Monday, December 28, 2009

3 Pounds!!!

I just got back from a Henry visit. He is officially 3 pounds!!! I was able to witness his kidney ultrasound while I was up there as well.
Well, we made it though Christmas and everyone is doing well. We visited Henry Christmas morning and to my surprise, Mike's Donuts was open!!! The NICU nurses were lucky! Jenny's mom and mine made cookies for the nurses, so we delivered a lot of goodies that morning.....much deserved!!!! They also gave him a little red and white hat and made him a big red stocking. Very nice! So, as I mentioned, Henry is now 3 lbs. and doing well. He was put on an antibiotic recently due to a urine culture that came back positive for an infection. His feeding tube was removed from his mouth and is now given through his nose. Not too sure Henry is happy about that. He is still on a continuous feeding schedule (8.5 mL every hour). Jenny is still pumping and our freezer is completely full. Jenny is obviously pumping faster than Henry can keep up. I mentioned he had a kidney ultrasound today, I think it is fairly routine, but they also wanted to check because of his urinary tract infection. Jenny is still "kangarooing" daily and I try to do it a few times a week. It was amazing to see all the outfits Henry got for Christmas and realize how long it will be until he can fit into them. On that topic, I visited a friend of ours today who recently had their baby at Dupont. Wow what a difference between an 8 lb. baby and a 3 lb. baby!!! The only baby I see on a regular basis is Henry, so to see a full term baby brought me back to reality!
They still haven't given us a concrete time table on when Henry can come home. As I mentioned in a previous post, in about 4 weeks, they will attempt to have him feed on his own (bottle or breast), and if he can do this successfully for 2 straight days, he should get the "ok" to come home. Phoebe is now starting to say something that resembles "Henry." She calls Jenny's sister Erica, "eh-ca," so who knows what "Henry" will sound like. I will post more pictures soon! Hopefully everyone had a wonderful Christmas!

Monday, December 21, 2009





New Week.....New Updates!

I apologize...it has been about a week since I updated the blog! There have been many changes since the last posting. First things first, Henry is doing very well overall! We have been "kangarooing" (not sure if that's the right term) him daily and he seems to be really enjoying it! On Saturday I held him on my chest for 2 1/2 hours! I dozed off a couple times, luckily the nurses didn't catch me! I actually played basketball that morning and went up to the hospital without showering before holding him.....so the nurses had to give me Henry's bath wipes to clean off my chest. Ironically they were the products Luke (my brother) sells to the NICU! Thanks Luke!
Well, his weight hasn't changed much so far. He dropped a couple ounces but has gained that back, so he is actually back to his birth weight (2lb 9oz). They removed his IV this weekend....which I thought was a fairly large step forward!!! Because he hasn't gained much weight so far, they are now fortifying (adding more calories) to his breast milk. Hopefully Henry wasn't planning on dieting anytime soon! Each time they feed him (every 3 hours) they actually suction out everything in his stomach to measure how much he has digested since the previous feeding. The nurses were a little concerned because he wasn't digesting as much as they would have liked, so they put him on a continuous feeding cycle, rather than every 3 hours. They put his feeding syringe in a little vice, and it slowly squeezes the syringe to slowly deliver his milk through the feeding tube. While I was holding Henry on Saturday he got the hiccups. It sounded like a mouse squeaking every few seconds. He is now opening his eyes regularly and the nurses say he can recognize Jenny and my voice because he has heard it in the womb for the past 6 months. I wasn't sure I believed this at first, but he actually perks up a little when Jenny and I talk to him....so I guess I'm a believer now.
We went to the Sullivan Christmas party last night and it was great to see all the family! Every year all of the young cousins sing Christmas songs and to say Phoebe had fun would be a gross understatement! We have a few family members who also had preemies and spent time in the NICU. Jenny enjoyed talking to them and sharing stories. We were talking about Christmas day last night and Jenny broke down thinking about Henry up in the NICU that day by himself while we were spending time with family. Talk about a hard time of year to have a little one in the NICU!!! I know there was more to update you on....but my mind has gone blank. When I remember (or talk to Jenny) I will give more updates......

