Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Almost four months AND.....

It looks like (hold breath, cross fingers, say a prayer)..... Ezekiel should be going home Monday!! Don't say it too loud-- someone may hear and then it could be all ruined. I'm not a superstitious person, really at all. But it has been months and months of, "You can go home in just 2 or 3 weeks". So when you hear that over and over it's hard to believe it could actually happen. But it looks like we are almost there!

Friday we have our CPR class, and tonight we are going to buy a carseat. Tomorrow they will teach us how to take care of his feeding tube and how to mix his milk. We're working on going home! So exciting! I can't believe it.

Of course this all happened because an optamologist came to look at his eyes again, and they are looking better! As of now, they don't think he will need eye surgery! We are so thankful. Thank you all for your prayers!!!!! I can't believe the end of the NICU is almost in sight. On December 4th it will have been four months.

I'm not sure exactly how much he weighs today, because they keep telling us in grams. So he is 3110 grams. That's somewhere above 6.5 and somewhere below 7lbs.

He's breastfeeding well. My milk has 22 calories per ounce we found out (average is 20), so they are removing some of the extra calories they've been putting in. I'm glad about that. We're breastfeeding 3 times a day, and the rest are tube feedings (with one bottle feed). He doesn't have the strongest suck yet, so I'm hoping it will get stronger... you can pray for that if you're looking for specifics. :)

Alllrighty well we gotta head out to target. I miss you all.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Pigeon poop

The walk from the hotel to the hospital is one block long. There are trams running both directions in the middle of the road. We pass Starbucks, Chipotle, another Starbucks, a subway, an empty store, and a cvs on the treck to the hospital. Between the road and the sidewalk there are rows of trees that birds like to sit in. Swarms of pigeons. The sidewalk is speckled with poop. Every time we walk there I try to walk under the overhang of the building to avoid becoming a poop head. I guess last night I didn't do so well, since when I got to the hotel I looked down at my sweatshirt and thought to myself, "Ezekiel puked on me!" No, actually, he didn't. You always think it won't happen to you.

Today we got on the tram intending to go to "Uh downtown". I just couldn't figure out why it was called "Uh". Until Daniel informed me that it stands for the University of Houston. Oh. Anyhow, we never made it quite that far because earlier stops looked more interesting. We got off the tram and started walking around the Houston shopping district. It was a very surreal experience. Almost every single shop was closed. There weren't many cars around. All the people we saw came up and asked us for money. The Macy's sign was covered in more pigeon poop. Even the little pigeons looked pathetic. I felt very out of it and just wanted to get a breath of fresh air and see some grass. It reminded me that I don't like cities. We walked through a mall at 3pm on Saturday, a saturday before Christmas, mind you, and nothing was open. Then we got into an argument about wether they were trying to honor the Sabbath by having everything closed on Saturday. Of course they aren't, says I. Well they could be, says Daniel. Back and forth for a good 10 minutes. Exasperated, we got back on the tram and got off by the row of pigeon-poop trees and the two Starbucks. Ah, back to our new stomping grounds. I felt much better.

Ezekiel is doing good today. He is a breastfeeding champ. I am so proud of him. He was 6lbs 7oz today.

Thanks guys for all your encouragement and your prayers. We are just so thankful to know every one of you!!

Friday, November 21, 2008

This hospital is awesome

I love Texas Children's Hospital. This is just a great place. Here's why:

1) Ezekiel is now breastfeeding! Yay!! The lactation consultant came and helped me get him to latch on. We are also using a nipple shield, which seems to have been the key. We are breastfeeding four times a day (although he still recieves his normal feeding through a tube after feeding, as our sessions are considered "non-nutritive". This just means he is eating more and hopefully gaining weight!).

2) They are doing a caloric-content test on my milk to find out if he needs fortifiers or not. Hopefully I produce high-calorie milk and we won't need to fortify anymore. They weren't able to do this test at Wilford Hall. I am sooo excited to have this done! It should be done on Monday.

3) He is almost completely off oxygen!! I have a feeling that he will be off of it in the next few days!!!!

4) The doctors/staff let us participate in their daily discussion of our child (called "rounds"). At Wilford we were allowed to listen, but not really allowed to ask too many questions or take up too much time. Here the doctor gave up his chair for me to sit in, and they let us take all the time we want. They seem to really value our input and concerns. Not that the doctors at Wilford didn't-- they did--- it's just a different feel here. Probably the difference between military and civilian hospitals.

Wilford hall was great, and I miss the staff and our friends there. But this hospital is just a step above wilford.

