Monday, October 27, 2008

Bruce and Kimball

Bruce and Kimball are already on their way to becoming fast friends.  Sure, the dog is a little jealous of all the attention the baby gets.  But, who wouldn't be?  Kimball gets fed at regular intervals, gets his diaper changed whenever he so much as peeps, he gets to stay in bed with us after lights out and gets carried everywhere.  Bruce is lucky if we let him out of the house before we notice the potty dance.  And if the water bowl gets refilled before he's emptied the cat's water too, it's a good day.  However, the jealousy melts away when Kimball smiles.  (These smiles have he same effect on Kimball's parent's desire to complain about all the late nights.  Really, baby smiles are like a super power.)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

How is that comfortable?

I found Bruce napping one evening on Bryce's legs.  I am still baffled and have no further comment.  The pictures speak for themselves.

Monday, October 13, 2008

My days have become mundane

I keep waiting for something exciting to happen so that I can blog about it. I'm still waiting. Today I managed to change the sheets on my bed, do three loads of laundry, give my baby a bath (He peed on himself twice yesterday and his diaper leaked three times), and go to the grocery store--in addition to a lot of nursing since I have cut Kimball off the bottle. I know that doesn't sound like a lot, but it was a really full day.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

All Clean!

This is a video of Kimball's First Swaddle Bath in the hospital on Sunday September 28th. He seemed to really like it. You can see the feeding tube in his nose, but by this time the IV had been removed from his head. (Thank Goodness!)

Monday, October 6, 2008

Kimball's First Day

The following video is for Grandma and Grandpa Hansen who are on a mission in Brazil.  We hope this helps satisfy your Kimball cravings.  This video is of Kimball's first day in the hospital.  You can see the IV in his hand (it later got transfered to his head).  He appears jittery because his blood sugar is not under control.  He is crying because they sliced his heel to test his blood sugar.  

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Finally Home!!

Yesterday Kimball was finally discharged and we were able to come home after eight long days in the hospital.  Bryce and I are still coming to terms with the fact that despite his 38 weeks inutero Kimball is considered a preemie--a.k.a. a "late preterm delivery."  Kimball's small size is related to my high blood pressure and whatever vascular problems I had with the placenta during pregnancy.  Fortunately, because Kimball was able to hold off as long as he did before making his entrance into the world his lungs are well developed and he has no respiratory problems like most preemies. 

Soon after Kimball was born the nurses and doctors discovered that Kimball had a low blood sugar.  This can be common and typically they give the baby some formula as a boost.  They brought Kimball to me along with a bottle.  About 30 second later I was told that his blood sugar was bad enough that the formula wasn't going to help and he needed an IV.  He was whisked off to the Special Care Nursery (a.k.a. the NICU).  Weaning a baby off an IV takes about a gajillion times longer that it does to put one in.  In Kimball's case he needed to learn to eat so that the IV could be removed.  Seems simple enough, right?  

From the beginning I was insistent that Kimball learn how to breast feed.  While a noble ideal, I was unprepared for a baby that was physically unable to nurse.  I learned a lot about breast feeding at the hospital thanks to multiple lactation consultants and specialists--including a speech therapist.  You read that correctly, a speech therapist.  Apparently, speech therapists can evaluate problems with latching and breast feeding.  Who knew?  In any event, I learned that it is the fat deposits in a baby's cheeks that stabilizes the nipple in the b
aby's mouth.  As you can see from the pictures, Kimball has no fat in his cheeks.  (He doesn't really have any fat anywhere).  When Kimball tried to breast feed he would latch, suck a few times and then scream.  He wasn't getting enough to eat and so I asked that a feeding tube be inserted.  There were of course other options--a bottle, a nipple shield, a supplemental feeding system--but all of them seemed to interfere with breast feeding and were therefore shunned.

Kimball and I made a valiant effort at nursing, but by the weekend we were both tired and frustrated.  One of the doctors suggested we look at the big picture and realize that our first choice for feeding Kimball may not be possible.  A specialist was brought in and we moved to the nipple shield.  A nipple shield gives the baby something to latch onto and are used a lot with preemies.
There is a bit of a controversy over nipple shields and whether they prevent a baby from learning to feed without one once the baby gains some weight and strength.  I had resisted using one for that reason, but by Saturday my resolve had worn down (not to mention every other part of me).  Kimball fed much better with the shield and I was hopeful that he could go home.  The IV was removed on Sunday the feeding tube on Monday and I thought we were on our way.  But after feeding wonderfully on Monday, Kimball lost weight, had a bad blood sugar level on at least one occasion and wasn't urinating.  At this point I had to admit that while Kimball could latch onto the shield and suck, he didn't have the strength to eat enough to sustain him.

On Tuesday we decided to supplement with a bottle so that we could go home sooner rather than later.  This was a hard decision because we realized that it could sabotage all our efforts to teach Kimball to breast feed.  (You would take a bottle too if you didn't have to work so hard to get something our of it).  We also decided to fortify the breast milk he was getting to give him a few more calories per ounce.  Another specialist was brought in to try and help with nursing.  My mom referred to her as the "baby whisperer" and she was pretty amazing.  She helped Bryce and me to pay more attention to Kimball and set a feeding schedule.  She turned Kimball into a baby rather than a patient.  The other change that happened on Tuesday that I think helped us turn a corner is that we asked our doctor to let Kimball stay in our room.

You see, I was discharged Thursday and Kimball was still in the Special Care Nursery.  We were able to rent our room so that we could sleep at the hospital and feed him.  But this also meant that every three hours day and night we would trek across the hospital to Kimball, spend an hour or so with him and trek back, only to do it all over again several hours later.  I did not get much sleep.  (Bryce got a little more because I would let him skip feedings.  Well, I only let him because between about 3am and 8am Bryce is nearly impossible to get out of bed).  

Having Kimball right next to my bed was dreamy after watching him be poked and prodded in the ICU.  For a while his heel was sliced open every three hours so they could take his blood sugar.  This dropped off in the last two day we were there, but Kimball's heels are shredded.  I feel so bad for him.  He was on a bili-bed for a few days because he was jaundiced.  (That is the picture below with the goggles).  He was measured, weighed and otherwise fussed with more than any baby should have to take.  When he was next to us he was able to sleep like a . . . well, like a baby.  Wednesday morning our doctor walked in and asked "Would you like to take your baby home?"  Thanks to the supplement Kimball gained weight, had good blood sugar levels and started to pee.

We are thankful for the wonderful care that Kimball received in the hospital.  The doctors and nurses all worked hard to help him.  We are also thankful for all our family and friends who came to see him and otherwise prayed and fasted for him.  Thank you all.  We are so happy to have our baby home.


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