Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Leo Gets A Crib

Leo weighed in at 4 Lbs today! Because of this he was moved to a crib. They bundled him up in many layers and checked his temp every hour. If he didn't make 36.5 degrees celcius he would have had to go back in the isolette. I helped set him up in his new bed this afternoon and waited an hour to see how his temp was. It came in at 36.4. He failed the first temp reading, if he failed the next on he would have to go back to his old bed. His next reading was 36.8. He got to stay! When we were there for cares this evening he was 37.3. Too hot! We had to shed a few of his layers.

Here's a picture of him saying goodbye to his old bed and hello to the real world!!

Monday, April 29, 2013

Leo Takes His First Real Bath!

Forget sponge baths, Leo had a real bath today! He was squeaky clean by the end. Also, Leo gained 1 1/2 cm in length and his head grew a 1/2 cm this week. He is now up to 1770 grams (3 lbs 14 oz). That means he has officially doubled his birth weight. That's one BIG boy :)

He should be moving up to a crib in the next couple of days too! The doctor looked at his weight and said, "Looks like Leo is ready for a crib in the near future!" All I can think of is how weird it will be to see him in a crib rather than his isolette and have him exposed to the air. I'll be able to touch him whenever and changing his diaper will be a breeze not having to do it while sticking your hands through little holes! All these little things moms of babies in intensive care units dream to see their babies get to do, and other moms probably take for granted, are finally coming true for Leo.

With all these changes they will be lowering the oxygen he gets because he is doing much better with his lungs. He will also start transitioning into bottle/breast feeding. Needless to say, this will be a very busy week for Leo.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Leo sure likes the pacifier!

Leo was showing his skills today by sucking on his pacifier all by him self during feeding time.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Leo Was Breathing Better Today!

After they gave Leo the diuretic, he lost a little weight today. This resulted in him breathing a little easier. He didn't need as much oxygen! It would be such a blessing if the same was true for tomorrow. We will have to wait and see.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Happy Birthday Daddy!

Leo helped us celebrate Dave's birthday today! We had a great time celebrating daddy's birthday.

Leo is gaining weight too quickly these days. This means that its's not actual weight gain from calories but from extra fluid buildup. They had to give him a diuretic today to help him get rid of it. The doctor said she could hear a small amount in Leo's lungs, so in order to make sure it doesn't get any worse they had to help him get it out somehow. They put it through his feeding tube during his last feeding. Hopefully this helps the little guy!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Busy Night For Leo

Last night was very busy in the ICC! There was a fire in the building across the street that caused smoke to get into the ventilation system and the smoke alarms went off in the ICC. Then they had to turn off the vent system in the hospital. It smelled like my clothes do after being at a campfire. The hospital did a great job contacting us and ensuring us that Leo was in no danger. He is still in his isolette and on oxygen so he was breathing well. Actually better than he was the day before! There was so much action in the ICC last night and it didn't seem to phase Leo at all.

The first picture is of how content Leo was today and the second is the fire that happened outside his room.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Leo's Five Weeks Old!

Leo was good today. He slept most of the time we were there during the day and then this evening he slept the entire time I was snuggling with him, but after we put him back he was wide awake. Dave and I think that's probably because we were in charge of putting him back and it just wasn't as smooth for him as when the nurse does it. But, in the end we had him back inside his isolette and his cords were all put back and attached.

Leo's Progress In Pictures

Here's a picture from a couple days after birth and then at 4 weeks 4 days... Just goes to show how much progress he's made. In the one from yesterday he is wearing socks on his hands - he keeps pulling out his wires!!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Happy Tuesday!

Leo weighs 3 lbs 6 oz. Last week his head grew 1.5 cm and he grew a 1/2 cm in length. At Around 4 lbs he'll get to be in a crib instead of the isolette! This should be in about 1 1/2 weeks.

His oxygen needs were up again today. He doesn't seem to be able to lower them. As his lungs get stronger he should be able to lower it and eventually not need it. Currently, he's not improving so his oxygen is here for awhile!

We dressed him up today! Just as the outfit said, he looked handsome!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Baby Leo Wiggles His Way Through Another Great Day

Leo had another good day. He had some blood work done this morning and all came back within normal range except for that he is still anemic. The good news is that most preemies are at this stage and his other lab work shows that his body is doing a great job creating new blood cells. He gets iron supplements as well. He should grow out of this.

