taking his bottle with me. Only a matter of time............I might not smell like his Mom or be as beautiful, but he will soon learn that I can provide food as well......even if I cant produce it ha ha.

"I have nipples Greg can you milk me?"

Anyway, hope you figured out the difference in the photo and enjoyed some new photos. God bless us all and thank you all for the prayers and continued support.

Peace, we out!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Lights, Camera, Action!

"They're baaaaccckkkk"

After many trips to the mailbox and day after day of wonder, we finally have a power cord for our computer! I felt like Ralphie Parker checking the box for his Little Orphan Annie Decoder ring..............EVERY time I went to check for this stupid thing.

It is finally here, and it works.............horribly. Thank you Dell corporation for making computers which have no replacement components that fit. Seems like a real savvy business strategy to me.

At any rate, we are up and running temporarily and I have photos of the little man.

Away we goooooooooooooo

This is just after we arrived a while back and found the roof blown off the incubator. This was the first step to his getting into a "big boy" crib. That photo is next.

Unfortunately, the "big boy" crib resembles a jail cell from Shawshank or something.

So then he breast fed............no photos for that ha ha.

That brings us up to speed with some photo reference. There is a very funny thing he does where he wedges his hands under the nasal prongs or the feeding tube and basically tries to rip them out. It is almost like he is in there shouting "AWAY WITH THESE INFERNAL THINGS"

A couple days ago, he was throwing his first "real" fit complete with crying and wailing, and his first tears! During this tirade, he got a hold of the feeding tube and straight up yanked it out! It reminded me of an incident that my Mom and I had one day and to her I just want to say.............I thought it would affect you but it affected me more. I was reminded him how important that feeding tube was and that just cause he breast fed like a star right out of the gate, he can't just go ripping out his food supply or anything. He complied.......against his wishes.

Yesterday, we found him bare faced.............no more nasal prongs! The doctors have decided to give him a go with absolutely no assistance breathing. So far so good on that front, and we are praying that continues.

He has 4 "checkpoints" that he has to pass in order to come home with us:

1) He has to hold and control his own body temperature-CHECK
2) He has to be able to sleep on his back-CHECK (since he went into the crib he has to sleep on his back only)
3) He has to be able to feed properly and not have issue feeding and breathing and processing food-CHECK (so far)
4) He has to be "incident" free in terms of his breathing for a week-WORKING ON IT

So..........we are getting closer...........much closer.

I asked the nursing staff how long the longest child has been in the NICU and was told "yearS" Yes, that is a capital S for years of time.

Hearing that makes our 74 days seem like nothing. To us, though, that time has seemed like horribly long. We have watched families come and go and we feel like we are the grandparents of the hospital. I have seen families walk in with the same look I had my first day.

Pale, scared, confused looks have been common. We are trying to be strong and show people that success stories are happening in the NICU and that, while it may seem like the sky is falling, there is support and we can all make it with God's blessing and positive support for both the children and the families.

On that note, please put Kelia in your prayers. Long story short, she has an infection and was born smaller than our little man............she, and he parents are in need of some divine counsel and all the prayers they can get will be helpful.

We can't begin to describe how strange this experience has been, and we seem to have gone through this process with the minimum of night phone calls from doctors............they are not so fortunate thus far. God help rest their souls and protect that baby!

So....................

That is about that. I hope that updates fairly well. We will have more frequent updates in the future and thank you all for your patience and understanding on these computer troubles.

More importantly, thank you all for the support and well wishes. It is a support group like we have that keeps things like this from breaking us down. God bless you all!

A couple cute photos to close the night;

Our little man! Love you buddy!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Catching back up.....

So, while there is still no power cord for our computer, I have access to a computer for a little bit and thought I would do a quick update on the goings on all week.

Because this is not my computer, there will be no photos so the stories might not be as well told, but the updates have not been as frequent as the news so here goes.............

First of all the wind HOWLED through the area and blew the top of the incubator right off! Not literally of course, but it sounded better than he tore the roof off the mutha! All kidding aside, about a week ago they took the roof off the incubator and he was in a "big boy" crib.

He loved it and the doctors figured he did so well that they would leave it off and let him get acclimated to life in the real air.

He also had a couple tests done and his progress is going well in terms of the valve outside his heart (The PDA) and lung development.

Fast forward to about 4 days ago when he "decided" to call it a lifetime in my arms and turned the most unbelievable shade of blue you have ever seen and had all his vitals take a dive so severe it pretty much stopped my heart too!

