Thursday, February 23, 2012

I Can See Clearly Now - Updated with photos!!

This week has been exhausting and amazing!  Lennon came home on Tuesday.  She weighed in at a chunky 4lbs 5oz!  We tried to convince the nurse to wheel Collin down in a wheelchair instead of the mom.  Unfortunately, the nurse denied that request, lol.

Lennon rode great in the car, but apparently it worked up one heck of an appetite!

First meal at home... all 40mls!  Nom nom nom!!

Van walked in from day care and just started asking, "What's this?  Baby cool?"  Van refers to Lennon as his baby.  He wants to hold her all the time and never wants to leave her side.  Van is absolutely in love with her.  First night home, he wanted to hold her.  We compromised.  I put down a blanket in the floor and laid Lennon down there.  Van laid beside her and watched Ice Age (our newest obsession).  Van told Lennon all about the movie and pointed out his favorite parts.  It was one of the cutest things that I have ever seen!  Then, when it was bedtime, Van insisted on Lennon going to bed with him.  He fell asleep with his hand patting her back.  *Sigh* He is the sweetest kid ever.  I know the jealousy will hit eventually, but I figure I will enjoy it while I can!
Van loves taking photos of his new sister!

"Ooh, what's this?  Baby cool?"

Such a sweet boy!

Van is so proud of his baby :-)

Lots of kisses for Lennon

"Look Lennon!  Ice Age!"

Again, Van takes a lot of photos

I love the hand placement on the side of Lennon's head... awww!

Very proud Papa!

We went to our follow up pediatric appt today.  Sure do wish I had known our pediatrician changed offices last year!  I guess it is a good thing that we haven't had to go to the doctor since Van's 2 year check up.  Lennon was still 4lbs 5 oz.  Everything looks good and we are set to go back next Friday for the 2 month check.  Crazy to think we are at 2 months already!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Take Me Home Tonight

Today is the big day!!  Lennon is coming home!  Yesterday, Collin and I went to the 11:30AM feeding in hopes that the doctor would be willing to send her home.  The nurse informed us that Lennon had to have a g-tube feeding overnight, but had taken all of her other feeds well.  I was devastated.  The doctor came in and said that he wanted to watch her for a couple more days.  He changed her feeds to 30mls every 3 hours or 40mls every 4 hours (dependent on when she wakes for food).  He was hoping this would make Lennon more hungry and willing to eat.
The lactation consultant, Sherrie came to help me out since Lennon had not been showing interest in nursing the last couple of weeks.  Of course, Lennon proved me to be a liar and nursed for 20 minutes!  Then, she took 22mls.  They counted it as a full feed!
Collin and I talked it over and since she is nursing so much better than taking a bottle, we felt it would be better for her to come home.  We decided to call Dr. Parsons and Lennon's Home Health Nurse.  Dr. Parson's called the doctor on duty.  They agreed to send her home today!

Last night, we cleaned the house and spent the night having fun with Van.  We decided to celebrate Van's last night of being an "only child."  We talked about going to get Mexican food, but Van piped up from the backseat and asked for hot dogs and french fries.  So we went to Five Guys.  Van was so excited, he ordered his own food and then watched the cooks as they fixed his food.  He was so stinkin' cute about it!

Now that the big day is here, I am a little nervous, but so excited to have Lennon home!  She is 4lbs 5oz.  That is so tiny compared to Van's size when he came home.  It will be different, but we are ready :-)

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Rebel Yell

The other day, Collin and I got fed up with the nurses' and doctors' inconsistencies in how they were feeding Lennon (or not feeding her).

