Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Gearing up for Christmas

Hello.

Lochlan's been making some great progress lately. He's been liking his cereal. We are now up to about 2tbsp. He's tried rice cereal and oatmeal. Seems to like oatmeal a lot better. Can't say I blame him! I'm aiming to try barley over the next few days. Mmmm...sounds yummy doesn't it?!


He's like, "give me my cereal, and nobody gets hurt!" So funny.

His pediatrician Dr. Moore said that we can start him on purees anytime. However, she said that it won't have as many calories as the cereal. It would be just to introduce him to food and textures. I think I'm going to hold off just yet on introducing veggies. I'm going to aim for 4tbsp of cereal a day at least before trying out sweet potatoes which is probably what I'll start with. (Abby started with the same)

On Monday Dec 20th, he weighed 8lbs, 12 3/4 ounces. I was excited to see that he'd gained 5 oz since his last appointment. Actually in 12 days. The previous weight (8lbs, 7 3/4 oz) he was the same one week apart. Which was very frustrating. But I altered a few things that I was doing and it seems to be working. In fact, he gained 1 1/2 ounces in two days. (since Monday as he had an appointment today) He now weighs 8 pounds, 14 1/4 ounces. Hooray!! So proud of my little man. Have I mentioned that I think he is amazing? He's just shy of being 9 lbs!!!! I think I'll celebrate big time when he gets over the 10 lb mark. Dr. Moore said Loch's going at his own pace in the weight gain department and that we'll concentrate on getting it up in the New Year. But I'm so happy he gained what he did in two days. So awesome. Keep it up!

He had his second dose of the flu shot on Monday and his third RSV shot today. (Wed) So thankful for those shots. They are definitely keeping him healthy. Must give a "shout out" to Dr. Onyette. She is amazing. She is so good at what she does and is so kind and caring. She even makes her own appointment reminder calls. What an incredible lady. (and doctor of course!)

Lochlan has also been developing fabulously these days. He had his special infant clinic two weeks ago and they are very happy with where he's at. We are continuing to work on getting his tummy time in so that his head and neck control get even stronger. His head is still so big in comparison to the rest of his body and so it's pretty heavy to lift up when he's on his tummy. They said that his chest area because of this needs a little more support as is the usual for preemies.

These pics were actually taken a few weeks ago.

Lo and behold, our little miracle baby is rolling over from his back to his tummy. He did this a few times a couple of weeks ago but tonight, it was constant. He has a harder time rolling from his tummy to his back once he's there though so you really need to watch him and help him out. Which is strange because he can roll back to his back when I put him on his tummy for tummy-time. So go figure. I guess it's just where his hands end up and whatnot. He'll get it. But every time I turned him back over tonight, he'd heave-ho and put himself back on his tummy. Funny boy. You could really see the concentration and determination. LOVE him.

And he continues to smile these big smiles. He's got quite the little personality already. Already so social. He's been chatting a bit more the past few days as well. Not cooing nearing as much as Abby when she was his corrected age but I shall not compare. I'm soooo very proud of him.

He had his eye test last week with Dr. Arthur to test his vision. (rather than to check for activity with the blood vessels) He did very well. It's tough to really know since he's still so young. Dr. Arthur and his colleague seem to think that his left eye is a bit slower than his right. No real big surprise there as that's been the one with the most difficulty. So time will tell. We're sure he'll need glasses at some point but who knows if he'll have baby or kid glasses, or just need them as an adult. He goes back in March to test again.





As we near Christmas, I want to wish everyone a VERY merry Christmas and a joyful and blessed New Year. Thank you over and over and over again for your continued prayers and support. We feel very loved and fortunate to have so many friends, family, and strangers cheering Lochlan and the rest of our family on.

This Christmas will be extra special and we can't wait to wake up on Christmas morning with stars in our eyes and love in our hearts with our amazing family of four.

Miracles exist.

God Bless.
Jenn, Rob, Abby and Lochlan
xoxo


Monday, December 6, 2010

7 months old!


Yesterday, Lochlan turned 7 months old. 7 months. What?

Yes, 7 months old. And doing so great. He had his appointment with Dr. Moore (his pediatrician) last Monday. He weighed 8 pounds and 7 1/2 ounces, was still just shy of 22 inches (55cm), and his head grew an inch and is now 40cm around.

The only thing we are concentrating on is getting his weight up. Because he is not taking a bottle anymore (he's rejecting it) she said we could try him on solids. Yes, that's right - it's cereal time! CRAZY! It seems so strange to give him cereal when he is so small. I asked about his digestive tract and she said that he should be fine. He has been eating and digesting for 7 months now.

So that night I went to Wally World and they were having a sale on cereal so I stocked up! Rice cereal, Oatmeal, Barley, and one mixed cereal for later. I felt very very odd. I had Lochlan with me and I sort of felt like people were looking at me like, isn't he a little young for that? Meanwhile, I'm sure no one even thought of it. It was all in my head. But I still felt funny.

So Tuesday morning I decided, well why the heck not? Lochlan really liked it. It was more fortified bmilk than cereal, but it was a start and he was taking it in. And giving a smile in between "bites."