The eye doctor saw Ezekiel yesterday. Right now his Retena is not detached. The Optamologist (Dr. Holz) is coming back the Monday after Thanksgiving to check them again. Please pray he won't need surgery! Please pray for his eye to be healed. We really believe God just used this eye thing to move us over to Texas Children's Hospital where he would be able to do all the things I listed above. Hopefully the next time he gets an eye exam, there will be no problems. Then Ezekiel would be discharged from here and go.... HOME!!!! Oh AND our little boy is growing-- he no longer fits in his preemie clothes! What a big boy!!

Meanwhile between pumping, holding, breastfeeding, and grabing something to eat, Daniel and I are having a good time. I think we will try to go downtown sometime and have a little fun. There is a tram in Houston! We are so excited to take it, and it runs right in front of the hospital. Daniel is much more relaxed since he is not going to work and since this is not a military hospital. When they first told us we were being trasfered to Houston, I completely freaked out, but now that we are here I am soooo glad. It has been such a good thing for Ezekiel, and it's good for us right now, too.

I wish I could post pictures, but that will have to wait until we get home. Thank you everyone for all your prayers. Please keep praying! I will try to update every day or two while we are here.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Howdy from Houston

Hi guys! So we made it here just fine. And we are totally impressed with the NICU so far. Sigh. It's been a long day of waking up early, packing, driving to houston, getting settled in, looking for a hotel, not finding one, checking into the ronald mcdonald house (which is where I am at now), and finally ordering a pizza for dinner. Insert pumping between every activity, and you have my day thus far.

The Children's hospital in Houston actually has the largest NICU in the country. There is something like 300 beds here! It's really easy to get lost. They have a super nice milk bank where I can go to pump, so that's good. We brought a whole lot of frozen milk with us (Ezekiel is now eating more per day than I produce) so he won't need formula. I would post pictures but we can't do that from this computer. But I will do that when we get home.

Ezekiel is supposed to see the opthalmologist in the morning, and then I will let you all know how long we should be staying here. He took the trip really well. We weren't in the ambulance, but they said he slept almost the whole time. When we arrived, he immediately took a whole bottle with no problems! It is possible that we won't even trasnfer back to Wilford hall-- ezekiel may be discharged from here.

I never really knew what a ronald mcdonald house was before now. It's really nice here! There are bedrooms for people to stay in, and then a large common area with a kitchen that has food, a tv, computers, a whole lot of books... etc. It's nice! The only down side is that we can't just plop into a room and stay.... every morning we have to check out with all our stuff, and then we can check back in at 7pm. That sort of stinks. But the ronald mcdonald house is right down the hall from the NICU-- it's literally in the hospital! I think tomorrow we will try to find a hotel. Fortunately the military put Daniel on medical TDY and sooo he has a daily stipend for food, lodging, and gas. Our lodging stipend is $110 a day, food is $54, and gas is just however much we use. I am so relieved we don't have to worry about extra expenses--- we couldn't afford them. AND the army has let Daniel off work until we go back to San Antonio. I don't think they knew what they were in for when Daniel enlisted.... so far Ezekiel has cost them almost 2 million dollars. Yes, you read that right.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Houston

I am so sorry I haven't written in so long.  I am just so so worn out!  I want to write and put pictures up, etc, but when I have free time I just want to totally zone out.  Or sleep.  I'm sorry guys.  I do love you all.

We are going to Houston tomorrow-- as in all 3 of us.  The opthalmologist thinks Ezekiel may need eye surgery to avoid retena detatchment and therefore blindness.  There are no pediatric opthalmologists who perform this surgery in San Antonio, so we are headed to Houston.  HOPEFULLY he will NOT need surgery-- Please please please pray that the doctors will just be amazed at how his eye has healed.  If he does need surgery, we will be staying in Houston for at least 2 weeks.  So if you want to get a hold of us, please try our cell phone.  

Please pray for me, I just don't feel like I can handle this.  I have become incredibly routine-dependent durring these last few months, and so to have to pack for an undetermined amount of time at the drop of a hat and leave my house and my "normal" life is really difficult for me right now.  Not to mention how worried I am about Ezekiel.  If he has to get this surgery, he will have to be put back on a ventilator.  That is just so scary, since the last time he was on one he almost died from a pneumothorax (the pressure from the ventilator popped a hole in his lungs and he had to get 3 chest tubes).  Please pray.  

Sorry no new pictures but I am in a hurry to go to bed so I can get up early to pack.  I will try to update again as soon as possible.  I don't know what sort of internet access we will have in Houston.  No laptop, so we are a little stuck.  

