Monday, April 13, 2009

Our 6 pounder

Abraham is growing so fast that today they took the supplements out of the breast milk. However he is getting calcium, mulitple vitamin with iron and phosphurus (breast milk does not contain adquate amounts for premature babies). Apparently it is rare for a premature baby to do well with straight breast milk. His tube feedings are up to 51 militers every 3 hours. He is still 19.7 inches and his weight is up to 6 pounds 6 oz. Some full term or even post term babies weigh about this amount or a little less. He is closer to being a term baby however is 36 weeks gestation, so still not supposed to be here yet. He is not strong enough or stable enough in his respiratory status to take the breast milk by mouth. In fact he only takes 1-3 militers by mouth daily with binky training. So he has a long way before he can breast feed. He is still in NICU because he requires high flow oxygen and required CPR twice in 12 hours on Friday. He is still in an isolette however eventually he will be able to maintain his own body temperature and do fine in an open crib. The nurse joked and told me that he would still require an isolette when he is 18 years old. He is on 3 liters of high flow oxygen and the Fi02 (oxygen percentage) is between 28-34%; Room air (air that we all breath) is 21%. His oxygen requirements are lower than before however still higher than what a regular pediatric unit would accept. When Lynn the occupational therapist returns she plans to push him a little when a lot of fluid at one time during binky training to see if he can tolerate it. She can only do this if he is breathing well. His work of breathing is not as labored (he was working very hard to breath). When he goes home he might be on tube feedings either nose to stomach (NG tube, short term use, risk of aspiration of fluid into lungs) or have a surgically inserted gastric tube, AKA G-tube (long term use). We just have to wait and see how he does. He also might go home on oxygen however it would definitely be at much lower level. The thought that I might have to do CPR on my own son scares the heck out of me. I plan to take CPR again before we leave the hospital. They won't transfer him to a regular pediatric unit or discharge him home until he is a lot more stable. He still has episodes of A's and B's, (what medical professionals call it) heart rate decreases (bradycardia) and his oxygen level goes low (Apnea )(absence of breathing). Sometimes he brings himself up without intervention other times it requires a little bit of stimulation such as talking or touching him. A couple of times on Friday he needed CPR. He sometimes starts crying when he is sleeping or appears to be in pain. I wonder if NICU babies suffer from PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). This would be a result of multiple medical intervention and noise exposure for extended periods of time. I am also curious if former NICU babies are more laid back, have higher pain tolerances and are easy going with future medical appointments. If I was a grad student again I would do my thesis on this. I might research this on the Internet to see what I can find. There are some new pictures of him posted. He has on an Easter outfit that my mom sent him.

1 comment:

  1. Karen,

    I say this all with a smile in response to your hypothesis on preterm babies. You have met me and have had glimpses into my personality...I will tell you that I was born just short of 27 weeks gestation. It is good to hear that Abraham is gaining shows in the new pics. We will continue our nightly prayer that Abraham will grow big and strong and be able to breathe and eat without medical intervention. Much love to you and yours.