Sunday, August 31, 2008

Now That's The Kayley We Are Used To!

Kayley did very well today for the most part. The night nurse tonight was also Kayley's nurse last night. She said Kayley took between 65 and 70 cc's for her throughout the night. This morning Megan was in with Kayley. At Kayley's 8 am feeding, Megan had a hard time getting her to wake up to eat and therefore, Kayley only took 20 cc's. It looks like Kayley's not a morning person (I wonder who she gets that from?). Kayley recovered for Megan for her next feedings. She took somewhere around 60's if I remember correctly. Then Grandma fed Kayley at 5 pm. Kayley took 80 cc's! That brings up the average. I came in and fed Kayley her 8 and 11 pm feedings. She took 70 cc's from me both times. Hopefully Kayley can keep up this consistency.

Megan spoke to the doctor this morning. He informed her that he really wants Kayley to take 90 cc's every 4 hours before he lets her go home. That equates to about 67 cc's every 3 hours. So, Kayley's definitely close. Hopefully she'll achieve that soon.

Kayley gained a whopping 70 grams tonight. She's back to her old ways at least for one night. She is now 3580 grams (7 lbs 14 oz). 8 lbs here she comes!...unless she poops of course.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

The Kayley 2-Step

2 steps forward. One step back. 2 steps forward. One step to the side. Two steps forward. Stop and piddle around for a while. You got it. It's the new craze here in the NICU.

Kayley took one of those steps back with her feedings today. She was only taking around 45 cc's all day and was even a little "disorganized". Megan was in for Kayley's 2 pm feeding. Kayley took 55 cc's then. But at her 5 pm feeding, Kayley went back down to 50 cc's. I came in for Kayley's 8 and 11 pm feedings. She took 60 cc's and 70 cc's. So, she looks to be getting back on the horse. We're trying to be patient. We know Kayley will get it one of these days.

Along with the not-so-good feedings today, Kayley lost 30 grams. She is down to 3510 grams (7 lbs 11 oz). So, we'll regroup and hope for a weight gain tomorrow. The problem with that is Kayley is due for another poop and we all know what that does to her weight. Hopefully it comes soon so we can start putting a string of weight gains together so we can get Kayley home. According to Kayley's new dance, the next move 2 steps forward.

Jill, Kayley's primary night nurse, stopped in tonight after being on vacation for over 2 weeks. Kayley was wide awake and looking around when she came in. Then, Jill started talking to her and Kayley's eyes went right to her. I'm positive Kayley recognized her voice. It just shows how great it is to have primary nurses. It makes us feel so good that Kayley has established a bond with them. Not only do we have nurses who get to know Kayley and understand her needs, but we also have the peace of mind that Kayley is so comfortable with them.

I shot a video of Kayley tonight. I just wanted to show you what I deal with every night with Kayley. She has her awake period anytime between 8 and 10 pm. During that time which can last over an hour, she gets a little grumpy when things don't go her her pacifier falling out which it does constantly. Remember back when I wrote about the sweet sound of Kayley's cry? Well, let's just say it's not as sweet as it used to be. The video doesn't do Kayley justice for how loud she can get.

Friday, August 29, 2008

2 In A Row!

Not much is going on here in the NICU. Kayley fell sound asleep right after her 8 pm feeding. I'm just sitting here writing Kayley's updates while using the hospital's emergency power. Yes. I said it right...emergency power. An unbelievable storm just passed through the area. It was truly the most lightning, thunder, and rain I have ever seen...Midwest included. Luckily Kayley's room has a window so I could watch. The nurse just came in and told me that they don't want anyone leaving for another hour or so because a lot of power lines are down. They also said over the intercom that there is no courier service for a while because they can't reach the hospital. Kayley may have a bunk mate tonight.

Anyway, there is not much new for Kayley except that they have changed her feeding schedule a bit. Instead of letting her pick the time she eats, we are now feeding her every 3 hours regardless. If she is sleeping, she gets woken up. That way, she gets more feedings in during the day. Before, she was going between 3.5 to 4 hours between feedings. The amount she takes per feeding has dropped a little but overall, her daily intake will increase.

Kayley took 65 cc's at most of her feedings today. She took 68 cc's from me tonight at 8 pm and then downed 70 cc's for me at 11 pm. She probably would have taken more but we only had 70 cc's in the bottle. That's no problem though. I'm sure she'll make up for it at her next feeding.

Everyone around here is pulling for Kayley to do well so she can go home with us...except the doctor. He is being pretty cautious as well he should be. I really don't have a problem with that. As much as I want Kayley at home, I don't want her leaving with any outstanding issues. We're going to be paranoid enough as it is.

Kayley gained more weight tonight. That's 2 nights in a row. She is now 3540 grams (7 lbs 12 oz). That is up 40 grams from last night.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Ready For Long Trips

Kayley is ready for long trips in her car seat. The nurse tested her this morning and there were no problems at all. Kayley's oxygenation stayed up around 100. The nurse also said that Kayley was smiling quite a bit when she was in it. Looks like she can't wait to take that trip home.

