Tuesday, December 30, 2008

More Progress

Abby has made some great progress the last few days. One of the doctors called her a "NICU Star." She continues to do a great job! Today she was weighing 3 lbs 13 oz; however, I am sure she may go down tonight with the pooping she did today.

Abby also moved to a new home today.... She graduated to a lower level of care - the step before the lowest level and then going home. YEAH!! She wasn't thrilled by the move - bumps and noise, but we got her calmed back down. I think she also just needs to get used to a new area, because she has not left the other area since arriving there after birth.

We continue to feel so blessed. We love to spend more and more time with her. She just gets cuter and cuter!! In some ways it is hard to believe that she is already seven weeks old.

Happy Seven Weeks Old!!

Moving to a new home...

Saturday, December 27, 2008

I just wanted to show off Abby looking big and very alert....

Modeling a cute outfit from Grandma Jones. The Carters brand of preemie clothes fit really well....

Swaddled in a blanket from Grandma Merrill. I debated taking those blankets to the hospital, but they work so well with swaddling her right now.

Thursday, December 25, 2008


We have been having more great times with our Little Abigail. We were pleasantly surprised (and I got a little teary eyed) when we found out that Abby was graduating from CPAP to high flow oxygen. It is giving her oxygen and pressure, but much less pressure than the CPAP. They had told us they would try it for Christmas, but a day earlier was even better. So far she is doing pretty good - it is more effort on her part.

Abigail is now weighing in at 3 lbs 6 oz. Her head circumference is about 9.8 inches and her length is about 15.3 inches (almost two inches longer than birth). She is still having her reflux issues and some struggling with levels (heart rate, oxygen, etc...) since she continues to do more and more on her own, but she is still doing a great job! She is doing better at recovering on her own from her little "moments".

I have to admit that I have been very up and down the last couple of days. This is not quite how I pictured my "Baby's First Christmas". I am so grateful for John and how amazing he has been through all of this. I know that I lean on him a lot. It is so cute to watch him with Abby and trying to be so attentive to her needs and communicating with the doctors and nurses.... Despite some emotional moments, it has still been a great Christmas. John and I have just enjoyed being together and spending time with Abby.

Hope you all had a Very Merry Christmas!!

Abby's Christmas outfit. It says "Mom and Dad's Best Gift Ever"

I love being able to see her face all the time, instead of just once in awhile.

Isn't she just so stinking cute?

"I don't want to get up yet!"

"...The children were nestled all snug in their beds, while visions of sugar plums danced in their heads..." (love the poem "Twas the Night Before Christmas")


Sunday, December 21, 2008

Happy Six Weeks Old to Abby!

Abby's nurse said it well -- It is amazing how something so little can impact so many people.

Each Sunday it seems that I have been remembering the weekend Abby was born. Strange how something can go by so fast and slow at the same time.... Abby was weighing 3 lbs 1 oz today. She has a different CPAP mask and was also able to get the pressure setting lowered this week -- getting closer to graduating to high flow oxygen. Her reflux is still giving her issues, but she seems to be building up more strength. The medicine must be working. She is tolerating cares better and is keeping her oxygen levels lower than before. She is doing such a great job!!

We continue to feel so wonderfully blessed. I have had some neat experiences - mostly talking with people this week. I just feel so much gratitude in my heart -- I plan to post about it soon.

My ward/neighbordhood friends threw
us a shower this week. It was so much fun!! Thanks girls!! I look forward to when Abby is big and healthy enough to join your walks and play days!!

Showing off her new CPAP mask.

I thought the preemie onesie would still be HUGE on her, but it seems to almost fit.

Getting her all nestled in bed for a nap before we left her for the night.

Holding on to the binky

BATH TIME!! The nurse had some oxygen making bubbles for a jacuzzi bath. It is fun how they try and make things fun for the situation. Abby tolerated the bath well -- didn't really get upset. She gets to be free from the CPAP for a few minutes. (The oxygen mask stays near because she can't do it all by herself yet -- Yeah! for posed pictures!)

Happy Six Weeks!-next to the bear

The nurse said we needed to be sure and take a picture of her in the Cinderella stocking.

My new life - running a dairy farm.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Abby is still doing well, overall. Most of the issues she continues to have are pretty standard for her size. She is pretty much three pounds now - she has been 3lbs and 2lbs 15oz the last couple of days. A diaper change can make a difference for her. We are also helping her stay more contained and not make lots of sudden movements so that she does not burn extra (and very needed) calories. There are different specialists working with her for development. The Physical Therapist has been working with me to help me learn ways to help her - since she missed lots of important time in the womb. Helping her not make lots of sudden movements is one of them. We are helping her learn how to smooth those movements out.... Isn't neat that they even know all of this about these babies?

She has been having some stomache and reflux issues and is getting some medicine to help with that. She is also anemic(sp??) again, but this time they are hoping medicine will do the trick because they don't want to do a transfusion if they don't have to -- not wanting to expose her to another donor. Her other big issue is her lungs. She is having a hard time weening from the oxygen, but they say all of these factors kind of contribute to each other. The anemia makes her tired, which makes it harder to breathe... and the cycle goes on.

They tell me she is still doing a great job!!.... It is just a miracle that she is even alive!

Thanks to all of you for your continued love and prayers!! It reminds me of Elder Bednar's talk about the "Tender Mercies of the Lord". There are the rough days when John just holds me and tells me it will all be okay and I wonder how much longer, but yet there are so many good days and so many people checking on us and making sure we are okay. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!!!