He was wiggling around a lot today. The nurses all wonder what he will look like when they come into the room to check on him. It's always a mystery. One nurse said he was pretty much all the way to downtown when she checked on him. Needless to say, I think we all believe he will be very excited to be out of the isolette and into a crib. Here's a picture of how we left him today...in yet another awkward position.

Also, we set up some stuff for Leo and Bella has already made herself comfortable in it! Dave even turned on the vibration mode and she seemed to like it!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Happy Sunday From Leo's Bedside!

Leo had a really good day. He grew a little and seems to be pretty content. I'm beginning to learn his body cues and what he needs. I appreciate his feisty attitude! The nurses say its good for them to be a little feisty and move a lot!

Today he needed less oxygen again so that made us really happy. As humans we breath 21% oxygen and Leo's cannula provides him with a little more. He is currently down to between 28 - 38%. Sometime higher if he's feeding or trying to go the bathroom. Yesterday he was between 40 - 55% so we were really happy with today's progress. Another great thing Leo is doing more and more is being able to suck. He loves his pacifier and does a great job practicing his skills!!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Another Saturday With Leo

Leo is getting bigger everyday! He is now 3 lbs 3 1/2 oz. Here's a quick update on some of the tests Leo has had lately. First, his eye exam for ROP came back as immature. Meaning that no ROP was detected but his retinas are still too immature to say he's free and clear from getting it. The eye doctor's nurse said his eyes are forming correctly, so that's great! He also had another chest x-ray and the doctor said that looked good - not so hazy anymore. He also had a head scan. It did show a very small brain bleed which the doctor said was insignificant. But as a mom that sure sounds scary to me. In fact, he said it was not necessary to rescan until he was ready to leave the hospital. So it's one of the many times I have to trust the doctor.

Leo's transition to the ICC is going well. He was needing more oxygen after the transition, which I guess is normal for the preemies they see. But, after I held him for a couple of hours and he laid on his stomach for a while he was back to where he was in the NICU when we left today. We will see how he does overnight.

He's continuing to take his feedings with ease! So we say: Grow Leo, Grow!!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Leo's Becoming More Fashionable!

Leo put on some clothes for the first time today but by the end of the night he was just in his diaper again! They turned off the feature in his isolette that regulates the temperature of the bed by keeping his body temp around 98.7. He had a probe on his body that regulated it, but they took it off. So they put some clothes on him and are seeing how well he can regulate his temp in the isolette. He actually got warm, so they turned down the temp. Which is good, this means he starting to regulate body temp on his own.

Also tonight, Dave helped him with his pacifier. He's beginning to suck on it quite nicely. We do this while he is being fed so that he can start to equate a full stomach and eating to the need to suck. He seems to be doing a good job.

We can't wait to spend some quality time with him tomorrow!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Leo Has His First Graduation!

While most babies are still in the womb, Leo had his first graduation! He has been moved out of the NICU and into the ICC (infant care center). This happened very quickly last night, as space in the NICU was running low and his room was needed to cater for more emergency situations. In the ICC he will need to eat and grow as well as kick his oxygen habit! He likes a little flow of added oxygen. He will also need to learn how to bottle and/or breastfeed before going home. Generally they don't start doing this until 1800 grams (Almost 4 lbs) and at 34/35 gestational age - Leo's 33 today! This is when babies develop the suck swallow reflux while breathing. The ICC is very similar to the NICU just not as intense. We still have a neonatal doctor and nurse assigned to him always available just outside of his room. The main differences are that we have a window in the room :) and the nurses focus is on getting Leo ready to go home. It's been a good transition for Leo, although I've struggled a little because I knew all of the nurses in the NICU and they knew Leo very well. Now the nurses are new and starting to get to know Leo all over again. As the days pass, I'm sure I'll get more comfortable in his new space. When a group of nurses have taken care of your baby for 28 days 24/7, it's hard just to leave and have someone else take over.

Because of the snowstorm (gotta love the April snow...NOT), Dave and I didn't go see Leo this evening. I got to see him earlier today, but I still missed him so I called the nurse. She said all was well, and reassured us we were doing the right thing staying home. She told me some stories from Leo's evening and told me what he was doing and what he looked like. It was very nice to know he was in good hands. It's still hard not being able to say goodnight to your baby. I can't wait to see him tomorrow!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Leo Packs on the Pounds!

Leo weighed in at a whopping 3 lbs today! Woohoo... Go Leo!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Leo's Growing!

Leo's head grew 1 cm this week and he grew a 1/2 cm in length!

