Friday, February 1, 2013

Baby it's Cold Outside

Holy cow! 6 degrees when I left Creve Coeur this morning. Thank goodness I get on I-64 within about 2 minutes of leaving the RMH because it would've taken a half hour to warm up the truck driving 30 mph!  I have always loved driving, especially in the morning, with a cup of coffee as my co-passenger! Even when I lived in Florida, the 30 minute drive every morning from Venice to Brookside Middle School was kind of pleasant. Now, I wouldn't like driving (more like sitting) in heavy traffic every morning, but if the vehicle is moving, I like driving! The mornings here in St. Louis are even better. When I leave the house about 5:30, not only do I have my good friend "Joe" with me, but I am going to see my son! It is like it's my birthday every morning! Every mile marker that flies by me, every car I pass (I let some pass me just so I'm not the fastest one out there...), the anticipation builds. When we were little, anytime my parents would take us to St. Louis, we would always have a competition to see who could spot the St. Louis Arch first. Well, on my morning drives, the Arch has turned in to the Barnes-Jewish complex and blue Children's Hospital sign! Every time I come around the corner and out from under the overpass, it pops up on my left hand side like a spotlight, leading me "home!"

This morning, it was pure joy again! Hayden pooped 4 times yesterday and is still tolerating his feeds! His TPN (total parenteral nutrition) was removed yesterday afternoon because he is getting enough nutrients from Kelsea (via NG tube right now). He is now just getting sugar water I believe in addition to his breast milk. Surgery came by about 20 minutes ago and they are going to increase his feeds more rapidly starting today. Instead of increasing every 12 hours, they are now going to go up 1ml every 8 hours! That is awesome news because it means he is getting closer to his goal of daily feeds. Right now, according to his weight, that is about 21 ml/hr. However, as his weight increases, he will need more calories, so that could change in the next couple of days. Speaking of his weight, he was up another 20 grams at last night's "weigh-in!" He now weighs a little over 2690 grams, which translates into about 5 lbs and 15 oz! We are inching closer and closer to that birth weight!

Ok, more about his feeding. Once he hits his goal of ml/hr, they will then do what they call Bolus feeding and start working their way backwards, kind of. It is intermittent feeding (on a side note, I love hearing about 15 surgeons and neonatologists talk outside our room after the surgeons did their rounds, filling in the rest of the team.... "Mr. Hoskins is doing great. He is tolerating his feeds. He is awesome. Yadda, yadda, yadda!") that more resembles actual eating at certain time periods. Once they reach the 21+ml/hr, they will then start chunking it into certain feeding times. The goal then is for him to become hungrier in between feeds and hopefully start breast feeding more and/or taking some by bottle.

It is amazing and evident that prayers have been working. We can't even begin to thank you enough for everything that everyone has done for us. It is humbling. It is amazing. It is reaffirming. It is the power of faith and God!

I thought about this last night while reading an e-mail from my mom. If anybody knows my mom...and know that neither of us like to sit still. Her more so than me! We are both early risers (which by the way, a nurse just walked by and asked me when I sleep!), and even though she can accomplish more in a 24 hour time period, neither of us can sit still long. I attribute it to my self-diagnosed ADD! In my classroom, I think I might walk 5+ miles a day because I am continuously walking around the room. Anyways.... she mentioned in her e-mail about how she was praising God because he has allowed her to be calm and patient when she is in the NICU. This was one concern I had talked about with Kelsea a couple of months ago because I was afraid that the days would drag on and on and on while sitting here. I thought I would go stir crazy and that I wouldn't be able to sit here hours on end. However, I also have to thank God because just the opposite has happened. Believe it or not, the days actually fly by and I tell Kelsea many days that I feel like I didn't have enough time to get everything accomplished. I can sit in this chair, that I complained about to many, many people beforehand because I thought it would be horrible, for 8 hours straight, get up and go to the bathroom, and then do it again. I stare at Hayden without blinking an eye. I can stand over his crib and let him squeeze my finger or hold his pacifier without getting tired. I can't hold him that long because, well...for those of you that know take my body heat, plus that same quality that he inherited from his father (the nurses call him their "little hotbox"!) and those two don't mix well after about 15 minutes!!!

With all of these things that are happening before us, it is hard not to praise God's mercy and his plan for everything that He has done and put in place for us.

I am waiting on the Neonatology rounds and then Kelsea has her follow-up appointment at 8:30. It's a good thing the whole "compound" down here is connected via covered walkways or I might have had to hold him right before we left for the appointment, it's cold outside!

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