Saturday, November 26, 2011

Days 25-29

Day 25: November 22, 2011- Today, Walker is still going digesting on and off again 6 cc. I think it's because you are full and 6 cc every 3 hours is too much for you. But for some reason at night you LOVE your food! The doctors keep telling us, "We really need to get him off the vent". In which, we silently say in our head, "No shit". But there isn't anything that we can do for you, YOU have to be ready. So that comment has become old and irritating. One more time and Mommy just might blow! Last night we started telling you sweetly, "You've had your break, now show these doctors and nurses what you can do. No more breaks, only hard work". We'll see how that goes. Dr. Bedi has stopped your feedings for 24 hours to let your belly rest. We think it's because he has an idea of some sort.I forgot to mention that you are maintaining your own body heat now and you are not being monitored anymore. No more shiny bears or ducks on your tummy or back! We were at Target last night and Mommy had an itch to buy you something sweet. I found 2 little outfits and one of those Aunt Nancy's friend already bought you so I bought the other. Who knew stores were prejudice to preemies! Mommy will find you some more cute outfits, don't you worry!
Someone is trying to break free from his breathing tube so they had to tape him up!

When we talk to him, he hunches his back and raises his booty in the air. I tried to get it but he only did it a little this time.
Pumping is a game for me.

I'm running out of freezer space.
Walker's clothes in relation to a spatula! He's almost as big as this.

Day 26: November 23, 2011- Big boy left his Nurse Alice (LOVE HER!) a BIG surprise this morning! A big poopy diaper! Walker is very comfortable at his setting of 25 on the vent. Tonight we had the meeting with Dr. Bedi. What a nice guy. He explained three different treatments with surgery being the treatment. Right now he has you doing Lasix two times a day for three days to try to dry out Walker's lungs. By Sunday we will know if he will be transferring to Clear Lake for surgery. Prayers that it works!
Our little bird LOVES this position.

Day 27: November 24, 2011- Happy Turkey Day to my Little Turkey Bird! I came to see you this afternoon and you were not in a very good mood. Desating and over-sating when the nurses touch you. Some days you do NOT like being touched. We went back tonight to see you and you are still being very sensitive. Mommy tried to read you a Thanksgiving story, both in the afternoon and tonight, and you were NOT having it. They lowered your BPM to 10. Let's see how you like that. When they flip flop you on and off feedings you have a hard time getting use to the food. You were off and started back tonight; you aren't enjoying it. That's okay Little Bird, that's okay.
He's so funny! He always has his hand under his chin like this.

I sent this to R and said "Peek a Boo Daddy!"

Day 28: November 25, 2011- Happy 4 Week Birthday, Walker! You are currently weighing in at 2 pounds 10 ounces and 13.8 inches long! You go big boy! Your vent setting is still at 10, going on about 12+ hours. Dr. Bedi says it's time. NNP Dana will be extubating you in the morning. Tonight, Dana let Mommy hold you! Such a beautiful night for Mommy and Daddy. Dana has been my favorite since day 1 and I was so happy to share that moment with her and Nurse Siby and Daddy of course! Last week, Mommy and Daddy did some bargaining with you, God and all the angels that watch over you when we aren't there. We said that if you worked really, really hard that Mommy would get to hold you close and we could snuggle and I would kiss all over you. Even Daddy would kiss all over you too. All before Thanksgiving. And low and behold, a day after, Mommy got to hold you close and we snuggled and Mommy and Daddy kissed all over you. Daddy kissed your sweet baby fingers and said, "God, I've been dying to do that!". I think right then and there in those moments with you, we both melted.
Right after being placed in my arms.

Where my bottom hand ends, is how long Walker is.

My Little Bird fits perfectly.

Day 29: November 26, 2011-Big Boy is trying out the CPAP again. They are still assisting with a few breaths and will ween him off of that. NNP Dana asked us last night to bring a camera up to take pictures of his face when everything was off. When Walker self-extubated there wasn't enough time or a camera and NNP Dana said he had the cutest little face and made everyone come over to look. So this time we were prepared. Such a great idea Dana! She took some great photos! Walker is up to 7 cc on his feedings.

Angry bird!


Mr. Cool Guy!

NNP Dana closing my mouth so Mommy and Daddy could see what my face looks like without all the stuff!

