Saturday, September 29, 2012

Titus Update 9/29/2012

It has been six days since my last update and I feel like so much has happened! img 059

After 11 days at the NICU, Titus came home on September 27th!! It was such a day to celebrate, followed by a (teensy weensy) bit of anxiety on mama’s part. It was surprisingly comforting to know that we had a team of doctors and nurses there to step in if at any time Titus decided to stop eating or…. whatever else. In the end however, the excitement and relief far out weigh any anxiety I felt. That, and and amazing husband who continues to remind me that God is in control, and that Titus is doing great.

But I guess I should back up and take this a day at a time.

Monday, September 24th (1 Week Old)

Was a pretty ordinary day as far as Titus’ performance went. Titus nippled 45% which was around the same that he had done the two days prior.

The big things that happened this day were having visitors. His Aunt Tami stopped in bright and early (6:45ish) to visit for a while. img 001

And then, later that afternoon, we had the kids come by and visit. Sadly, after the first two days in the NICU a nurse realized that our kids had not received their vaccinations (which had gone unnoticed up to this point) and they were no longer allowed to enter the NICU. Regardless, the kids ended up getting colds a day later any way, but it was VERY frustrating, to not be able to allow them to come and hold, touch or even visit their baby brother. img 002

They did offer a family room there with a window into the playroom that the kids were able to look into and see Titus. img 005They were there for about an hour and were able to talk to him through an intercom and to at least get to see his face. img 004

That night, Tim and I gave Titus his first bath (by us) in the family room. img 007I too, ended up getting a cold, so 99% of the time I was wearing a mask (which is why you will see very few pictures of me from this point on, as I preferred to be behind the camera)  img 009     

Tuesday, September 25th

img 011 (Here is Titus enjoying his first sun rise with Dad in the Family Room :))

Another fairly “usual” day in the NICU, except that Tim was not able to join me on our afternoon trip. At his 6:30 feeding, I saw him finally “get” his sucking down for the first time. He only did it for about a minute but it was like watching a newborn (vs. a preemie) suck a bottle…. for a minute!! I was crying and praying and trying to pay attention to what he was doing all at the same time. It was a beautiful moment.

Wednesday, September 26th

Titus really turned around over night and started sucking down a decent portion of his bottle. His Dr. decided that today could be his ad-lib day!! This was sooner than we had expected (I was praying for Thursday, but realistically thinking Friday). At about noon they removed his feeding tube. img 017He did fairly well throughout the day, but wasn’t rocking it the way that we had hoped he would. However, all he needed to get was 80% of his goal. img 015 

Other than the few moments after birth, I had not seen Titus without his feeding tube…. and it was just what I expected…. still a bundle of cuteness!! img 016

Titus also had his circumcision this day, which was a little worrisome because some babies, after being circumcised (particularly preemies we were told) will go on an eating strike…. this we obviously did not want.

Thursday, September 27th

We called the NICU first thing in the morning to see how he did overnight and his numbers were still so-so, fairly good, so we knew it could go either way on if they would let us bring him home or not.

We arrived at the NICU around 9:30 and saw the doctor soon after. She said as long as he passed his 90 minute car seat apnea test that he was free to go, that though he was shy of his goal, he did exceed the 80% – he ate 264ml of his 310ml goal which put him at 85%! img 022

He passed his car seat and hearing test no problem img 024and at 1:30 we were ready to go home!!! img 028

The kids had made some signs for Titus I believe the day (or day after) he was born, waiting for him to come home….img 035 They were so excited to finally put them up and were waiting for us in the yard when we pulled up. img 036

img 040Each one of them wanted to hold him pretty badly, but they all still had colds so we were pretty insistent on hand washing and lots and lots of hand sanitizer. img 045

Oh… yeah…. but how do you say no to first kisses???? img 043

It was such a GREAT DAY!!!  

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Friday, September 28th

We had an appointment with our normal pediatrician at 9:00am, Titus weighed in at 5 pounds 1 ounce, passing the five pound mark for the first time!! img 060

The pediatrician was going to have us come in again next week for an appointment until we told him we had bought a baby scale, to which he said he would call us on Monday for his weight and that as long as it was good, we could wait a MONTH to come in!! More great news.img 068That afternoon I gave Titus his first bath at home, while dad and the kids were at the store. img 053I had wanted to wait, knowing that Treyton really wanted to help with a bath, img 072but we’re learning that you really have to work around Titus’ schedule and not your own, otherwise, he exhausts his energy and doesn’t eat as well. img 074