This morning, the doctor increased Kayley's extra calories back up to 24. Hopefully that will help Kayley gain some weight.

Kayley's feedings today went pretty well. After her midnight feeding of around 83 cc's, she took 80 cc's at 4 and 8 am, 75 cc's at noon, 60 cc's at 3:30 pm, and 67 cc's at 8 pm. She's definitely improving. We just need that to translate into weight gains.

Speaking of weight gains, Kayley has lost weight the last 2 nights. That's a streak we don't want to continue. Luckily, she didn't. She gained 20 grams tonight to get back to 3500 grams (7 lbs 11 oz). That's what we like to see. She just needs to keep it up so we can take her home.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

I Don't Wanna Be Fat!

This morning started off with the doctor not being too impressed with Kayley's milk intake and her weight loss. Neither were up to his standards. If it were to continue this way, the tube would have to be put back in so Kayley could get full feedings every time. She would also be put back on a schedule. So needless to say, I don't think Kayley is going to come home within those 48 hours I mentioned last night.

Kayley has been eating very well with the bottle today. Some of the times are more of a struggle than others. Today she started with a 60 cc feeding at 9 am. Then at noon, Megan gave her 70 ccs. At 4 pm, Kayley took another 70 ccs. And then at 8 pm, I gave her 70 ccs again. Hopefully those numbers impress the doctor a little more.

I stayed until Kayley's midnight feeding tonight so I could find out Kayley's weight. The nurse didn't have time to do it before her 8 pm feeding. Unfortunately, her weight dropped again. It went down 20 grams to 3480 grams (7 lbs 10 oz). That's not what we wanted. The thing that she has done consistently while we've been here is gain weight. And now, when we want her to do it the most, she isn't. Determined to make that change, I fed her this midnight feeding too. She looked good from the start. She ended up taking 83 cc's from me. Hopefully that helps cancel out the weight loss and buys her another day without the feeding tube.

I need to clear up something I got way wrong last night. The car seat test is not to make sure we know how to use it or to see if it is the correct size. They sit Kayley in it for an hour or so to make sure she can handle it. Sometimes when babies are in it, their air flow is restricted and they have trouble breathing. The nurse just makes sure that doesn't happen before they send the baby home. In some cases, families come from farther away (Flagstaff or Texas to name a few) and putting a baby in the car seat for that long with breathing or other problems could mean serious trouble.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Another Guessing Game...What's Different In My Pictures?

That's right!! They pulled Kayley's feeding tube out this morning. Kayley beat them to the punch last night and already took it out. Too bad they would believe her that it was time then. Anyway, this means that they are letting Kayley set her own schedule and amount. The goal is to eat well and gain weight. If she can do that, we'll be taking her home in no time. The nurse told me tonight that it could be as soon as 48 hours after they take the tube out. That's very optimistic. Kayley has to eat well, gain weight, and have no bad episodes. The nurse also told me to bring the car seat in so we can pass the carseat test. They test us to make sure the carseat is correct and that we know how to use it. Everyone needs to pass the test before going home. So, it's looking pretty promising.

Kayley did very well on her first day on just the bottle. Right after they took the tube out, she took down 70 cc's for the nurse! Not a bad start. Then Megan was in for the next feeding at 12:30 pm. Kayley breast fed and had a bottle after that. I don't have any update for the mid-afternoon feeding, but I had to get her early tonight because they thought Kayley would be hungry by 8 pm. So, I'm assuming Megan got done feeding Kayley around 1 pm or a little after. Then they had another feeding in between that time and when I got here at 8 pm. Evidently Kayley woke up around 7:30 pm and was already hungry. The nurse graciously held her off until I got here. And man Kayley was hungry. She downed 70 cc's again. That was all that was in the bottle. She could have taken more but I really think she was done. Anything more than 70 cc's would have been pushing it. So, we'll continue on this road tomorrow and see what Kayley can do. I really think she's going to start getting it.

The crazy thing about this whole situation is that if we take Kayley home 48 hours from the time the tube was taken out it will be Wednesday, August 27. Before all this happened, that day was slated to be the day Kayley was going to be born by c-section. Again, that's very optimistic but I thought that was worth mentioning.

Kayley is passing 2 out of the 3 requirements with flying colors. She's eating well and she hasn't had any bad episodes. That leaves her weight. She actually dropped 40 grams tonight. That's not too bad considering she gained 80 grams last night. But, it's something I'm sure we'll be keeping a close eye on. She really needs to gain weight tomorrow night in order to have a shot at coming home in the next couple days. She is now 3500 grams (7 lbs 11 oz).