Monday, December 14, 2009

So it's Monday evening and Henry is officially 1 week and 2 days old. Saturday night Henry had his head ultrasound and everything came back negative (good)! This means we can hold him now, and on Sunday we were finally able to do so! I posted a few pictures of us holding him for the first time. As you can see, they had to move his IV to his head. I guess there was a more accessible vein in his head. He didn't seem to mind, even though it looked like it hurt. It was awesome to finally hold him! It really didn't feel like I was holding anything because he was so light! Stacie was Henry's nurse last night and she had the duty of adjusting all his wires so he could be moved....she did a great job! Henry also moved from his open crib to an incubator box yesterday. I think Henry will like this because of the heat, light, and sound control it provides. Today was the first time Jenny performed the "kangaroo care" with Henry. This is when he is able to have skin on skin contact with us. It really helps him thrive and become more acclimated with a natural setting. Jenny said Henry fell right asleep on her chest and had a minor heart drop because he was in such a deep sleep. We can do this "kangaroo care" once a day for an hour. I think the "kangaroo care" time will increase as Henry tolerates it. Henry is also opening his eyes quite frequently. As long as the lights are dim, he opens and closes his eyes and tries to look around the room. Nurse Stacie said at about 34 weeks (5 weeks from now) they will begin trying to bottle/breast feed him. This will be a good indicator of how soon he can come home. Oh I forgot, they also weighed him after the head ultrasound and he was 2lbs 7 oz. He lost 2 oz in the first week, which the nurse said was common, primarily due to the jaundice light and it depriving his skin of moisture. The nurses don't seem too concerned with his weight; their priority is his breathing, bowel movements, heart rate.
Well, not much else has changed, but I will be sure to inform you when it happens. Thank you again for all the prayers, love, and support! :)








Friday, December 11, 2009

Just got back from the hospital. Henry is doing great! Nurse Lorraine says Henry has a bit of a temper (Jenny's side). Jenny was up at the hospital when they switched his IV and she said he was fussing a bit, but she was happy to be there comforting him and talking to him. He opened his eyes and looked her way as well. As you can see from the pics, he now has his cpap removed and is doing great without it. The nurse said he had a few bouts of apnea (briefly stops breathing) but was able to "revive" himself on his own. He isn't wearing his little cap anymore, and as you can see, he has a lot of blonde hair! I think all our kids will end up looking like Jenny! Although maybe he will grow out of it and will get some brown hair later. Tomorrow is the head ultrasound and if all goes well, we will be able to hold him for the first time! YEA! They will also weigh him tomorrow. The nurse says they like to be pretty much hands off for the first 7 days of life. Henry is now on his stomach and he likes to keep his arms underneath him to support himself.
I was incorrect in one of the previous posts. He actually gets fed every 3 hours. Tonight he will be getting 5 mL of breast milk! They are slowly increasing that I guess. Jenny is a pumping machine, and the nurse said to keep her milk at home now because they have plenty in the freezer at the NICU. My mom, Dave, and Gianna were able to come up and see Henry tonight. Well, Gianna actually can't see him because she is not 18. They really enjoyed touching his hair. I got to feel his spine, which was cool! Probably the smallest vertebrae I have ever had my hands on...hahaha! Tomorrow my dad, Frank, and Jenny's parents are coming up to see Henry. This will actually be the first time Jenny's parents have seen him. Jan (Jenny's mom) has been a little sick all week so she wasn't allowed in the NICU, and Bill (Jenny's dad) has been a little nervous, but I think he is doing better and is excited to finally see him.
In some of the pictures Henry really looks like Phoebe I think. Phoebe is in for a shocker when we bring him home! We are slowly trying to introduce her to him via pictures, videos, and talking about him to her. I think she is realizing that "baby Henry" is someone important by her reaction when we mention his name. Henry also perked up when I told him Notre Dame hired their new head football coach today! Most likely he will be making a recruiting visit to the NICU in the near future!!! Well I will definitely update you after the head ultrasound and post some pics of us holding him for the first time! Thanks again for all the prayers!
New Henry Pics!