(Loving us some hand sanitizer)     img 077

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Saturday, September 29th

I have honestly appreciated bringing all of my babies home from the hospital, and rejoiced in knowing that a new normal was about to start, but obviously this time my gratitude has multiplied in a HUGE way. Having our family all together, and watching us start to get the hang of having a baby around, again….. it’s such a gift. img 088It is literally a full time job keeping up with his eating – he is still exclusively bottle fed so I’m bottle-feeding (which still takes about 25-30 minutes to get down 1.5 ounces) and pumping. However, it’s totally worth the work, knowing that he’s getting my milk. And we still have our moms rotating through to help us out for another week (thank you moms)!!  img 087His eating today has picked up a lot since the afternoon and it is taking a lot less time to get down a bottle (almost half). I’m thinking on Monday, once his sucking is even more established trying to transition him to the breast. img 082The kids have been awesome. I’m not thinking jealousy is going to be our issue, he is constantly fought over and begged for. It’s such a blessing to see each child love and protect him in their own way. img 083

We are so blessed beyond measure. To God be the glory!!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Titus Update 9/23/12

Titus is 6 days old today! I can’t believe how fast time is flying by. Gestationally, Titus is 35 weeks 5 days.  Titus Jacob2 016He is progressing every day, which is a reason to celebrate, after spending 6 days in the NICU, Tim and I are both humbly aware that this isn’t always the case.

Yesterday (9/22) he was able to move from the isolette to a crib. Such an encouraging transition. As a parent, it just feels that we’re that much closer to going home, and it’s much less intimidating to work with him (changing diapers, his clothes, picking him up, etc.) now that he’s more accessible. Even though we knew he wasn’t sick, sometimes the isolette can make you feel like he’s sick. Titus Jacob2 003

Now that he’s transitioned to the crib, the big test is if he can keep his body temperature up on his own. He has been borderline, since he’s been moved usually around 37.6 C (97.8F), but thankfully he continues to put on his weight and eat at the same or better rate than before, which is still a good sign that his body is starting to get the hang of warming itself. Titus Jacob2 020

Eating/nippling his bottle (or the breast) continues to be his biggest (and only) real problem. The goal is to get him to nipple 80% of his feedings, at which time he gets to loose his feeding tube and goes to what they call his “ad lib” day. On ad lib day we feed more on-demand (than a strict 3 hour schedule) and see if he is able to eat an adequate amount and gain weight. Once he gets to ad lib day if all goes well it will be 24-48 hours, and he would get to come home. So far this has been his nippling percentages:

Day 1 (35 ml every 3 hours): 20%

Day 2 (35 ml): 23%

Day 3 (35 ml): 23%

Day 4 (40 ml): 21%

Day 5 (40 ml):  43%

Titus Jacob2 022The challenge is that as he puts on weight they increase his required intake, so sometimes it can feel like a circle of slight improvement, but then increasing his ml intake can bring the percentage back down…. The reality is, once he “gets it” developmentally, he’ll get it. The amount isn’t going to be seen as much as a hurdle as it is now. It’s a matter of his body learning the suck-swallow-breathe technique, it’s a developmental issue more than a “training” issue, so we wait. We wait for his brain to tell his body to feed itself.

I know I’ve already said it, but we are so very fortunate. He is truly a healthy, happy, very content baby that is doing great and developing as a typical preemie does. Titus Jacob2 010

Thank you all again for your prayers, meals, emails, comments and encouragement. God is faithful and He is giving us the grace we need moment by moment, which is all we ask for.   

Some days and some hours are easier than others. On one hand all I want is my baby to be home and my family to be united, on the other hand, I want my baby home when he is ready to be home, as things are now, we cannot take care of him the way he needs to be taken care of. Titus Jacob2 027

It’s hard not to try to rush things and to take things too emotionally when things don’t seem to be going our way, it’s a learning process, one I never thought I’d be learning. But here we are, learning and growing and walking the path that God has deemed as “good” for us. Regardless of how I feel, I believe Him and accept all He has for myself, Titus and our family.  Titus Jacob2 028

Friday, September 21, 2012

Titus Jacob 9/17/2012 @ 11:56am

Titus Jacob was born on Monday, the 17th at 11:56 am.

Titus Jacob 018He weighed 4 pounds 11 ounces and was 19 inches long. He was born at 34 weeks 6 days, so after spending moments with mom, he was taken to the NICU. Titus Jacob 013

He remains in the NICU now. Titus Jacob 003Though he is healthy (praise God), he is unable to suck and feed himself enough to maintain a healthy weight or lifestlye. He is currently on a feeding tube, but we are working on transitioning him to the bottle or breast, slowly as he develops the skills necessary. Titus Jacob 008It all sounds very technical (now that I’m typing it) but in reality, Titus is healthy and a VERY content and happy baby, we are just waiting for him to be able to develop enough to be able feed (suck for) himself to come home.   