He's now worked his way to 2 tablespoons and I even introduced oatmeal cereal today which he really enjoyed. He was almost yelling at me to give him more. So funny. He was doing this little scream and looking at me like, um...mom, I want more. So I had to heat up another tablespoon. So no worries about him handling solids.

Wednesday he received his 2nd RSV shot. Took it like a champ again. And he had gained a 1/4 of a ounce in 2 days. So he's up to 8 pounds, 7 3/4 ounces. (keep in mind he'd only had cereal twice which was like 1-2 teaspoons)

Thursday he had his hearing test. I laughed and said, "okay we'll try" after the phone call to remind me of the appointment that said to come with a sleepy baby. ....right! Cause that's easy to plan.

Anyway, he did so awesome. I was so proud of him! He slept for about 45 mins after being awake when we first got there and I was able to get him to sleep. He slept long enough to have his left ear tested. He still has congestion in his ear drums/sinuses. This is due to his prematurity. The tubes are flat whereas as you get older, the tubes are more like a V but not quite that high! (the tubes leading from your nose to your ears) So they put a test monitor that vibrated behind his ear to check for hearing. I can't remember exactly the terms but either way, he passed. And he has normal hearing in his left ear. His right ear, well, he didn't sleep long enough to get tested. I ended up nursing him when he woke up and the audiologist asked if I thought he's settle again. And I said, settle as in go back to sleep? And she said yes. I was like, um no. After his nap, he's usually up for about an hour and a half to two hours. She said, "oh that was a nap?" Well what was she expecting - a two hour nap? Ain't gonna happen honey! I wish! So we have to go back another day. Which reminds me I have to call the back to set up the appointment. Whoops!

Friday, Medigas came for their final visit! Woo-hoo!!!! So exciting! He was sat'ing 97-98% even getting to 99% at one point. He's amazing! We bid farewell to Melissa and she said, "oh I'll miss you Lochlan." And I replied: "Well not offense, but we won't miss you!" Hope that didn't sound too rude! So now we are just waiting for them to pick up the equipment. Lochlan sees Dr. Flavin (the breathing doctor) and hopefully he'll be starting to wean him from his puffers. I've had to move the times we give him his puffers to try to coincide with his sleep patterns overnight. He's been sleeping longer and I would hate to have to wake him to give him his meds. I've been really fortunate that he usually goes down around 7 and will wake up once overnight and then be up again around 7am. Some nights are different but overall that has been his pattern. As much as I'd love for him to sleep through more for of the night, he's doing awesome considering he's still so tiny. And because he needs his puffers, I'm okay with him waking up to feed otherwise I'd have to wake up to do it anyway. Plus, he needs all the calories he can get. I know that Dr. Moore said to not wake him in the night to eat because he needs to sleep to grow and develop.

We go from 4 appointment last week to 1 this week. Wednesday is his special infant clinic. We'll see how he's doing developmentally. I feel like he's doing fantastic. Such a miracle.

Oh wow. Time has flown by. It's almost 11pm and I should be in bed. Abby has been waking up super early these days. Anytime after 5am in free reign for her. Good times. And their nap times haven't been coinciding either. Today Lochlan was sleeping when Abby went for her nap. Within 10mins he was up. Then when he finally went back to sleep, I went to get my own nap in and I had my eyes closed for 2mins when Abby woke up! D'oh! Oh well. One day it will happen.

Thank you for continuing to follow along on our journey.

So on that note....good night!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Hospital: 3 months, 11 days...Home: 3 months, 12 days

Today is the first day Lochlan has been home longer than his stay in the hospital after he was born. He's been home now 3 months and 12 days! Thank God for that! (And so many of you who prayed for his well being.)

Last night just prior to putting him down in his crib to sleep, I realized that it was exactly the same amount of time that he spent in the hospital since he's been home. Crazy.

You know what else is crazy is that Lochlan decided yesterday was going to be the day that he rolled over!! Yes --- ROLLED OVER! For the past week (since Saturday Nov 21st) he has been rolling over to his right side. Well yesterday at Nana & Poppa's, he rolled to his side like he has been doing and then all of a sudden Mom goes, he's on his belly!! I was like - WHAT??? Totally wasn't expecting that. He gets some tummy time during the day but nothing where he's comfortable being on his tummy for long periods of time. My lil monkey! And it wasn't that much of a fluke, he did it again not too long after. Amazing boy we have.
Medigas came on Friday and Lochlan was stellar once again. This time he was sat'ing in the mid to high 90s. At first he was only about 91/92 but then we put his sock on his foot and he immediately jumped to 95%! One more visit!