Thursday night, I go into Lennon's room for her 8:30PM feeding.  The nurse has already attempted to feed Lennon and said she was not interested.  So the nurse already had the feeding tube hooked up.  This is about where I lost it.  The nurse and FNP came in to talk with me.  I told them that I was tired of the inconsistencies and that everyone seems to have a different rule.  The FNP said that they were supposed to be going based on Lennon's cues (chewing her hands, waking up at feeds, etc).  I asked about the fact that I had come in to feedings where Lennon was wrapped with her hands by her side and her eyes were wide open, but she was hooked up to the tube.  I am pretty sure this is where the nurses thought I was crazy...
I asked if they would bring in an occupational therapist to address the feeding concerns.  They mentioned that it was combined with the physical therapist.  I told them that she was useless and gave very generalized goals based on a child development book; that the PT was not giving individualized goals for my daughter.  The nurse thought I was discounting every PT.  I told her that I have worked with some wonderful PTs, but I did not feel that this was one of those.

The next day while I was having a procedure done, Collin talked with Dr. Young (or as we call him: Dr. Feelgood - note the sarcasm!).  He was not really happy with us.  Collin said I scared them.  I was just very honest with how I felt.  Collin basically demanded that they feed Lennon every single feeding time.  I went to a feeding later and Dr. Feelgood came in.  I asked him about a feeding consult and he had requested one from UNC, but did not feel like it would do any good.  I really don't like him.

Yesterday, Van and I went to Greensboro to spend some time with family and to trade some things with my sister.  We had a blast!  Van and Logan played with Shelley's kids and were very well behaved.  They argued a little, but worked it out amongst themselves.

I got a text from Collin later that afternoon saying that Lennon ate 4 out of 4 feedings and 6 out of the last 8!  That is amazing progress!!  Collin fed her a 5th feeding and she took all of that too.  I could hear her crying in the background because she was hungry.  What a wonderful sound that was!!  Collin said some of this has to be due to the amazingly patient nurses Lennon has had (Meg and Rosemary - we have loved Meg from the start, but never met Rosemary).  Collin had to work last night, but I was up pumping when he got home, so we decided to call the nursery and see how Lennon's feeds were going.  She had taken all of her bottles for the last 24 hours!  The nurse even took out the NG tube, so there is no way they can feed her the lazy way.  She gained only 1/2 of an ounce, but it is still gaining :-)

Collin and I were talking later.  Yes, this may just be coincident but we can't help but feel like this is because we put up a fight.  I know the nurses talked about the "lightbulb" that would come on in regards to feeding.  But it is hard to have that light come on when you aren't giving the kid a chance to experience it.  I am a bit of a stickler for wanting consistency.  I think the nurses and doctors get that now.

Today, we are going to clean the house and get everything ready for Lennon to come home!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Just Eat It

Lennon is now 4lbs and 2.4oz!!  She is gaining weight so steadily.  The doctors and nurses are still very pleased with her.  She took her full 8:30AM feeding by bottle and took 20 of her 38mls from a bottle for me at 11:30 feeding.  She just has to have the stamina and desire to take all feeds by mouth.  Everyone say a little prayer that it clicks soon!

Lennon got her first Valentine's yesterday!  Some kids made Valentines for all the SCN babies.  They were so cute!  I especially love the misspelled words on them :-)

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Wide Open Spaces

Lennon was a bit sleepy when I went to see her today.  She had had a bath this morning due to a little accident... oops!  She is up to 3lbs 14 oz!!
Yesterday, Collin and I went to see Lennon during her 2:30 feeding.  We rarely get to go at the same time, so we let Van go to Right Time Kids to play for a bit and we headed to the hospital.  
To our surprise, Lennon was in an open crib!  We thought it would be a couple of days before she got moved over.  She still had the incubator in the room with her yesterday, but today it was out of there.  The nurse said that they moved her over the previous night and that she is holding her temp without any issues.  Major milestone passed!!
With that, now we are just looking at getting her to bottle feed for all of her feedings.  Meg (one of our favorite nurses) said that this tends to just click one day for most babies.  We are just praying that it clicks sooner rather than later :-)

