Thursday, September 24, 2015

Harper's Story - NICU Week Two...

Harper's second week in the NICU was pretty smooth - we had sort of found our rhythm with when we would visit, our routine for helping out while we were there and we had started to become accustomed to the various beeps and alarms - and more importantly knew what to do when it was, as I call them, a "scary noise." The "scary noise" is the one that goes off to indicate that he's having a Brady or "spell" which means he's forgotten to breathe for a moment and needs a little stimulation to remind him to knock it off essentially. To help with this they give him an IV of caffeine - I'm not kidding - this kid will be enjoying Starbucks with me before long. Luckily he is a rock star and doesn't have very many of those - typically one or two a day - and while I have been holding him when he's done it, I've very calmly rubbed his back and sure enough he starts breathing again and the "scary noise" goes away. Even better is that more often than not he self corrects and starts breathing again on his own, so like I said, rock star. 

One of our visits we got a little surprise and got to spend some time with Harper while he had a little break from his CPAP. It was amazing to hold him and actually see his face, admire all his beautiful blonde hair and of course kiss him like crazy! It didn't last too long before he needed to have his mask back on, but we enjoyed those moments so much and definitely enjoyed having some photos to share of our handsome boy. I think Adam mostly appreciated being able to see his brother without his mask on - he won't admit it, but I imagine it's a bit overwhelming and scary for him to see pictures of his brother all hooked up to machines. Anyhow, this was a good day for sure. 

Week two was all about increasing his feeds and thus being able to lower the extra IV fluids and lipids he is receiving. He gets those through that PIC line in his ankle so the sooner he can get up to full feeds and off of those the sooner he can have that taken out - a milestone we're anxiously awaiting - mostly because it's one less wire (or "spaghetti" as some of the nurses call it) to manage while we hold him, change his diaper, etc. The increased feeds have gone well for the most part. We've had a few bumps in the road as he's had some spit up episodes where they've had to cut back a bit. When this happens they examine his belly and usually do an X-Ray, the results of which have always shown just an excess of gas in his belly - this is caused from the CPAP forcing all that air into his body - so it's nothing to really be concerned about, and they have ways to try and lessen that gas build up - mostly by having him sleep on his belly. Needless to say, we'll all be happy when he get have that mask off - Harper most of all. 

I got to help give Harper a bath for the first time during week 2, so that was fun. It's basically a sponge bath, and he was not really a fan - I think he was just cold. I didn't mind though because he had his mask off while he had his hair and face washed so I got to spend more time staring at that adorable face of his. This was just another great way that the nurses really try and involve the parents in their babies care, which really helps a lot. 

By the 2 week (31 week) mark he was up to 3 pounds (almost) 4 ounces. He has some new neighbors including a little boy right next to him. I like to picture them chit chatting in the middle of the night when the nurses aren't looking. Comparing battle wounds, bragging about their CPAP levels and talking about the pretty nurses. 

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