The nurse came running as I screamed my face off and she was able to get things back to normal, but he scared me something fierce and I have now decided that holding him past an hour is just not a good idea for me. He seems to really take a turn at 1 hour for some reason and so to avoid ever seeing that again..........might just be best to wean him back to Dad ha ha.

So today, Thanksgiving, we head down and they surprise us again.

This time, he got an entire new home. No more incubator! He is in a real life crib now that looks like it was built in the 1920s or resembles a child jail cell. I will post photos as soon as I can.

Couple that with the fact that he latched and was able to breast feed in the first attempt he has ever had, and we have a bunch to be thankful for. Needless to say there will be no photos of his feeding experience you sickos ha ha.

We pray that this Thanksgiving finds all of you among friends and family, enjoying all that God has blessed you with. We sure are!

Photos of everything will be coming when that darned power cord arrives.......we are NOT thankful for the Dell corporation.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Maybe some headway

My family is in town and has a computer!!!

Needless to say we have been frustrated in that we still have no power cord for our computer......thank you Dell!

I will be updating using their computer tomorrow with stories, and I am hoping photos too.

Thanks for your patience and we will be back in business soon!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Sorry for the delay folks

So........

It turns out that our computer power cord has decided that it has done enough in life and has decided to crap out on us. This leaves us with no computer for a few days.

I am at a very good friends house borrowing the time to shoot a note out saying that more posts are coming.......soon.

Very cool stuff has happened, but needs photos to describe. I will be uploading those as soon as the new power cord comes from the manufacturer. Thanks for your patience.

I can tell you that he has had all his 2 month immunizations, which went well, as well as another eye exam which went great. The doctors are saying he should be good to go in terms of his vision and eye development. I will explain more about that later.

He has also had another echo cardiogram which has not returned results yet and another x-ray of his lungs, again, no results back yet.

I will leave everyone with this small story....................

A fierce storm ripped through Seattle a couple days ago knocking power out at our house for about 12 hours or so. The winds were so strong where we live they knocked trees down and scattered debris all over the roads (by the way I just love the word debris........one of my favorites in our language).

At any rate, the U was not immune to the winds ferocity........and little man was the recipient of some of its power.


While that is very cryptic, it will all make sense when I get photos up later on..........trust me it is a very good thing so please do not be alarmed............great things have happened!

STAY TUNED!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Water, water, everywhere

Bath photos are included, complete with commentary;

This time, I got involved and was not just the photographer. Julie prepared him in the incubator while I filled the yellow tub with water. Julie was the first to get "acquainted" with the massive dookie he left behind in his diaper. It was so gross...........and no Tucus, there will be no photos of his bowel movements at any time ha ha.
A view from over Nana's shoulder. Giving a premature baby a bath is quite the production. You have to hold them in a very specific way to clean every nook and cranny. Bacteria grows so readily between the folds of a baby's skin that it is imperative to get under the neck, behind the ears, under the arm pits, and under the bean bag..............that one was just for you DC!

After his bath, he smelled MUCH better and so we put him in an outfit that one of our friends got for us. He looked so cute and he loved his outfits.

After dressing and some swaddling, it was time for cuddles................

Nana's turn...............she chatted him up for a while. Story time and prayers were plentiful. She made sure to tell him to eat his veggies and clean his room..........oops, that was me.


Then the "Big Man" got to meet the "Little Man." Papa got a little bit of time that he chose to extol him on the benefits of choosing the putter over the sand wedge from the fringe. Little man listened intently, then fell asleep.

It was a good day.

To update the progress, the doctors have turned the pressure on the nasal prongs down to 2.5 L/m and are continuing to wean him on the way to 0. He is scheduled for immunizations and a couple check ups (cranial ultrasound, echo cardiogram, etc.) so there should be some exciting stuff coming up.

Stay tuned, and have a wonderful day!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Another bath

I never thought that babies could smell like that!

WHHHHHOOOOOOO HOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!

He needed a bath and QUICK. So we bathed him today and he is nice and clean and ready to take on the world.

Nothing too huge to report today but there are a couple of prayer requests if possible;

The little baby next to us is doing some "experimental treatment" and needs some lifting up. Also, a couple in our same room is getting ready to take their son home. Please pray for his continued maturity and growth.

I will report back tomorrow with some of today's bath photos and such!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Not a whole lot to report

So, nothing too new inside the incubator.

