World Prematurity Day 2015

In honor of World Prematurity Day, here’s a reflection on my two preemies.

preemies

Mister Man – 31 Weeker

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Miles and miles away from home, life flight and emergency c-section were how you made your grand entrance. You were a fighter from the very start and amazed us all! From the Ozarks, to Columbia then finally into Lees Summit, you had seen quite a bit of the state before you were a few weeks old. We finally went home 4 weeks after you were born. After a month with a heart monitor and just a few alarms you were free to be a normal little man.

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Today, you would never know you were a preemie, other than your strong mind. You are an amazing 5.5 year old now with the biggest heart and more energy than I know what to do with!

 

Sugar Plum – 29 Weeker

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Our latest crazy delivery. A Starbucks coffee stop, immediate rush to the hospital and another emergency c-section, this time before daddy could even make it to the hospital. You were transported from Lee’s Summit to the Plaza within a few hours and I didn’t get to see you again until the next day. You were such a fighter in every aspect. After 7 weeks in the NICU we finally went home but, a few weeks later you had an issue breathing, I had to perform CPR and get you back to the NICU for another 10 days because of Pneumonia. You have kept us on our toes but have been such a wonderful baby. We are so blessed to have you in our lives.

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At 7 months (5 adjusted) you are doing more than expected. You are rolling, pushing up, sitting, and standing!

We are forever grateful for all the nurses and doctors that took care of our little angels. You are amazing! To our families who supported us through it all, thank you! We are forever blessed!

Introducing Mister Man

Introducing Mister Man

As first posted on our family blog

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Nonnie, Sunshine and I were on a shopping trip at the Lake of the Ozarks. Planning to shop for a few days in hopes of finding some new clothes for Mister Man. On Tuesday, we were making our way around the outlet mall. After a few hours of shopping and a restroom trip, I had some bleeding.

We immediately called my doctor in KC and his nurse instructed us to go to the hospital at Osage Beach. Nonnie dropped me off at the Emergency Room entrance. She went to park while I was wheeled up to and checked into the maternity section of the hospital. They asked a bunch of questions, hooked my up to monitors, and did an ultrasound. The doctor on call (Dr. Rene ???) showed up and after looking at the ultrasound and doing an examination, found that the bleeding was caused by the placenta starting to tear away (placental abruption). I was a few cenimeters dialated and was told I was in preterm labor. I was given a steroid shot (which actually hurt more than the contractions) to help develop Mister Man’s lungs and they started the IV’s, etc. We were informed that Osage Hospital did not have the facility to care for a baby born at 31 weeks so we were going to be transferred to Columbia Regional in Columbia, MO as we did not have enough time to be sent back to KC.

After what seemed like forever, but was really only about an hour or so, the helicopter arrived to transport me to Columbia. After I was loaded up and we were about to be on our way, Nonnie took Madi and left to meet us at the hospital. Brian was on his way from KC (luckily he had started his drive as soon as he knew we were at the hospital).

It was my first helicopter ride and quite an interesting one. It was very cramped and my contractions were getting closer together and much more intense. I was extremely worried I was going to have Mister Man on the 30 min flight. Luckily the two men on the helicopter were super nice and supportive through the whole thing.

We finally arrived in Columbia at 7:30pm and Brian was there waiting for the helicopter to arrive. He immediately came to my side as I was pushed through the hospital to the maternity section. When we arrived, they started asking questions and putting wristbands on between contractions. I signed a bunch of papers, but for the most part it was just a big blur.

Dr. Greene came in and let us know that my labor was not progressing quickly and they were concerned that if we waited too much longer it could be traumatic for Mister Man. We were told they would like to prep me for a c-section, while still monitoring my labor. If my labor progressed rapidly enough they would let me push and not have to do the c-section, however if it did not a c-section was the best route. Knowing this was the best for Mister Man we agreed.

