Tuesday, May 25, 2010

25 weeks and Bedrest

Well, yesterday I started having some cramping along with some back pain. I needed to take Owen to the doctor for a test anyway so I decided just to check and see if everything was ok with me. They found that I was having minor contractions which wouldn't be cause for worry if it wasn't for my history. They then did a vaginal exam and discovered that my cervix was dialated 1cm. My doctor was called and he didn't seem too worried. However, he did ask them to put me on bedrest until my appointment on Thursday.

Bedrest is already not fun. It hasn't even been a whole day but I already feel like I am neglecting my family. I also feel bad for my husband who now is doing most of the work, especially at night. Owen isn't too much to handle but with all the medications and constant poopy diapers I feel helpless. I like to be able to take care of things. I find joy in getting as much as I can done in one day. Now I must learn, yet again, about patience. I thought God had taught me all He could about patience with Owen in the hospital. And yet, here I am again, learning that I have a lot to learn about patience.

Monday, May 24, 2010

25 weeks

Today I am 25 weeks pregnant. This is both exciting and very scary. I am trying to be calm about the whole thing but I can't help but be a little nervous. I am very aware of every pain I have and analyze everything to death. I know I need to stop doing that and just relax but it is hard.

When I was pregnant with Owen I ignored a back pain for a week before I went into the hospital and those pains turned out to be contractions. I had called my doctor the first day I had the pain and he told me I would be fine. Well, I assumed it was a normal pregnancy pain until it kept getting worse. We decided to just go in to the hospital and check it out. 7 hours later Owen was born.

So, for now this pregnancy is going very well. Other than the constant morning sickness and the constipation, there hasn't been any issues. I have back pain occasionally but nothing to worry about. I trust my doctor and I have full confidence that he will find any changes we should be worried about.

Here are a few sonogram pictures from a few weeks ago. I will put new ones up when we get them. :)
Profile of Isaiah at 18 weeks :)
yep, it's a boy!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Gastroenterology Appointment May 21, 2010

Yesterday Owen had his first appointment with the gastroenterology (the doctors that will control his feedings and check on how his intestines are working) since he has left the hospital. He has now been home for 3 weeks so it was exciting to see what they had to say. The nurse practitioner was very surprised to see how well he was doing. She had never met him before but after she read his history, she said she was worried to walk into the appointment.

As she walked in he immediately welcomed her in with his big smile :) As the meeting progressed I realized that all my concerns about his frequent pooping and his spitting up in the mornings was all normal. I write down everything he does each day and she was surprised that I knew exactly how many poops, throw ups, ect. he has had each day lol. I guess I am a little too thorough but it helps me feel more comfortable. I even kept his last poopy diaper and showed her lol. She said it looked great. Also, she was expecting to see diaper rash on his butt but there was none. I am very proud of that because she said she never sees a baby without diaper rash when they have a short guy. yay! They weighed Owen and he now weighs 16lbs!!!! Can you believe it??? 2lbs in 3 weeks!!! He is doing great at home :)

He did have to get some labwork done. He was such a good boy when they poked him with that needle. The little boy in the next room was screaming bloody murder but Owen was just sitting there quietly whining as they stuck him with the needle. It was hard for me to hold him as he was being poked. 1- I hate needles and have a hard time when they are doing it to me 2- he is my baby and it just sucks to watch :(

All in all it was a great meeting and she told me we are doing a great job. We also got to see some of the nurses in the NICU. It was great to see Tess (one of his primary nurses). She held Owen and she was so surprised at how heavy he was. She was so happy to see him doing well at home. She said she was worried they might have sent him home too early but seeing him doing so good made her feel better. I also saw his physical therapists that was amazed at how well he was holding his head up.

I am so proud of him :)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

A few pictures from our NICU journey

Owen just after he was born. He is holding daddy's hand. 2lbs 2oz - so tiny. He was bruised from the doctors taking him out during hte c-section.

Owen lost weight after he was born. In this picture he was only 1lb 7oz.

This is a picture of Daddy holding Owen for the first time. He was such a happy man.

When Owen was transferred to a children's hospital, he went through a major surgery. After the surgery he was very sick and the doctors were sure he wouldn't make it. This is a picture of him after the surgery. His body was not working the way it should have been. His kidneys were not working at all. All the fluids they were giving him caused him to massively swell. The day before this picture was taken he was only 2lbs. In this picture he looks like an 8lb baby.

This picture of Daddy and Owen was taken after his second surgery. He did much better during this surgery. We were so proud of him.

This is Owen's first crib. He graduated from the incubator on November 9th. We were so excited to see him in a real babies crib!

Owen's first Christmas was spent in the NICU. We dressed him up in his First Christmas onsie and he was sooo cute. I was sad to leave him there and spend time with the family but thats life in the NICU, always having to leave your baby behind.

Shortly after Owen's 3rd surgery he was found to have RSV. He went from a pretty healthy baby that was on his road to recovery to a baby that could die at any moment. I think this was the scariest part of our NICU experience. It was totally unexpected and there was nothing anyone could do for him. His body would have to fight it off. He developed seizures and heart arithmias during this time which made it ten times worse. It was devistating and extremely scary.

