Tiny hand

Tiny hand
November 20, 2010 (one day old)

Lilypie Premature Baby tickers

Lilypie Premature Baby tickers

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

No more oxygen! (And other good news...)

It's official!  We got the word today from Dr. Rosenberg that Cayden passed the last overnight room air challenge we did a couple weekends ago, so he can officially go without oxygen all the time.  We'll keep the big ol' tank around for another month, just in case he gets sick and we need it temporarily, but otherwise, we'll be kissing it goodbye.

On August 28th, he was six months adjusted age, so that's another big achievement.  He's pretty much on track developmentally for his adjusted age.  He's rolling back and forth from tummy to back and back to tummy, holding his head up and looking around and reaching for toys while on his tummy, passing objects back and forth from hand to hand, and his trunk control is coming along.  One thing he's not doing is holding his own bottle, but I don't think it's because he can't, I think he's just spoiled!  But that's one big goal Amy Jo, our occupational therapist, has set for him, and we're working on it. 

In other news, I am done pumping.  My milk never came back after I stopped taking the course of oral steroids for my hearing loss, so I reluctantly conceded and took the pump back two weekends ago.  I cried half the drive home!  It's hard to explain to anyone who hasn't been there, but letting that go was so difficult for me. While I am thrilled to be getting some sleep again and love having those extra four or five hours in my day that I committed to pumping these last couple months (it was more like 7 or 8 hours a day during the first six months of this journey!), knowing that Cayden now has a limited supply of frozen breast milk to nourish and protect him makes me sad and scared.  We have maybe a month or two, tops, of milk in the freezer, so he'll have a good ten or eleven months of being fed breast milk, but I was hoping he'd be able to have it for at least a year, if not a year adjusted age (which would be 15 1/2 months).  I know lots of babies do just fine on formula, but he's not just any baby, and I feel like it's the antibodies he's gotten from my milk that have helped him do so well up until now.  Everyone tells me I did an amazing job and that I kept it up for so much longer than anyone would expect, and while that makes me proud, it also makes me feel like I shouldn't quit now.  But in my head, I know it's not worth the time and I hope and pray he'll continue to thrive.

Besides, he's learning to love solid foods more and more, and before long, he'll be eating steak dinners!  For now, he's quite happy with peaches, bananas, and sweet potatoes.  Tomorrow, we're going to try green beans (which was Jamison's first solid food and continues to be one of his favorite things.)  Also on the menu horizon are apples, peas, carrots, and pears.  Mmmmmm!

Friday, August 12, 2011

9 month check up

Wow.  It gets longer and longer between updates here, but I think that's a good thing!  There hasn't been much in the way of preemie news to report, and I think we're finally starting to blend onto the path where "normal" baby developments are the only new and exciting things to report!

We took Cayden to his 9 month well child exam yesterday.  He was just hamming it up and seemed so happy to see Dr. Rosenberg, smiling and kicking the whole time.  His weight was 14 lbs. 15.9 oz.  If that's not close enough to call 15 pounds, I don't know what is!  The respiratory therapist had a hard time getting a good pulse-ox reading on him because he was wiggling his toes so much.  It was kind of cute.  The doc was happy with his progress and we don't have any concerns for now, so he got a clean bill of health with orders to come back in two months for another weight check.  No shots this time, so we all slept good last night!

We're going to do one more overnight room air challenge late next week just to see how the readings come out, but Cayden hasn't been on oxygen at all during the day for several weeks, and only occasionally at night.  We were supposed to keep him on at night until the appointment yesterday, but he either pulls it off on his own while he's sleeping, or he wakes up with the cord wrapped around him three times and we get scared he's going to choke himself, so we stop putting it on for a couple days.  He did have a bit of a minor cold or something the past two weeks, so we tried to keep him on it at night, but it was kind of hit and miss.  He is always rolling over to sleep on his tummy - "scrunch butt", as we call it - and he just does not like that thing in his nose anymore!

I think he's finally gotten over his tongue-thrust reflex and figured out that eating food off a spoon is fun.  He's been really excited to eat his oatmeal cereal once a day, and I'm going to start introducing new foods very soon (as soon as I can get to the store to buy the fresh, organic fruits and veggies I want so I can cut, steam, puree, and freeze them up for him.)  Given how much he's been digging cereal, I think he's going to enjoy eating more solid foods.

A couple weekends ago, we went to the University of Colorado NICU's Preemie Picnic.  It was a grand 1950's-themed affair with a train ride, jumping castle, slides, a DJ, face painting, BBQ, cotton candy, snow cones, root beer floats, hula hoop and bubble-gum blowing contests.  The best part was getting to see some of our favorite nurses again and to show them how well Cayden is doing.  Here are a few pictures . . .

With Nurse Megan

And Nurse Carrie

And Nurse Kathy