March 16, 2012
Little Eddie seems to be doing well, according to the neonatologist, Dr. Heimes. Dr. Heimes has been seeing Little E for a couple of days now and we seem to really like him. He’s calm and seems to be genuinely concerned for the health of our baby.
E seems to be already making tons of progress. Today he weighs 2 pounds, 11 ½ ounces. He gained half an ounce! Yay! Dr. H says that this is an appropriate/healthy amount for him to gain in a day. His feedings started to increase last night; they will increase him by 2 ml every 12 hours. While we were there last night, they started the increase at 5 pm and he got a whopping 4 ml of milk.
Side note- I am so happy that they are giving him my milk. They are huge believers in giving the mom’s own milk as soon as possible. It helps coat the gut and stimulate digestion, as well as the obvious immunities that everyone already knows about. They feed it to him through a small tube that goes down his throat to his belly, called an OG (orogastric) tube.
Because Eddie has been doing so great on the 9 hours CPAP/ 3 hours nasal cannula (NC) trials, they decided that he could graduate to being on 6 hours of CPAP and 6 hours of NC, 2 times per day. His last chest x ray looked great, so they thought there is no reason for him to start weaning. The nurse and I spoke as well and we decided that they will put him on the NC from 2-8pm to accommodate us being there to hold him, etc while he is free from CPAP. They have been great about accommodating his cares to meet our needs as much as possible. Obviously bigger issues that require a routine, such as his feeding schedule, is not ever altered. As annoying as it is sometimes, it is really the best for him to stay on a very rigorous schedule.
His bilirubin came way down as well, down to 3.0. Although his previous 4.4 was still within normal limits, they had kept the phototherapy light on just to make sure he was going to continue on the downward slope. With it being 3.0 today, they went ahead and got rid of the light. No more sunglasses! His other labs were all looking great too, but they are still keeping an eye on his hemoglobin and hematocrit (Hgb/Hct). Currently his Hct is 29. They will start considering transfusion at somewhere between 24 and 28, depending on his symptoms. With him being as young as he is, his body has not yet learned to produce red blood cells at an adequate rate, so this causes most premature babies to be anemic. It is not an alarming situation, but it does, however, mean that there is a good chance he will need a transfusion in the next week or so. They have done a wonderful job at explaining to us all about transfusions, their risks/benefits, and our different options.
He has not had a bowel movement on his own yet, but no one is really worried about that yet. They do give him glycerin suppositories every 24 hours if needed if he hasn’t had a BM, and those always seem to produce one or two. Because he is not spending much time in the vertical position and is not taking in very much food volume, they say this is very normal for babies his age. Once he starts getting higher amounts of food, his GI system will start catching up.
I think that is all for today. Oh, one more thing. Dr. Heimes said that he is rotating somewhere else for the next week, but he hopes to take care of Eddie when he gets back. He said that E is going to be one of those babies that everyone fights to take care of because he’s so cute and is progressing so well : ) He knows how to make a mom smile!