Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Welcome Home Kamry!

WOW! A lot has happened since I last posted and the biggest one of all is that our little girl is finally home! She is so strong and healthy! I can't believe she got to come home 2 weeks earlier than her due date. We have been so blessed through this whole ordeal and I can't thank anyone enough for their thoughts and prayers. It has been a roller coaster ride, but we have made it and now the real adventure begins. Here is what has been happening since my last post. (I'll try and mention everything in date order so you can see her progression). - - -When Kamry was born, part of our "Welcome Packet" into the NICU included a calendar with lots of stickers to document important moments during her stay there and as I went, if there wasn't a sticker for something I wrote it in so it may look a little weird that I am saying dates along with these things- but because of the calendar, I actually remember when things happened.

On June 21 she weighed 3 lbs. 8 1/2 oz. and on June 22 she did her first breast feeding where she actually took milk from me. The nurse that night (Raini) saw me doing non-nutritive with her and said that it was time to make her actually eat. So I went back later that night at the 11pm cares and she breast fed. She ate for about 4 minutes! They told me that it takes roughly 10 minutes of active sucking to get a full feed so when she was done and tuckered out at 4 min. we fed the rest (estimated the amount) through her feeding tube. She did so awesome on her first breast feeding and from that point on I was not to do non-nutritive with her anymore and always be giving her milk. I use this thing called a "nipple shield". It's a plastic thing that just sits right over my nipple and makes it more like a binkie nipple to help her get the idea better. She took to it really well, and it also helps control the flow just a touch more too.

June 25: My mom and Grandma King came to visit and I decided that it was time for Gr
eat Grandma to be able to hold her so Great Grandma held Kamry and loved on her for 10 or 15 minutes. This was a seriously exciting day because Nate got off work early and came while my Grandma was holding her AND at that moment, we switched her into a "big girl bed" and out of her isolette. She has been maintaining her body temperature really well and even getting a little hot in the isolette so it was time to move her out. She has done awesome ever since and we've never had to question putting her back because her temperature is really stable.

OUBLED her weight from her lowest point! A huge feat and she did it so quickly and so well. June 29: Kamry took her first bottle from nurse Lisa and she ate her FULL feeding amount. Nate got to feed her a bottle first on July 2 and then the next day I bottle fed her. (I hadn't been bottle feeding her those days in between because we kept doing breast feeding because, well.... it should be obvious that I'm the one with the milk filled boobs! :) She lost a about 3 oz. and went back down to 3 lbs. 13 oz. and I started to wonder if maybe she wasn't getting as much as we thought she was when she was breast feeding. The past few days she had been taking full feeds from me about once every 12 hours so at those times we didn't "tube" any of her food. So me and Nate talked about it and we decided that until she is bigger and we know she can eat well enough by breast feeding, we are going to bottle feed her my milk. That way we know exactly how much she is getting and there won't be any question on it. Even though I really want to breast feed, I feel it's the best thing for Kamry and honestly, it's saving me time. She can't eat all the milk I produce so after I was feeding her I was still having to pump off everything else, so really it was taking twice as long.

July 8 was a very sad day for me. I had seen Kamry get a shot a couple days before and so when they told me that she was going to be doing her 2 month immunizations that day I ran away and couldn't watch. Some moms can do it, but she had cried so hard when they gave her the shot earlier it almost made me cry. Her little face went so red and she quit breathing ( you know how you can't breathe when you're crying really hard) and then she SCREAMED louder than I've ever heard before! It was awful! My friend Skye came to see Kamry that day, so we went to lunch and I just stayed away until the unit opened back up at 4 and her shots were done. That night she even fussed a little through her bath because her little thighs were still tender. So sad!

