Monday, February 16, 2009
Ethan is growing bigger each day. He now weighs about 7 lbs and is really starting to look a lot like Hannah when she was little. He was expected to leave the hospital sometime last week but he has not been able to increase his cc's when feeding from the bottle. If possible, I plan to breastfeed exclusively when he gets home but in the meantime he needs to be able to drink 60 cc's every 3 hours to be able come home. This amount is based on his weight and increases as he too gains weight. He was born with a pulmonary condition that all preemies have that are born at 30 weeks. It is called RDS - respiratory distress syndrome. It basically just means he cannot breath on his own and needs help of a ventilator or oxygen. By being intubated and then re-intubated for some days, and on ventilator assistance, his lungs suffered some damage. By the age of 2 it should virtually be gone because of the fact that children naturally grow new lung tissue by that age. After a preemie is on oxygen for 21 days they re-label them with Brachopulmonary Dysplasia which just means that they still need oxygen to live in. When Ethan comes home he will be on oxygen for sure. A nurse will come to the house several times a week and we will take him to a clinic where they will assess his oxygen needs and he will slowly in the coming months be weaned off of it. He also has what is called apneaic episodes where he essentially forgets to breathe. This actually sounds scarier than it is but it means that he will have to come home on a monitor which will let us know of this happens. He is on the medication caffeine for this and he has thankfully not had an episode in several days. If we wanted him to come home right now he would have to be tube fed at home on top of me pumping, trying to breastfeed, feeding bottles, oxygen and the monitor. I told the doctor today that with a 2 year old it just is not going to happen. So I am not quite sure when he will come home. It is essentially up to how well he feeds in the coming weeks and days. Ironically enough we need to get him to take a bottle so I can essentially get him home and get him off of one. Although it may seem like he has a lot of problems, for a baby born at his gestational age he is doing remarkably well. They are all typical "preemie" characteristics. I would like to thank everyone for their support and prayers. We could not have done this without our friends and families.
I had two great showers that were given in honor of Ethan's birth. The first one by my neighbor and good friend Liz. We went to a restaurant that I have always wanted to go to in Riverside called Sevilla. The food was wonderful and I was showered with wonderful gifts. The second shower was given by my sister in law and mother in law Robyn and Lynn. It was at a really tasty restaurant in Brea called Cedar Creek Inn. They have the best desserts and again I was so blessed to receive many more gifts for Ethan. For being my second baby he sure is spoiled! I want to thank everyone fro making him feel so special and welcome into the family. I have a great group of friends and family that I would not trade for anything and neighbors that are so sweet and special too. I feel so truly blessed. Thank you everyone!