The good news is that yesterday Ezekiel just "clicked" with the bottle.  He took 3 whole bottles in one day!  That is after WEEKS of trying to get him to take even a few sucks from a bottle.  This is really really encouraging.  We really thought he might make it home before thanksgiving.  If it wasn't for the eyes, he probably would have.  But maybe still he won't need surgery.  Anyhow, I really need to go to bed.  Sorry this is so rushed.  I love you guys!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

What? Sunday already? And on becoming a germaphobe.

So sorry fellow bloggers.  I can't believe it's already Sunday and I haven't posted. 

Well I am sitting in our disastrously messy "office".  I was supposed to be cleaning, but you know, the computer is in here and it sucked me in.  

Daniel somehow got horribly sick.  I mean awful.  I've never ever seen him so sick.  We don't know if he has food poisoning or a bug.  Of course I am horribly paranoid that we took some sort of germ to the hospital yesterday (you can type yesterday all with your left hand!).  I think I'm becoming a germaphobe.  I bought three bottles of hand sanitizer this morning for our house.  I bought clorox disinfecting wipes.  If you know me, you know this is soooo not me.   I'm all about the vinegar and baking soda.  What has happened?  Sigh.  And my poor, poor hands.  They are so dry from over washing them.  They hurt, they're speckled with red dots.  They're cracking.  But I just can't stand the thought of getting sick because then I can't see Ezekiel.  I am already not going to the hospital today, and I probably won't go tomorrow because we just can't risk him getting sick.

Meanwhile, he is doing well.  He is 5.5lbs!  He is eating two bottles a day (he won't always take the whole bottle), and we are working on breastfeeding.  He is OFF the vapotherm!!!  Now he is on a nasal canula which just gives him a little oxygen.  We *think* he will be home really soon.   It's hard to say, though... we will see what happens.  Man I am FULL of typos today.  I have to keep backspacing and fixing things.    

Ummm seriously my hands hurt.  

Sooo I have to tell you about my CRAPPY gyn appointment on Friday.  Grr.  All I wanted to go for was to get my thyroid levels tested.  But the doctor never asked me if I had any questions or anything, she just routinely performed her exam, and when I said I was concerned about my weight loss (as in lack of), she just started into this whole memorized schpeel about eating whole grains and lean meats and lots of veggies and no junk food and drink lots of water.  Yes, lady, I already know.  Thank you for not listening to me at all and for being completely unhelpful and patronizing at the same time. 

But this was the worst part:  Before the exam, when I was waiting in the lobby, I had to fill out some paper work.  Well, there was a 10 question questionnaire about post partum depression.  I made the mistake of filling it out honestly, because all the doctor and the nurse could focus on was my high score on this test.  While the nurse was asking me all the preliminary questions before the doctor came, she said, "after your exam we are going to have someone walk you up to behavioral health".  Excuse me??!  What in the world is this crap?!  Of course I immediately became very anxious, thinking, "oh crap (or should I say shymkent?), they think I'm crazy!".  I told this lovely lady (currently resisting name-calling urges) that I was not willing to do that, and that I believe I am perfectly fine considering the circumstances we've been in the last 3 months.  She saw I was upset and didn't push the issue much more.  Then the doctor comes in and all she could focus on was the stupid quiz, too.  I mean, don't they realize that they probably need a different quiz for NICU moms then for full-term, healthy baby moms?  HELLO!!!! GRR.  Of COURSE I cry a lot and I feel depressed and I've lost my appetite.  I think that is NORMAL behavior right now.  I explained this.  Then when they took my blood pressure, it was, of course, high.  I always get nervous going to the doctor anyway, and then to have some lovely nurse tell me they're ready to admit me to the loony bin, I freaked out and was anxious... so yes, of course my blood pressure was high.  But they wanted me to come back for the next 5 days to have it tested.  I said no, that I thought that was ridiculous, and that the only reason my blood pressure was high was because they were making me uncomfortable.  Finally the doctor backed off.  "Well, you're the captain of your own ship," she said.  Lovely.  Thanks for finally recognizing me as an individual.  If only you could make it so far as to recognize my intelligence and ability to think and care for myself, then we would be cool.  It's ok, your behavior is excusable since you have an M.D.  and must be more intelligent than me.  

