Friday, December 31, 2010

Thursday December 30th

Jackson will now receive every other feeding by bottle! He seems to be doing ok, sometimes he gets a little tired towards the end of the feed. According to the rules of the game, he needs to take his bottle within 30 minutes. After 30 minutes they worry that he will be burning too many calories and using too much effort to make the bottle feed effective. Outside of the feeding, Jackson is doing really well. He is gaining weight each day and really developing a little personality. We are loving spending so much time with Jackson.

Jackson showing Daddy that he can hold the bottle.

look at Jackson's hands, he was playing with them

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Wednesday, December 29th

Today is 13 weeks in the NICU.  In some ways it seems like it's been forever, and yet in others it seems like it was just yesterday we were in labor and delivery.  Jackson is up to 5lbs, 2 oz as of yesterday.  Jackson's preliminary eye exam looks positive.  We should know even more next week.  Daddy gave him two bottles successfully today, when mommy had trouble with one.  He's been all smiles today, some for daddy, some for mommy, and some for grandma Pat.  He's just doing mighty fine.

Tuckered out after a long day

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Tuesday, December 28th

So today Jackson is 90 days old.  And today daddy gave Jackson his first bottle, successfully might I add.  He was also able to get to see his grandma Pat.  The only other news is that Jackson's eye doctor couldn't see him today because he got caught up in the nor'easter.  Hopefully, he will make it into town tomorrow to be able to update us on Jackson's eye situation.

Daddy giving me my first bottle

Grandma Pat getting all smooshy with me

Grandma Pat sure looks happy to hold me.

Monday December 27th

Jackson is officially a 5lb baby! He is now on 43ml/feed and doing well with his bottle feeding. His breastfeeding skills are still lacking consistency, but he is working on it. One of his doctors actually mentioned the h-word - home. She was telling us that once he gets to 8 feedings a day either by breast or bottle, they would send him home, even if he is still requiring a little bit of oxygen support, because they could sent him home with an oxygen tank. We are still a couple weeks away for sure, but it was nice hearing the doctors begin to talk about coming home.

He has recovered well from his eye surgery, and seems to tolerate all of the drops and ointments they put in his eyes to help with the healing. You can see that in the picture below. Either on Tuesday or Wednesday he will have a followup appointment with his eye doctor and we will have a general idea if the surgery was successful.

Jackson loves to self soothe, which means he places his hands on his face, and sometimes he sucks his hand or fingers. But today Julia caught him sucking his thumb and rubbing his blankie on his face--it was too cute!!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Sunday, December 26th

Jackson is doing great.  He is getting more bottles a day now, and every other feed is either by bottle or breast.  He is getting much better every day at breast feeding.  Grandpa Mike was able to make a visit today and hold Jackson.  He was able to take the bottle today without any trouble and took it all down in 15 minutes.  The nurses said that Jackson likes to listen to the nurses when they have downtime.  They said they spend time talking by his crib because he likes to listen to them and watches everyone as they talk.
Jackson was less than an ounce away from 5lbs last night, and we think he'll break it tonight.

Fat and happy after grandpa's visit and a bottle

My bedsheets that were on my bed today.

Saturday December 25th Merry Christmas!

Today Jackson had to have his nasal cannula reconnected. They said he did pretty well, but started to "destat", which means the oxygen level in his blood was falling. We are proud of him for trying and hopefully he will get to try again soon. Tonight when we were at the NICU he was on a 1/2liter flow and needing about 21-23% oxygen. Room air is 21% so we aren't too concerned. They also have added the extra calories into his milk. We are enjoying all of Jackson's little facial expressions, especially when he smiles. It was a very nice first Christmas with our little baby. Tonight when we went to visit we met the parents of a new 23week old baby, we introduced them to Jackson, hopefully it will help them sleep a little better tonight. When we met a couple of the NICU parents of micro-premies who were much older, it always gave us hope. So here is wishing for hope, love and joy during this Christmas season.

Daddy and Jackson Christmas Morning

Jackson is so happy in his Dad's arms

Dad reading a Christmas book to Jackson

looking so sweet

Mommy and Jackson Christmas Morning

Where are your ears Jackson? Of there they are!