He has his first eye exam tomorrow to check for ROP (Retinopathy of Prematurity). In a nutshell it's when the immature retina does not develop correctly and can lead to retina detachment. ROP occurs in 80% of all babies in Leo's age group. Most of which resolve on their own. When eye exams occur to check for it through 10 weeks after their actual due date, it is treatable through laser surgery if necessary. Tomorrow, They will dilate his eyes and take images using a mini camera. Can you imagine how small this equipment is? Before they monitored eyes for ROP, many preemies became blind - most known is Stevie Wonder, who was a preemie who suffered from ROP and eventually blindness. I must admit being a NICU mom has really built up my knowledge base in ways I would have never imagined :)

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Good News For Leo

Leo's at he top of the list to move to the ICC (Infant Care Center). We know this is a good thing for Leo as it means he's progressing very nicely, but we will truly miss the staff in the NICU. Our nurses have been so great to work with! The same neonatologist group cares for the infants in the ICC so Leo has met them, and they know about him so that makes the transition better too! The earliest he'd move is tomorrow, and it will for sure be sometime this week.

Leo's feeding also got switched so he gets larger amounts of milk at a time and has to wait for another feeding. He is doing great so far. It's only been 8 hours, but he seems to be making the transition. That means we are one step closer to being able to snuggle as we feed him! In the meantime Dave had to purchase a freezer for the basement for all the milk I'm producing and it's almost full! There are a couple of weddings this summer where some of this milk will come in handy! :)

Leo was very alert this morning when I went to see him!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Leo Has Another Good Day!

Today Leo got to spend one-on-one time with me and daddy. I was busy during the day helping host a baby shower for a friend so Dave spent time at the NICU on his own. He got to snuggle and hang with Leo - just like old times when I was still in the hospital and Dave spent many hour on his own in the NICU before I joined him. Then, this evening Dave had plans to watch the supercross at the Metrodome so I visited Leo on my own. We snuggled for hours, read some books, and I helped with cares. I talked to the doctor today and Leo is still doing great. Just needs to keep eating and growing. He is currently on continuous feeding where his feeding tube continuously feeds him 24 hours a day. They will soon be switching him to bolus feeding which he will then be fed a larger amount over a 1/2 hour time every 3 hours. This is in preparation for bottle feeding and a great step in the right direction! It was a good day for Leo.

They changed the tape they put under his cannula - oxygen tube - and it just doesn't seem to stick. It looks like Leo's grown a mustache overnight!

Friday, April 12, 2013

What A Great Friday Night

Dave and I spent our Friday night with Leo. When we got there, we just sat and watched Leo. He grabbed his oxygen tube and pulled it out a couple of times, but I helped him put it back in. After that Leo got to snuggle with me for a long while and we both took a good nap. Then came cares. Well, they didn't go as smoothly as planned...first, Leo had a large amount of spit up that got all over his bedding and inside his oxygen tube, which then had to be suctioned out of his nose and mouth. Needless to say, he was not happy. The oxygen tube had to then be replaced because it got messy from the spit up. While the nurse was changing that, Leo decided to pull out his feeding tube. So, then the nurse had to put a new feeding tube through his nose down to his belly. Leo also didn't like this. I did learn his lungs are strengthening because his little whimper was more of a cry during this whole process. After all was done, Leo was so content. He gave us a little awake time and then went to sleep. It was an eventful evening in Leo's world! :)

The first couple pictures are of Leo going to sleep and the other picture is of Leo without his oxygen on, look at his cute little nose!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Where's Leo?

Leo was in good spirits today as we put numerous hats on him and animals around him!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Leo is 3 Weeks Old

In the world of preemies we hear anything from Leo is 3 weeks old and Leo is 32 weeks, to Leo is -8 weeks old. Whatever you label it, he's been here for 3 weeks and would have been 32 weeks. However, he has to do truly amazing things for such a young being. He has to attempt to regulate his temperature, digest his food, go the bathroom, breath air, suck, and swallow all while saving enough calories to grow! Needless to say, he has to be a fighter to do all of these things that he wasn't intended to do this early in life. Fortunately, he does all of them very well. We are so proud of him! It's been a very good 3 weeks!

My mom and dad were visiting today. My dad hadn't seem him since right after he was born so it was fun to hear what he had to say about how different Leo looks! When Dave and I went to visit him this evening, we were all so comfy and tired that during Kangaroo care we all took a family nap! We only woke up because his feeding tube needed to be changed and the alarm started dinging! We look forward to more of these naps in the future. Especially when he's not attached to all of these alarms that go off frequently... :)

Here's a picture of his room. This is from when he was first in the NICU, he actually has a lot less equipment now.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Leo's 2 1/2 Pounds!