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Feelin' Stronger Every Day

Sorry there hasn't been an update in a while.
Thursday we went down to Goldsboro to pick up a freezer.  I cannot even begin to thank her for the freezer!  It has been a huge help.  I am pumping and freezing the milk, so we needed the extra storage space.
Thursday afternoon, I was met at the house by the nurse from the health department.  She just dropped by to schedule a time to do the intake paperwork for Lennon.  She also said that she wants to see if Lennon is eligible for Medicaid.  I assured her that unfortunately we are not eligible, but she still wants to fill out the paperwork.  Worst they can say is no, right?  We are set to meet Tuesday at 9:30AM.  Hopefully it won't take too long, but I know intakes can be a bear!
Things have been pretty status quo for Lennon...  steadily increasing her caloric intake and weight.  Lennon is officially up to 3lbs 11 oz and taking 34 mls every 3 hours.  She has not been having any desats, so she is completely off of her oxygen for good as far as anyone can tell and she is off of the caffein.  Her lungs are great!!
Lennon had her eye exam yesterday.  Doctor dilated her little eyes and the nurse said she was not happy about it!  Lennon passed with flying colors and the doctor said her eyes are right on schedule.   That was a relief to me.  I have worked with a couple of kids in the past that had eye damage due to the amount of oxygen needed at birth.  I had talked to the nurses a lot about it and they said that Lennon should be fine, but until the eye doctor confirmed it, I could not shake the worry.
We met with the doctor yesterday.  We loved him!  He kept talking about how great Lennon was doing and was the first to mention going home.  He explained that the desats we were seeing were not true desats to him.  They were not requiring any intervention and they were too quick.  She would drop to 70% then jump right back up to 88%.  He said that would not happen with a true apnea episode.  Also, her heart rate was not dropping and her respiratory rate was maintaining.  So in other words, Lennon is breathing well on her own :-)  He even said he will probably stop monitoring that one soon since it wasn't telling them anything new.
The doctor told us that Lennon is still in the isolette for now so that she can gain a bit more weight.  He does not want her to waste calories trying to keep herself warm.  However, the nurse mentioned that they have the temp down as far as possible and Lennon was keeping herself warm very well.  Lennon's temp was 99 today, which is the upper limit for what they would want her to be at in the isolette.  So we should be moving to an open crib soon!
With moving to an open crib, we may regress a little in the way of eating her bottles.  We won't know until the move, but sometimes babies sleep through feedings more when they are moved.  The doctor also wants Collin and I to practice bottle feeding a bit more.  He thinks that Lennon will be fine with feedings, but bottle feeding a preemie is very different from a full term baby.  Plus, I am not very experienced in bottle feeding in general.  When Lennon comes home, she will only be breast feeding maybe 2x/day.  She will need bottles so that we can continue adding calories and protein to the milk too.  (Have I mentioned lately how much I hate the pump?!)
So, all things considered, the doctor would not lock in a date.  He said it wasn't fair to commit one of his colleagues to a date since he was not in the special care nursery next week.  However, Collin and I both got the impression that he wanted to send her home next week.  He said he has sent babies home smaller than Lennon, but has never had a baby return.
I am hopeful for Lennon to come home late next week :-)  I am trying not to get my hopes up, but it's really hard not to!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Go Big Girl!

Ok, so the title of the song for this post always makes me laugh :-)  My BFF (Katie) and I used to listen to this song all the time in high school.  

Lennon has tried to take a bottle once or twice in the last few days.  The nurse said she was not really into it, but that is normal.  But my guess is it won't take long for her to get a taste for it.  She was so alert and eager to eat yesterday that I cannot imagine it will take her long.  She is a true little Huntsinger Girl:  She loves to eat :-)  She is taking 28mL with fortifiers and they have started adding whey protein as well.  That has really helped her take off in the weight gaining!
Lennon was up to 3lbs 1oz!  I don't know which nurse Lori is, but this is what she left on Lennon's isolette:

It really does take a special person to be this good of a nurse!  

Everyone else is doing great!  Van is feeling much better and Collin seems to be doing better too.  Glad to get back on our routine. Van is cracking us up.  Yesterday, we showed him a picture of Lennon and asked if he knew it was his sister and he said, "yes" in his matter-of-fact voice.  Then we asked him if he was going to be nice to her when she came home.  Just as matter-of-factly, he said, "no."  Well, at least he told us the truth, lol.  We will see how it goes in a couple of weeks, hopefully!