Titus Jacob 048 (9/19/2012)Titus Jacob 039 

Titus Jacob 041 

Titus Jacob 060 (9/20/2012)

Titus Jacob 078 (9/20/2012)

Mom is doing, okay. I had some pretty serious health issues in the latter days of the pregnancy and post-delivery in the hospital requiring lots of IVs, lab work and in the end a blood transfusion. I was discharged yesterday, which is great, but that now means we have 25-30 minute drive to see Titus and get home. With the older three at home we are trying to see Titus twice a day and spend some time during the middle of the day with the older three. Titus Jacob 061

We are extremely blessed by the family and friends in our life that have stepped up to help us out in this time! Childcare and meals are a few things that other than managing and putting together we haven’t really had to think about. Titus Jacob 079

At this point we have no idea when Titus will be able to come home, we’ve heard anything from a week to two weeks. I’m trying not to hope for sooner, but honestly, I’m really praying for sooner.

We are much better at updating facebook so if you want more up-to-date information, you can find it there.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Baby Update 34 Weeks

This morning we had our 34 week appointment.

I had been monitoring my blood pressure from home the last couple of weeks, so I was expecting my blood pressure to still be a little high, and it was.

The first reading they got was 128/98, with trace amounts of protein in my urine. They had me lay on my left side and then came in to do another reading, this time is was 142/98.

The doctor came in a few minutes later and sent me right away to labor and delivery for blood work, and constant blood pressure monitoring. While in Labor and Delivery my blood pressure was hanging around the 130/80s.

Thankfully my blood work came back good and they let me come home on moderate bed rest – which basically means I can move from place to place, but can’t do anything in between. On Sunday I will be collecting a 24 hour urine to bring in on Monday morning (9:00am) at which time I will have an ultrasound and another check up.

At this point, the big concern is preeclampsia, particularly because I had developed it with Audrey (my last pregnancy). The biggest concern at this time is that preeclampsia can develop at any time (literally from day to day) so if the high blood pressure remains I will be under more constant observation to be sure that it isn’t developing.

I’m not sure exactly what the plan will be after Monday, if the tests are all good. At any point if I do begin to develop preeclampsia I will be admitted into the hospital until the baby comes. Being only 34 weeks Dr. P has already said that she would work very hard at keeping the baby in as long as we could until at least 37 weeks, which is a relief to hear, but means that we would have some decisions to make as far as medication and intervention goes.

Please keep us in your prayers as we get through these next few weeks not only that I don’t go stir crazy, but that Tim and I are able to make the best decisions for our family.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Point Beach Camping: August 18th- 20th, 2012

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August 18th thru 20th we went on a camping trip with some of our extended family to Point Beach State Park.

We had never been to this park, but we thoroughly enjoyed it. I already have our sites booked for next year, in fact. The campground is located right on Lake Michigan, which we love.

While we were there, we did a little tester on Treyton’s bike, seeing if he could haul the trailer on his bike with his sisters in it…. no surprise, he could.

IMG_4005The next test was to see if he could haul big mama… and while he did it, the trailer itself seemed to be a little past it’s weight limit prime. IMG_4013

We arrived at dinner time the first night, so the real fun didn’t really start until Sunday. Sunday morning we headed down to see the beach, water and sand are always a sure favorite for the Schoessow children.

IMG_4015When we went down in the morning, a storm was rolling in, but luckily it missed us, but it was still amazing to watch across the water. IMG_4020

(Our brother-in-law, Tom and Carter)

IMG_4021 The boys had a rock throwing contest, upon Treyton’s request. IMG_4042Treyton was declared the champion, and was overly proud of himself. IMG_4047While surrounded by such beauty, we decided to try and snap a few family pictures… here is one of the Deich Family

IMG_4054 …. and our family

IMG_4063 … and Mommer and Papa

IMG_4075It was so relaxing to just sit along the beach and watch the kids play for a while.

IMG_4116After taking a break we headed back in the afternoon, when the sun was out to take a short dip in the water and to dig and play in the sand even more! IMG_4117 

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IMG_4154 The boys ended up making a turtle in the sand, which I think turned out super cute.

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Alexa, not wanting to miss out, made a smaller version with Daddy-o as well.

IMG_4196The following day, before we headed out, we went down to see the lighthouse. IMG_4189Point Beach is really a beautiful park, and even though we only spent really one full day there, it was very enjoyable. I can’t wait to go back next year for even longer.