Monday, June 30, 2008

Completely weaned off oxygen!!

Just a quick update for today! Jacob weighed 6 lbs 9.3 oz last night and he has been weaned off the oxygen since Friday night at 8 PM!! If you remember from my last post on Friday morning they tried him off it for a couple of hours and he needed to go back on. They tried again Friday night at 8 PM and he hasn't looked back! His oxygen saturation levels have remained between 95-100% for the most part which is right where he should be. He has been spell free since he went off Friday night and if you recall one of the 3 criteria for him to come home was that he has to be spell free for 7 days.

We are working on the last step to getting him home which is bottlefeeding/nursing for all 8 daily feedings. As soon as he does this I will spend 24 hrs at the hospital with him and they will weigh him after his nursing sessions to make sure he is getting enough to gain weight and then he can come home! Hopefully, we only have a couple/few more weeks!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Happy to be in Plymouth

Well, Jacob's move went well and we are happy to be in Plymouth. The nurses have been great and have really taken a liking to Jacob.

Jordan has been much easier than Boston! There is free parking, a 10 minute commute, less money spent on gas, etc. It is not as private as Tufts seeing as the nursery is about the size of a large storage closet (with 5 babies and their parents/visitors). They have to set up screens for nursing sessions and there are no curtains to section off your section of the room, but so far that has been our only disappointment. Luckily, we were able to secure the back corner of the room so we have to walk by everyone else, but nobody really makes it back as far as we are which helps.

As of Wednesday night, Jacob was 6 lbs 4 oz and he is still growing. He has done so much better with his nursing that they are no longer giving him the gavage feedings when I nurse him. This is experimental and as long as Jacob continues to gain weight we can start working on getting him to bottles/nursing exclusively so they can take his gavage tube out.

Today they tried him without his nasal cannula and he did good for a couple of hours, but once again after his feeding he started having some trouble so they had to put the prongs back in his nose, but for the first hour and 45 minutes before his nursing session he didn't set off the machines at all!

Just as an FYI, the nursery has informed me that people have been calling the nursery looking for me. Unfortunately, Jacob is in the continuing care nursery, not in his own room and I am unable to accept personal phone calls on the phone in the nursery. They haven't been taking messages so if you have been trying to reach me, please use my cell phone.

Hopefully, we will continue working on Jacob's feedings and weaning him off his oxygen and get him closer to coming home!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Jordan Hospital!!

Today is a big day for little Jacob! First of all, he is 3 months old today! Gestationally, he is 38 weeks and would have only had another two weeks to go until his due date!

This morning he had another eye exam and the news was fabulous! His eyes look great and are finally starting to spread out into Zone 3!! From now on he will only need to be checked every two weeks so his next eye exam will be Monday July 7th, his due date!!!

Now for the really good news. Jacob is on his way via ambulance to Jordan Hospital in Plymouth as we speak!!!! FINALLY! His eyes looked great and they had a bed this morning so he will be 10 minutes from us instead of an hour! This will make it much easier on us (stress wise and financially) and will help me get him nursing exclusively.

The nurses in Boston are sad to see him go (he made quite a few friends during his 3 month stay) and we will miss them, but we all know that this is the next step to Jacob coming home so we are all happy we have finally made it this far.

Once Jacob settles into his new digs I will update everyone on his move.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Jeff Turner Photography

Just wanted to let everyone know that I have posted two new pictures in the Photos section. He was actually awake for one of them!

A few weeks back, our good friend Jeff Turner helped us out by giving me a ride into the hospital and spending a few hours with me and Jacob. Jeff is an extremely talented photographer and he brought his camera along for Jacob's first photo shoot.

When Jacob hears other babies in the NICU cry he pouts and his lip starts to quiver like he is going to start, but he never actually does. Ian and I have had a hard time catching this on camera, but of course Jacob did it just long enough for Jeff to catch it on film.

The link and password are below. Feel free to take a look:

Password: jacob0323

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Slow progress

Our little one is growing by leaps and bounds!! As of last night he was 5 lbs 9 oz and growing like a weed.

He had his follow-up eye exam on Monday and everything looked good so we are back to weekly check-ups. He is still in Zone 2 so we are hoping for Zone 3 this week. Once he gets there we won't have to worry about his eyes anymore.

