Day 120: Four Months!

Teddy hit the four month mark today – yet another big milestone both in terms of his age and how long we’ve been making the several-times-a-day trek to the hospital to be with him. He’s up to 7 lbs. 14 oz. and looks like a “normal” baby, not even like a preemie anymore. Nurses keep coming over and marveling at how big he is, how well he’s doing, and how “stinking cute” he is. (Stink might be the operative word there – he continues to be a champion farter.)

Belated 17 week Bear with bear pic
Belated 17 week Bear with bear pic

Early this week, Teddy continued to struggle with both eating and breathing. He’d manage three or four bottles in a row, and then be so exhausted that we’d need to gavage a feed or two while he sat comatose on our lap recovering from the exertion. The doctors and NP’s would push him down on his oxygen, and he would desat and get pushed right back up. He wasn’t backsliding exactly, but he wasn’t making progress, either.

A tired Bear
A tired Bear

During most of his time in the NICU, Teddy has been part of a great “neighborhood,” with two other babies who were also 24 weekers and have been physically near him in the NICU for most of the past few months. We parents have become close, and one baby even shares Teddy’s primary nurse. Each baby faces his or her own individual health challenges, but the goal is the same for all three – get off the oxygen, eat all the meals, go home.

This week started with a bit of emotional challenge for us moms, as the other two babies seemed to be outpacing Teddy – going off oxygen, accomplishing more feeds – and one has even been preparing to go home. We are THRILLED for him and his parents, but also incredibly envious, and scared and frustrated for Teddy’s seeming lack of progress. The nurses have been assuring us that all is going well and Teddy will get there in his time, but both of us shed some tears in the unit this week.

Then yesterday rolled around, and Teddy started EATING! He is now on a roll of over 24 hours straight taking full bottles in less than half an hour. Our nurse told us that it would be like this – that one day we’d come in and he’d just be a different baby. And he was!

Look at this guy!
Look at this guy!

By yesterday, he’d been moved to “pedi-flow,” a much simpler form of respiratory support that is just straight oxygen with the amount of support determined by how much flow he gets. And by this morning, his nurse had bumped him down to just 0.1 liters (the lowest setting), and he was still satting in the high 90’s to 100%.

The most exciting news is that today for the first time the doctors used the “h word,” maybe as soon as this coming Monday! Our nurse even said that, given his low respiratory settings, there’s still a chance he might come home off oxygen.

Given his still increasing girth, they’ve approved him for “ad lib” feeds – he still needs to eat every three hours, but it’s up to him how much. If he wants 75mL, great. If he only wants 40, that’s cool too. The big stipulation is that, as he goes to ad lib feeds, he can’t lose weight. Glenn/Granddad commented the other night on how eating has never been a problem for Noonans, so hopefully that will be the case with the newest member of the family.

Ready to eat!
Ready to eat!

We are reminded constantly, though, not to get too excited about going home until he is literally out the door. Heartbreakingly, our neighbor who earlier in the week was anticipating heading home this morning had several bradies over night, and his discharge has been pushed back, perhaps by as much as five days. Hence the superstition around the “h word” in the NICU.

Please keep our boy – and his wonderful neighbors! – in your thoughts. Just don’t use the “h word”! 😉

Shhhhhh... don't say it!
Shhhhhh… don’t say it!
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SillyKris
Member
SillyKris
5 years 7 months ago

Go, Bear, go! We love you!

GinaD07
Member
GinaD07
5 years 7 months ago

Such amazing progress! Love to you all!

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