Good Feeding...Bad Feeding

Inconsistency seems to be the name of the game here in the NICU. Just 3 nights ago I was writing about Kayley taking down 3 full feedings in a row. We had our blinker on and were ready to turn the corner. But, these last few days, Kayley seemed to regress a bit in the feeding area. She did finish a whole bottle for Grandma Marla at 3 pm, but that seems to be the only highlight from today's feedings. Megan said Kayley didn't eat very well for her and Kayley certainly didn't do too well for me tonight. It was almost like she just wanted her pacifier. She would act like she wanted the bottle, but then squirm and get mad when she started to suck on it and get milk. Then, she spit up quite a bit. I had to get a new burp rag because she soaked the one I had. After that, she was pretty much done. And just like last night, we didn't even give her the rest of the feeding. Hopefully this is just a small spell she's going through and it won't last too long. She may be frustrated with the nipple too. The NICU only carries a low flow (which we use) and an extreme flow. The one the nurse tried the other day was the extreme flow. We don't want Kayley to get use to that one though because we can't buy it anywhere. It's flow is higher than what the stores sell. So, I brought our own bottles in tonight. Hopefully she likes them and they solve her problems.

After her feeding tonight, Kayley and I had some issues. While I was swaddling her up, she spit out her pacifier onto the floor. Here in the NICU, that means you toss it and get a new one. The only problem with that was that there were no spares in the room and I don't know where the new ones are stored. So, I just tried to swaddle a mad Kayley who was kicking and screaming. It's not a very easy thing to do. While swaddling, I noticed the blanket got spit up on too. I had to put Kayley down in her bed and head toward the closet for a new blanket. By that time, Kayley was really flailing. I hurried and grabbed the first blanket on top and returned to Kayley's bed. And there she was holding a present for me. Kayley had pulled her feeding tube out. So now, Kayley was mad, her tube was pulled out, we had no pacifier, and I needed to change her blanket. Luckily, Kayley settled down a bit when I picked her up. That gave me time to get the swaddle ready and swaddle her, and remove the tube and tape from her face. It was quite the ordeal but we got through it and now Kayley is sound asleep.

Kayley gained 80 grams tonight. She is now 3540 grams or 7 lbs 12 oz.

The pictures and video posted tonight are courtesy of Grandma Marla. They propped Kayley up in the chair for some new poses. The pictures on the posts lately have gotten a little boring.

Sunday, August 24, 2008


I don't have many updates for Kayley today. Her feedings were increased again but only by 1 cc. She is now at 65 cc's per feeding. From what I've heard, she did pretty much the same eating today as she has the last couple days except when I fed her tonight. Kayley spits up occasionally just like most babies do. However, tonight Kayley spit up every time I burped her which is not the norm for her. I got her to take 55 cc's but between some of her "wet" burps and a spit up or two, who knows how much she actually got. The nurse decided not to put the 10 cc's she had left into the pump. Kayley was probably telling us that she was just too full. So, we'll wait until the next feeding to see if she spits up more. Most likely, she'll do fine.

After I left last night, Kayley worked her poop out (perfect timing as far as I'm concerned). So, you know what that means. She lost weight tonight. She is down 10 grams to 3460 grams which is still 7 lbs 10 oz.

Kayley is being fussy again for me tonight. I don't know if she's gassy or just in a bad mood. She keeps falling in and out of sleep. And if I let the pacifier fall out of her mouth, she lets me know with a pretty healthy scream. So, as I write this post, I pause about every 3 minutes to put her pacifier back in. Just this last time, I put a blanket against the pacifier so it stays in. It has worked so far. Right now she's asleep. I'm hoping she stays that way for a while.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

64 cc's Doesn't Scare Us!

Kayley had another good day. Her feedings were increased to 64 cc's. Just when we were getting the hang of 60 cc's what do they do? They go and up it on us. Tonight when I got in, I told Kayley we weren't going to let that extra 4 ounces deter us. She gave me a grunt as acknowledgement. Then, it was down to business. A half hour later, 64 ounces...gone. She powered right through that last 4 ounces. She is really starting to do well. I'm beginning to believe she really wants to get out of here. Let's hope that's soon.

For Kayley's other feedings, she took 55, 55, 20, 55, and then a breast feeding + 30. There are a couple in there where I didn't get the total. I'm sure it was at least 1/2 the feeding. The 20 cc's were at 9 am when Kayley was wide awake. The nurse said, "She just seemed to want to look around more than she wanted to eat." Hmm. I believe we've all witnessed that before. Anyway, the next feeding, the nurse was determined. She used a higher flow nipple on the bottle. She had to help Kayley pace herself but all in all, Kayley did very well.

The nurse tonight is the same one we had last night. She's the one that told me about Kayley's bed being flat instead of inclined. She said that her heart rate dipped a couple more times after I left last night but then she turned Kayley on her side. Kayley didn't have any problems keeping her heart rate up after that. The nurse also pointed out that she thinks Kayley is working on a bowel movement (poop to the lay person). Kayley seems to be a once-a-weeker or so. She doesn't go for a while and starts to get a little uncomfortable causing her to strain some and that causes some of the reflux which in turn causes the dip in the heart rate. Then all of the sudden, she lets it all go and seems quite relaxed for a couple of days. So, with all the heart rate dips, we think one is on the horizon.

No poop in the last couple days also makes her gain weight fairly quickly. She gained another 70 grams tonight and weighed in at 3470 grams (7 lbs 10 oz).