Actually, he's 2 lbs 9 oz! Woohoo...go Leo. I spent a large portion of my day with him! It was fun to snuggle and watch him.

We don't know who taught him, but the picture is of Leo practicing his "Thriller" or "Walk Like an Egyptian" moves in his sleep - we can't decide which one! :)

Monday, April 8, 2013

A Good Start to a New Week!

I made my first trip to the NICU alone today. It was really nice to have my mom around over the last couple of weeks to settle in and get back into the swing of things. I am moving around easily and my body is healing very nicely from the c-section. This afternoon, Leo and I bonded as we had some one-on-one time during kangaroo care. It's really neat to see how calm he gets when he is put on my chest. His heart rate lessens and he needs less oxygen. The doctor also came in while I was there and Leo's chest x-ray he got last night was okay. Nothing got worse, but there still remains some fluid in his lungs. But when the nurses and doctor listen to them they sound good. He'll get another x-ray in a couple of weeks. He's still doing a good job digesting his food, so they will add some protein fortifier to his feedings starting tonight. This will help him bulk up a bit! :) After Dave was done with work, we went back to visit Leo. Dave got to hold him and we helped with his cares. At the end of the night he was tucked in real tight in his favorite position, on his belly!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Spending Time With Our Little Man

Today we spent most of our day at the NICU with Leo. We got to hold him a lot and help out whenever we could. He is processing his food really well and now weighs in at 1080 grams (2 lbs 6 oz)! He's growing like crazy, and it's really fun to see him start to gain some weight and fill out a little bit. Tonight he's getting a chest x-ray to make sure his lungs are continuing to develop. The nurses say that his lungs sound really good, so we hope for only more good news. I know I've said this a couple of times already, but we feel truly blessed that Leo is such a strong lil guy and is doing so well! We love him very much :)

Here's a pic of Dave and Leo bonding over milk...Leo LOVES it and really enjoys practicing his sucking skills so he'll be ready for a bottle. He was wide eyed and loved looking at daddy!!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Spending Time With Leo

We spent all day in the NICU with Leo today! He is doing great. We got to snuggle with him a lot. I think we wore him out :) By the end of the evening the nurse had him all bundled up in his isolette and even made him his own body pillow. Needless to say, he fell asleep very quickly.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Little Leo Has Another Great Day

Leo had a good day. He's doing great and all the doctors and nurses are impressed with his progress. Being born so early, he has some apnea spells where his brain forgets to tell his body when to breath. He always corrects it on his own, but tonight he did it several times every time I was ready to leave. It's like he was saying - no mom and dad stay here! The nurses ensure us the apnea spells usually quit happening as the baby gets older and their brain becomes more developed. Until then, I've tried to get him to have these spell when we first get there rather then when we are about to leave :) The nurse dressed him up in his socks and hat before I got to hold him today. He looks like a little elf!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Leo Made His First Weight Milestone!

Today Leo weighed in at 1000 grams (2 lbs 4 oz)! Woohoo...time to celebrate. His goal is 2200 grams (4 lbs 4 oz), so we figure we'll celebrate every 500 grams. Leo also got his IV out today! He no longer needs to receive any nutrients or meds via an IV. He seems more awake in the evening. We even claim he's smiling at us in this picture!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Happy 2 Weeks Leo!

Leo had another great day! He got his isolette changed over to a new one. They change them every 14 days. This means that Leo is 2 weeks old (31 weeks). He has his milk fortified with extra calories so he can pack on the pounds. The doctor said he'll get his IV out tomorrow as he can get all his nutrients through milk now. We are so happy with how Leo is doing and love him more and more each day! It gets harder to say goodnight, but we know he's in good hands.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Moving up in the World of Preemies

Leo got a new "big boy" bed today. He was wiggling his way off the other one, so he got to move up! He also moved up to a new diaper size. They are huge on him, but the nurses ensure me he'll grow into them. Dave got to snuggle with Leo for the first time today. Leo spent about 45 minutes with him and loved every minute of it. I'd say Leo had a very good but busy day!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Leo Loves to be Comfy

Leo is doing great! He gets at least an hour of snuggle time a day. Since feeding is going well, he should be able to get rid of his supplements that are given through an IV soon, which would be one less cord! Whenever we go see Leo it's always a mystery how we will see him sleeping. He's definitely a mover. The picture shows how he greeted us this evening. The blanket on top was just around his legs until he wiggled his way down. He does look comfy!