He is doing so well with his nursing! He is still having a few spells while eating so hopefully he outgrows that soon, but as of last night he was weaned down to 150 cc's of oxygen so he is almost down to nothing again. Hopefully by the time he hits 6 and a half pounds he will be off the oxygen.

He is squeezing into his preemie clothes and in no time they will be too small, so there is hope for the 0-3 month summer clothes we bought him! His due date is only 2 and a half weeks away so we are closer every day to him coming home! We have just about finished his room. The carpet was installed this week, the walls and ceiling have been painted and the crib and changing table are assembled and all set up. Our house actually looks like a baby belongs there! I don't know how we got it all done in between trips to the hospital and our normal daily activities, but it is finally all coming together.

I have pictures that I will post later this week. I forgot to bring my camera dock with me today so I have no way to upload the pictures. Wait until you see his cute, little, fat face! He has double chins! You'd never guess this was a one and a half pound baby!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Out of surgery

Just wanted to update everyone and let you know that Jacob came out of surgery around 7:30 PM (they got a late start) and he did great! The opthalmologist called us personally to say Jacob did great and he is now recovering nicely. His eyes might be red and puffy for a few days, but other than that there were no issues. He may eventually end up needing laser treatment again, but he may not so we will wait and see.

Since I am updating you I can let you know that Jacob was up to 5 lb 2 oz as of last night. The are weighing him now so he is probably even slightly higher than that tonight!

I am recovering as well. My mouth is still numb so I am not really feeling much pain, but it hasn't been as bad as I expected it would be. I think the anxiety of the surgery was worse than the actual surgery. Hopefully, I can eat regular food again in a few days. Half gallons of chocolate ice cream lose their appeal after a few hours. :)

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Rickets and Laser Surgery

Well's all bad news tonight unfortuately.

Jacob had his follow-up eye exam this morning and his eyes have gotten bad enough that they have decided to treat them. He will be having laser eye surgery tomorrow afternoon at 4:30 PM so please keep him in your prayers. Luckily, there are three different zones of the eye and his blood vessels grew out to Zone 2 before there were any issues. This means the laser treatment will not affect his direct line of vision. If it does affect anything it will only be his peripheral vision and this is not a definite. Over the next couple of years, we will have to see a Pediatric Opthamologist to see if his eyes were affected by the treatment and if he needs glasses.

The next piece of bad news is that Jacob has Rickets. Approximately 50% of very low birthweight infants develop osteopenia of prematurity (decreased bone density) with Rickets (demineralized bones with a predominance of uncalcified bone matrix) which may lead to fractures. The good news is that this is treatable by giving him Calcium and Vitamin D. Not terrible news, but certainly not good news. Our little boy will be as frail as an old lady with osteoporosis. No climbing trees for little Jacob!!!

I actually do have some good news to share. Jacob hit 5 pounds last night! He weighs 5 pounds exactly!!

Unfortuantely, that is all the good news I have. I will be suffering along with Jacob tomorrow because I am having all four of my wisdom teeth extracted (FUN!) so I will probably be laid up on the couch for a few days popping some pain killers. If you don't hear from me before the weekend is over, I hope all the guys have a great Father's Day!! Goodnight!

Monday, June 9, 2008


Well, Jacob has had a rough weekend and today has not been much better. Jacob is suffering from reflux which is common in preemies born as early as he was. This can be treated with medication, but they are currently in the documenting stage where they track his spells and feedings and once they see enough proof that it is, in fact, reflux they will start medicating him for this. I guess they overmedicated preemies back in the day for this and there was a research study done that showed half the kids on the medication didn't really need it so they are hesitant these days to medicate them hence the documenting period. I have witnessed his spells/feedings first hand and recognize the signs and know that eventually he will be put on the medicine. I will be happy when this happens because our poor little boy has not been a happy camper. He has been having trouble nursing (probably due to the soreness in his esophagus) and spitting up a lot after his feedings. These are common signs of reflux.

