Sunday, March 9, 2008

Sunday Night

As of Sunday night at 10:30 EDST, Mikan is showing signs of an upswing. He was taken off of the jaundice light this afternoon. His blood pressure has increased to be within a normal range. His ventilator has been turned down to 30 breathes per minute. He is keeping his oxygen levels at ideal levels while breathing regular 21% oxygenated air. His salt levels are down to near normal levels. It appears as though he has began to increase his weight. Each Sunday night he has his length measured and the girth/circumference of his head measured. Tonight his weight was around 780 grams (1 lb 11.5 oz), which is up from last night's approximately 700 gram (1 lb 8.7 oz) measurement. His length is 13.5 inches.

The current worries are the following...
-He may need medication or surgery on his heart for a PDA issue. This is an underdeveloped artery in the heart. However, the increase in blood pressure is a good sign on this front. If he has to have the medication, it has side effects for his kidneys. The surgery would be a fairly common occurrence for such young babies.
-His salt levels had been elevated for what seemed like a long period of time. His kidneys still need to develop a little.
-Whenever we hold Mikan kangaroo style he struggles in the transition back to the isolette (human word for the common chicken word incubator). During the transition, he is off the ventilator for a small period of time. His heart rate and respirator rate dips quickly and then resumes to normal.
-Overall, the kid is pretty sensitive. Not emotionally, but physically. He'll work on that.

"I am here because I have a .....bah dah ummmm ahhhh... son in the NICU." I struggled to vocalize the situation I was in. I had to tell the security person why I wanted into the hospital around 10 pm last night. I suppose every first time parent feels the reality of the situation at varying levels at varying times. However, things have happened so quickly and so unexpectedly that Jenna and I are beginning to understand the reality of the situation in small pieces in different ways. For example, last night we set the alarm for 4 am so that Jenna could keep her supply coming. About a month ago, I had visions of waking to a crying child and then helping with feedings. I would rather wake to a cry than an alarm, but it is what it is.

My parents visited today and had lunch. We were able to talk and eat Barnaby's pizza in some piece and quiet in the Family Lounge. Jenna and I continue to live in places based on hospital availability. The last couple of nights we have been fortunate to be staying in one of the two NICU parent rooms.

Jenna is reading Greek Gods, Heros, and Monsters next to his isolette this evening. We're pretty sure he understood every word based on the following vignette:
"Mikan, what is special about the monsters named Cyclops?"
Then Mikan slowly lifted one hand to cover one of his eyes.

Tonight our nurse was Mary, maiden name: Stump. She played basketball for my dad at Central Noble.

We are starting to dig in and are inspired by the support we are continuing to receive through thoughts, prayers, food, and other assistance.


Chrystal said...

Hi!! I've been keeping track of Mikan's progress and wanted you to know that Ashley had to take all three doses of the antibiotic for the heart condition before it worked. Luckily, we were able to avoid going through the heart surgery, but there was another baby that came through it just fine. It sounds like Mikan is making good progress. The Kangaroo Care is new since I was there. I'm sure it is more satisfying than holding him through a million blankets. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all. Remember, sometimes the greatest gifts come in the smallest packages.

Aunt Deb said...

Dear Jenna and John
Just heard about your new arrival, congratulations to all of you. I worked in a NICU in Virginia and they can be very intimidating. You are probably very stressed and exhausted right now. It sounds like you are being kept very well informed by the staff. My thoughts and prayers are with all three of you.