Jackson snug as a bug and ready for a nap.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Friday December 24th - Christmas Eve

Jackson had a fun first Christmas. Santa came to visit and brought Mom and Dad a great present--they are trying to see if Jackson can do well without his nasal cannula. This means he is breathing totally on his own. They also resumed his bottle feedings and breastfeeding. Jackson is back to where he was pre-surgery. He was 4lbs 14oz now.We are just so happy with his progress. It was a wonderful day. Also when Santa was visiting there was a news crew at the hospital and interviewed Julia about Christmas in the NICU. Of course we all know Jackson was the true star of the interview. We posted the link to the interview in a separate post. Here are a couple of pictures from today:

Santa visits an Austin hospital NICU

Jackson is a star! Today he did his first interview for KEYE here in Austin. They talked to us about celebrating Christmas in the NICU. More pictures to come from today. You can click ---> Santa visits an Austin hospital NICU
This will take you to the story.

Thursday, December 23rd

Jackson is very close to back to where he was before the surgery.  He is on the same oxygen machine he was on before.  He is back up to his full feeds, with everything put in other than his diuretics.  The doctors said that unless he shows that he needs it again, there is no reason to give it to him.  The original use was to get excess fluids out of his lungs.  But he is not showing any signs of fluids on the lungs.  He is back in his regular crib bed, rather than in the heated surgery table.

Father Jonathan made a special trip up to the NICU to give Jackson a personal blessing.  It was really great of him to make some time in his schedule especially since Christmas is one of his busiest times.

Other than all of this, Jackson was sleeping soundly awaiting Santa's arrival in the NICU tomorrow.  Since these babies need special care Santa gives them special treatment and comes early for them.

Visions of sugar plums dancing in my head

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Wednesday, December 22nd

Jackson is 12 weeks old today.  Today was all about recovering from the eye surgery.  They turned his oxygen back up and had him on half feeds, trying to work him back to where he was before the surgery.  This morning he was really groggy, he moved very little and only slightly opened his eyes.  Julia went to go see him around lunch time, and he was moving around some, and opening his eyes and looking around more.  Finally we went and saw him tonight and he was more or less back to normal.  We were able to hold him, and he was acting almost like before.  We hope that in the next 24 hours he will be all the way back with oxygen and feeds. 

Mommy getting to hold Jackson for the first time after surgery

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Tuesday December 21st - The Longest Shortest Day of the Year

At 10:30am we got the call that Jackson would be having eye surgery today. His eye doctor came a day early and didn't like the way Jackson's eye growth was progressing, so to remedy the situation, they opted to do laser eye surgery. His surgery was at 4:30pm. The NICU staff decided to call his primary and favorite nurse, Jackie, to see if she would come in on her day off to help with the surgery. She was more than willing, which definitely put us at ease, because of all the people, she knows Jackson best. She has been with Jackson since the first hour of his life.

Jackson had to get general anesthesia, which was really the risky part of this surgery. Because of the anesthesia, they had to intubate him and place him on a ventilator. He was also given an IV and not allowed to eat today.  The surgery lasted about 45 minutes and Jackson did really well. We were able to be with him up until the surgery started and then were allowed back in the NICU once it was over. They actually closed the NICU to all other visitors to keep the traffic down and the distractions at a minimum. After the surgery and we knew Jackson was stable we went home to rest a little and have dinner. While at dinner we got a call that Jackson was awake and freaking out because of the breathing tube. So his doctor went ahead and removed it and placed him back on the high flow nasal cannula. They also are resuming his feedings, but it will be about 20ml and then they will raise it back up later. We went back to check on Jackson around 8pm and he was resting comfortably.

So for those of you who would like more information on Retinopathy of Prematurity, here is a link that describes the condition and the treatment. Retinopathy of Prematurity
They told us that this should prevent Jackson from loosing his eyesight, but its not 100%. Even if he can see, the best his vision will be is about 20/30--so he won't be able to be a fighter pilot. As we mentioned, we will know more in about 2 weeks once the eyes have had a chance to heal and regrow.