Now for the bad news, Jacob will not be going to least not this week. He had his follow-up eye exam this morning and although his right eye has shown improvement, his left eye is concerning and has now advanced to stage 3. Most likely this will require laser eye surgery. This is nothing major, just one more thing for Mom to stress about. They are going to take a look again on Thursday and then they will decide whether or not to move forward with the surgery.

In addition to all of this fabulous news, he has been spelling quite a bit lately (heartrate drops and oxygen de-saturation) and as a result they have bumped his oxygen from 75 cc's back up to 500 cc's just to give him a break while everything gets sorted out.

Most of this is expected and "normal course" for a preemie like Jacob and he will once again with God's guidance overcome these obstacles and come home and we are obviously in no rush. He will come home when it is time and considering everything that could have gone wrong we thank God every day for his continual guidance and care. Jacob truly is an example of how powerful prayer can be.

Thank you for all the comments and well wishes. Ian and I enjoy reading them and look forward to them each time we post. Hope everyone stays cool! It is hot out there!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Almost transfer time

Wow!! Where do I begin?! There is so much to update everyone on. First of all, Jacob weighs 4 lbs 10 oz tonight!!! He is now 35 weeks and this is the point in my pregnancy where he should have been averaging half a pound a week in weight gain. Since he is still technically a fetus (only growing on the outside) he should be doing this and he seems to be right on track since he has gained 9 ozs in 5 days! Since he is growing so quickly and catching up, they have cut back on the rocket fuel they were giving him and cut his "extra" calories from 28 to 26.

Since Jacob is now 35 weeks they have stopped giving him the caffeine he needed to stay alert and avoid his apnea episodes. They usually outgrow this condition by 36-37 weeks so in the next couple of weeks he should be big enough so that this doesn't happen anymore and in the meantime they are discontinuing his daily cup of java.

As for his oxygen, they have weaned him from 1 liter to 75 cc's! This is huge. Earlier this week he had been weaned from 1 liter, to 900 cc's, to 800 cc's and when I looked today he was down to 75 cc's! Only 75 cc's to go and he will be weaned off the oxygen!

GOOD NEWS!! Jacob IS moving to Jordan after all. His ROP has taken a step back (back to Stage 1 from Stage 2) and if all looks good at his eye exam Monday he will be monitored every other week and we have decided to move him to Jordan. There are many reasons we decided to make the move:

1. Parking! It is free at Jordan and will save us at least $7 a day.

2. Nursing. I am 10 minutes from Jordan and can be at the hospital for all of his daily feedings.

3. TRAFFIC!! They are paving the SE Expressway and on the way home it usually takes us an hour and 15 minutes to get home.

4. Food - We have been eating out a lot lately.

5. Stress! It will just be easier on us (especially Ian who is working long days and then spending all his free time at the hospital).

There is a wait list at Jordan, but Jacob is number one and if his eye exam goes well on Monday he could go at anytime as long as a bed is available.

I guess that is all for tonight, but that is plenty. I will keep everyone up to date on his move and weight gain. The doctor said if he keeps doing what he is doing he could be home in a few weeks!!!!!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Four pounds, an open crib and tubby time!

Today is a great day!! Jacob weighed 4 lbs 1 oz last night! He has finally passed the four pound mark and this means that he can move to an open crib! No more isolette for Jacob!

He is also getting his first bath today!! He is finally big enough to regulate his own body temperature so he can move to the open bed AND get his first bath. Just in time too because he is getting rather stinky. ;)

The only semi-disappointing news is that we are not sure if Jacob will move to Jordan. He is receiving eye exams every Monday to monitor the progression of his ROP and if he moves to Jordan he will have to be transported every Monday back to Tufts for his eye exam and then transported back to Jordan. At this point, Ian and I believe it is best to just leave him here and save him the commute into Boston every week.

I started nursing Jacob again today. I have had mastitis since the middle of last week and it was like the worst flu you've ever had times ten. I will be more than happy to never have to go through that again. I was having to express my milk and dump it and I was not able to come to the hospital for a few days so I am happy to be back and nursing again. Jacob picked up right where we left off and is doing great with it. They had actually tried to bottle feed him while I was gone and he doesn't seem to do as well with a bottle as he does with nursing.

I will definitely post new pictures later tonight so everyone can see his first bath and how big he is getting. More to come!

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