Friday, August 22, 2008

Back To Back To Back

Kayley had a great second half of the day feeding. This morning, she was basically taking half her feedings through the bottle like normal. Then Megan got here for Kayley's 3 pm feeding and was able to give her a full feeding. Grandma followed up at Kayley's 6 pm feeding and gave her a full bottle. And last, I was finally able to give Kayley a full feeding at 9 pm. She went back to back to back. I hope she's finally getting it. There could still be some regression tomorrow but this is definitely a good sign. She is doing great.

The nurses took another step in preparing Kayley for home. Since Kayley has been in the big girl bed and feeding though a bottle, her bed has always been set at an incline. This is normal for babies especially ones that have reflux like Kayley does. Well, before going home, the nurses try to level her bed out so she gets use to it since that's how she'll be sleeping at home (unless this doesn't work and we have to accommodate). So far it doesn't seem like it's good for Kayley just yet. She starts to reflux and then her heart rate dips a bit. It recovers on it's own but we still don't like to see it. They'll probably try it for a little while longer but if it continues to drop her heart rate, they will most likely put it back to an incline. There is a possibility, like I said, that we'll just have to accommodate an incline for Kayley at home. That's not a big deal. There's a contraption for everything. We use to put Drew to bed on the wedge. That should be sufficient for Kayley if she needs it.

There's not much else to report. Kayley stayed at the same weight tonight. She is still 3400 grams or 7 lbs 7 oz.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Look Dad! Bubbles!

As Kayley's Dad, it's still my job to embarrass her a little bit right? Good. I had the honor of giving Kayley a bath tonight. They normally do it during the day but Megan wasn't able to and the nurse was quite busy with having 3 babies to feed. So tonight, the nurse got the bath ready while I got Kayley prepared. After getting her wrapped up, I put her in the tub. Not even a minute later, I hear rumblings. I look down and Kayley gave me this look like, "Yes. I do feel better." I unwrapped the blanket to inspect the damage and to my surprise, it was all air. That would have been a mess.

Kayley ate well again today. During the day the nurse said she ate about half of each of her feedings from the bottle. That's at least 30 cc's. Then, Grandma came in tonight and fed Kayley 51 cc's at the 6 pm feeding. After Kayley's bath, I managed to give Kayley 45 cc's. Those are all pretty good totals. It seems that Kayley just can't get over the hump. The nurses keep telling us that one of these days, Kayley's just going to get it and that will be it. She'll take off from there. So, we're waiting patiently.

Kayley gained a good amount of weight tonight. She is now up to 3400 grams (7 lbs 7 oz). That's up 65 grams from last night. And looking at the picture above, I think it all went to her cheeks.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Hey. Who Turned Out The Lights?

Yep. I tried it. Emphasis on "tried." Kayley was wide awake again for me tonight. Rather than fight her through the whole feeding, I decided to put a hat on her head and pull it down over her eyes. I guess Kayley and I weren't on the same page because boy did she get mad when I did it. So, Kayley won again (can you believe she's undefeated?) and I fed her with her eyes wide open checking out the world. I did pull another little trick though. I butted the chair right up to the her bed so she faced the bed. That way she wouldn't have much to look at. And, it worked. She ate very the beginning. She started out like she was going to finish the bottle. Then, she started getting squirmy. It was burp time. Normally, I can get some good burps out of her, but not tonight. I spent most of our 1/2 hour trying to get her to burp. In the end, she only took 30 cc's from me. But, that 30 cc's was within the first 10 minutes.

In any case, Grandma Marla got the honors of feeding Kayley a whole feeding today. She fed Kayley her 6 pm feeding and the report came back that Kayley took the full 60 cc's. Great job Kayley and Grandma!

For Kayley's other feedings, she took 45 cc's each. Those totals were at her 9 am, noon, and 3 pm feedings. She's really been picking up the consistency lately.

As expected, Kayley's weight went down quite a bit tonight. She weighed in at 3335 grams (7 lbs 5 oz). That's down 105 grams from last night. Even factoring in the huge weight loss tonight, she still gained a total of 50 grams the last two nights combined. So, we can't complain about that.

The doctor stopped by Kayley's room today while Megan was there. They discussed the apnea Kayley had yesterday. He was not worried at all about it since Kayley's heart rate stayed up. He even classified it as maybe just very small breaths during that time and not really apnea. We were pleased to hear that news. He also mentioned that yesterday Kayley took 70% of her feedings through the bottle. That's a great total and was probably surpassed today. With those results, he said they will probably take the feeding tube out within a couple days to see how Kayley does when she only takes feedings from the bottle. And, if she passes that test, you know what that means. We'll get to take Kayley home! But, we're not jumping ahead of ourselves. Kayley is still the boss and still has to climb the rest of the mountain. For all we know, it could be a long way yet. So, we'll continue to hope for the best and encourage Kayley to eat well.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Oh. THAT Fussy Kayley!

