Saturday, January 10, 2009

FAST Update

It's been a while since I've updated and several people have expressed concern that my silence is a sign she's doing poorly. Just so all worries are put to rest, Brynn is doing really well--so well, in fact, I'm always at the hospital breastfeeding or something so I haven't had time to update my blog!

Well, I don't have photos ready for the web yet, but here's a quick update just so everyone knows what is going on. Before I list everything, I must explain that there are three criteria for Brynn to reach before she can come home. First, she has to keep her own body temperature. Second, she has to be able to breathe. And third, she needs to be able to take all her feeds by mouth (instead of her nasal tube). There are also a few other things like having to sit in a car seat without desatting, pass her MRI, hearing test, and a few other minor details, but those usually don't delay the homecoming for much more than a couple days.

So, with that list in mind, Brynn has already checked two things off it. She is currently keeping her own body temperature and has consequently been moved to an open CRIB. Okay, so it's really an aluminum frame with a plastic box on top, but it's the best a hospital can do in a sterile environment, right? Anyway, hooray! With this improvement, I can now hold her whenever I want for as long as I want and I'm really starting to feel like a mom.

Second, although she's not entirely off oxygen, she only has to be down to a flow of 1 Liter in order to go home. At that low of a setting, a home health oxygen tank can be set up, complete with an apnea monitor for if/when she has a long pause in breathing. To be quite honest, I think I might feel a little better with and apnea monitor set up; but the hospital keeps reassuring me that if she can make it 5-7 days without an apnea incident, she really will be over it. They say that I should be able to sleep without worrying she'll quit breathing in the middle of the night, but I say, "Yeah right." Anyway, whether she comes home with or without the oxygen and apnea monitor, she is already on 0.4 Liter, which means she's finished checking off criteria number two.

The third criteria is her bear, though. Although she was ahead of the breastfeeding curve for a little while, she has quickly lost ground and is a solid average right now. I give her credit for trying hard, but she just doesn't understand how to be effective in her sucking. So whether we bottle feed her or breastfeed her, she's just not taking enough by mouth to send her home.

So when will she actually get to sleep in her very own nursery? The bottom line is, we have no idea. The nurses say that no matter how much they encourage the babies or help them to practice, breastfeeding is just something that happens all at once. It's like a light finally goes on and they understand that coordinating sucking, swallowing, and breathing is a necessary part of life. There is no guessing when each baby's light will go on.

Sometimes I feel anxious for her to come home and I hammer the doctors with questions that require crystal balls; but then I watch her go through an apnea spell, complete with the nurse busily managing cords, dials, and oxygen settings to bring her back out of it. Suddenly I become VERY happy to keep her there as long as possible.

Oh yes, and although weight is NOT a criteria for coming home, we are happy to announce that Brynn has officially tripled her birth weight. She is currently 3 lbs, 15 oz and growing. Grandpa, who is visiting for the weekend, keenly observed that she's even getting official baby rolls on her cheeks (yes, the other cheeks).

Well that's about all for Brynn updates but I must mention, before I end, how grateful I am for the generosity of friends everywhere. We had three of the most wonderful baby showers. One was given by my husband's coworkers, one by my awesome Young Women (the 16-18 year olds I teach at church), and the other was a big celebration with all of my friends at Rotary, Church, and old job. I just want to say how amazed I am at how many people care about Brynn and our little family. She doesn't even know how many people love her, but I can promise I certainly try my best to convey it to her. I am so grateful for everyone and I am remembering YOU in MY prayers that God may bless you for your selfless concern. Thank you so much! For not having any biological family in Kansas, we sure feel like we have a family anyway!

Love you all,

1 comment:

Carrie said...
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