Saturday, April 27, 2013

New Adventures in Parenthood

We've made it through the first couple of days having Madeline home and I'm happy to report that neither of us are exhausted and Maddy has been a treat. She's been very quiet and sleeping most of the time which was exactly what we expected. She wakes up every 2-3 hours wanting to eat and after that's all done, she usually falls right back asleep. Based on the results from her last few tests, she showed the doctors that she isn't having any trouble breathing or with her heart so I'm resting easy and not too worried about her having any episodes. That and Kristen is watching her like a hawk! She passed her hearing test and the eye doctor said that her ROP is going down so we'll only need to see him every 2 weeks now.

Because we were so focused on getting her home, I hadn't taken any turns feeding her so that changed yesterday. I'm surprised to say that it's really not too difficult at this stage and Maddy and I do just fine, allowing Kristen much needed sleep. It's been amazing to finally be home and not spend every afternoon in the NICU and I'm so happy that battle is over. Baxter has been hilarious trying to figure what in the world has happened in his house. He'll creep up to her and the second she sniffles or moves, he runs away, tail between his legs. At night, he'll watch over her bed super curious and then give up and slump away. 

Here's some more pictures of Madeline at home:


Thursday, April 25, 2013

Home, Sweet Home

About an hour ago, Madeline was discharged from the hospital and is now home, sweet home! She passed all of the remaining tests with flying colors and she does not need an apnea monitor. She still has to get her eyes checked out again tomorrow but aside from the regular pediatrician's visit on Monday, we're pretty much all clear. Her stay ended up being 1 month and 30 days (it wasn't technically 2 months when I posted that on Tuesday) and she's home a full month ahead of schedule.

Here's some of the pictures from our glorious afternoon:

Few More Tests to Go

We're still waiting to hear word about a few more tests before we find out the day Maddy comes home.

I'll post something a bit more detailed later today so here's a cute one of her taking her hearing test.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Waiting Game

The waiting game continues as we're waiting for word from the doctor that she's ready to order the pneumogram. She is continuing to pass her feeding tests so it's up to them if they feel like she's ready to come home. I'm going to refrain from guessing what day its going to be as I've been wrong so many times before, it'll be soon enough and this will be a distant memory.

We got some of my favorite pictures to date yesterday so here you go:

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Happy 2 Month Birthday!

Madeline is two months old today and it's amazing going back through the pictures on how much she's changed in such a short amount of time. She really is getting closer to coming home and in talking with the doctors, they changed the parameters from 24-hours straight to 155 mLs over a 12 hour period. This effectively cut the requirement in half and as of this morning, she has passed this milestone. We'll hear from the doctors today what her next steps are and hopefully, that means an order for the pneumogram.

One of her nurses told us she was a really quiet baby yesterday and I about jumped out of my seat to knock on some wood. That said, I choose to think that if she's being quiet, it's because she's comfortable with her surroundings. Thinking happy thoughts and praying for a quick few days.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Or Not Just Yet

False alarm and serves me right for getting so excited. So the big news was that the nurses decided to pull her feeding tube early Sunday morning. This, as I've mentioned so many times before, triggers all of the discharge events. Unfortunately she had two night feeds where she didn't take enough milk and that means the tube had to go back in. Most likely is that we've got a couple extra days but it's not the end of the world.

It was really great to see her without any tubes at all (first time since her birth) and here's to Maddy staying strong and coming home at some point soon!

Coming Soon

Big news coming later today! Here's a sneak preview.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Super Saturday

How's Madeline doing? Yup, you guessed it. She had another quiet restful day where she slept and ate most  but not all of her feedings. She was a little feistier than usual as we didn't have her swaddled up as much and she was kicking and throwing her arms up quite a bit. We did end up with a ton of good pictures (and video) so I'll let them do the talking for me!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

One Day Closer

Madeline is still working through her feeds and is almost there. She's making it through about 3 feeds in a row and then tuckers out so hopefully, we're still a few days away. Otherwise, she's doing very well as usual. Her eye exam yesterday went OK and she still has mild ROP but it hasn't progressed so she'll have another check up in a week.