Chipmunk cheeks!
Our first family photo!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Days 20-24

Day 20: November 17, 2011- Today is World Prematurity Awareness Day and we are SO very thankful for our little bird!Walker's PDA is back, well it's always been there. It's still moderate though. Mommy and Daddy had to make a decision and by the end of the night, Mommy was a mess. I know in my heart that it is the right decision but then the second guesses started filling my mind. Thank God for R because he held me and said, "Someone made you come up with that answer. You can't second guess that.".

Looking around the NICU, you are just filled with this feeling that can't be describe. You see babies that come in that are the same age, lower weight and they progress faster. I look at Walker and tell him he'll be there before he knows it. And then it seems like another set back comes up. Everyone has their breaking points and last night I had one. I'm so happy for the feeder-growers because this is only a minor set back for them. I'm jealous of them because they can open that plastic box and hold their baby whenever they want. It is SO VERY hard to only be able to touch your baby through these little arm holes and place your big hands on different little parts of his body. I'm ready to hold Walker and feel him close, have his natural smell on me and feel him move.

Today would have been my last four week appointment and we would have switched to every two weeks. I frequently mourn the loss of my pregnancy, it was amazing. As happy that I am that Walker is here, I wish more that he was still in inside, growing and developing like he should be. 

Day 21: November 18, 2011- Happy 3 Week Birthday Walker! Walker's ventilator settings have gone 40. Mommy knows there's a reason for God to make this little guy a fighter, but I wish he could have a little down time. I don't like hearing, "Well he's got things stacked against him. He's white and he's a boy.". How is that comforting? You have stopped taking to your feedings. 2cc have been taken out and put back in, I believe 3 times. The arterial line was removed because it wasn't working that well anymore. The arterial line is where they take Walker's blood instead of doing so many heel pricks.

My sweet are trying so hard and we are so proud. No one could ever love you more.
Look at my cheeks!

These were my pregnancy stickers.

Day 22: November 19, 2011- Well, someone is a BIG boy! Today Walker extubated himself with a swift, but very strong, head turn. He is now on a  CPAP that is providing a little extra help. We are trying this. It may work, it may not. That's okay. Walker will let us know what he wants. We didn't take any pictures of you and barely touched you so you could grow at your own rate with no stimulation from us. You are also up to 2cc on your feeds.

Day 23: November 20, 2011- Well, Walker went back on the vent this morning. Thankfully his BPM is 25 and steady. He was having a lot of A's & B's that were taking too long to get him back to where he needed to be. He was working too hard. Pedro, your respiratory therapist, said you were working so hard and now you are taking a break. Pedro is Mommy and Daddy's favorite. He's always uplifting, he's a preemie dad himself and understands what we are going through. Yesterday when Mommy was crying away from your bed, Pedro brought Daddy a box of tissues and said, "It's a hard day. It's a hard decision". No matter what, Pedro is so optimistic and happy all the time. We know you are in good hands when he is around. Today, we also learned that they have upped your feeds to 3cc every 3 hours. I think that's a little fast, but we're trying to put some weight on you.
"Daddy's here! WOOOO!"

Out like a light.

Walker crying..So sad..

Day 24: November 21, 2011- The same for Walker today. Vent settings are the same...BPM are at 25. We learned they've upped his feedings to 6 cc. Whoa! Trying to get this boy big FAST! Tonight Mommy and Daddy really began thinking about transferring you to a bigger hospital. Making decisions for you is very hard on our hearts. We think about them constantly and second guess if it's the right thing to do. We just want the very best for you. Mommy didn't take any pictures tonight. I could care less for your nurse and her face was annoying both Mommy and Daddy. Aunt Julie took this picture of you.
Hanging out in my incubator staring at the ceiling.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Days 15-19

Day 15: November 12, 2011- Walker's ventilator settings have been in the 20's. It's at the lowest it's been in a while. Everything is is stable. He weighed 880 grams which equals 1 pound and 15 ounces. Almost to the 2 pound mark. He really has started to change. We like to look at his first pictures compared to where he is now.
Somebody's got their pacifier!

Getting comfortable...

Love my paci! Legs up!

Taking a break with one eye open. He knew I was about to take it away.

Legs up!