Enough of that.  In other news, I seriously want to hire people to come clean my house.  When I look around at the messy-ness I get totally overwhelmed and want to either leave the house or cry.  I've been cleaning more, but I haven't gotten to the deep cleaning which is what really needs done before Ezekiel comes home.  Downstairs is all right, upstairs is seriously an absolute disaster.  There are maybe 20 articles of clothing hanging up in the closet (all the stuff that doesn't fit).... the rest are all on the closet floor (or bedroom floor, bathroom floor, laundry room floor).  We have soooo many random papers that somehow make it into random piles around the house, but never make it into the filing cabinet.  We have books coming out of our ears.  Why, God, why am I not one of those naturally organized and tidy people?  Why am I not that way?  I want to be soo soooo bad.  If I could change anything about myself, it would be my lack of discipline.  Because that has to be what this is all about.... if i was more disciplined, I would keep my house cleaner.  I would always pay all the bills on time.  My husband would always have clean socks and underwear.  I could find my favorite lipstick that I lost oh-so-many months ago.  FORTUNATELY discipline IS something I can change about myself.  So I just have to remember that I'm working on it and doing a little bit better on most days.  Ok that's my pep talk for myself.  Thanks for listening.  

And of course, the tragedy of Obama.  Ever-so depressing.  

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Our family in baby form


Happy November 4th!

Today is Ezekiel's "real" birthday.  Today is his due date!  Happy Birthday, my little pumpkin pie!  
video
He weighed 5lbs 4oz today.  All his preemie clothes fit him perfectly right now.  He tried to bottle feed again today, and guess what?  He did it!  Good job Ezie!  Now they will let him do one bottle feeding a day and see how he does.  

In other news, I found this on the best website ever:


A moses basket!  (The elephant is Ezekiel's.  Daniel got it for him in Peru).  I was soo excited, for many reasons.
1- I've always thought these were really cute.
2- We didn't want to get a big old bulky, expensive crib (not just yet, anyway). 
3- We sleep on the floor (hubby says beds make his back hurt), so a basinette would be too high.
4- This was only $30!!

I love craigslist soo sooo much.  The lady I got it from said she recieved it as a gift and they never used it.  I had tried to find one at babies r'us and there was only one in the whole store- and it cost $100+  on clearance!  I'm so excited I found this one.  The next thing I want to find on craigslist is a down matress topper for our floor-bed.   

Sunday, November 2, 2008

He went as a preemie

He couldn't quite make it out of the hospital to get candy, but you get the idea.  :)  Thanks for the cute costume grandma!

Is anyone else having a hard time with blogger lately?  I don't know what they changed, or if it's just our computer, but I can no longer drag the pictures I upload to new locations.  I am also having a hard time getting it to let me type where I want to (ie between pictures).  Is this just me?

Onto more important things.... Ezekiel weighs 5lbs 3.9oz today.  He's getting nice and chunky.  He's starting to get nice fat baby thighs, oh so cute.  He's so precious.  We are working on his suck/swollow/breathe reflex.  Right now he has a hard time remembering to swollow, so we are dipping his paci in milk or sugar water (blah!) and feeding it to him so he can try to just swollow one drop at a time.  He seems to be doing well!  Hopefully soon we will be able to try and breastfeed him.  He will be full-term on tuesday.  I can't believe it!  He will be 13 weeks on wednesday, and he will be three months on thursday.  What a big week for him!  

In other news (why is this my new favorite phrase?), I haven't lost a SINGLE pound since Ezekiel was born.  In fact, I have gained 3 or 4lbs.  What is wrong with my body?!  Barring halloween night, I haven't been eating junk food at all.  In fact I don't think I was eating enough food period for a while, because my milk supply dropped, and then when I started eating more it went back up again.  I have never been so..... curvy(?) in my life.  I gained 30 lbs while I was pregnant.  Wow.  Today I got out all my size 6 jeans and decided to give them to a friend.  I'm pretty sure I will never wear those again.  I've kept them for, oh, I don't know, 7 years??  The size 8's, though, I took out (actually taped one pair to the pantry door downstairs!) to remind me that I want my figure back.  I need to start excercizing.  The main thing, though, is that I think my thyroid is completely out of wack.  I mean, I've never met a woman who didn't loose at least 5-10lbs post-partum.  I am 3 months post partum and weigh MORE than I did while I was pregnant.  Hello!!!!!  I have a doctors appointment friday, and I am hoping that they will check my thyroid levels and give me a prescription for cynthroid (thyroid meds) so that my body can start working again.  I mean, I am soo exausted all the time.  I sleep a good 7-8 hours every night, and still have no energy all day.  Coffee hardly works at all, and without coffee I am seriously a complete zombie.  I could fall asleep standing up.  It's that bad.  Normally I am not a prescription sort of person, and would rather "tough it out" than take a tylenol for a headache, but I can't take feeling so crappy and being so chunky anymore.  And there is nothing to fix a broken thyroid other than medicine.  Grr.  

Oh someone, please just wave a magic wand and give me back my cute little figure.  I miss feeling comfortable in my own skin.