The doctors are still weaning him off the nasal prongs. This seems like it could be a bit more time, but they sure are confident that things will be just fine for him.

They did say that they anticipate some extra doctors visits after he comes home and that he may go home "on oxygen" due to the way he has handled oxygen intake and such. This is not too shocking, but kind of let us know that there is still a long road ahead to ensure that this wonderful baby boy has the opportunities to handle life the way he deserves. God's blessing and hand be with him on his journey, not just this short term journey, but his long-term journey.

Yesterday Julie went back to work and so we saw him at 2 different times. Julie spent time holding him in the morning and I went down around 7:30 pm and held him for a while. It was great and he cooed and made noises for about 20 minutes with me.

Julie has had that experience of him "talking" to her before too so it was cool for me to be the one holding him while he communicated. The nurses came over and were laughing at all the sounds he was making. It was cute!

So that is about that for today. I will be checking back in later and we wish everyone a blessed day!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Dirty hands?

Well, as promised, photos to come. In fact, I will post photos in order to describe how the day went;

We got to the NICU around 1:30 and knew what we were in for. We were greeted with a bright yellow tub prepared for his, and our, first bath. Be sure this is not the first time Julie or I had bathed, but.........you know what I mean.
We started by placing warm water in the tub, then Julie placed him into the water. He loved it! In fact, he made no real peep at all while she bathed him. She started with his eyes. She used cotton balls and sterile water for that part. Then it was on to.............
Washing his little head. She used a special brush that is non-abrasive, but really cleans his hair. He loved that too!
She rinsed him off and he let out a huge yawn!
Then we dressed him in his first clothes. No more just diapers, it is onesie time! We were not prepared for this part so we did not bring along a couple choices for him. We just used one that they have in storage for NICU babies. It is so tiny!

He was a bit chilled after his bath so we swaddled him and put a "Crystal hat" on him to get his temperature back up. THANKS CRYSTAL, he looks great!
Wrapped up like a gordita, or Ricky Bobby's arm, you be the judge.

So there he was, dressed up like a big boy and swaddled for warmth. I got a couple great videos of him getting dressed and of him starting at us. He was a perfect subject today! Way to go little man!


video


video


So............enjoy the pics and the vids, but stay tuned. Things seem to be readying for a change very soon. Being a big boy comes with certain "differences" that we had not been apprised of earlier. All is good, but it should be fun watching things progress in the next couple weeks!

Thanks again for checking in and have a great day or night, where ever you may be!

God Bless!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Stay Tuned

No news to report today, but there might be some awesome photos tomorrow.

Stick around!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Quick update

We are about to head to bed, but I figured we better get a quick update in.

Little man is doing great. He is over 3 pounds now and has lengthened a bit too. He looks great, and is doing awesome.

Today he had a second eye exam to be sure that things are developing with his vision. It turns out that while low levels of oxygen in premature babies is unsafe for a number of reasons, too HIGH levels of oxygen in premature babies can damage the blood vessels behind the eyes and affect vision up to blindness.

We got to the hospital just as the eye doctor was getting there so I figured I would watch the show.

To put things in perspective for you all, I am not a huge fan of blood or gross stuff and have been known to pass out at simple blood draws..........not just my own blood draws, but blood draws in general.

Hearing this, the doctor told me I should probably not watch as this procedure caused many a med student to pass out, according to him. I offered to take photos for the blog and he laughed and told me that nobody would want to see this.

So just to show him, I watched. And now I am paying the price. I can not get the image from being seared to my retina. It was absolutely appalling. I will spare the gory details here, but just let me tell you that his eyes were forced open and a "spear" was inserted below the eye ball to provide enough space for the doctor to look behind the eye............it was unreal and so gross.

So, now that you all are hungry ha ha...............everything was great. His eyes are progressing nicely and he should be good to go. The doctor will check them again in a month or so, but he was happy with what he saw.............even if I wasn't ha ha.

Anyway, we are both shot. We are off to bed and will have more updates later.

Julie goes to work on Monday again so please be in prayer for sound sleep for her to avoid exhaustion or sickness.

Thanks everyone and have a great night!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Back to it

I GOT TO SEE HIM!!!!!!

Julie and I went down before I went to work today and she got to hold him for about an hour and a half. It was amazing to see how he has changed, even in just a few days. He looked so much larger and really looked good.

Julie showed off a new trick and took him out of the incubator all by herself. It was awesome.

So, updates.............