Day 16: November 13, 2011- No changes for Walker today. His levels are still the same and still low on his ventilator. He's doing so well. Tonight our little man was having such a good time when we were there. Moving and showing us how wide he can open his eyes.
Little man likes his fingers, OH NO!

My little bird! Love him!

Day 17: November 14, 2011- I will NOT make a big deal out of this, but little man has ate and digested 1 cc of breast milk! We were there at 9 p.m. tonight when he had another cc and she checked his stomach for residual. We are SO proud! Walker was very alert tonight, looking at Mommy and Daddy and showing us his eyes BIG time! Every night I sing "You Are My Sunshine" to him. Tonight he was kicking his legs in the air, like he does when he's going to town with his paci, and waving his arms. I don't think he wanted me to stop. He is the most precious thing in this world to us! You keep doing what you are doing, Walker, you are doing so well!

The face he made when R told him that Matt Schaub was out for the rest of the season.

Day 18: November 15, 2011- Walker has been on feeds for 24 hours and no signs of residual! He was on a very low ventilator for 12 hours, the lowest setting before they extubate. Poor guy was tired and they brought it up. I'm not worried, I thought they were working my little bird too hard anyways! Walker is weighing 2 pounds and 1 ounce, 930 grams!! I was SO excited when I saw his weight on his card! The milk that he has gotten has really changed his body. He color is really starting to look good now that he has some fat deposits!

Day 19: November 16, 2011-Walker has to get another suppository. Poor guy. He hates them. Pushes them right back out. I forgot to get bottles from the hospital last night so I'm making a very early morning trip to sneak a peek and get more. I have an eye appointment that is keeping me away in the afternoon.Walker pooped before he was given the suppository, pooped after he got it and then pooped again while I was there! That big boy is doing just fine! They weighed him last night and he gained 2 ounces! 2 pounds and 3 ounces is the new weight! The decided today that since Walker's leak in his respirator tube was interfering with his breathing, they changed it to a larger one. We're hoping that this will help Walker learn what to do and be easier on his lungs.
Daddy telling me "Goodnight, sleep tight, don't let the bed bugs bite".

Monday, November 14, 2011

How the Mother's of Premature Babies are Chosen...

Did you ever wonder how the mothers of premature babies are chosen?

Somehow, I visualize God hovering over Earth, selecting his instruments for propagation with great care and deliberation.

As he observes, he instructs his angels to take notes in a giant ledger.

"Beth Armstrong, son. Patron Saint, Matthew. Marjorie Forrest, daughter. Patron Saint, Celia. Carrie Rutledge, twins. Patron Saint ... give her Gerard. He's used to profanity."

Finally, he passes a name to an angel and smiles. "Give her a preemie."

The angel is curious. "Why this one, God? She's so happy."

"Exactly," smiles God.

"Could I give a premature baby a mother who knows no laughter? That would be cruel."

"But does she have the patience?" asks the angel.

"I don't want her to have too much patience, or she'll drown in a sea of self-pity and despair. Once the shock and resentment wear off, she'll handle it. I watched her today. She has that sense of self and independence so rare and so necessary in a mother. You see, the child I'm going to give her has a world of its own. She has to make it live in her world, and that's not going to be easy."

"But Lord, I don't think she even believes in you."

God smiles. "No matter, I can fix that. This one is perfect. She has just the right amount of selfishness."

The angel gasps, "Selfishness?! Is that a virtue?"

God nods. "If she can't separate herself from the child occasionally, she will never survive. Yes, here is a woman whom I will bless with a child less than perfect.  She doesn't know it yet, but she is to be envied. She will never take for granted a spoken word. She will never consider a step ordinary. When her child says 'mama' for the first time, she will be witness to a miracle and know it.  I will permit her to see clearly the things I see ignorance, cruelty, prejudice and allow her to rise above them. She will never be alone.  I will be at her side every minute of every day of her life because she is doing my work as surely as she is here by my side."

"And what about her Patron Saint?" asks the angel, his pen poised in the air.

God smiles. "A mirror will suffice."

- I stole this from this blog 
It's amazing how many people have premature babies. A few days after having Walker, R and I were watching the news and at the bottom of the screen a news alert scrolled across the bottom: "Number of preterm births are decreasing". To which we looked at each other and huffed and laughed. People have come out of the woodwork and  shared their stories with us. 