Owen recovered from RSV and then got the flu. In between the 2 viruses he turned 5 months old and finally was able to have his first bath! It was so much fun. He loved the water and didn't cry at all.

This was a picture taken during the last of 3 E.E.G.s he had in response to the seizures. The E.E.G.s never showed any signs of a seizure disorder and the doctors decided the seizures were simply a product of the RSV.

Owen was 6months old when this picture was taken. What a cutie :)

This picture is dear to my heart. These were 2 of his primary nurses. They were there for us every step of the way. We could not have gone through any of it without them. They were our rocks. . . we call them our nurse moms. They were all very special people.

Owen came home on April 23, 2010 - just 5 days before he turned 8months old. We were all so happy, and so was he :)

Our baby's NICU journey

My name is Kathleen and my husband’s name is Heath. When we found out we were pregnant we were surprised. We were not married yet and still attending college. However, we were excited. I graduated college and we moved to my hometown. The pregnancy was going great. I was working 40 hrs a week and felt very good. My last doctor appointment was great. There were no problems. Then I began having back pain. I didn’t think much about it. After a week of the pain, it got worse. Because it was Friday, my doctor’s office was closed so we decided to go to the hospital just to check it out. We got there at 2p.m. and they told us that those back pains I was feeling were actually contractions. I was 6cm dilated, my bag of water was bulging, and the baby’s foot was right behind the bag. They immediately transferred me by helicopter to a hospital an hour a way that had a NICU because I was only 25 weeks along. Heath could not go with me and had to drive. When I got there the doctor told us there was nothing they could do to stop my labor and he would have to do an emergency c-section.

Owen was born August 28, 2009 at 9:03 p.m. He weighed 2lbs 2oz and was 13.7in long. His first week of life went pretty well. He was intubated because his lungs were underdeveloped and he was unable to breathe on his own. He was very strong and didn't seem to have any major problems.

When Owen was 3 weeks old he was sent to a children's hospital for an emergency surgery in the middle of the night. He developed a disease called Necrotizing Enterocolitis or NEC. We were told that he was not going to survive surgery and we should prepare for his death. He made it out of the surgery alive but was extremely sick. During surgery they removed 60% of his small intestine. The next month he slowly recovered from his surgery. He was on a ventilator because he couldn't breathe on his own along with many IV's and many tests. Owen seemed to be doing the impossible. He just kept getting better and better. Then, one day, he started to get sick. They found that he had an ecoli infection in his blood which meant he had a hole in his intestine. He needed another surgery to remove more of his intestine. At this point the surgeon said that surgery would be a waste of time because he didn’t have enough intestines to live after the surgery. Heath and I knew there was no other choice – he was going through surgery. The surgeon was hesitant but did the surgery. He did much better in this surgery and they didn't have to remove too much more intestine. He had an ostomy bag which is a bag that holds all of his bowel movements. His intestines were sticking out of his stomach and emptying out into this bag. It was hard to get used to but soon became second nature to us.

For the next few months we were just there to watch him grow and waited until the day they would re-connect his intestines. He spent his first halloween, his first thanksgiving, and his first Christmas in the Children's Hospital NICU. On Dec 6th Heath and I were married in the chapel of the hospital so Owen could attend and be the best man in the first wedding he attended. Finally, the day arrived. The day Owen would be re-connected, January 6th. The surgeon was not hopeful that it would work. He believed Owen would need to be put on a transplant list for a new liver and a new intestine. However, when he came to talk to us about the surgery he said he was very impressed and was surprised to see how good Owen's intestines looked. After surgery it looked like Owen would not be in the hospital for much longer.

Well, things quickly changed. Four days after Owen's 3rd surgery he was found to have RSV which is a type of cold virus. Now, to us it would be just a stuffy nose and a slight cough. For Owen it was much different. He was very sick. He began to have seizures and heart arrhythmias. He was put back on a high frequency ventilator (the strongest breathing machine the hospital has). They were afraid he would not make it through this virus and there was nothing they could do. He had to fight the virus himself. We were so worried. The longest couple weeks of our lives. He looked like he did when he came out of his first surgery. He slowly started to recover and was taken from the high frequency ventilator to the conventional ventilator. Soon, he had 3 negative tests for RSV; we were in the clear. Things started to get better. However, a week after RSV was tested negative, Owen tested positive for para-influenza. Again, he was so sick. They tried to continue his feedings so his intestines would keep working but he got to a point where he was throwing up his own poop. They decided to stop the feedings until he was healthy again. Finally, at the end of February Owen tested negative for para-influenza.

When Owen got out of isolation for the second time we were concerned about his feedings. It went very slow but we were confident it would work. They only upped his feedings by 1ml every couple days. Slowly he went up on his feedings and down on his IV nutrition. In a little over a month he was completely off IV nutrition and fully on his formula feeds. He came home on April 23rd at about 8 months old with a feeding tube in his nose that continually feeds him so that he can absorb enough nutrition. We are so thankful to have him home and only hope, with time, we will be able to feed him orally.

Thank you all for your continued prayers and thoughts for Owen and our new family