Kristen and I learned infant CPR (and how to stop choking) yesterday and lucked into a private class so we breezed through it quickly. It was actually much simpler than I expected and I'm glad we spent the time on it.

Fingers crossed and praying for her to go 24 hours full feeds!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Trying to Break Out

Madeline is continuing to do well and both Kristen and I think that today will be a huge day to determine whether she gets to come home early next week or not. She's very very close to finishing all of her feedings each time but not quite there just yet. She's also got another eye exam today so fun times for our baby girl!

She was wide awake for us yesterday so I took a quick video again:

Thursday, April 18, 2013

About To Spring Loose!

Madeline continues to do well and the doctors have started the conversation about when she can finally come home. Based on her condition, the best case scenario is that she could be home on MONDAY! As I mentioned yesterday, hurdle one is to complete 24 hours of feeding from the bottle which triggers the tube to come out. After the tube is out, she will have a pneumogram test which is to detect if she is having any breathing issues. This test is much more precise than the monitors she's had since birth and will determine whether she needs an apnea monitor at home as well as one last check to make sure she's good to go. After that, the next journey for our family begins!

All of this is completely up to Madeline and she'll be the one telling us she's ready. Hopefully in the next few days, she'll decide she wants out like when she was done with the isolette and get to meet her new best friend Baxter and experiencing outside for the first time.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Big smile!

Madeline had another quiet day yesterday and I'm so grateful that's been the intro sentence for so long. After watching another family's baby struggling yesterday, I was reminded just how lucky we have been. She continues to keep getting better with her feedings. Last night, she finished 2 full bottles and 30 out of 40 mLs for the other two. As I'm sure you can tell, both Kristen and I are getting more and more excited to bring her home and the next big step is for feeding tube to be removed. She'll need to take all of her feedings for 24 hours and then it will come out. After that, it's up to the doctors and us to come up with the right day for her discharge and home she comes.

She was snoozy for most of my time with her yesterday as usual but I have noticed something that cracks both of us up. This is definitely not news for any parent but as her body is digesting, gas forms and it's not very comfortable at all. What cracks us up is that right after she finally lets it out (not an easy process for her right now), she gets the biggest smile on her face. I don't know if it's relief or pride but boy is she a happy child!

Here's a good picture Kristen snagged yesterday:

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Short and sweet today

Madeline had another good day yesterday as she progresses with her feeding. She is up to 40 mLs every three hours and her energy level dictates the amount she takes by bottle or Kristen. She was very active when I came into the NICU yesterday and it's always a treat to see her in that state. She's very curious about her surroundings and is always kicking out with her arms and/or legs. She was active for about 30 minutes yesterday which seemed like the longest we'd seen from her yet. Another great sign for certain as we get closer and closer. Short and sweet today!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Closer and closer

Madeline had a great day yesterday as she is really starting to figure out how to feed. She took 2 full bottles in a row (in separate feedings) and also was great with Kristen. The doctors explained to us that it's very common for all babies to struggle to figure it out but once they do, the battle is over. I'm very hopeful that's the case and we're through another hurdle. The next few days will be very telling and exciting!

She was very snoozy for us once again yesterday as she's wearing herself out correctly with her feeding and then napping afterward. It feels like we're getting very very close to bringing her home and shout out to Grandpa Esch for helping get the house ready for her this weekend.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Lazy Saturday

Madeline had a quiet day again yesterday as she continues on her journey home. She got to spend time with both grandparents and promptly snoozed in perfect comfort through both visits. Given how my visitation schedule, I actually hadn't had to pick up Madeline from her crib yet (because Kristen always did it) so that was a big step for me. You'd think it wouldn't be that difficult but given all of the crap I have to wear (and doesn't fit because I'm a large human) plus my own clumsiness, not so simple. Thankfully, the nurse had her perfectly swaddled making it much easier than it had been in previous, failed attempts. So when the time finally came and I didn't have the Kristen support net, I did actually manage OK and didn't need the nurse. Score one for Dad!

Here's some action shots from the past few days: