Friday, December 31, 2010

Days fifteen & sixteen: Gammy visits.

My mom came down yesterday, stayed the night, and left again today. She got to spend some time with a very cranky Elliot yesterday. His tummy was hurting him really badly and nothing we did helped. He spent most of the time we were there screaming.
But today was a different story. They turned off the suction on his repogle tube and with the help of a suppository, Elliot POOPED! I've never been so happy to see poop in my life! His nurse said that hopefully he'll poop again today and then maybe we can start feeds tomorrow! Elliot was very content today... he really enjoyed his bouncy seat and being snuggled by Gammy, Aaron, and I.

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Elliot looking TINY in his froggy bouncer

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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Day Fourteen: "long term?"

Elliot graduated into an open-air crib today, complete with a little aquarium soother. He loves to listen to the music and watch the lights. This is great- it means he can control his own body temperature- but I distinctly remember being told during my NICU tour that the open-air cribs with the toys were reserved for the babies who were in the NICU for a long time.
Our nurse told us today that Elliot is now a "long-term patient." He just isn't progressing as quickly as they thought he would and the other gastroschisis babies who are half his size are doing better than he is at this point. Nothing much has changed- but that's the problem. We're not really making any progress! They were really making me think that we would be able to go home as a family BEFORE Aaron has to go back to Korea... but now I'm not so sure.
There was a lot of blood being sucked out of his tummy into his repogle tube today. They changed his tube (and repositioned it a million times) and decided to put him on zantac. Hopefully that will help soothe and protect his little tummy.
We put a onesie on him today and swaddled him in his own blanket for the first time. The onesie is size newborn and too big- but it makes it even cuter! He's so scrawny.
Come on, Elliot! We need you to POOP so we can start feeding you and you can start on the road to coming home!

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Elliot's first onesie.

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Nom nom nom.

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Mom, would you get that camera out of my face already?

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Elliot's new big boy bed.

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Zonked.

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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Day Thirteen: Elliot meets his uncles

Today was a busy day!
My dad, stepmom, and three little brothers came down to visit. We did our big Christmas exchange first, and then we went to see Elliot. He was wide awake when we got there, and very angry. Once we got him out of the isolette and held him, he calmed down, but it took awhile. His belly has really been hurting him lately. We're still waiting for him to poop so we can start feedings.
BUT when we got there he was wearing a SHIRT! So today was the very first day that Elliot wore clothes- when he was almost two weeks old :). They told us we could bring in onesies and button-down sleepers for him to wear so of course we ended up picking up a bunch of new ones today at BabiesRUs with some of our {many} gift cards.
It was the first time my stepmom or little brothers got to meet Elliot, and it was great to see their reactions. Elliot was so happy being held and getting so much attention that he fought sleep for over TWO hours! That's the longest he's ever been awake when we were at the NICU! He crashed right before we left, though... and then we spent the rest of the day shopping {and finding creative places/ways to pump along the way...}.
Overall, it was a GREAT day but we are exhausted!.

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Elliot wearing a SHIRT!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Day Eleven.

Elliot was great today! He weighed 6 lbs 1 oz today, which is almost back up to his birth weight. He spent most of the time asleep... so content and peaceful. The noises and faces he makes while he's sleeping are adorable!
We got to hold him for a long time... once he eventually woke up. The nurse {understandably} didn't want us to wake him up, so we had to wait forever for him to wake up on his own. Let me tell you, that kid knows how to sleep! He sleeps right through all the noise in the NICU. He definitely didn't get that from me. I'm an extremely light sleeper, but Aaron could sleep through anything.
He should be able to start feedings, kangaroo care, and wearing clothes by the end of this week :) I can't wait. I think he'll be one happy little guy!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Day Ten: Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!
We received the best Christmas present ever today- we were finally able to hold Elliot! He slept through the whole thing, but there's no better feeling than holding your son in your arms for the first time. Especially after waiting ten days to do so!
When we got to the NICU and uncovered Elliot's isolette, he was wide awake and looking quite pleased with himself. It took me a minute to figure out what was different. But then it hit me- he managed to pull out his replogle tube {the one that goes in his mouth and down his throat to suck out his stomach}. The nurse was nice enough to leave it out for a few pictures before putting it back in.

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Friday, December 24, 2010

Day Nine.