It looks like Abby is enjoying a nice day at the spa. She got a bath, was fed (through her tube), and a head massage when we put the shampoo in her hair.

Doesn't she look like she is getting bigger??

Enjoying her beautiful face as she is momentarily free from the CPAP.... Her poor little head is having some shaping issues because of it, but they should correct themselves when the CPAP is gone.

Five weeks old!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

What's a CPAP?

Sorry - I have had multiple people ask what I am talking about as I am excited for Abby to be on a CPAP.... I read the tag by her bed. It looks like it stands for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure.... It was pretty much explained to me like this: The ventilator pretty much did Abby's breathing for her, and she could take a breath when she felt like it. The CPAP is putting pressure to her lungs to help her do the breathing. I was told it is kind of giving the initial puff of air -like the one you first give into a balloon to blow it up. That first puff can be difficult to get the balloon opened.... The CPAP is helping keep pressure in Abby's lungs to make it easier for her as she learns to pump her lungs.

For a little bit she was receiving some back-up breaths as she got used to her new task, but she has out grown that now. The next steps will be high-flow oxygen to low-flow oxygen to breathing on her own.... There is no time frame for when all of this happens; it just depends on how Abby responds.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Happy One Month Old to Abby AND Abby Meets Santa!!

There has been lots going on.... There are lots of pictures and some updates.

Abby is weighing about 2lbs 11oz and has grown about an inch since birth. She loves to suck on her pacifier. She may have gotten another infection this week, but they have her on more antibiotics. This is pretty normal for babies her size. The poor thing ended up with an IV in her head because they could not get it in her arms or legs. (Monday was a rough day for Abby - partially due to all the poking.).... They tell me that she continues to do well for her age.

Today I got to hold her for nearly four hours. It is so much easier to hold her in my arms now that she has the CPAP. However, it stops us from the Kangaroo Care (Skin to Skin)....

It is hard to believe that she is already a month old.

This guy either was or is a nurse and has been volunteering as Santa for years. She got to be free from the CPAP for a couple of minutes.

Modeling the dress from Grandma Merrill

We put up some Christmas decorations in Abby's room

Doesn't this look like a proud and happy Daddy?

She has done some fun poses wearing this CPAP. Sometimes she has her hands up by her ears, and it looks like she is listening to music. She will even kick her feet out - and even up in the air occasionally. She gives us some good laughs at her cuteness.

Measuring up to the bear at four weeks on Sunday.

Sleeping on the new blanket Grandma Jones made. She has like eight blankets/sheets made just for her.

My little papoose (if that's how you spell it).

Friday, December 5, 2008

Abby Graduates to Cpap

Sporting her new Cpap. She is also having fun with a pacifier.

I know she really isn't smiling, but I still think it is really cute!!

Playing with her tongue

Look at those beautiful eyes!! Abby is hanging out under some warmed-up blankets to get her warmed up after her bath.

Getting ready to get bundled up for some sleep on her tummy

Abby has made some good progress the last few days. We were able to find measurements from her birth, and she has grown about an inch. She now weighs about 2 lbs. 10 oz. (as of yesterday). They are increasing her feeding amounts every nine hours (instead of 12), and I think she may now have passed the amount she was receiving before the infection and blood transfusion (and they had to stop for a little bit). She is tolerating the feeds well, and the doctors want to increase the feeds more to be able to get her off of the IV soon.

Tuesday night she got to get a bath in a tub (filled also with blankets). Daddy got to give her a bath for the first time. (I was definitely video taping-sorry no still pictures.) The two baths I gave her were just like a sponge bath, but she is getting bigger (too bad I didn't get those documented, but John couldn't be there).... She wasn't happy at first about the bath, but quickly changed her mind. Then, she wasn't happy when we took her out of the nice warm water.

Yesterday was a big day, and exciting for me. When I made my daily morning check-up call, the nurse said they were going to pull out her breathing tube and see how she would do on the Cpap. They weren't convinced she was ready, but they were already having to pull the tube out because she needed a bigger tube. So - the doctor said to let her try the Cpap. The nurse did not know when it was going to happen, but she would call me to come down if it was before my regular visit time.

The nurse called about 10:30 and said they wanted to do it as soon as possible.... Momma threw things together and left. They let me help contain her and talk to her while they did it. Who wants a tube pulled from their throat and little prongs stuffed up their nose? I spent the rest of the day with Abby cheering her on.... Not that I want my daughter to cry, but it is so good to hear her again. Her little voice is quiet and raspy - while the vocal chords heal from the tube between them, but it is soooo cute!!

It is a hard thing to go from a machine that breathes for you to a machine that helps keep pressure in your lungs, making it easier for you to breathe on your own. They said the first time might only last a few seconds, a few hours, or she keeps it. Sometimes their little bodies just run out of energy.... Abby is doing well so far. She has had a couple of "Brady" episodes - meaning her heart rate dropped to a dangerous level. Two of those times the nurse had to go in and wiggle her. However, today's nurse tells me the doctors are not concerned about that yet. I think Abby just has to help her body remember everything it has to do on its own now. Yesterday, they said to give her minimal stimulation (like no Kangaroo Care) because she needed to focus all of her energy on breathing.... So, we will keep praying that she continues to learn how to breathe on her own. She will remain on the Cpap until she graduates to the next step or needs to go back to the ventilator.

So, we continue to do well. One of her doctors has stopped in to see us a couple of times this week and says things are looking good for how little she is.