All right. I believe Megan now. Kayley can be fussy. I just spent the whole time here at the hospital trying to calm Kayley down and make her happy after I fed her. Pacifier in. Pacifier out. Pacifier in. Pacifier out. I think she thinks this is a game now. Oh well. She finally settled in for the night (see picture). After 2 and 1/2 hours of Kayley being awake (dozing off the last hour or so), I'm declaring a winner. Kayley.

The day started out a little scary. When Megan called to check in, the nurse told her that Kayley had an apnea episode. She went without breathing for approximately 36 seconds. This is the first occurrence that we know of. It's pretty scary to imagine she didn't take a breath for that long. There are a number of things that could have caused it. It could be anything from reflux to having her head positioned incorrectly to starting to get sick to having an infection. The good news is that this was the only one of the day. That means they are leaning towards the first couple reasons. If she were sick, the apnea's would start to happen more frequently. So, they are continuing to monitor her very closely. Hopefully that will be the last of it.

Other than that, Kayley had a pretty good day. She even bounced back from the apnea to finish her whole 9 am feeding. Then, she took 48 cc's at noon and 26 cc's at 3 pm. She took 36 cc's from me tonight and it was quite a struggle because she was wide awake. I'll even do an impression of Kayley feeding for me tonight.

"Suck, suck, suck. Hey, what's that? That's pretty neat. Hey, now what's that? Oh. He's that goofy guy that's here all the time. Wait. What's this thing in my mouth? Oh yeah. It's my bottle. Suck, suck,, look at that. I could stare at that for days...."

You get the picture. I mentioned it before. Kayley eats so much better when she is half asleep. If she's awake at all (like she was tonight), she just gets too distracted. One of the nurses told Marla I think that this is quite common. In some extreme cases, they put a hat on the baby's head and pull it over his or her eyes so he or she can focus on eating. I don't know how far we have until we get to that point, but I can tell you it was getting pretty frustrating to see her so wide awake and almost refusing to suck on the bottle in her mouth.

Kayley had kind of an unofficial weight gain tonight. She posted a gain of 155 grams just before she released a bunch of it in her diaper. The nurse had to change her a second time and ended up having to change her bedding and clothes. So, she weighed in at 3440 grams (7 lbs 9 oz) but I have a feeling that may not hold up tomorrow night. I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Put Me Down For A Mudbath Tomorrow And A Seaweed Body Wrap For Tuesday

Megan and I finally got around to taking the infant massage class. The therapist came to Kayley's room today so we (Megan) could get some hands-on experience. I took plenty of photos and videos.

The massage class was very helpful and everything that the therapist said made a lot of sense. In the beginning, we need to start to gain Kayley's trust. Up until now, most of the time when someone grabs her foot it has been to poke her with a needle. And when someone lifts up her arm, it's usually to put a thermometer in her armpit to take her temperature. Kayley receives a lot of negative touch day in and day out. It's just the nature of being in the NICU and being monitored all the time. So, we will start slow with the massages.

Today's massage went very well. The therapist warned us at the beginning that Kayley may not tolerate a lot of it. Well, luckily Kayley takes after her mom. She welcomed the massage. She was very relaxed throughout and the therapist commented that she was a "star." How do you like that? Kayley is a star at getting massages. Lucky for her future husband.

We learned today that Kayley was quite the eater yesterday and throughout the night. The day nurse yesterday was able to feed Kayley a full bottle (60 cc's) at her 6 pm feeding. Then I came in and Kayley took 52 cc's from me. The night nurse had a couple feedings in the 30's throughout the night. Today, Megan fed Kayley 36 cc's. Grandma Marla came in for the 3 pm feeding and fed Kayley 46 cc's. Then tonight, Kayley took 55 cc's from me. She's getting the hang of it.

Kayley gained 55 grams tonight. She is now up to 3285 grams (7 lbs 3 oz). It's so crazy to remember what it was like when she was only 3 lbs.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Mom Said I Was What? No, Not Me.

Again, I don't have many updates from today. Kayley is just going about her business...sleeping, eating, and ....well, you know.

Megan said Kayley was very fussy today. I'm not sure I believe it because I came into the room tonight to a very sweet little girl. She ate very well and then went to sleep just like she was supposed to. And I didn't hear a peep out of her.

Kayley ended up eating 52 cc's from me. She is doing very well these days. She has become very coordinated. Too bad that most of the time she just doesn't have enough energy to finish her feeding. She'll get there though. The doctor told Megan today that he is not worried about her at all. She'll catch on. They don't start to worry until babies are 40 weeks gestation and still not eating all their feedings through a bottle.

Kayley's weight went down tonight. The 5 grams she gained last night disappeared tonight. She is back down to 3230 grams (7 lbs 1.9 oz).

Saturday, August 16, 2008

She Was A Swingin'

I don't have many updates for Kayley today. She's still taking the same amounts from the bottle. I came in tonight and Kayley wasn't as wide awake as she normally is. I had to poke and prod her just to wake her up a little bit. But, as I said in my post last night, she eats better when she's half asleep. She took 45 cc's from me again tonight. The downside of being half asleep when we start is that she falls into a deep sleep before the end of the feeding.