I forgot to mention in my last post that Lochlan's has been teething. You can really see some of his teeth trying to come through. He's got the white outline around his gums. The one tooth on his lower right side (next to where the bottom tooth will be) poked out and then disappeared again. I thought for sure he had his first official tooth! Not quite yet. Abby had her first two teeth just prior to turning 4 months old. And that's how old Lochlan is now corrected to his due date. It's hard to imagine him this small with teeth! I mean he's almost 7 months old and still looks like the size of a newborn. A friend of mine just had a baby and I think Lochlan is still smaller! It's hard to wrap your head around that one sometimes. Or to hear about 6 months or so babies being 18 pounds or more. I'm not sure how much he weighs just yet as it's been about a month since he was weighed (he was 8 pounds, 1 ounce) but we will find out tomorrow. He has his pediatrician appointment. He will also be getting his 6 month shots. We're a little late but due to his RSV shot and his flu shot, we wanted to space them out in case of a reaction. As it is, he's getting his next RSV shot this coming Wednesday. He also will get his hearing tested on Thursday and Medigas will visit on Friday for the last time. (fingers crossed) Four appointments this week! Wowzers!

And next week he goes for his special infant development clinic and the following week has his appointment with Dr. Arthur to test his vision. I'm pretty sure he is hearing and seeing things quite well.

He's cooing a lot more these days too. So cute. I tried to take some video but of course when it's happening, I stand their in awe of him and chit chat back and then remember to grab the camera and then I don't get the chance to turn on the proper lights, and so the video ends up dark and grainy! (don't tell anyone I'm a comm. tech teacher!!) Oh well. One of these days it will be non stop and I'll have lots of video I can take and share with you.

Which brings me to the fact that I won't be able to take any pics for a while. I dropped my camera at the Santa parade yesterday and it finally said, "enough!" I've dropped it a few times prior and apparently that was the last straw. It doesn't want to work for me which totally sucks. Doesn't it know it's freakin' Christmas time!!! Maybe Santa will bring me a nice new camera for Christmas! *hint hint*

Today we put up our Christmas tree. Too bad I didn't get a picture of Abby decorating it for the first time. So cute! I gotta say, the bottom of our Christmas tree has never looked so good! : )

I'm really looking forward to Christmas this year. So much to be thankful for and to celebrate.
First time grabbing and holding on and playing with the links.
Nice tongue! ha ha
This is actually one of Lochlan's Christmas presents. I just couldn't wait to let him play with it.
...and one and two and three and four...




Abby's nice rosy cheeks after playing outside.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Sick mommy

I'm finally getting around to writing a new blog and I'm actually in bed with the laptop! I've been sick since Saturday and I'm REALLY hoping today was the worst of it.
And praying that I don't give it to Lochlan. So far so good. I even got Rob to get me a mask to wear when I'm in direct contact with him. Let me tell ya - those things are not fun! Soooo hot! This morning was awful. I had a temp of 101.5 and breathing in and out of that face mask was brutal. I ended up with a headache (although that could be related to my sickness) and felt like I could pass out. Steam kept fogging up my glasses too. Good times. Thankfully, Granny took Abby for the morning and Nana took her for the rest of the day. Really makes a huge difference when I can sleep "when the baby sleeps!" Even if he only seems to be sleeping in 30-45 minute increments. I'll take what I can get. So thankful that Lochlan is a great baby too. He was pretty good at playing and not needing a lot of rocking or soothing today. Perhaps he realized that mommy wasn't feeling well. Although really, he's that great every day.

In the last few weeks, Lochlan has been doing well. A few weeks back, Medigas came and his sat's were all over the map which was strange. But he was up to 96% then he'd drop to 89%...then back up to 93%...wasn't consistent at all. Nothing to be concerned about though.

We skipped last weeks visit since Melissa who is his regular nurse, had a cold. And this week she's on holidays so Graham will be coming to check in on him on Thursday morning. Hopefully Lochlan continues to thrive. Then he'll have one more visit on Dec 3rd and that will be that. No more oxygen tanks in the house! : )

Loch had his flu shot last week. Took it like a champ. I wish mommy had got hers well before now. Silly me. It's definitely high on my priority list. But I think that's how we ended up with the sickness in the house. I took Abby with us on Wednesday when we went to get Lochlan's flu shot and I let her play in the toy room. What was I thinking!!! I even saw that two kids with face masks on had just exited the room. HELLO! Warning!!! The volunteers are pretty good at wiping things down but there's still bound to be some germs in there. Well the next day, Abby has a runny nose and that turned into a bit of a cough. Thankfully, the worst of it was Friday night which really she just wanted mommy and Saturday we had a pretty relaxed day. But I picked up something too. Yay for me!

Anyway, it happens. It's that time of year. Abby was so great this morning though. I told her that mommy wasn't feeling very good and she said "Oh, poor mommy. Here let me hug you. Do you need a kiss?" Such a sweetheart.

I've got more pics to post but they are all on the other computer so I'll try to post some another day. Lochlan's got an appointment with Dr. Moore on Monday. (his pediatrician) I'm anxious to see how much he's gained. I'm really hoping he's close to 9lbs now. He'll probably be around 8lbs, 7oz....aiming higher though. But we'll take what we can get. Slow and steady wins the race.

We've been trying to give him a bottle every now and then fortified with formula. He took it the first few times. Today and tonight...not so much. Refused. Argh! I feel like we're back at square one again. Maybe now it's not coming out fast enough.

Anyway, need to sleep again.
Take care, and stay well.
Jenn

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Progress



Gosh....has it really been pretty much 2 weeks since my last post? Crazy! Time flies!

