Tuesday, September 23, 2008

One week down

It has been a fast week with Colby at home. Things are going really well with all of us, including the dogs (they are adjusting nicely to the new addition, see below). Colby is eating well, sleeping well (*for the most part), pooping and peeing well, and is "awake" a couple of hours each day (at various times). *He is continuing a somewhat nocturnal routine from his hospital days where he seems to be a bit more active after midnight and really likes to be held during the early a.m. hours in order to stay asleep (he did his best bottle feedings and "lung exercises" in the middle of the night while in the hospital, according to the nurses, so we kinda saw this coming). Jennifer and I are currently doing a modified "tag team" approach at night so we can both get some periods of uninterrupted sleep/rest. Since he is breastfeeding and bottle feeding, we have some flexibility. My shift is the early shift, from 10pm or so to around 2am, and she takes over that (and her shift lasts most of the day obviously). We will be expecting some changes as Colby gets bigger and his sleep and wakefulness cycles fluctuate.
I am making stronger coffee in the mornings and am actually getting to work at a decent time. We are both suffering a bit from "baby brain" (forgetfulness due to sleep deprivation), her a little more than me I must say, but we both love our new job as parents, and enjoy every minute of it, even at 3am.

The dogs all have a different opinion of Colby. Annie is very curious and somewhat "attentive." Sometimes when he cries, her ears perk up and she comes over to help sooth him (some good sniffs and an occasional gentle lick). Shelby seems curious and attentive too at times (acts like she wants to help sometimes when he cries), but she exhibits more jealously when I hold Colby, not in an aggressive manner, but more in a sad way. Hershey, as expected, doesn't really care one way or the other as long as her food supply is not disrupted. In theory, the dogs should be happier, since we are always home, and they are getting daily walks and still plenty of attention from us.

We have a new family blog in the works and will soon begin postings on that. We do plan to link this twin blog to it and keep it open as long as we can (we will also print out a hard copy of all of our blog entries for Jennifer's scrap booking later).

'Til next time-

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

He's home! (revised 9/18)

Colby is finally home! We walked through our door around 5:30 this afternoon. YIPPEE!! He has been drinking his milk like a champ (since last Thursday night) and was holding and gaining weight just fine (they take a three day average after the feeding tube is removed, and he did well, only losing just a tad of weight during one of those nights, and gaining solidly on average).

As strange as it might sound to some of you, it was sad for Jennifer and I to leave Wake Med after all of these months (since July 19 when her water first broke). However, we are very happy to have our boy home after our long, tough journey. Just about everything we do these days is both happy and sad, as well documented, and leaving the hospital and all of the wonderful staff there was emotional. Gavin's short four days were all in the intensive care nursery and he was cared for by many of the nurses and Dr's that we have been seeing on a daily basis while visiting Colby, so letting go of that routine hurts. The hospital staff was very understanding and compassionate to our situation and we also had alot of interaction with some of Colby's nursery neighbors that had also lost a twin (a triplet in one situation), so being there on a daily/nightly basis was very therapeutic for us no doubt. With that being said, we are looking forward to our new routine with the Colbster at home (check out the smiles in the above pictures), and to a very bright future.

Two of our favorite nurses were on shift today and got to discharge Colby (& us), which made it a little more special. We took our time today and did alot of last minute socializing with Colby's "neighbors" in the nursery and with as much staff as we could, and we then had a thorough discussion with one of Colby's Dr's about his discharge, his health, and some great advice and tips on what do in the days, weeks and months to come. One of the biggest issues is keeping Colby healthy and away from viruses and infection during the upcoming cold and flu season (Octoberish through March), as Jennifer mentioned in the previous post (and he being a preemie adds to the concern). We do want Colby to meet his family and friends, and we will work to find a balance that works for everyone.
Love to all,
s & j

ps- For those who contributed to Colby's college fund in memory of Gavin, Sean said the checks will be cashed this week, and apologized for the delay. THANK YOU for your kindness and generosity, it will never be forgotten.

Monday, September 15, 2008

The light at the end of the tunnel!