July 9 wasn't a great day either. Kamry has an umbilical hernia (very very common in babies) and usually they fix themselves. Well this particular day, nurse Lisa had heard about a baby that spent quite a bit of time in the NICU and how she is going down to Primary Children's Hospital now to have a hernia fixed on her pubic bone (just to the inside of her left hip). So Lisa got thinking that it's common for little babies to develop hernia's so as she did Kamry's assessment, she found a little bump. And you'll never guess where it was.... on her pubic bone just on the inside of her left hip! It was just little, but when she pushed on it Kamry got really fussy and cried. So they ordered for an ultrasound and indeed, she has a hernia there too. They started consulting with a doctor (Dr. Doug Barnhart) down there at Primary's to see if she needed to be transferred to have it taken care of. After much evaluation of her ultrasound pics, they decided to have it watched for the weekend (to be sure it wasn't getting bigger or changing colors on her skin) and do another ultrasound on Monday. The next few days were a WHIRLWIND of events. On Sunday July 11 we came in and the feeding tube was removed! She had been eating all of her meals for the previous 48 hours so the feeding tube could officially be taken out of her nose. Instead of feeding her every 3 hours now, she is ad-lib. When she is hungry, we feed her but she can't go more than 4 hours. Well, as we were getting excited about that, they told us that she could potentially come home on Tuesday because she was having her eye's checked one more time and then would be good for 6 months if everything went well. So when I came down on Monday, they told me to bring my car seat for the official "car seat check" and we would begin preparations for her to come home.

July 12: We put her in the car seat to see if she is big enough for it, and made a few adjustments to the straps. We had to give her "Princess Laya" rolls to hold her head from bobbing from side to side and she was required to sit in it for an hour without having breathing problems. Well, once we got her in there (she was slightly fussy as we messed with the straps - which by the way were really easy to adjust) she fell right to sleep. She is SO tiny in the HUGE car seat! She sat there for almost an hour and then all of a sudden the hearing test people came and instead of waking her up and moving her around (because they need the baby to be calm for the testing to work properly) they took her in her car seat. About 30 minutes later they came back and said everything checked out with her hearing. It had been almost 4 hours since her last feeding so we took her out and she ate like a champ. They did the other ultrasound on her hernia, and it had definitely grown bigger. You could feel it when you touched it. At first it was like the size of a pea, but now it was more like an olive. So they scheduled an appt. with the doctor at Primary's for Wednesday morning. When we bathed her and did her assessments she weighed 4 lbs. 9 oz. and was 17 inches long!

Tuesday July 13- THE BIG DAY: Nate took work off because we needed to be there for oxygen training and CPR training. We went down and it was a crazy few hours of constant learning about all the things we needed to know to take her home. We signed a million discharge papers, and talked to I have no idea how many different people. Kamry had her eyes checked and she is in "outer zone 3" which apparently is great, so she doesn't have to be seen for 6 months now. Me and Nate chose Praxair to supply Kam's oxygen (we pretty much chose them because they have an office in Logan so it's easy access and quicker service) so the girl came and did training with us. She has a monitor that is attached to her to make sure she doesn't de-sat or quit breathing. We put the little leads on her chest and this machine kept making the LOUDEST BEEPING I'VE EVER HEARD! Her leads just weren't reading rights, so we defaulted to what the girl called the "mommy saving belt". It's a piece of material that fastens around the baby's chest to hold a better set of leads. I have no idea why we didn't do that in the first place. Once we got that put on there, the machine quit beeping. I have to say that if she quits breathing in the night we will know IMMEDIATELY because that thing is so loud. We'll probably both have heart attacks in the process. I am happy to say at this moment, over 24 hours after we put it on it has not beeped once! Then after learning about the oxygen, Nate and I had to do CPR training. We didn't get certified because we didn't take a written test, but we now officially know how to administer infant CPR and how to stop her from choking. Of course, they have the little doll that you practice on and when it was Nate's turn to do it, he BROKE THE BABY! There is a little spring on the inside that makes the chest go up and down when you do compressions, and he broke the spring! I laughed so hard. The lady was like "that has never happened before!" He wasn't pushing too hard or anything but instead of being on the floor like we would be if it was a real baby, we just put it in our laps. Well, he is a boy and of course didn't put his knees together so when he pushed on the baby, it's head and legs were on his knees and the body was pushed down into nothing, so it broke. HAHA! I do feel better knowing that we both know how to do CPR on her if it's needed. Finally at 1:00pm we we finished. We loaded her up and were on our way home. I sat in the back with her since it was her first car ride, to be sure she was okay. She slept the entire ride home! As of right now, she doesn't mind her car seat so that is a really good sign. She is such a mellow and relaxed baby that it really takes a lot to upset her or make her mad. Nate's parents and my parents were able to come over and see her and my sister Melanie brought her old bassinet from my mom's house to us so she got to hold Kamry for the first time ever. Of course I was nervous for the first night with my baby, but Kamry did awesome. Just in case she didn't wake up to eat, I set an alarm for 3 hrs. and 45 min. after her last feeding so that I would for sure wake up so she didn't go hungry at all. She was still snoozing when I woke up to my alarm. I don't know how long she would've slept if I had let her. I got her bottle warmed up, changed her bum and she ate so good! When I put her back in the bassinet, she kind of made little noises for a few minutes and then was fast asleep again. She is an amazing baby.

