Thursday, May 1, 2008

More times at Foothills...

Well, once we started holding Sebastian, he did fairly well. It was no walk in the park, but it wasn't quite as scary as the code blue and stuff like that. We got into quite the routine. I would hold Sebastian in the morning, Jeremy would hold Sebastian at night. He spent 2-3 hours a day at least, lying on our chests listening to our heartbeats, mostly just sleeping. It was great, and it was one of the few things we could do, as parents, that would help him grow. 

Feeding became the next big hurdle and day by day, he was fed a few more mls of breastmilk from a feeding tube that went from his mouth down to his stomach. One of the problems with preemies is that the ability to suck/swallow/breath doesn't really develop until around 35 weeks, so it's not so easy to feed them, except through a feeding tube. 

On April 18th, we did not go to the hospital at all. We were feeling a tiny bit like a cold was coming on, and the last thing in the world I ever wanted to do was make Sebastian or any of the other babies sick. They have enough challenges without adding a cold to the mix (not to mention the complete lack of an immune system). 

At this point, Sebastian was off oxygen all together. Of course that was too good to be true and soon enough he was back on the nasal prongs. He had fluid in his lungs, so the oxygen helped, along with some new drug as well. Because we were not feeling 100% either, we didn't hold Sebastian, to help make sure he didn't catch anything. So, we got back to holding and things improved again. The settings kept having to be upped over the next few days and there was talking of putting Sebastian back on the ventilator. Normally he would have gone to CPAP, but again, because of the bowel perforation, that was not an option. 

On April 24th, Sebastian turned one month old, and this was also the day that Sebastian weighed over a kilogram for the first time. He was born weighing 830grams, and it took a month to get to 1000grams. That's what happens when you are so sick I suppose!! Oh well, it was a good milestone. Despite that however, Sebastian was still having really laboured breathing. They did another xray to try and find out why.  

In order to increase the feeds, Sebastian's pick line had to be removed otherwise the settings on your IV wouldn't be low enough. This was a major accomplishment. With every wire and machine that was removed, Sebastian become more and more like a real baby!!

Oh, and I don't know if I ever mentioned before about transfusions. Sebastian had several blood transfusions. Another issue for preemies is that they don't produce their own red blood cells so well. He had been under the bili lights for jaundice but also required the transfusions. The importance of producing blood cells is crucial as the red blood cells are what carries oxygen to the rest of the body, and since oxygen is so key to life, you need enough cells to keep the sats up etc. I think I remember seeing blood products from 9 or 12 different sources in his chart. That is a lot of blood, and for a little itty bitty baby even. So, never underestimate the importance of donating blood. Which reminds me, I should probably book an appointment again sometime here!!

Anyhow, as Sebastian continued to improve, our stay at Foothills NICU was coming to a close. Sebastian would soon be transferred to a Special Care Nursery. It was just a question of availability, and which day they would actually send us. But more on that later....

We only have one more week until the Mother's Day run. Again, the money that is raised goes to buy equipment for the NICU units, so please, if you can, donate, any amount is great, and anything $20 or more gets you a tax receipt. If you donate $100 or more, we'll make you a cheesecake of your choice. Here is the link to donate online or if you prefer you can give us cash or a cheque. 

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