He is still off the C-pap and they are liking his progress, even though he has had more issues being off. He is progressing very well and seems to be waking up more and more. Julie took some great photos of him with his eyes open. I will post them here tomorrow for you all to see. HE IS WATCHING!!!!!!!!!!!

For now, we are beat and are headed to bed. Peace be with all of you!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Another good day

Julie went down today with my Mom and got a chance to see him. I am one more day away from being let back in, and that will be a wonderful day for me. But Julie had a great day today.

He is "off the C-pap" again and has nasal prongs in place of the mask. This enables the doctors to keep pressure in his lungs, but also makes it so that he is not wearing the bulky stuff that makes him look like a Storm Trooper.
This is all part of the weaning process that they have been trying. In days past they have tried this, he has had a fair amount of "incidents" in fact, enough to force the Doctors to replace the C-pap.

For the last 3 days, his incidents have been fewer than 5 per day. Today, with the C-pap off, a few more, but things seem more encouraging than in times past.

Other than that, the most exciting news is that Julie got to take him out of the incubation unit (also called an isolet) by herself today. In days past, when she would hold him, the nurses would take him out and pass him to her. NOT TODAY!

She said she was a bit nervous at first, but she did great.

Not a whole lot else to report, but here are a few photos for everyone;

Sleeping soundly!
Holding hands with Papa. Story is that he reached up himself to grab hold. He is getting so strong!

He sure does love sleeping on his stomach. This photo shows a little bit of weight gain over previous photos.
Proud Mommy!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Pounds of flesh

He weighs 3 pounds............officially!

Julie just got back and had a great day with him. They are talking about taking him off the C-pap again tomorrow completely to see how he does and he is now above 3 pounds. To put that in perspective, he has almost doubled his weight in less than 6 weeks. Seems like he takes after his Dad in that department ha ha.

So here are the photos I promised, enjoy!

Here is the first of a series we will call "Halloween fashion show"
In the fist offering, we see the baby boy clad in a wonderful fall orange piece with a print of a Jack-O-Lantern. This is for those crisp nights trick or treating through the NICU where the tiled floors can get a touch chilly. Don't forget your pillow case little man, there is candy to be had!

The blue "I Love My Mummy" top that little man is sporting here is a functional frock that says "look at me, I can coordinate with the C-pap. Accessories make the outfit and he has accessorized perfectly with this wonderful top.
Though this bib could function as a complete ensemble for him, this "Love My Mummy" bib is fashionable and functional. Drool and food is no match for this piece. The accent color, again, shows fun use of the C-pap colors to enhance the lines of this fantastic fashion, nay, artsy look. Happy Halloween!
He sure is getting curious with his eyes. Soon he will be watching..........and that is scary to think ha ha.
While he looks like he may be wailing here, this is a yawn.
"He's not snarling, he's sneezing!"

This is one of my new favorites. I can just imagine him being forced into a limo with paparazzi shutters clicking in this pose. Once he gets in there, he says "I can't believe all this fuss over winning 8 consecutive Masters tournaments, Dad. You would think nobody has ever done that before!?"

He is so darn cute!
video
This video, while short, is a huge deal. One of the most important functions in a newborn is the latching and sucking function....................both on display here.

And........we're backl

Those that follow this blog every day, first off, thank you!

You have also probably noticed that I have not posted in a couple days. Our computer was on the fritz but is back now so updates will be more frequent again. WHOOO HOOO!

Julie is at the hospital with him as I write this and when she returns I will upload a ton of photos over the last few days. To update, he has been doing great. The doctors decided to try a little different approach with the C-pap and have gradually turned down the pressure to ween him off of it rather than just take it off like they have tried before.

He seems to be liking that method as we are now down to a level of 3 from a level of 5. The level refers to the amount of pressure that is being blown into his lungs to keep them inflated. Eventually he will be weened down to no pressure and then they will try to take the mask off again and see how he does.

If he is somehow attached to the feeling of the mask, we are in trouble as I am sure that kindergarten will not let him through the doors with a C-pap mask on........I am not certain, perhaps Grandma can confirm that notion ha ha.

In any case, things are going well. I am getting better and am going to see him this weekend again! I can't wait!

I love you son and can't wait to see you.

Thank you all for the support, well wishes, and prayers. Blessings on all of us and thank God for all he is doing!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Locked out

UGH!

I went to the doctor today and he basically told me that I was taking a risk in going to the hospital in my condition. He has practically "banned" me for the week and so here I sit, frustrated.

We have no other children. I was not prepared for how the first would impact me emotionally. They say that your children "change your life" and I can tell you that it is far beyond that. Our miracle has changed my life, Julie's life, our families lives, and our whole world.

Being that as it is, you can imagine the brutality of having something go on that prevents you from experiencing everything you can with that child.

So the next few posts might not contain the feeling that the earlier posts have from me. I will still be reporting on his conditions as I will be calling a bunch and Julie will be back and forth to visit.

I can't wait for the next time I get to see him. I am counting the moments son...........see you soon!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Second verse, same as the first

Nothing new to report inside the incubator.

Outside the incubator, I had a friend of mine help me tile our bathroom and am still sick as a dog. I will be passing out shortly so I will update later if anything arises.

Sorry for the short posts, but I am just beaten up at the moment.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Nothing but a couple photos

Ok, a couple words. Things went well today. President Obama got out of town in plenty of time for Julie to go see him and take some videos and photos. I was not taking too many chances and decided to take one last day off from subjecting him to my germs. He will not get off so easy tomorrow ha ha!

Either an awesome attempt at a hi-five, or the early stages of a horror flick actor. "ohhhhhhh nooooo not that, not.............THE C-PAP!"
It still looks like her ring could fit over his arm, even though he has gotten a bunch larger.
The blue cuff on his foot is one of the most amazing pieces of medial apparatus he wears. It is a laser that fires from one side to the other and through one of his arteries to measure the level of oxygen in his blood stream. Awesome........laser!

Hope you all enjoy! Have a great night!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The big question............answered

Well sort of answered!

First, a quick update. He is doing well. He has had more "incidents" again and so they are going to keep working to find out what is going on in his body that makes him do this when he is off the C-pap.

I wish there was more to update, but like it has been said before, "no news is good news" when it comes to these things.

So...........the question. This has been posed to us a bunch so I figured we would cover it here and let everyone know the "checkilist" needed to fulfill the question of "when will he be able to go home?"

In most cases, as we have been told, babies that are born premature are held until their original due date. This to make sure that all vital functions develop properly such as lung development, brain, heart, kidney, etc.

Babies are developing in the womb almost all the way up to birth. The last thing to develop is the lungs. Since babies do not need to breathe in the womb, the lungs are not vital immediately and, thus, do not develop in full early on.

So, typically, premature babies lung functions are the most underdeveloped and are monitored closely to ensure that babies will be able to breathe normally when they go home.

Which brings me to the question, "When will he be able to go home?"

The stock answer is sometime around late December (since that was his original due date, Dec. 25th). The medical answer is a bit more difficult. A variety of people have asked how much weight he has to gain to go home and I can tell you that weight has very little, if anything, to do with it.

The "checklist" for "checkout" is as follows;

1) He has to be able to breathe on his own. No help from C-paps, no oxygen all night, his lungs have to function naturally. To this point, he has not been able to do this for stretches of more than a few hours and he must go 5 complete days with out one single apnea episode before we can cross this one off the list.

2) He must be able to hold his own body temperature. So far he is doing this very well.

3) He must be able to eat on his own. While he has kept food down, he is still being fed through a tube into his stomach. The doctors are very optimistic that when the time comes, he will be able to eat on his own. This means that he will have to be able to perform the "sucking" technique to take milk from a nipple, be it a bottle or a breast.

4) He must be able to sleep on his back. To this point, the doctors and nurses rotate him from belly to back. While it is widely considered a terrible thing to put a baby on their belly, because he is so closely monitored, he can sleep on his stomach with close supervision. It does seem that he does not do as well with his breathing on his back so the nurses default him to his stomach if he has a few episodes in a row, but he seems to be able to do this if need be. Again, it will be in time that he will be able to do this with no issue at all.

So there you have it. Those are the check points that he will have to clear to be sent home to us. He can weigh anything at all, but most likely, they say he will be in the 4 or 4 1/2 pound range when he can do all these things.

I hope that clears things up and gives you all some perspective when we talk about how things are going. All signs point to late December and a wonderful Christmas with our family in tact, but his progress is in the hands of God. We would sure like it to be today that he comes home, but we can not properly care for him the way he requires.

Well, if any questions arise, please feel free to put them in the comments and I will do all I can to answer them. For now, bedtime. We will see him later tomorrow as President Obama is in town and is speaking right down by the hospital. The area will be on lockdown for a large portion of the day.

I will report back tomorrow night!