Lochlan has been doing so amazing! I sometimes forget that he ever was on oxygen or that he went through all that he's been through. He just feels like a newborn to me.

He now weighs 8lbs, 1oz!!! woo-hoo! He made it over the 8 pound mark! So proud. He is just under 22 inches long and his head circumference is 39cm. He's growing! Slowly but surely. So far, I haven't received a call from Dr. Moore about having to supplement him with formula added to a bottle or two a day of breastmilk. I'm really hoping we don't have to go that route. If we do, so be it. I know a lot of moms have to use formula or a mix of both, but my preference for Lochlan is that we don't have to supplement and he can grow on his own with mommy's liquid gold! ; )

Tomorrow Medigas is coming for the second visit since he has been off of the oxygen entirely. Last week he was sat'ing between 93-96%. So good. The plan is for them to monitor him for about a half an hour weekly (every Friday) with the exception of the 26th of this month until December 3rd. That will be the final day of monitoring and they will take all of the oxygen tanks out of the house and we will jump for joy and say "ciao - thanks for your help but we no longer require your assistance!"

Lochlan received his first RSV shot on Wednesday. It's antibodies to fight off RSV.

((((Respiratory syncytial virus (sin-SISH-shul VI-rus), or RSV, is a common, seasonal and easily-spread virus. You've probably had RSV disease and thought it was just a bad cold. In fact, nearly all children will get their first RSV infection by age two.

Most people with RSV disease suffer moderate to severe cold-like symptoms. For some babies, RSV disease can be more serious—it's the #1 cause of hospitalization in infants in the U.S. Preemies and babies with certain heart or lung conditions are at high risk for severe RSV disease, which could lead to serious lung infections like pneumonia and bronchiolitis.))))

Get more info here: www.synagis.com

He will get his next dose in 3 weeks and then every month thereafter until April. Good times. I will be taking him early next week to get his flu shot too. It's so hard to want to go everywhere and be everywhere when I really should be batting down the hatches and staying home most of the winter as a precaution. The risks are pretty high and we don't want Lochlan to get sick.

I always told myself that even though Lochlan is a preemie and we had to haul around the oxygen tank and all that, that I would not let that stand in our way of living a normal life. But the risks are pretty high and we have to be very diligent in washing our hands and making sure that we don't go anywhere where he could pick up something super easy or have anyone over who is sick. Please don't be offended if I constantly ask if everyone is healthy in your home before visiting or having you over for a visit. It's very different if you've read about RSV or the flu/colds for preemies. Colds can be good for babies to build up their immunities but preemies don't have the ability to fight it off like full term babies do. Not yet anyway. And so it can be serious.

On a much happier note, I am starting to settle into a regular routine now and feel much better and capable of raising two kids. The first few months were difficult as those of you with children would know but now that Lochlan is more predictable and Abby is getting used to the idea of having a brother, things have calmed down a bit.
We are all settling into a nice routine. Some days are harder and more challenging than others, but that is to be expected. I'm very thankful to have our moms (and dads) able to spend time with their granddaughter for a weekly sanity break and to be able to get to Lochlan's appointments as well -- HUGE THANK YOU!!!

I'll leave this note with a few more quotes from Miss Abigail this past week:

I think everyone who is in a traffic jam should be in the car with Abby. She is so cute and of course the Abbyisms were non-stop! When we'd finally get going again she'd say..."You're doing it mom! PASS! Keep going mom, you're doing awesome!"

And the second night it happened Abby said: "My rescue pack can help! We need a kite so we can fly over these cars!" She loves watching Diego and singing the songs along with the ones from Dora and even plays out the story-lines even if she's only watched an episode once. There hasn't been a day go by where we have to watch out for the baby puma or rescue a deer! And we get a rope from backpack or whatever else Abby feels we need, or the rescue pack can help us out. "Go Diego go..."

Oh Abby, how I love thee!

Oh...I totally forgot! Halloween came and went since my last post. Here are a few pics to enjoy!





Abby, wondering if we could go yet!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Finally: breathing on his own

I had a bit of a hard time deciding what I wanted to call this blog. What do you call something so monumental?

I realize it has been over 2 weeks since my last entry. After I wrote the last one ("waiting") I heard from Medigas that we had to wait another 2 weeks for Lochlan to be checked again on room air. Because he was sat'ing high 80s/low 90s, Dr. Flavin felt that he didn't have much wiggle room. I understood. But I was still very pleased with his results. Plus, Lochlan had a bit of a cold at the time so it was good to know he was doing so well.

He surprisingly didn't have any appointments last week. And the 2 weeks passed by pretty quick. Lochlan did have his cold for about a week but thankfully it didn't get too bad. We just had to change his nose prongs more regularly and I gave him some homeopathic medicine to help relieve some discomfort.

