Hello! Colton and I have been spending some quality time cuddling in the NICU over the past week. It has been good to see so much of him but very difficult not being with Sydney and Bret. I have missed them very much and I know this has been very difficult for them. I know Sydney has enjoyed her time with her Mimsi and we are very appreciative of the help. The good news is I should be discharged tomorrow afternoon. I am feeling fine. I will have to follow up with the doctor several times next week as he checks the progress of healing and insures infection is not an issue. He anticipates it will take several weeks to completely resolve.
The nurses had noted over the past few days that Colton has had several periods of O2 desaturation. The neonatologist ordered an upper GI for Colton to check for reflux. This is not an uncommon issue for preemies. After all, the muscles are lax and the esophagus is very short in a tiny premature baby. The test showed that he does have reflux which is probably contributing to his desaturations. They are putting him on reflux medication and on nasal canula O2 at this time. He should be able to wean off the O2 as the medication starts to work.
Colton weighs in at 5 lbs 4.4 oz today. He has essentially gained 1.5 lbs in his first month of life. This is pretty much on target with the 1.5 to 2.0 lbs he would have gained had he still been in the womb. He is maintaining good growth despite the reflux. They are eager to get him to full feeds since they have removed his PICC line and he has no IV's for supplementation. He is fed via NG (nasal gastric) tube at this time. He is almost to what would be considered a full feed for his size and age via the NG tube.
Several people have asked me what weight he has to be at to come home. Weight doesn't matter in his preemie world. Birth weight and weight to date don't really matter as much as gestational age and progress. (Unless you are not gaining weight...then weight is an issue! The babies are supposed to gain 6-8 oz per week at Colton's current status). Eight full feed bottles, maintaining your body temperature, and maintaining your O2 sats are some of the major milestones that must be met to come home. Colton has a long way to go with the bottles. He has only tried bottle feeds with the OT 2 times at this point in time. Once he takes a full feed bottle in 20 minutes or less, without any complications then he will be allowed a second bottle in a 24 hour period and so on and so on. It is a slow process to make sure he doesn't burn to many calories trying to eat and being "out of the box". The box is his isolette where his environment is controlled. Most premature babies will go home around their due date give or take a couple of weeks. Colton will be 34 weeks gestation on Saturday. Full term is considered 37-40 weeks gestation. His original due date was April 11, 2009.
One more big milestone for Colton today was getting dressed for the first time! (Hence his post title today!) He has worn the hospital tube top for a week or so with his cast on his right arm and PICC line on the left. Now that both of those are gone, he can wear clothes from home! Colton put on his first outfit today. It is newborn size and is a bit big on him but he looks so cute! Bret picked it out of his closet and brought it up yesterday. Stay tuned for more pictures of him in outfits from his endless supply of clothes! The boy is more than set on adorable little outfits!
I also got to bathe him for the first time tonight! Little mundane tasks like this that we normally take for granted turn out to be very special events.
Thanks again to everyone for their support.I can't wait until our whole family is at home and everyone can come by to meet our newest member.
Wendy, Bret, Sydney and Colton