Kayley gained a little bit of weight tonight. She is now 3235 grams (7 lbs 2 oz). That's up 5 grams from last night.

When I walked in tonight, the nurse showed me that Kayley has a sore on her neck in between her folds. She must have spit up at some point when she was sleeping and it ran into the folds in her neck and irritated her skin. It looks a little painful but I didn't notice her being bothered by it. They are keeping some cream on it until it heals.

And last, Kayley got her first swing ride today. The day nurse said Kayley was so aware at one point today that she decided to put her in a swing so she could look around a bit. Evidently she looked around for a while and then fell fast asleep. That may already top the time Drew spent in a swing. He was not a big fan.

Friday, August 15, 2008

I'll See Your 7 lbs And Raise You 1 oz

Kayley didn't just weigh in at 7 lbs tonight. She trumped it by gaining 60 grams for a total of 3230 grams or 7 lbs 1 oz (1.9 oz really). The healthy rolls just keep piling on.

According to Kayley's primary day shift nurse, Kayley is now taking over half of her feeding total through the bottle. That's a great sign. And, she doesn't even get fed by a bottle every time because she sleeps through some feedings. Well, that's about to change. The nurse thinks it's time to start waking Kayley up for every feeding so that she starts getting use to it. No more taking the easy way out and getting fed through the tube while she sleeps. Hopefully Kayley catches on to this new strategy so she can keep improving on her feeding.

I don't have many updates from Kayley's feedings today. I do know that Megan came in today to try and breastfeed Kayley. She apparently didn't want much to do with it so they filled up a bottle and gave her 30 cc's that way. Not a bad amount considering she was probably a little tired after the breastfeeding attempt.

I came in tonight and Kayley took 45 cc's from me. She definitely learning how this stuff works. However, she's just too nosey. I find that when she's the most awake, she eats the slowest. She's too distracted by everything that's going on. Of course that's good and bad. She's very aware of her surroundings, but when it's eating time, we need her to eat. She does ok when she's wide awake, but she does the best for me when she's starting to doze off. She's more focused on the bottle at that point. So, I'm going to go home tonight and make some blinders for her...just kidding. I wouldn't do that. At least not until we get home...

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Lazy Days Of Summer

After yesterday, we were all trying to guess when we'd be able to bring Kayley home. She finished her first bottle. Surely she was going to take off and we'd only be here a couple more days to a week. Then Kayley has a day like today where she just doesn't seem to be ready to go home yet. As you know, the last hurdle for Kayley is to take all of her feedings through a bottle or the breast. Taking a whole bottle was a giant leap toward that goal. However, that doesn't mean she's going to do that every time...yet. She was a little bit sleepy/lazy today. And tonight, she wasn't real interested in taking the bottle from me either. She only took 20 cc's. Like always, we'll try again tomorrow. And knowing Kayley, she'll surprise us with another good day like she has so many times.

Kayley's going to wait at least until tomorrow to reach that 7 lb mark. She did gain 20 grams tonight but that fell .2 oz short of 7 lbs. She now weighs 3170 grams (6 lbs 15.8 oz).

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Man, I Was Thirsty

As the picture above shows, Kayley finished a whole bottle for the night nurse this morning! It started with a good feeding at midnight. Kayley took 49 cc's. That was the most she's taken up to that point. She slept through the 3 am feeding and then the nurse bottle fed her again at 6 am. That's when Kayley took the whole bottle for the first time. The nurse said Kayley was a little tired at the end but she really didn't want to give the bottle up. What a great accomplishment. Then, Kayley took 42 cc's for me tonight. She's consistently in the 40 cc range now when she is fed with the bottle.

Kayley weighed in 65 grams more than last night. That put her at 3150 grams (6 lbs 15 oz) total. I can't believe our little 3 lb'er will be 7 lbs within the next couple days. Unbelievable...

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Quit Poking Me!!!

Kayley had a exhausting day today. The day brought on many needles...and she still has one left. At 6 am, the nurse had to draw some blood from Kayley so they could do some routine blood tests. Everything checked out well with the exception of a couple numbers being off a very little bit. Nothing to worry about.

Today was also time for Kayley's 2 month vaccinations. She received all of them during the day except for 1. They didn't want to overwhelm her so they saved one for midnight tonight. Only one more stick to go....for now.

The night nurse told me tonight that Kayley decided on her own last night that she was done with the tube in her nose. The nurse came into Kayley's room and there Kayley was, tube in hand...not in her nose. She pulled it out and evidently was looking as proud and as happy as could be. Too bad the tube had to go back in.