Wednesday, December 9, 2009

MORE FOOD.....

So Jenny and I got to hang out with Henry today around lunch time! My brother Luke was actually up there as well. Luke isn't on the "list" of visitors that can see Henry, but he has connections with the hospital, so he got in. The NICU only allows 6 people (other than Jenny and I) to see Henry for the duration of his stay. Thankfully, Luke said he could get into the NICU because of his job connections, so it freed up another spot for a family member. Jenny actually was able to feed Henry today, so that made her very happy! He actually got 2 mL of milk today! Dana was his nurse today and she actually knows my cousin George and his wife Monica. Jenny also changed his diaper today....he gets cranky during diaper changes. Nurse Teri says he likes to be naked, or "the way God made him!" Jenny got to talk to Dr. Kim today, and he said Henry is doing great! It is always nice to hear the doctors give good reports....although hearing it from the nurses is even better to me, since they are the ones with him 24/7! When I was up with Henry last night, Teri took off his cpap and little hat and he looks so much like Phoebe! I wonder if he will have blonde hair?
Well, not much else has changed....except for all the meals people are bringing over!!! Holy cow we have so much food at our house...which is AWESOME!!! I will let you know the outcome of the head ultrasound and any other changes. Thanks again for all the love, help, and support!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

video

THE LATEST....

I just got back from the hospital and Henry was finishing up eating. He had 1 mL of breast milk injected through his feeding tube, which is done every 8 hours I believe. Jenny is currently pumping and daily delivering the milk to his room, which has a freezer. The nurse (Teri), who happens to be our favorite so far, said he had a great day. Henry wanted me to tell all of you he says hello, but he was a little disappointed when I told him Notre Dame hadn't found a head coach yet.
As of now, you can see he basically lies either on his side or his back in the make-shift bed all day. When I was up there, Teri moved him from his side to his back for a change of pace. He actually should be in an incubator type box, but there are currently none available in the NICU. Teri said there are about 6 other preemies younger than Henry up there right now! Henry will have an ultrasound on his brain either Friday or Saturday to check the vessels and ventricles for bleeding. If he "passes" the ultrasound, Teri said they will move him to an incubator box/cube. The two tubes you see above his head in the pictures are to control the "flow" of air in and out of his lungs (cpap). Henry's lungs are unable to fully intake the ample amount of oxygen and exhale the proper amount of carbon dioxide, so the tubes help him with this process. Although, Teri said Dr. Kim (another neonatologist) said he should be able to have the cpap removed very soon. The cpap is different from a ventilator. Henry never required a ventilator, only the cpap. He had to have his IV changed from his foot to his hand yesterday because he was kicking so much (insert soccer comments!)
Jenny was up with him last night and he stopped breathing for a moment, which was of obvious concern! A beeper went off and a nurse nonchalantly walked in and began rubbing his back and foot, which quickly helped him start breathing again. The nurse said it was common and happens often!?!? We thought it was strange that not breathing every so often was normal. Teri explained tonight that they (preemies) get exhausted from working so hard to stay alive that their bodies simply can't keep up. Teri said today Henry actually revived himself when this happened, which was good to hear that he had the strength to continue breathing on his own!
Jenny also decorated his room today, since his first Christmas will unfortunately be spent in the NICU. Well, I will have to share more later, Phoebe is literally climbing on me vying for attention right now. Thanks again for all the prayers!

Monday, December 7, 2009

THE ARRIVAL.....