Yesterday, (Thursday Oct 28th) Lochlan had an off day. The morning started out great. He was his regular cheery self - smiling and interacting and having a great ole time. Closer to lunch, he started to get fussy. Moaning and whimpering and I discovered he had a low grade fever as well. 99.8 degrees F. It was the moaning and whimpering that got me. Lochlan is a very happy baby. It was definitely not like him to be out of sorts. I debated (with Auntie Noni - thank you Auntie) on taking him in to get checked out. But in the end, we decided to hold off and see how he was with Tylenol in him. (It worked like a charm!) He was back to his regular self today. A bit more sleepy I'd say than usual but overall his happy self. The only issue is that he hasn't pooped in almost 3 days now. VERY unlike him. So unless he poops overnight, I think I will have to take him in to be checked out. Thanks to my mom and dad as well for taking Abby for a sleepover last night and to Granny for taking her to play with Mattea this morning at Aunt Janet's. She had a great time. Happy birthday Bud!! (and Grandpa Bob tomorrow!)

Now to the monumental news: Medigas came this morning. (hence the reason I was concerned Lochlan was getting "sick" yesterday) Loch sat'ed 99-100% at 1/16th oxygen. For his room air test he sat'ed 95-98%!!!!! GO LOCHLAN!! He even got up to 99 and 100% a few times! So happy!

Toughest part was waiting for the official word that the oxygen could be removed. Dr. Flavin had to give the go-ahead. Notice I said, "had." Around 2pm, Medigas called and said that she had paged Dr. Flavin and he said that we could go ahead and remove the oxygen!!!!!!! (I had expressed my concern that I hoped to not have to wait until sometime next week to hear) Hallelujah!

I decided to wait until Rob got home before taking him off the oxygen. It's been a long haul and we've been through it together, I really wanted to share in the moment together as a family. Abby, Lochlan and I went for a walk one last time with the oxygen tank while we waited for daddy to get home. I had called Rob after school to ask if he was planning on being late and he said he had to make one quick stop but no he should be home soon. I told him why and we decided he'd pick up some yummy supper to celebrate.

A few "before" shots

(Abby and Lochlan have the same expression!! ha ha)

Finally...We shut off the tank. (well Abby did) Such a relief. I was so elated I didn't even have tears of joy. I was beyond happy.


We took some family pics to mark to occasion.



And then I took Lochlan room to room to room because I could! I no longer have to lug around an awkward tank. I can dress him and not have to worry about where the tube is, or how it's tucked or pulling on his skin. I bathed him in the actual bathtub for the very first time! (well the bathtub within the bathtub)




I feel so ...overcome with joy. Our miracle baby is okay. He's just fine. I whispered to him that I was so proud of him and that there are so many possibilities in his future. And that I can't wait for him to discover them. That he is a true warrior.

As I type this, I feel tears welling up. This has been a very long process. I know it is not over. We will be working on getting his puffers weaned in the next 3-4 months. But this is another huge hurdle. I keep thinking back to the first day I went into the hospital and after being told that my water had broke and there was very little fluid around the baby that we could choose to end the pregnancy. Actually they kept bring that up. There was no way we could have done that and I'm so glad that we didn't. For us, that decision was the best for our family and in our hearts. (and thank God, everything has gone the way it has) I know that some families make different choices in the same or similar situations and I am in no way judging them for doing what they need/needed to do. You have to make the best decision possible for yourself, and no one has the right to say any different.

I think about the families that have been through this type of journey or will go through this and the outcome is or will be very different from ours. My heart goes out to you.

And then I think about the journey Lochlan has taken (and us too) and everything that we have been through. We are so blessed and I never take anything for granted. Thank you so much for your prayers. You'll never know how truly wonderful you are and how much you have touched our lives.

Summary: (from what I remember anyway - I've blocked out some of it)
water broke 21weeks, 2 days - minimal fluid in the womb - stayed in 4 weeks
Steroid shots 2 days prior to giving birth to help speed along lung development (or create really)
25weeks + 1 day pro-lapsed cord, born May 5th via emergency c-section 1 pound, 12 ounces, 13 inches long
Intubated, oscillator, self extubatations, Bi-PAP, C-PAP,
Bad infection that I've heard nurses and doctors mention pneumonia when referring to it
a blood infection
Quarantined
Shingles (me)
Moved to pediatrics for quarantine

96 days in hospital
a lot of doctors and nurses taking tremendous care of him
so many family, friends, and strangers praying
1 wonderful and supportive husband
1 amazing, patient, and understanding daughter
1 warrior son

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Waiting...

Lochlan's cold seems to be almost gone. Thankfully, he managed to avoid a really bad one. I pray he never gets a bad one....I know it's inevitable, but when he's this young it can be quite dangerous due to his premature lungs. Please don't be too disappointed if we are unable to do anything with you because you have a cold, sniffle, sore throat, or any other sign you are unwell. It just too risky. I understand kids need to build immunities but with preemie babies, it is different.

Loch will be getting his flu shot in the coming few weeks. They are given based on his birth age (so 6 months which for him is just 2 weeks away - crazy!)He will also be getting his RSV shot that has to be given once a month over the cold/flu season.
(a further explanation taken from the web: While RSV, or the respiratory syncytial virus, may just cause a cold in older children, it can cause a serious and life threatening infection in younger high risk children. These children, including premature babies, can develop bronchiolitis, which is associated with inflammation in the lungs, wheezing and difficulty breathing. RSV can also cause croup, ear infections, and pneumonia.)