A very gracious security guard at the hospital prayed for Walker and I before handing me my pass to get in, last week. She had said "Baby will be home soon". I thought she was asking a question and in which I responded, "Not for a while". She quickly struck me and said "Positive words make positive actions, watch what you say". That is what sparked the prayer. I probably can't remember exactly what she said in that prayer but I will never forget the graciousness that lady spilled onto me. She refilled my hope, brought a little pep to my step and lit my fire deeper inside to have a good day.

Walker is 17 days old today and I can't wait to see him.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Days 10-14

Day 10: November 7, 2011- Walker had a good day. His levels of oxygen and pressure were decreased. He's on antibiotics again because he tested positive for an infection. Infections are common in preemies. Poor babies have to endure so much. If you know a preemie or have one yourself, they are so strong. Walker should still be growing inside of me and yet he's out early and his body is responding to the outside world wonderfully. He's going to have set backs and bad days as we call them. We cautiously celebrate every good day or good results. Today Walker was put on his tummy. He looked so long and looks like a little man. Mommy thinks that she will have a blonde hair, blue eyed boy. Papa thinks Walker looks just like his Daddy. Daddy reassures Mommy that Walker has her thinking chin. Something you expecting mothers out there should know, babies cry in the womb. Walker cries. Not real tears yet but you can see it in his face and his eyes get red and misty. I can't wait to hold him and feel him next to me. Tonight Nurse Stacie suggested I leave my milk supply at home. Walker's milk supply has taken over the whole top shelf of the freezer in the NICU. They are running out of room. Mommy is trying her hardest and is pumping away at home.
He loves his tummy!

Here you can really see his hair

He's getting so big!

Day 11: November 8, 2011- What a day! Walker has required a very low pressure on his lungs. We are SO proud! He also started his feeds tonight. We are praying extra hard that his tiny little tummy handles the food properly and doesn't have complications. Our sweet guy is working so hard!
Don't I look just like my Daddy?

I'm growing!

R always sings Martina McBride's "With a Broken Wing" when he sees Walker with his little paddle. He's my little bird!

So full and so sleepy!

Day 12: November 9, 2011- Today has been a hard day for this worn out Momma. I do have to say that I like two out of the three neonatal nurse practitioners (NNP) more. Today I had the one that I don't like as much as the first two. She commented on Walker's lungs and how on the x-ray they looked bad. I had no idea. Everyone else hadn't said anything and to be honest, Walker's lungs should look bad. He's doing things that he shouldn't be doing yet. This NNP is a "tell it like it is" and some times I can't handle it. I was pretty upset and left. I cried all afternoon and then slept until the 4 o'clock pump session. The hardest part of this all is that R and I would do whatever we had to do, give whatever we had to give, to make this sweet angel all better. But we can't, that's not how it goes. Walker has to do this on his own and he is trying so hard. I don't get worried when he has his off days because when he's on, he is fighting like a soldier. Walker was taken off feeds this evening. The x-ray showed that the milk wasn't going anywhere so they will try again tomorrow. Whenever he is ready, we know he will take to them. This is Walker's time and when he is ready, he will do everything he is supposed to. Boy's been going strong for 13 days, he deserves a rest.
"No flash, Mommy!"

He looks like he has ski boots on! He's such a boy, look at his hand placement!

Day 13: November 10, 2011- Today I was really tired and spent most of the day sleeping. Well, sleeping in 2 hour increments. I went up to see Walker and he was sleeping and all the beeping going on around us was just too much for me, so I left. I made it to my car before I broke down. Some days it's harder than others to see your baby hooked up to these monitors. I've only held Walker for a minute, maybe, in the 14 days he's been here. I'm ready to snuggle my with my little bird and hold him close. Tonight, Walker's oxygen was down low. R and I think it is because he is getting adequate amounts of sleep that is on his own time. He's not on medicine to make him comfortable so he's sleeping like he would if he was still inside. No feeds today.
He had his little arms crossed.

Day 14: November 11, 2011- Happy 2 week Birthday, Walker! Seems like you have been here forever but it's only been a short while. We love you so much and always tell you, "When you're ready you will do what you want. We are on YOUR time". I love you little bird! Walker had a second head scan and there were no brain bleeds. Another success hurdle. No pictures tonight. He was so sleepy and I don't like to use my flash. Walker is working so hard. He's on low levels on the ventilator.Still off of feeds.