Of course with finding out we were going to have to endure surgery and having it all in one day made for a very exhausting day. Greg and Julia are both completely wiped out but so happy their baby is doing ok. It was pretty scary but reminded us just how lucky we have been, because Jackson has had so few problems. This morning before the surgery call, we were told he was able to take a second bottle and did really well with it. Also when they weighed him he was 4lbs 11oz. Once he is stable they will resume bottle/breastfeeding. And hopefully get him back on track to come home in late January.

This was taken while Jules was holding Jackson before his surgery.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Monday December 20

Jackson weighed in at 4lb 8.8oz! Today was pretty much the same as the last. Julia was able to feed Jackson his bottle and try breastfeeding. Jackson still hasn't figured out the breastfeeding but we are continuing to work with him. He does like the bottle alot. We actually have to be careful when feeding him, because if it was up to Jackson he would take the whole bottle at once without breathing. He seems to be doing well on the 1/2liter flow. The doctors are still pleased as we are all waiting to see what the eye doctor will say on Wednesday.If you can please say a prayer that we will get good news on Wednesday regarding his vision.

What's Up Mom and Dad!
Big Pimp Jackson

Bottle action
looking like a big kid with pants and a shirt.

Sunday December 19th

Today Mom was able to give Jackson a bottle. This was her first time, and the nurses said she did really well, and Jackson did well too. When he gets the bottle, he starts sucking and forgets to breathe, so we have to watch his vitals signs and coloring to make sure he is getting enough air. We also have to pace him, because he tries to take it all down at once. Because he is doing so well with the bottle, they increased where he will now get 2 of his feedings via bottle instead of thru the feeding line. They have increased his feeds to 40ml.

The other big change was they changed his nasal cannula to a flow of 1/2liter per minute. They also changed his air temperature and moisture. Before he was getting warm air, but the negative was there would be water buildup in the line and every once in a while, Jackson would get a nose full of water. Now with the new set up this will happen less. There is still moisture in his cannula, but its cool.

Unhappily waiting for dinner.
I wonder what fabric softener they use?  Blanky is so smooth.
I'm not ready for my closeup yet.

maxin' relaxin'
Can I get some privacy mom?

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Saturday December 18th

Jackson's stat update:
Weight: 4lbs 7.8oz
Length: 16 3/4 inch
Head Circumference: 12 inches

Jackson is just growing and growing. He is definitely keeping up with the pace of 1 oz a day. Today he was able to take another bottle (all 37ml of it!!). He is still trying to learn the whole breastfeeding thing, but according to the nurses, he is still a little young, so we aren't getting discouraged yet. Mom and Dad took an infant CPR class to get ready for Jackson's life at home. This evening when we went to the NICU it was bath time for Jackson. So Mommy got to enjoy giving her little man a bath. At the end of the night, Jackson was fussy, so we turned on his music--it was Rainbow Connection by Willie Nelson--totally soothed Jackson to sleep.

excuse the fuzziness...too cute not to post. Jackson saluting Mom and Dad
Jackson chillin on the scale.

Bath time!

Wash, wash, wash, scrub, scrub, scrub.

arching my back!

monkey butt!

ahhh Im clean and happy
little longhorn, passed out after a long day in the NICU.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Friday, December 17th

Jackson was able to take down a whole bottle of milk again today.  Because of this, the doctors will allow the nursing staff to do it, rather than having to wait for Speech Therapy to show up.  Last night he weighed in at 4lbs 5.5 oz.  Other than that he is sleeping, eating, and growing.

Taking down a bottle wearing something on my head the nurse created

taking in the scenery after a great day

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Thursday - December 16th

Another milestone today, Jackson's day nurse called us to let us know that Jackson took his entire bottle of milk today. all 35ml of it!!! The nurse was so proud of Jackson, she had to call us to brag. Tonight when we were at the NICU, Jackson was pretty tired, so we just spent time snuggling. When they weighed him last night he was just under 4lb 5oz.

Using my blankey to rub my face
Stretching out in my new doggie PJ's
Looking around after another successful day