We had a 9am appointment at Primary Childrens with Dr. Barnhart to have him look at her hernia and schedule a surgery. He assessed it, and of course he had to push hard on it to see if it would go back in, and she did not like that at all. She fussed and screamed because it hurt. Me and Nate felt so bad for her. It was heart breaking to see her in pain like that. The doctor was really nice and explained how they are going to fix it. Basically, the hernia was caused by small opening in her abdomen wall, and things can get pushed through the hole creating the hernia. In extreme cases, bowel can get sucked through there and it can cause a lot of damage and problems. He said to fix it, they will make a small incision on her pubic bone, go in, push back the protruding hernia (which he said is most likely her ovary sticking through the hole in her abdomen wall) and sew up the hole. They are also going to check the right side to be sure nothing is going on there. He said that even though the hernia just appeared, she was born with it so checking the right side will ensure that another hernia doesn't pop up later. They are also going to fix her umbilical hernia while they're doing it. So we got the surgery scheduled for August 10. It's considered an out-patient surgery, but because she is less than 8 months old, the anesthesia can sometimes (in rare cases) cause them to stop breathing, so the hospital requires them to stay 1 night for observation until all the anesthetic is out of their system. That way if anything does happen, they can intervene quickly. Me and Nate are completely fine with her staying the night. I don't want to her stop breathing at home with us. It's sad to think my little girl is going to have surgery, but it's going to fix the problem and then everything will be fine. I was so surprised because Kamry did awesome the whole ride down to Salt Lake and the whole ride home. She started getting fussy in the doctors office, so we fed her, changed her and she was a happy camper again.

On Friday (7/16) Kamry had her first appointment with the pediatrician in Logan - Dr. Brown. I really like him. He seems so nice, and my cousin Rachel takes her kids to him and she just loves him, so I think I've picked a good doc for my little girl. She weighed 4 lbs. 13 oz. at her appointment. Almost 5 lbs! It has been an insane few days but some of the most amazing of my life. The past 9 weeks have been so tiring and exciting and crazy that I don't know if our life will ever settle back down. But having her home is a great way to start it. Kamry officially spent 65 days in the McKay Dee NICU. WOW!

This was her at the hospital when we did her car seat check. It actually fits her good, but to keep her head from bobbing from side to side we improvised with these blankets. The car seat specialist (yes, they really do have a specialist) said that doing this with blankets is totally fine because if we were in an accident, they would just fall out and not go behind her head. Anything that sits behind the babies head is at risk for keeping their head pinned to their chest and making it harder for them to breathe. She really discouraged any after market car seat things that don't come with your car seat. I was mentioning those little things that you can buy to go around their head (from ear to ear) and she said no because they can fall behind her head. Scary. I never thought about those things before. We will only have to do these rolls for Kamry a couple more days because she is getting bigger and more stable in the car seat now. (The lady said to do it for about a week after she came home).

I snapped this one when Kamry was sleeping in the bassinet one morning. Too cute!

We were still holding onto the bottle, but I thought it was so cute how she was holding it to her mouth.

Kam's first bath at home. (This is a yawn, not a scream). She loves bath time and it's so fun.

After her first bath at home. Sheena gave her this little hippo towel. too cute!

One of her adorable outfits. I love when they have stuff on the feet!

Cute little socks. She has these in pink too.

This is the table runner and center piece that Kallie is using for her wedding on the tables. Nate thought Kamry's outfit matched so good he wanted pictures. They turned out really cute.

This is about as close as Tommy has been to Kam since we brought her home. I think he still finds it strange that there is someone else in the house. He has been really good with her though. She started crying the other day and he ran to her and stayed there until we came. I think he's going to be protective of her once he gets used to her.

Could Nate be more comfortable?