Saturday, October 18, 2008

First Week.

It's hard to believe that Owen will be one week tomorrow and at this time last week I was being admitted to the hospital to have him. (I started this post on Saturday and am finally finishing it Sunday night.) It's been a hard week for our family. Owen is still in the level 3 NICU and as of right now will most likely be at the very least another week. Thankfully my mom was here until Friday to help with Carter and Mikes parents just arrived this afternoon and will be here until Tuesday to help. So we have help which allows Mike and I to travel to the medical center each day to see Owen. Mike took this past week off of work and plans to go back on Wednesday.
Not knowing when Owen will be able to come home is the hardest part right now. It's hard to plan without knowing what to plan for and I am a planner. Part of me feels so lost this week, almost numb without him home. I know that I had a baby, but part of me feels like I'm still pregnant and should be nesting and accomplishing things, when in actuallity I need to be resting. But between pumping, spending time with Carter when I can, traveling back and forth and standing at Owens bedside, I've had very little time to just get off my feet and recover. I know that I have a lot to be grateful for, but right now I'm just sad and I think I need and have every right to just be sad and miss my new baby.

Owen has RDS. Although he was born only four weeks early, the doctors told us white males tend to do the worst in general. The nurses call them wimpy little white boys, although our little man was 8lbs 9 ozs. so he's definitely not little and we don't think he's wimpy at all. I found some information about RDS and thought it would be easier to post what it is below...
Respiratory Distress Syndrome (RDS)
What is it?
One of the most common and immediate problems facing premature infants is difficulty breathing. Although there are many causes of breathing difficulties in premature babies, the most common is called respiratory distress syndrome (RDS).
What causes it?
In RDS, the infant's immature lungs don't produce enough of an important substance called surfactant. Surfactant allows the inner surface of the lungs to expand properly when the infant makes the change from the womb to breathing air after birth.

Here's Owens progression in the NICU this last week.
Sunday 10/12- Owen was born at 9:15 a.m. and was transferred upstairs to the NICU. He was placed on CPAP (continuous positive air pressure) to help him breathe. Originally he was weighed and we were told he was 8 lbs, once upstairs he was weighed again and we were told he was really 8lbs. 9 ozs. Since I went through labor fighting off the stomach bug going around Houston and fighting a fever, I wasn't allowed to see Owen in the NICU for 24 hours. Mike spent a lot of time with him and took video to bring back to the room to share with me.
Monday 10/13- I got to hold Owen for the first time since he was placed in the NICU. Owens breathing was getting worse and his respiration's were still too high, should be less than 60 and his were up around the 90's per minute. Meaning he wasn't getting enough oxygen causing him to breathe faster and strain to get enough. They decided to put him on a ventilator, a tube down his throat, to control his breathing, and to administer surfactant. He received a double dose and was given morphine because he had such a hard time when they tried to put him on the ventilator.
Tuesday 10/14- More of the same, still on the ventilator and slowly improving. We spent time today sitting by Owen and talking with him and stroking his legs and arms. It's hard not to be able to just pick him up and hold him. The saddest thing about the ventilator is that when he cries you can't hear him. You just see him screaming with no sound. Completely breaks my heart.
Wednesday 10/15- Owen got his first bath and Mike and I were both able to hold him. Mike for the first time in the NICU. I was discharged from the hospital without Owen. Owen was taken off the ventilator and placed back on CPAP.
Thursday 10/16- Started to feed Owen through a feeding tube running into his stomach. He was taken off of the CPAP and onto a nasal cannula. A big step in the right direction.
Friday 10/17- Jaundice hit full force today and Owen at a number of 15.9 was placed under the fancy blue light all day. He also received his first hair cut. They had to place an IV in his head and therefor had to shave a section in the front off. The nurse was nice enough to save it for me. We came in today to find him snuggled on his tummy and resting. The nurse said he slept for four hours. He was so cute and content we sat by and just watched him sleep.
Saturday 10/18- Owen took a step back today and was placed back on the CPAP. This was pretty disappointing. I went into today hoping to try to nurse him, but because his respiration per minute was back at 90, they placed him back on CPAP. Good news, they've upped his feedings to almost 2 ounces every three hours but he's still only eating through the feeding tube. Tonight he was the most alert that we've every seen him. He actually opened his eyes for more than a second and looked around and at us. I was able to hold Owen again tonight, I cannot wait to bring our baby home. It always feels to wrong to leave the hospital without him. They also moved him out of the warming bed and into a normal crib because he's able to hold his own body temperature.
Sunday 10/19- This morning Owen was taken off CPAP and put back on the nasal cannula. For the most part he's been able to keep his respiration's per minute in a normal range. He also went back under the jaundice light because his bilirubin number went from 12 back up to 14.9. He was not as happy under the light today and was sure to tell us all about it when we got there. He was very vocal this afternoon. We attempted to bottle feed him this afternoon with no luck. After a few attempts he started to have a hard time breathing again and we had to stop. So he is still getting all of his food through the feeding tube. The plan is to try again tomorrow afternoon.
10-14 Owen on the ventilator
10/14 Mike and Owen

10/15 Owen trying to find his fingers.

10-15 Snuggling with mom after Owens first bath.

10/16 Eyes Open. Unfortunatly something happened with the flash and Mike's finger so the picture didn't turn out, but I still love it. Maybe I need to have Lynette fix it for me. :)10-15 Owen back on the CPAP. 10/15 Owen with the IV in his head and his new bald spot, or better yet one sided Dille peak. 10/17 Fake Baking at an early age under the jaundice light. This is the real color, no digital editing. 10/16 Spending time with mom.
10/19 After a not so successful attempt at bottle feeding. Enjoying the freedom of the nasal cannula. 10/19 A little more time under the light today. 10/18 War wounds and cute little feet.


matt and brynn said...

I hope things start getting better. I think about you guys often. Sending Good Wishes!!!

Kathy said...

Oh Angela we are praying hard for Owen and your family. Take Care we all love you. You have all the right to be sad and upset that your big little man isn't home with you.

The Youngblood Family said...

Angie, if you need anything, and I mean ANYTHING, please call me. I am praying for Owen and your family. I know it must be so hard right now. Thanks for keeping everyone posted.

Josh and Shyann Croke Family said...

Reading this post brought tears to my eyes. It's very similar to what we went through with Jayden, not being able to hold him, watching him struggle for life, etc. It's so hard, and I imagine you are crying every day. But with all the support you have, you can get through this, even though an end doesn't seem in sight. Just letting you know we're thinking of you and praying for you too!

stacibee said...

What a handsome little boy. I LOVE all of his dark hair! Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your very cute little family. Get some rest!

Cody and Jessie said...

Oh Angie, we will keep you guys in our prayers. I can't imagine leaving the hospital without my baby. I'd be bawling. I'm glad that you have had your mother and mike's mom to help you out. It must be hard going through all this, while you yourself are still trying to recover from labor and are just needing some rest. I hope things improve this week for you all. The pictures you posted of Owen are so beautiful. I can't get over how cute he is - You guys make good looking kids! Take care :)

Kristy Stoddard said...

Hey Ang, You are such a strong women! And strong woman cry when they need to. I didn't know he was having such a difficult time. It is amazing what todays technology has to offer. hang in there, you have friends who care for you, are hear for you, and are praying for you and your family during this time. love you, Ang

Jeanette said...

What a rough week. I hope little Owen begins to make improvements and can go home with you soon. I had to go home without my 2nd daughter (for a week) and it is such a stressful/depressing time. I hope it's all over for you soon and you'll have the whole family home soon. Until then, he's in our prayers.