We were taken into the OR and I was prepped for a c-section. The doctor said they were going to watch the baby on the monitor to be sure he doesn’t get distressed. For the next 2-3 minutes, two surgeons stared at the monitor with scalpels in their hands ready to make the incision. Then Dr. Greene announced that Mister Man’s heartrate was higher than he would like and he would like to proceed with the c-section. About 2 minutes later at 8:25pm, they pulled Mister Man out of my stomach and I heard a couple small cries as he was rushed out of the room for medical treatment.

Because they rushed him out of the room so quickly, I had no idea if he was even alive. I was very emotional and needed to know that my baby boy was ok. So at some point, as they were finishing sewing me back up, I asked Brian to go check on him to make sure he was ok.

Brian returned and showed me a couple of photos he had snapped on his phone and told me that we had a beautiful baby boy and he was doing just fine. He told me how proud he was of me for being so strong through all of this and then told me that they had already intubated Mister Man because he needed a lot of oxygen support because his lungs were so underdeveloped.

Once they finished sewing me up, they wheeled me into the recovery room where I spent the next hour getting feeling back in my lower body. I didn’t get to meet my baby boy until almost midnight, I had to rely on updates from Brian who kept going down and checking on him. It was an amazing feeling seeing my little man although a bit hard because he had so many tubes attached to him. But he was beautiful and breathing and although he was only 4lbs, he took a huge part of my heart. I was in love.

The next week was filled with many ups and downs, but an overwhelming majority being ups. Mister Man progressed beautifully. It seemed like every morning when we would come into see him there would be some report of progress from the night before. In fact he progressed so quickly that on Friday, the director of the NICU at Columbia Regional was already talking to us about transferring Mister Man back to Lees Summit the following week, which we had told him we would like to do as soon as he was stable enough to make the trip.

Mister Man continued to progress throughout the weekend, and we found out on Monday that they planned on arranging a transfer on Wednesday to Lees Summit, barring Mister Man’s condition getting worse. On Tuesday afternoon, we found out that the transfer had been scheduled for 8:00am on Wednesday and we needed to be at the hospital at 7:30am ready to hit the road. Dr. Pardalos was instrumental in arranging the transfer. He worked coordinated with the hospital in Lees Summit, our insurance company and the transport team to make all this possible.

Wednesday morning the transfer team loaded him onto the ambulance, I rode with him while daddy followed closely behind. We made it to St. Lukes East in Lees Summit at 10:30am. They got him checked in and positioned in his spot in the NICU where he has remained since.

We have been spending most of our days at the hospital with him. With family coming by to see our little man from time to time.

As for Mister Man’s current condition, he now weighs 4lbs 1oz. He is on little to no oxygen, varying on the time of day. They are hoping to have him weaned totally off oxygen soon, but it’s up to him. He is eating 35mL of my breastmilk every three hours through a feeding tube and is digesting incredibly well. We spoke to one of the neonatologists and were told in no uncertain words that they did not consider Mister Man to be an at risk preemie. That he is adjusting to life outside the womb remarkably well and they anticipate his condition to continually progress over the next few weeks. They do expect him to be in the NICU for the next 2-4 weeks, until he is physically ready to come home (open crib, controlling his temperature and eating everything by mouth).

After a little over 1 month in the NICU we got to take our little man home.

Since we have been home things have been going great! Mister Man is on an apnea monitor to monitor his heart rate and breathing patterns. So far he has only had a few alarms for his heart rate, but they have all been quick and self resolved. Hopefully as the days go by, he will have less and less. There have been a few days without any alarms so there is hope it will be soon! He will be on the monitor for at least a month and we will see after that. It will depend on his progress. I have to say, after watching the monitors at the hospital, it is actually kind of nice having the monitor here, since I know he is breathing and his heart is beating correctly. Luckily, he has been quickly, self resolving all of the alarms so I have not been too freaked out!

Otherwise, he is doing great! He sleeps for 2-3 hour stretches, only waking to eat which is kinda nice! Especially at night! Thank you NICU nurses for starting this strict schedule with him! He is eating great and gaining weight. He now weighs 5lbs 1oz and is 17.5″ long! He is getting too long for the preemie outfits. I put him in a newborn size and it was huge around the stomach/chest but almost perfect in the arms and legs. I have a feeling he will be quite tall!