We can finally see the light! Colby had his feeding tube removed Friday evening after 24 hours of oral feedings. We thought this was the big step to going home, but, once again, nothing is easy. Saturday afternoon (after almost three whole days of oral feedings) the neonatologist finally changed Colby's orders. His orders had been to take 56 mL every three hours whether he wanted that much or not. The new orders are for him to take as much as he wants every 3 to 4 hours which is a lot more like how a baby at home acts and gets fed. Saturday night and Sunday went really well, and he took as much as 72 mL at one feeding! We are hoping the doctor will give us discharge orders very soon, but we are a bit concerned because Colby lost a little bit of weight last night. He is a whopping 6 lb 7 oz now, and we hope the slight drop in weight does not hold him at the hospital too much longer. We thing he has definitely proven that he can, will, and wants to eat!

We are looking forward to everyone meeting Colby once he comes home, but the nurses and doctors have told us to be very cautious with him since he is a preemie. We are not supposed to take him to crowded places, he is not to be around cigarette smoke, or smokers, and he should not be touched or handled very much. This is to protect his fragile immune system from common viruses and bacteria that are not so harmful to us, but can make him very sick especially as we enter cold, flu and RSV season. So please understand if we seem to be ultra protective parents through the winter - especially since we think we lost Gavin due to some bacterial or viral infection. We really do not want Colby to go back in the hospital!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

When is Colby coming home?

Colby has to meet one major goal before he gets to make his journey home, he has to eat more for himself. He is doing great when he is awake, and, for the first time, took a whole bottle from me this week, which was a big thrill for me and the nurse working that shift. He takes about half of what he needs from Jennifer, which is really good, since breastfeeding is more challenging than bottle feeding (he usually falls asleep or gets tired while feeding). He is supposedly ahead of schedule according to some of the nurses, so all is still very good. We are however getting a little impatient, since he was born a month ago and we want him home, but we also keep reminding ourselves (as do the nurses), that his due date is September 30, and he was 2 months early!
Only Colby knows when he will be ready (more awake during feeding times), and unfortunately, even though he seems to be pretty smart for a one month old, he is not yet talking, so we don't quite know when that time may be.

As of Wednesday pm, he weighs in at a solid 6lbs, 4oz's, and is appx 19 inches long.
Not bad for a "37 weeker." He is about to outgrow his "preemie" outfits needless to say, and is comfortably wearing "newborn" sizes now. Besides taking his first full bottle from me this week, I also got "christened" (for the first time) by him during a diaper change. Anybody with boys knows what that means. I will eventually learn "to cover" at all times (especially at bath and diaper change time). Jennifer got squirted last week.

On a more somber note here on 9/11, it is very bittersweet to be with Colby at times. With the fullness of his face (all of his recent weight gain), he is currently about the same size Gavin was in his last day or two with us. Gavin had swelled a little due to his kidney failure, among other things, and Colby's facial features/size are a painful reminder of that challenging and very sad time just a few weeks ago. We miss our boy beyond description, but are still joyful with having a healthy, beautiful Colby who will be home with us soon. The roller coaster ride continues.

ps- To end on a happier note, I asked Jennifer to marry me 4 years ago today while hiking in the Grand Teton National Park (WY).

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Saturday night with Colby

Bath time

Passed out after eating

Colby's first bottle

I'm awake now!

Colby is now a gigantic 5 lb 14 oz - almost 6 lb! The little guy will put on 2 whole pounds before he is one month old! You can really see the weight in his cheeks : )

Another milestone was achieved Thursday night - Colby got his first bottle from his Daddy. He took about 14 of the 52 mL, but did well for his first time. Colby got his second bottle Friday night at 2 am (from nurse Josie) and drank the whole thing! We'll have to work a little bit more on the bottles so he can come home soon.

Pictures of Colby

Monday, September 1, 2008

Colby hits 5 pounds!

He is growing like a weed! I think it was Friday night when he hit the 5 lb mark - yea! We are trying to spend a lot of time at the hospital, and trying to get in two practice feedings a day. The nursing is going slow, but Colby is getting stronger, little by little. We still don't have an estimated date of his homecoming, but hope it won't be too much longer. It will be nice to get into a routine at home instead of having to go back and forth to the hospital. I know having him at home will be hard too, but I'm looking forward to having him here. Right now, he is taking 44 mL of milk at each feeding (8 times a day) and the most he has taken from me is 14 mL so we have a ways to go, but maybe this week things will "click" with him.

We will add some new pictures soon!