First of all, Merry Christmas Eve! It's so strange being so far from home and in the hospital all day on Christmas Eve. It honestly doesn't feel like the holidays at all- which makes me sad because this is my absolute favorite time of year. Elliot's isolette is decked out with Christmas quilts/blankets, though. I'll have to snap a picture tomorrow.
Elliot is doing pretty well today. He came off the ventilator at 8am and literally slept ALL DAY. He's basically in a drug induced coma but at least he's comfortable. I'm hoping they'll start weaning him off the drugs soon and he'll be more awake tomorrow.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Day Eight: SURGERY!

Today was an extremely long, emotional day. We were at the hospital for almost eight hours. Elliot went back for surgery at about 12:30pm, and I cried like a baby as I watched them wheel him away. It is so hard to say goodbye to your brand new, five pound baby boy before he leaves for surgery. His surgery lasted until about 3:00pm. Once they had him all settled back into his isolette, we were allowed to see him. To my surprise he was AWAKE and just laying there helplessly with his mouth hanging open, with his eyes barely open. I wasn't prepared to see him like that. So of course, I started crying again.
While he was still sleepy/drugged, they went ahead and gave him a new PICC line (30 centimeters long!) in his leg because the one in his head didn't go far enough into his chest. This means he should be able to wear his hats soon! And that also means he has less cords to pull on, which is good.
All is well now- he is still on the ventilator, morphine, and tylenol... but they are hoping to extubate him tomorrow. He's sleeping peacefully now which makes me happy.

Some Pre-Surgery pictures (because the post-op ones still make me cringe):

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Daddy holding Elliot before he was prepped for surgery.

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Elliot swaddled for the FIRST TIME EVER- he loved it!

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Moving into the transport isolette.

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Doing what he does best- yanking at his tubes.

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Just looking around at his new surroundings.

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Right before they wheeled him away.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Day Seven.

First of all, Elliot's surgery is tomorrow! So since he's probably going to be swollen and on the ventilator for Christmas, our nurse let us put a Christmas hat on him and take down his silo for a few Christmas pictures.

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Please keep Elliot in your thoughts and prayers tomorrow. Hopefully all will go well- I'll update tomorrow night to let you know how he's doing. I'm NERVOUS and not looking forward to seeing my little man on the ventilator and in pain.
In other news, we met another couple with a gastroschisis baby last night. Their son Andy is eleven days old and had his first surgery a few days ago. They said he's doing well but to be prepared for a rough few days after the surgery. Our nursery also got flooded with new babies and one of them is also a gastroschisis baby. It makes me wonder how many more there are in the seven other NICU nurseries?

Here's one last cute picture from today.
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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Day Six.

Today was an eventful day for little Elliot. When we first got to the NICU, he was sound asleep and no matter what we did, we couldn't get him to wake up. The nurse let us put the top on his isolette up for awhile, so it was our first chance to kiss his little nose and get up close to him. It was wonderful!
Right before we were planning to leave to go grocery shopping, though, Aaron changed his diaper and he started freaking out. Nothing we did (wrapping him up like a mummy, giving him his pacifier, "rocking" him, or even the sweeties drops that he loves so much) would calm him down. We soon found out why, though- when he spit up a massive amount of bright green bile. The tube in his mouth is supposed to suck all of that yuckiness out of his belly, but Elliot had managed to pull the tube out a little so it wasn't working anymore. Once the nurse repositioned the tube and sucked out several ounces, he was wide eyed and content for awhile before falling back asleep again.
His surgery has been moved to Thursday or Friday, most likely. Since almost all of his bowel is back into his belly, Elliot is starting to swell up and is pretty uncomfortable most of the time. He has the STRONGEST suck reflex ever and is recognizing when he is hungry, but since he can't eat yet he gets pretty frustrated. I think he'll be really happy when he heals up from his surgery and is finally ready to start eating!
We're heading back to the NICU in an hour or so for a parents meeting/dinner and then to spend a little more time with Elliot before heading back for the night. I'm hoping to meet some other NICU parents at the meeting. And tonight could be interesting because I'm going to try to go six hours without pumping- the lactation consultant told me that as long as I'm pumping every 2 hours throughout the day, I should be able to last for six-hour stretch of sleep at night. This would be GREAT because I feel like a slave to the pump and getting up every two hours all night long gets old really fast. I'm not sure how I'll be able to do it without exploding, though. The nurse said to just wait until my boobs wake me up. We'll see how it goes!
And here are the new pictures from today:

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Kisses from Daddy.

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Monday, December 20, 2010

Pictures!

As promised, here are some new pictures :)

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