So I got a call from Jan and her exact words were "GET HERE NOW, SHE IS PUSHING!!!" I really can't describe what went through my mind at that moment. Most dads would think "oh yea, my baby boy is about to be here!" I just couldn't figure out how she went from 4 cm to "pushing time" that quickly? And was Jenny ok??? So I am home alone with Phoebe sleeping and had to somehow get to the hospital ASAP. I ran next door to see if the neighbors could be with Phoebe, but of course nobody was home! So I jumped in the car and drove as fast as I could to the hospital! I needed to find someone to go be with Phoebe, so I called my friend Ryan, and he was at the lake! Yea I know at the lake in December go figure!?!? I don't even think I said "bye" and hung up and called my other friend Alan. He thankfully was home and came over to be with Phoebe. There is nothing like driving 90 mph down 469 while weaving in and out of traffic on the cell phone! To Ryan's credit, he did leave the lake to come help Alan.
So I drove up to the entrance and sprinted up stairs. The first nurse who saw me said, "are you the dad? Get in there!!!" I opened the door and there were probably 12 people (nurses and doctors) in our room! Dr. Weise was putting Jenny back together while Dr. Arcellana (neonatologist) was helping little Henry breathe and preparing him for the NICU. I quickly ran to Jenny and she said "I am fine, go be with him!" Dr. Arcellana and the nurses helping Henry were awesome! They were working so hard, all while being so calm. Dr. Weise called me over and said Henry was crying when he came out and kicking! Jenny was so drugged I'm not sure if she even remembered everything, although she didn't have an epidural. So that's two babies and no epidurals (what a champ).
Henry was 2lb 9oz and 15in when he arrived. I went with the NICU team upstairs when they took Henry away. Poor Jenny was alone, but thankfully I saw Sheila (one of Jenny's friends) in the waiting room on our way to the NICU and told her to go be with Jenny. Once I got to the NICU they took him into his room and began preparing him for care. I wasn't allowed in the room, so I returned to be with Jenny. By this time word had spread and most of the family were on their way to the hospital.

HOW IT ALL STARTED....

Well, we have had an interesting week! Last Tuesday (December 1st) Jenny and I went to see Dr. Rumsey for her monthly check-up. She had been bleeding a bit, but didn't think anything of it because it was similar to what happened with Phoebe's pregnancy. Dr. Rumsey wanted to do an ultrasound to make sure everything was okay. The ultrasound found her cervix to be a little short (I guess it isn't supposed to be short). Rumsey suggested we spend the night in the hospital to monitor everything. Jenny immediately broke down and I was fairly concerned at this point. He said it was simply precautionary and most likely everything is fine. Well, we checked into Dupont Hospital and she was hooked up to the monitors and low and behold, Jenny was having contractions! This obviously freaked us out considering Jenny was only 27 weeks pregnant!!! At this point the nurses kept monitoring Jenny until Rumsey finished his office hours and came over to check on her. He decided to give her a dose of Teridol (strong muscle relaxant) to stop her contractions. This worked immediately and Jenny was released from the hospital Wednesday afternoon. Everything seemed to be okay at home until Thursday night. Jenny's contractions resumed that evening and we headed back to the hospital. Dr. Stafford was on call and he gave Jenny another dose of Teridol. He also checked her cervix and she was 1 cm dilated. The Teridol worked again and he let her go home Friday morning. Well, Friday evening the contractions came back (with vengeance) and were occurring every 5 minutes! So of course we headed back to the hospital (FOR THE THIRD TIME!!!) and this time Dr. Weise was on call. She checked Jenny's cervix and it was 4 cm dilated. Needless to say we were a bit worried! Poor Jenny has basically been having contractions for 4 days now and was emotionally and physically drained! Dr. Weise decided to give her Magnesium Sulfate (another extremely strong muscle relaxant) to stop the contractions. It worked for about a half hour and they slowly came back. I never want to experience trying to sleep on the couch in her hospital room while she is moaning and crying every 10 minutes the entire night! Talk about feeling helpless!!! So it is now Saturday morning and Dr. Weise came back in to check her cervix and it was still only 4 cm dilated. This actually was quite refreshing and encouraging, considering she hadn't changed all night. Dr. Weise said many moms get to 4 cm and stay there for a long time. So Jenny's spirits we up and it also helped that family and friends were visiting on and off on Saturday (Jenny loved the company). So it was about 5:00pm and I decided to head home to give Phoebe a bath and let Jan (Jenny's mom) come up and be with her. I had just put Phoebe down for bed and got the call......

Henry and Mom

Henry and Mom