Kayley is still improving with her eating. The night nurse got Kayley to take 42 cc's at her 3 am feeding and 21 at her 6 am feeding. The nurse continues to tell me that Kayley is always wide awake at 3 am. Great. The 6 am feeding didn't go as well because Kayley was still fuming a bit from the poke she received in her heel. We can't really blame her for that. I don't think the day nurse fed Kayley a bottle at all today because I think she let Kayley rest after receiving her shots. So, Kayley waited for Megan to come in for her 6 pm feeding. The breastfeeding went great according to Megan. Kayley went the full 1/2 hour and they didn't even feel the need to give her any additional milk when that was complete. That's a very positive step in the right direction. I came in tonight expecting a very hungry girl, but instead, I was greeted with a very exhausted girl. Kayley only lasted 15 minutes with the bottle. She took 21 cc's and then zonked out. We'll give her a break since she went through a lot today. But tomorrow, we jumping back on the horse again. I'm determined to get Kayley to take a full bottle.

And lastly, Kayley lost 5 grams today. She weighed in at 3085 grams (6 lbs 12 oz...almost 13 oz). Her inconsistency could be attributed to the on, off, and on again calories in the last couple days. Knowing Kayley, she'll come back with big numbers tomorrow night.

Monday, August 11, 2008

They Could Be Twins...

We have been noticing the last couple weeks that Kayley is really starting to look like Drew when he was younger. Megan found a picture of Drew today that we thought would be a good comparison. So, I got out my tools and created a side by side photo (above). Holy crap! If Kayley didn't have the feeding tube, it would be hard to tell them apart.

Kayley had her normal Sunday night measurements taken tonight. She is right in line with her head circumference and her length. Her head circumference is 34 centimeters. I'm not sure that means anything to any of us but it's where she should be. Kayley's length came in at 18 3/4 inches. Again, that's perfect according to the chart. She is now only 1/4 inch shorter than Drew was when he was born.

Last night I reported that Kayley's weight dropped significantly and we expected them to put Kayley back on the extra calorie additive. Well, our expectations were right. Starting with her 6 pm feeding, she got the extra boost. Her weigh in tonight already showed it. She weighed in 100 grams higher than last night. She is now 3090 grams (6 lbs 14 oz). That makes up for last night's loss and even gives her 20 grams for a good gain tonight.

Kayley fed well again today. The night nurse got Kayley to take 48 cc's from the bottle at Kayley's 3 am feeding. And according to Megan, breastfeeding went very well today. I don't have any other updates from any bottle feeding attempts today except for the one I did tonight at 9 pm. She took 40 cc's from me. She's starting to be pretty consistent. One thing that Kayley needs to do is wake up for all of her feedings. Right now, she still sleeps through a lot of them. It's hard to feed her a bottle when she's not even awake. So, that will be an obstacle that she needs to overcome. Other than that, she's doing very well.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Happy 2 Month Birthday Kayley!

Cousin Erik from New Mexico stops by.

Kayley is 2 months old today! Where has the summer gone.

Being the weekend, Megan was at the hospital all morning so she could catch the doctor doing rounds. There were no updates. However, he was a little surprised that the doctor yesterday took Kayley off all the added calories so soon. But, she's going to stay off them for the time being at least until Monday. She is scheduled to have some lab work done to check some things. If her nutrition levels check out all right, they will probably keep her off the added calories. But, if something isn't they way they want it, she will probably be put back on.

The nurse tonight (our primary night nurse) was also surprised that Kayley was taken off all extra calories. She mentioned that some doctors have different philosophies and they will probably discuss the topic amongst themselves in order to agree on a plan.

To throw a bigger wrench in the current plan, Kayley lost a significant amount of weight tonight. She was down 80 grams to 2990 grams (6 lbs 9 oz). That's down 3 ounces from last night. Her weight gains are supposed to get smaller but she's not supposed to lose weight. We have a feeling that Kayley's going to go back on the extra calories unless she gets back on the wagon and starts gaining the weight back tomorrow night.

Kayley had a great day of bottle feeding today. She took 30 cc's from the nurse at her 6 am feeding. At her 9 am feeding, Kayley attempted to breast feed again. That didn't go so great. So, Megan feed Kayley a bottle at her 12 pm feeding. She took 32 cc's then. Tonight at her 9 pm feeding, Kayley took a whopping 46 cc's from me. I thought she was going to finish the bottle. She had 10 cc's left after her 30 minutes were up. I think she could have finished it but it would have put us way over her time limit. She was pretty tired the way it was. So, we'll continue tomorrow.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

No More Blue Number

Kayley's numbers are the top 2.
The nurses other assigned babies are the bottom two screens.

Kayley's pulse oximeter is gone. So many times I have written about Kayley's oxidation (after looking tonight, I found out it's really called oxygenation). Well, the pulse oximeter was what told us Kayley's oxygenation. For the last 8 weeks it has been so important. Before Kayley was 34 weeks gestation, the number had to be between 83 and 93. After she hit 34 weeks, she had to keep it above 90. It was the cause of so many alarms which in turn caused lots of eyes to be fixed on that little blue number. It was one of the 3 numbers on her monitor. We're now down to two...heart rate and respirations per minute. The doctor had it taken off Kayley because it was no longer needed. Her oxygenation would still dip a bit every now and then but she always recovered on her own fairly quickly. There was really no need to monitor it any longer since the nurses never had to intervene.

