Thursday, March 6, 2008

34 Hours

Mikan continues to be in the "honeymoon" phase. As of 7:10 pm Thursday evening, he is ventilator-free. However, he is reliant on oxygen (at a varying percentage anywhere from 30% to 60%). All the same tubes are attached to his body as before. He is in an incubator. Jenna was able to produce colostrum today that was fed to Mikan. Six hours after being fed the colostrum, it was no longer in his stomach. This is either because he digested it or because he spit it all up.

Normal for a 28 week baby, yet scary, Mikan will occasionally forget to breath. To try and help prevent this, he is being given caffeine, a stimulant, through his IV. Sometimes, this does not work. If I am holding him when this happens, I just have to shake his hand a little and then he starts breathing once again. If this starts happening more frequently, he may be placed on a ventilator. The reason this is happening is because at 28 weeks, his brain stem is not fully functional.

He is very small. He lost a little weight since yesterday. I got to change his diaper, take his temperature, and clean him off tonight. Jenna was able to hold him "kangaroo style" for about 45 minutes this evening. The nurses call it "kangaroo style" because of the skin to skin contact between the adult and baby. According to some research, "kangaroo style" holding helps the baby regulate heart rate, oxygen levels, and get in rhythm with mom. Jenna definitely feels a lot better being able to touch Mikan in a less obstructed manner. If I were to have named it, I would call it "Marsupial Style" or "Koala Bear Style." Kangaroos get too much of the marsupial attention. Remember Crocodile Dundee?

Jenna's parents visited today along with Alexa. Official regulations for visiting the NICU are the following...
-Jenna and I can go whenever we want, except for shift changes.
-Grandparents can go whenever they want, except for shift changes.
-Anyone over 12 years of age can go with Jenna or me whenever we want, except for shift changes.
-You must have had the chickenpox vaccine or had chickenpox (but not currently).
-Anyone sick or contagious is not allowed.
-Jenna, Grandparents, and I are the only ones allowed to touch Mikan.

Also, my mom found out that it is against the rules to walk around and look at other babies.

So, on the roller coaster we are still pretty high, yet reluctant. Babies typically put up a good fight early and then run low on energy and struggle a little bit. His feet resemble mine (very stumpy toes, but pretty wide). He is very active with his arms and legs. He likes to have someone's hand over his legs when he kicks. I think that he kicks just to see if there is any resistance.

We remain in constant thanks for the graces, prayers, thoughts, cards, and flowers we have received over the past weeks.

He sleeps with his arms up near his ear and his thumb and pointer finger touching while the middle, ring, and pinky fingers are extended. First blog comment that correctly names this position gets a prize!


Joseph J said...

I'd call that position the "Touchdown Jesus" position.

- Grandpa Kartje

Annette Morlan said...

Is it the Q-Tip?

Joseph J said...

Hands in the lotus position?

Marty A said...

It is amazing that Mikan can already communicate in sign language. Definitely a child prodigy. However, the finger positioning that you discribed isn't really appropriate for his first word. Although, it might be a comment to all the nurses and doctors for all the prodding and probing that they keep doing. I don't want to put the word in print incase you have young readers but I give Mikan points for being so descriptive at such a tender age.

Paul said...

is he giving the 'ok'?

Angela Saoud said...

I saw Mikan tonight, and I just want to let everyone know, he flipped off the nurse. Seriously. There are pictures. :)

Trisha said...

John and Jenna, Just a quick note from your North Carolina Gensics. We had no idea that your were having water retention issues, and now here you are with a blessed wee boy! I think Mikan said it all when he flashed the "OK" sign. We are thinking of you, and hoping and praying that Mikan gains weight and strength.

We'd visit, but you never know what kind of viruses those UNC players have....

Love, Aunt Trisha and Uncle George

cheriev said...

Greetings and congratulations from sunny Florida!! You guys have been in our prayers and we continue to pray and light those blessed candles for Mikan and hope God continues to provide you guys with lots of strength, love and support.

Now, the hand he lifting one leg up at the same time? Then it would definitely be the Karate Kid "Stork" position and he is going to kick someone in the face:) No leg lift, then he is getting his fingers ready to hold a tea cup properly and sip tea:(

Love Ya,
Aunt Cherie

Big Brother said...

You know, he has to get his hand below his waist before he's allowed to punch you for looking at it.

"The Q-Tip"?

Biggest FAN (favorite aunt Nikole said...

(making a three pointer sign)
He's practicing to be just like his dad.

"The Q-tip?"