We are still waiting for Medigas to hear back from Dr. Flavin about Lochlan's oxygen and what the plan is. I have my suspicions that he will need to be tested one more time before coming off of it and I'm praying it's early next week.

He had his latest pediatrician's appointment this past Monday. He now weighs 7lbs, 13oz and is still just under 21 inches long with his head measuring 38cm. He needs to go back in 2 weeks for a weight check because he is not gaining enough weight. He's below the 5th percentile now for weight and between 5-25% for height. If he hasn't gained enough in 2 weeks than we will have to go back to supplementing him. So the plan is if he needs to get a bottle or whatever during the day, then we will add in some formula to up his calories. He's still too young for cereal but the plan is that when he turns 4 months corrected to start him on rice cereal for the extra calories. (she actually asked me if he was showing signs of interest or if he'd lost his tongue thrust instinct) Not yet, no! He's almost 6 months old, but is just the size of Abby when she was born!!! (she was 7lbs, 12 oz and 21 inches long) Crazy!

Gotta go, Lochlan's crying and ready to be fed again!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Room air test

The day started off with some excitement. Medigas was coming at 9am! Lochlan woke up just before 8am, (and stayed awake because he obviously still wakes up over night many times to eat but thankfully goes right back to sleep) I changed his diaper, changed his nose prongs, and did his puffers. Then I fed him. He was ready!!!

Medigas came... and the machine wasn't working. *big sigh*
He tried for a good 20 mins to get it to work with no luck. Meanwhile I had a sleeping baby in my arms who was more than ready to be tested on room air. (so was his mommy!)

I'd even gave him one of the connectors that I was told to keep from the hospital to try - but no, it was the actual machine. So after some apologies, the plan was for him to call back to let me know if he was going to come later in the afternoon, or on Monday.

Disappointed to say the least. After all the buildup....I knew in my heart, that a few more days wouldn't be a big deal after all this time...but still. When Dr. Flavin told me, 2 weeks or so for him to be on oxygen, then Medigas came after only a few days...I was excited.

So I put Lochlan up in his room to continue his nap, and came downstairs to check a few things on the computer. About 20mins later, I heard the doorbell. He'd come back!
Totally unexpected. But perhaps he saw my disappointment when he left the first time.

Lochlan immediately was sat'ing 98-99% on 1/16th of oxygen. He shut it off (room air) and he was at 95-96% for a little bit, then dropped down to mid 80s and finally to 82% when the O2 was put back on to bring him back up in his saturation.

*sigh*

I need to mention that Lochlan has been fighting a bit of a cold these last few days. Tuesday - his chest was clear according to the doctor, but Wednesday is when I noticed him starting to sneeze and cough a little and sound more congested.

Also...Lochlan was awake by this point when he was testing him. So he was moving his feet around quite a bit which can really hamper the test results and accuracy.

He really ran through the gamet - hiccups, burps, toots, sneezes, yawns, coughs...

Finally, I nursed him and he fell asleep. While he was nursing, he was sat'ing at 95% on room air!!!! And for the remainder of the hour while he slept (and had still feet) he was between 89-93%. VERY GOOD! So proud.

So now we have to wait for the word from Dr. Flavin. He has to say, okay, he's ok to be off of the O2....or wait a few more weeks, try him again and hopefully he'll sat higher just to be sure....or wait until after his cold goes away, and retry him.

But to me, by having a cold and still sat'ing so well, I'm not as concerned about him while he is sick. I know that he can handle anything! And we only need to hang in there a little while longer. What a wonderful Christmas present this will make! (an early one hopefully!)

While the oxygen was shut off, Lochlan reached up and grabbed his prongs and yanked, and the tape came off much to some big cries...I was quick to try to put the prongs back in place but then remembered - oh yeah, he's not on oxygen right now. So I let him not have it retaped while the test was on. I could actually stare at my little miracle without the big tape across his cheek! I say cheek, because as much as wanted to take off the other side, I didn't want to cause any more discomfort just for my gratification!

I wish I'd had the camera closer to me so you could get a glimpse of our handsome baby without the getup. Soon enough!

So we wait. I did ask how long they will wait to hear back from Dr. Flavin before calling him. And they said Monday or Tuesday. Seems so far away since it's leading into the weekend.

A couple of cute quotes from Abby these last few days.

The other day she was loving up on him and kept giving him kisses and hugs and said, "I love you. We're best friends."

And she always says "he's so cute" too. And yesterday afternoon she said "Awe, you're the best Lochlan."

Last night when we were giving him his bath, she was helping to wash his body and I heard, "wash your arm....wash your leg....wash your tail..."

LOL Tail!!!!....oh how cute and hilarious...and innocent.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Thanksgiving and blessings


Wow! Another week already? The last time Medigas was here for a home visit, I thought, a month seemed so far away and we are one week away from it being a month. Actually, today Lochlan goes to see Dr. Flavin again. It's been 6 weeks since his previous appointment. Dr. Flavin is the respiratory doctor that is following him and ultimately is the one that will decide when Lochlan can come off of oxygen assistance.

I really feel like Loch is ready. He's trying to tell us that he is. He keeps pulling his prongs out. Last night, we changed his tubes, freshened him up and as soon as I put him to bed, he reached up and pulled out his prongs. Um no thank you! So I fixed it obviously. But I was hesitant to leave as you can imagine. So I hovered a wee bit. He did it again. Seriously, Lochlan? I'm not going to stand over you all night!

So I waited until he seemed to be sleeping then slipped out to our room and waited. I was definitely going back to check on him! So, 10 minutes later, I went in, and I heard...."shhhhhh" his tube had become disconnected from the tank. Oh yes it did. And he'd yanked his prongs out again.

I ended up getting more adhesive and changed it completely just to be sure. (The ones we'd put on to hold the tube in place was a bit thin in hopes of not pulling too much on his cheeks upon removal) One other time in the night, I went in to check after I'd fed him (even though he was quiet and sleeping and hadn't heard anything in the monitor) and what did I hear "shhhhhhhhhhhhh" AGAIN! Are you kidding me?!!! How the heck????? Plus he'd had a #2 so could be his kicked and kicked and somehow knocked it out but I have no idea as it's never happened while he's been in his bed before. I also made sure to wrap the tube through the slits in his crib to give it extra protection. But I still slept with one eye open if you will.

That boy, I tell ya! He lets you know when he doesn't like something. Even back when he was in the NICU - pulling his intubation tube out. He still fights hard with his puffers too -- sometimes giving the left hook, then the right, then both! Warrior indeed!

So needless to say I'm anxious to see where he's at with his oxygen. I'm praying today is the day. Although he'll probably have to order it and then next week, Medigas will come to monitor him for the hour. I hope, I pray, he's ready for the next step. I know I can't place too much emphasis on it and end up being disappointed but a gal can hope right?!

Last week, Lochlan had his eye checkup again. It had been 10 days since seeing Dr. Arthur. His eye is still looking good where Dr. Gale did the surgery, but there is a new hemorrage. WHAT??? So now he's going to monitor that. Seriously? Seriously!
But it must not be too much of a concern as his next appointment isn't until November. He did have a very difficult time getting a good look since Lochlan was awake and flailing about. Poor lil guy. I don't blame him. Dr. Arthur said that next time, they may have to take him to the OR to be sedated. Not go under but just enough so he's calm. Well now, you can bet I will definitely be trying to keep him awake and feed him just prior to his appointment so he'll be more chillaxed!

***finally getting back to writing the blog (about 12 hours later!)

Lochlan had his special infant clinic appointment last Wednesday. He is right on target for his corrected age. He's doing so amazing. Smiling and looking around and getting stronger in his neck. He's even started cooing a little bit over the weekend. So cute. The doctor told us to put him down for tummy time about 3 times a day so he can get even stronger! (and maybe it will help round out his little preemie head)

Now that we had his apt with Dr. Flavin since I wrote about it a few paragraphs prior, I can now tell you that it is so important to hope and pray! Lochlan is astounding! He was sat'ing on average 98%!!! Even got up to 99% Go Loch! So they decided to try him off of the O2 altogether and....the first # was 96%...then is gradually dropped and remained at 90% for about a minute.

So.......the big news is: they hope for him to be off of the oxygen in 2 WEEKS!!! And then we'll start to wean him off of his puffers over the next 3-4 months. What a relief! Amazing, my little boy is amazing!

We will meet with Medigas sometime in the next week for the home visit where Melissa will monitor Lochlan over the course of an hour or so with no oxygen. If all goes well and please pray for that - he should be done needing that extra little bit of help! : ) But like I said earlier, he is sooo ready to be done! Yes, Lochlan we can take a hint!

Oh, and he now weighs 7lbs, 10oz. And was 52.5cm long...which I believe is still just under 21 inches long. He's almost as big as when Abby was born. Hard to believe I thought she was teeny tiny at that size - now I feel like Loch is huge! ha ha

So that's my very happy news. What a wonderful Thanksgiving this has been. So very blessed.

P.S. Must share another Abby-ism! Last week we were driving home from my sister, Christina's and it was dark and Abby said: "It's dark out - I need a night light!" : )

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Milestones

Well okay...it's been over a week since my last blog. I find it difficult to blog when all I want to do is sleep when the kids are finally asleep at the same time or do the dishes or catch up on one of my favourite shows. The DVR is almost at capacity and we're gearing up for another week. Oh well...at least you can watch shows online but who knows when I'll get to that either!

Lochlan is doing well. He's getting bigger and is now smiling. He has the cutest little smile. Actually it's a pretty big smile - it fills his entire face. I managed to catch a bit of it in this picture.

He's also started rolling from side to side and is able to move his head from one side to the other.

The problem with blogging week to week is that I forget things that I want to mention. I'll try to remember as best as I can.

Loch had another follow up eye appointment last week and things are healing and looking good. Although they keep mentioning this one thick vessel that they've never seen before. But they aren't concerned, so I shouldn't be either right?

We go back on Thursday and I'm praying that will be the end of opening up his eye with this clamp thing and shining a big light in his eye and poking around in there. It hurts my heart to hear his cries whenever he gets it done. It can't be comfortable. I know it's a necessary evil but still. I think it starts to bother me when there is more than the 2 main doctors looking at him. I'm like...okay....he's good now...okay...you've had your look. I know part of it is so that people can learn and they can confirm as well, but I feel a little bit like, he's been through enough - now it just feels like torture.

Abby loves to help her little brother. Help....yes more like, she wants to do it all herself. This morning when I was typing up this blog (which I had to take about a 3 hour break from doing) I heard, "Mommy, Lochlan pooped!" I said I'd be there in a minute...and then thought better of it. (I can't leave her alone with him but she had been watching a show and I took advantage of the spare moments)

Well, good thing I went in to check. Even though Lochlan was in his playpen, she had his pants off, and his feet up in the air (hiked as far as they would go by the way and he was right up against the side of the playpen) and his one snap undone on his onesie. I scooped him up, much to some protest from Abby who said, "No Mom, I'm doing it."
Um no...

I compromised and had her help me by putting him down on the floor on a change pad and she undid his diaper and even wiped his bum and then did up his new diaper. She actually did a really good job. But man...if he wasn't so fragile, I could practically leave her to babysit. (JOKING)

She helps out all the time and it a wonderful little helper. Helping with his bath, his diapers, etc. But I have also caught her doing some "oh no things" like the story above. Trying to pick him up, burp him, yanking on his oxygen tube...that sort of thing. And then there was the time earlier this week where she tripped and almost kicked him in the head. (at least I think she tripped) I was like, oh be careful honey...or something like that....well wouldn't the lil monkey try to kick him in the head again. Thankfully I caught her just in time and was able to move Lochlan out of harms way. That was definitely a "naughty step" moment.

Overall though, she has been wonderful and really loves her little brother. I can't wait for him to get stronger and bigger so they can play together. Even just to interact a little more. She loves it when he smiles at her. It's super sweet.

The other day Lochlan and Abby both decided to have a poop at the same time. I told Abby this and she said "We're pooping together - as a team!" Here's the pic to go with that story. I had to grab my camera to capture the moment before I was going to change both their bums. She wanted to lay down beside Loch.


I could go on and on about all the cute stories between the two of them. And I'm so thankful they will continue for years to come.



Here are a few pics from when Abby and I went apple picking.





Too cute not to share!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Hallelujah!

Lochlan's follow-up for his eyes on Monday went well. Both Dr. Gayle and Dr. Arthur were VERY pleased with his eyes. The surgery was a success! We have to go back this coming Monday to make sure the rest of it has healed. [insert sigh of relief here] We did end up waiting a very long time before he was seen however. Which was a bit frustrating, but surprisingly enough, I had a lot of patience that day! It took over an hour before we were even seen to have his eye drops put in, then still had to wait an additional hour for them to dilate his eyes and for the doctors to be ready for us. Needless to say it was a long wait, but so worth the wait for such good news! Medigas came yesterday. (Wednesday) Lochlan remains at 1/16th of oxygen per litre. He was sat'ing on average 93%. If he gets to 97%+ then he will be tried with either a lower setting (only 2 more to go!) or off to see how he does. Melissa is coming again in a month! I know! One more month! But...if Dr. Flavin says to come back in 2 weeks she will to see how's he's progressing. I REALLY hope she comes back in 2 weeks and he's ready for a trial off of the oxgyen. That would be so fantastic! Don't want to get my hopes up....but you never know with this little miracle! Speaking of off of oxgyen...whoopsie...mommy was over tired on Monday night and I went to take him upstairs and realized the regulator was still on the one tank and wanted it to be on a bigger one that's in his room...well I transferred his tubing to the smaller tank, realized I wanted to do something different, and then transferred him back to the main tank in the living room. (all of which took about 30 seconds) Well....I forgot to put the oxygen back on! Seriously, Jenn? I had no idea until about oh...a half an hour...45 minutes later. Lochlan was alert and looking at me and smiling (which he's starting doing the past week or so) and was showing no signs that anything was different. Then I thought, oh I'll transfer him now...(after I'd did what I needed to do-- I had been side tracked too with a phone call) and then I realized my error. Are you kidding me? I was shocked and annoyed with myself! How could I have done that? Thankfully Loch was okay. Didn't change colour, didn't breathe or act any different. Today was his paedatrician's appointment. He now weighs...ready for it? 7lbs and 4 oz!!!!And is 50.5 cm long (almost 20 inches...i think it's like 19 3/4 inches) His head circumference is 36.5cm. He's growing! He's growing! But....he's still on the low end of the growth chart for very low birth weight children. (5th percentile for weight ..a little higher for height) AND...another happy note...his head ultrasound from last Friday is NORMAL!!!! No brain bleeds...everything looks great! I AM SOOOO HAPPY!!!! I immediately said.."praise the Lord!" So they've increased his iron but other than that we go back in a month! I can't thank you enough for your thoughts and prayers. He truly is a miracle. Sorry the video is so dark.
video