Megan and I both agree that this is a good step. Just imagine if Kayley was on that monitor up until the time we take her home. Then, when we get home, we'd be without it and aways wondering what Kayley's oxygenation was and if it was high enough. That would create a lot of anxious moments. Now, we'll be able to get use it not being monitored while Kayley is still in the hospital. It will make the transition home a little easier.

Another change implemented today for Kayley is that they are no longer putting the extra calories in Megan's breast milk. They finished what they had mixed up for the day at Kayley's 9 pm feeding and that's it. Straight breast milk from now on.

We're already starting to see a slow down in weight gain. Last night Kayley didn't gain any weight and tonight she only gained 10 grams. Kayley is now 3070 grams (still 6 lbs 12 oz). I'm going to be way off my prediction of 7 lbs by tomorrow night.

Kayley did pretty well feeding today. The day nurse got her to take 38 cc's. That's the highest mark turned in so far. Not wanting to be outdone, I came in tonight expecting high marks. Well, what I was expecting and what Kayley was expecting just wasn't the same. She piddled quite a bit and only got 27 cc's. I guess that's a good sign though. She wasn't at the top of her game and she still got quite a bit. A week ago, piddling meant she'd only get 5 cc's. So, Kayley's still improving.

Friday, August 8, 2008

The Difference One Day Makes

Kayley didn't feed well yesterday from the bottle. She only took 20 cc's combined from two separate feedings. That's all we tried because she just wasn't interested. Today, she took a big leap forward. Here are her totals:

20 cc's (from nurse)
16 cc's (from nurse)
26 cc's (from Grandma Marla)
36 cc's (from Dad)
98 cc's total

And that doesn't even include the amount from when the night nurse feeds her...if she did. She normally tries at her 3 am feeding when Kayley is wide awake.

Now are we turning that corner? I guess only time will tell.

Other than Kayley's feedings today, the only update I have is her weight. 75 grams...60 grams...40 grams up??? Nope. 0 grams up. She weighs the same tonight that she did last night. She is still 3060 grams (6 lbs 12 oz). Knowing Kayley, I'm sure there will be more weight to gain tomorrow.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Diet Time!

Kayley's weight has finally reached the point where the doctors are starting to take notice. They put her on a "diet". Well, not really but they are cutting back the extra calories that they add to the breast milk. Right now, they are adding 24 calories. They are cutting that down to 22 so hopefully Kayley gains weight at a slower pace. Her target is 15 to 30 grams a day. She has destroyed that average. Do get me wrong...gaining weight is definitely a good thing. But gaining it too fast at this point could start to take a toll on Kayley's very young organs. They will continue to cut down the calories until Kayley reaches her target weight gain. They may even end up cutting all the extra calories. We'll just have to see.

In the meantime, Kayley was back at it. She gained quite a bit of weight again. She is up 75 grams from yesterday to 3060 grams (6 lbs 12 oz). She has the cheeks to prove it (see picture).

And the last note for the day is that Kayley decided to take the day off as far as feeding goes. Maybe she overheard the doctor talking about her weight gains. She doesn't realize that she gets the full 55 cc's no matter what since they pump whatever is left into the tube down to her stomach. Kayley only took 5 cc's for the nurse today and only 15 for me tonight. She definitely didn't seem as good as she has the last couple nights. She really wanted nothing to do with the bottle. So, we'll continue on this road tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

More Preparation For Home...Getting Sox Use To Kayley's Scent

We have the official weight from last night. Kayley weighed in at 2930 grams (6 lbs 7 oz) which was up 70 grams from Sunday night. Then tonight, Kayley went up another 55 grams to 2985 grams (6 lbs 9 oz). Any predictions on when the 7 lb weigh in will be? I'm betting it will be this coming Saturday.

Kayley is now up to 55 cc's per feeding. She's approaching that 2 oz/feeding mark. She will hit that when she starts taking just over 59 cc's.

Kayley continues to feed better. Megan had the lactation consultant in with her today and they got some stuff figured out. Kayley took 10 cc's from the nurse today and 22 cc's from me tonight. Even though she took less than yesterday, I would say that she did better as far as coordination goes. She isn't spitting out as much and she keeps a good rhythm. The biggest obstacle seems to be that she just gets tired so fast. We have to remember that she really isn't even supposed to be eating on her own for another 2 to 5 weeks. One of the nurses even told us a while back that when we get her home, she'll still have mostly the same routine. She will need to rest and sleep between feedings and we are not supposed to stimulate her in between at all. Feeding will just take a lot out of her for a while yet.

Lastly, the stuffed animal you see in the pictures above is actually for Sox (Sox is our dog). Since Kayley will be coming home soon, I am making sure Sox gets use to her scent early so she doesn't need to 'explore' her when she arrives home. It worked well with Drew so I don't see any issues with Sox this time around either. Sox has really been a great dog when it comes to Drew. Besides the occasional knocking down, Sox basically lets Drew do whatever he wants to her...even though a lot of times that consists of running her over with his push toys, pulling her ears and tail, and jumping on her among some other torturous things.