Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Our Growing Gloriana

It’s hard to believe that it’s been 11 days already since Gloriana came home.  Even harder to believe: our girls will be 2 months old on Saturday!  Where has the time gone?

In church on Sunday, some of you heard good news about Gloriana.  More came today.  But before I get to that, I’d like to get everyone caught up to speed.

On Friday, July 2, Gloriana was discharged from the hospital and weighed 4 lbs, 9 oz.  As we mentioned in an earlier post, the doctors really want her to gain (roughly) an ounce a day; continued failure to do so results in the eventual diagnosis of “failure to thrive.”

Last Monday, July 5, we heard discouraging news from her pediatrician – in the 3 days she was home, she didn’t gain any weight.  At all.  The doctor scheduled a follow-up appointment for three days later – the Thursday of that week.  We called Gloriana’s primary nurse from the NICU – Sue – that night to see if she had any tips so that she would eat better and start gaining.  She gave some very helpful advice, and we began to see Gloriana eat much more consistently.

Last Thursday, July 8, we had the follow-up appointment and were extremely pleased with the results: Gloriana was up to 4 lbs, 15 oz – she had gained a whopping 6 oz in three days!  We could look at it in two ways: she either was making up for those days when she didn’t gain anything or she was putting on 2 oz per day.  Either way, that was really great news!

Gloriana continued her great eating habits over the next few days.  For the last couple days, Lisa and I have been noticing how much healthier – and even bigger – Gloriana is starting to look.  She’s beginning to look less like a preemie and more like a newborn (even though she’s almost 2 months old!).

This morning a home nurse (Loreen, who we liked right away) visited.  She checked Gloriana’s vitals and her weight… and the scale showed 5 lbs, 8.5 oz!  She gained another 9.5 oz in the last 5 days – again, a near 2-oz-per-day rate!  Thanks be to God – we are SO thankful!

Gloriana continues to have occasional (every other day or so) Brady’s or apnea episodes, but it’s really hard to tell whether they really happen or whether the belt/contact is loose.  Overall, she seems very stable and continues to look more and more healthy.

Belladia looks great. =) On July 5, she weighed 7 lbs, 1 oz… and I would guess that she’s past the 7.5 pound mark by now.  She’s starting to get some substance to her.

Lisa and I are doing well… Lisa’s mom helped us from the time we came home from the hospital until this past Sunday.  We were wary of how it would go when she left, but the night’s have been okay and during the day we’ve had help from friends.  It’s incredible how God’s strength – directly from Him and indirectly through others – continues to carry us through.

We thank you again for your continued prayers; we feel so blessed.  It’s one of those days when it’s easy to say, “God is good, all the time.” =)


Saturday, July 3, 2010

A very long – yet joyful – day

Here’s what happened yesterday.  Spoiler alert: there’s happy ending. =)

10:45 a.m. – We arrived at the hospital for the 11 a.m. scheduled training session with the monitor.  Lisa went upstairs for the training/discharge while I took the kids to the playroom.

Noon – while giving the kids their lunch in the lobby, the cell phone rang.  I naturally thought it would be Lisa letting me know that they were on their way down.  Instead, it was the nurse, telling me that the person from the monitor company hadn’t arrived yet.  Hmm.  It turns out that the fax to that company hadn’t gone through on Wednesday, so they didn’t know that we needed a monitor.  With the holiday weekend, we were told that the company was really busy and would – at the latest – have someone there by 4.

12:45 p.m. – Lisa and our nurse came down to the lobby to see how things were going.  We chatted for a while…  it turned out that our primary nurse, Sue, wasn’t scheduled to work that day, but she came in on her day off to see us go home.  It was awesome to see her go above and beyond what her job required!  Thanks, Sue!

1-4 p.m. – Lisa, Kruesie, Daylia, (Bella in the carseat) and I played together in the playroom to help the time pass.  We kept waiting for a call, but none came.  The kids did surprisingly well, with only a few meltdowns during their normal rest/nap time.

4:15 p.m. – I went up to the floor to find out where the monitor was/what was happening.  I asked if the nurse who was in charge of discharging would be able to talk to me in person.  I overheard that they paged her as she was walking to her car, and she came back to the floor.  She said that she had talked to the company, and they told her that it would be by 5 at the latest.  By this time, the waiting was getting a little old, and I was a bit frustrated to not hear that we’d been delayed again.  I asked if she could call to find out how close they were to the hospital because it was 4:30 by this time.  I overheard the phone call from the hall, and it included these words, “Oh no, that can’t be.  Isn’t anyone closer?”  She got off the phone and told me that it would be 6 at the latest.  I sighed and explained that this was really rough because we had about 40 bottles of breastmilk that were thawing/being ruined in our van during this longer-than-expected day.

We made several runs back and forth between the floor and the kids in the lobby – sometimes Lisa would get the update and tell me, and sometimes I’d be on the floor while she was with the kids downstairs.  During that time, Lisa gave the kids a snack from the little café.  The hospital had given us $15 in gift cards there – along with a parking sticker for the day – so we enjoyed that.

5:30 p.m. – I asked the nurses in we could have more gift cards so that we could have dinner at the café, too.  They agreed that that would be the least that they could do.  They made some phone calls, and it turned out that the social workers who could provide those were already gone for the day.  Hmm.  Lisa ordered extra food for herself from the hospital food service, and we made do.

6:00 p.m. – No monitor.  A little after 6, the phone rang and it was the person who brings the monitor.  He said he was on the way to the hospital and asked if we’d still be there when he arrived.  I asked how long it would be.  He said he would be there within 30 minutes.  “Yep, we’ll still be here,” I said.

7:00 p.m. – The monitor and trainer arrive.  While he worked on paperwork, the day shift nurse said good-bye and wished us well.  I learned the basics of using the monitor and we finished up around 7:45.

Lisa went upstairs and I went down to watch the kids.  She wanted to make sure that she had everything from the room.  While there, Gloriana was crying a bit because it was time for her to eat.  Lisa fed her and brought Gloriana down to the lobby at 8:40.  After a couple pictures, we loaded up the van.

9:00 p.m. – Time for Bella to eat.  Better do that before leaving…

9:40 p.m. – We finally left.  [Happy sigh]

11 something – We’re home.  [Happier sigh]

Soon after getting home, it was time for the midnight feeding.

And so it begins. =)

We’re thankful.  It was one of the longer, more frustrating days of our lives, yet it bloomed into one of the more joyful days of our lives.  We thank you for all your prayers.  Our little Gloriana was in the hospital for 46 days, which came after 77 days of bed rest.  It’s been a long journey, and we know that we couldn’t have gotten through this time without your frequent prayers.  Every one counts, and for every one we’re thankful.

We’ll try to post some pictures and more updates in the near future.  God is good, all the time.