Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Feb. 25 - Let's try that bottle again

Colton had another shot at the bottle today (milk, not alcohol :) and got about half the bottle down within the allotted 20 minutes. He did desat (blood oxygen level drop) some but did not require any oxygen. This is an improvement over yesterday's bottle feeding attempts. The Occupational Therapist (OT) commented today that he is acting just like a typical baby that is 33 weeks gestational age and that feeding will hopefully improve with time. He will rest on Thursday and just be fed through his OG tube and will resume bottle feeding with his Occupational Therapist (OT) on Friday.

The little guy is weighing in at 5 lbs. 3 oz. now. This is close to the birth weight of his big sister when she was born 8+ years ago (she weighed 5 lbs. 8 oz. at gestational age 32 1/2 weeks). Colton will hit 34 weeks gestational age this coming Saturday - still 6 weeks away from being a "full term" baby (40 weeks).

Sydney, Mimsi (Kay - my mom) and I visited with Wendy and Colton again this afternoon. Wendy's incision is showing signs of improvement but still has a way to go before that thing heals completely. It's still difficult to say how long she will be in the hospital but we are hopeful she might come home this weekend.

Sydney enjoys the Sibling Class that some of the nurses hold each Wednesday in the NICU waiting room. They teach the kids all about the NICU and what to expect while their sibling is in the hospital. Sydney is becoming a regular at these sessions and the nurses have gotten to know her pretty well. She has definitely made an impression on them because they always ask about Sydney when we see the nurses throughout the week.
We are 26 days into this adventure. February 2009 has been a blur and a roller coaster ride. Our life isn't normally this crazy although I can see why some people might think that. Since Hurricane Ike, we've had a few curve balls thrown our way. Wendy and I were laughing today about some of the challenges life has thrown at us lately. You have to maintain a sense of humor about these things or you'll go mad. The funny part involves this technician we have gotten to know a little at our vet's office. This tech was with us when we nearly lost our chocolate lab, Katy, over New Year's. Katy developed a severe infection and nearly died. Well, in the midst of Katy's medical issues, our boxer, Jo Jo, also had some eye issues that required a visit to a pet opthamologist. If that sounds expensive you would be correct. So while we were carting Katy from the emergency vet each night and morning (ka-ching) to our regular vet, this tech was super nice and supportive to us. Well, Katy made a miraculous turnaround after being written off New Year's Eve night.
So I take our 3rd dog (yes, we are that crazy) Shadow (black lab) to the vet for a normal checkup on Tuesday morning. First thing I do is catch our vet office up (we have a Gibbs wing opened up after those vet bills in December) on all that has been going on with Colton and Wendy. Then we start talking about Shadow and how we got her. We got Shadow when my brother, Todd, asked us to watch his new black lab puppy while he had training in the field (he was in the Army). He said he wanted us to watch the dog for 6 weeks. Well 6 weeks turned into 8 weeks and the rest is history.
Many of you reading this blog know that I lost my brother in the Iraq War in Dec. 2004. In fact, Colton's middle name (Todd) is in honor of my brother. Todd was a good man (better than I could ever hope to be) and we miss him dearly. But, like me, he also had a great sense of humor. So I'll preface the last part of this story by saying that Todd would find humor in it.
So this tech, who went through Ike like the rest of us in H-town, lived the saga of Katy and Jo Jo this past December with us, and who thought the weight of the world was on us with Colton and Wendy both in the hospital, asks a very simple question: How is your brother doing these days? I swear this lady must think we are the Kennedy family or something because I had to tell her about my brother as well! Wendy and I got a good laugh out of this story because we would go insane otherwise.
There is no doubt that we have had our share of burdens lately (I left off the fact that my company cut my pay and benefits as well this past week) but we have more way more blessings than hardships. We have a strong family that is solidified by the love we have received from our extended families and friends. Our Faith is strong and our belief in a brighter tomorrow keeps us moving forward. In the famous words of one of my personal heroes, Winston Churchill, "Never, never, never give up."

All the best to you and your family...Love, Bret, Wendy, Sydney and Colton.

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