Saturday, July 31, 2010

Working hard

Our little guy is doing wonderful with his new settings on the respirator. As you can see, he is alert and cute as can be. Grady's first day with the pressure down, was a little tiring on him. He slept a lot that day. But the very next day, you would never have guessed the doctors had changed anything. He is working a little harder to breath on his own, but he is getting it. Once he is comfortable with this new pressure, they will move it down again. Soon, Grady will be doing all the work and that is when they will start trying him off the machine.
As we expected, Grady is taking two bottles a day and they moved his amount up to 30 mls. This is a large step for him, as well. It appears they will increase his amounts before they increase more feeding times with a bottle. This little man is really enjoying his bottle. Now, if you kiss him too close to his lips, he is expecting a bottle to fill his opened mouth. It is too cute, watching him turn his little head with great expectations. There might be some real issues if the pacifier were not flavored vanilla. That seems to still make him happy when he is not getting food across his tongue.
As for Grady's growth, he is 10.36 lbs and 19.75 inches long. He is beginning to outgrown his newborn clothes. His 0-3 month clothes are beginning to fit him much better and he is filling them out quite nicely. It is such a blessing to see his little arms and legs plump up. Within the next few days, his unit will be out of isolation and we will no longer require the beautiful yellow gowns. That will be sooooo wonderful. Those things are pretty hot and I am not complimenting them. For such a thin product, they sure keep the cool air out. I guess that was their design.
Well, that is all for now. Please know how grateful we are for all of your support. These have been growing times for us and it is such a wonderful feeling knowing that you all are there praying for Grady and his family. We love each and every one of you. Having your support and prayers has carried us a long way.
Talk soon,

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Parent Talks

According to Grady, parent talks can really get pretty interesting. I just hope Grady has gotten his parents all straightened out. He had a long talk with both of them and I think they now have the right idea. What that is, I could not tell you. Mom and Dad are not sharing. Just in case you could not see for yourself, Grady is growing and filling out wonderfully. He weighed in a little over 10 lbs today. Go Grady boy, go. Maybe he was having a big boy conversation with Mommy and Daddy.
This has been a big week for our little guy and it is only Tuesday. Monday, the doctor lowered Grady's oxygen rate from 23 to 21. That is considered room air, the same that you and I breath. Today, they lowered his pressure rate. This is more good news for Grady. All these numbers, rates and pressures can get confusing. Just know that as all of these drop, Grady is getting closer and closer to getting off of the respirator. The weening will go slowly. We have been told that he will start with an hour at a time. This will give the doctors a good idea of how tiring it will be for him to breath without assistance and also give Grady time to get used to breathing without help. They will increase his time off the respirator using baby steps. From the day Grady was born, the doctors have told us we are all on Grady time. So, one more thing happened today. Grady will start taking his bottle twice a day and he was moved up to 30 ml each bottle feed. It took him a little time to get the hang of it, but once Grady figured out what that bottle was all about he is all for it.
Let me say Thank you, again. Your prayers, love and support give all of us strength. God has blessed us with Grady and great friends.
Talk soon,

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Family Photo....s

Well, we almost have a family picture. It just had to come in two pics instead of one. Now that Grady's uncle is closer, we might get them all into one picture, yet.
You can see the boys are gowned. There is a small outbreak in Grady's unit, so we are all wearing gowns and gloves. One more thing we have to do to spend time with the little guy. It is a good thing he is worth it. You can also see how much he has grown. Grady was a little over 9.5 lbs before this little bug broke out. Grady dropped a few points, but he is still close to the same weight. So far, none of the babies are showing symptoms of any illness, so we are just playing it safe and gowning up when visiting.
Since we last talked, Grady has begun tummy time and he is learning to take his meals by mouth. Today, he took 20 ml in about 5 minutes. You should have seen the look he gave me when I took the bottle away and replaced it with the paci. It was not the best look, believe me. Amazingly, Grady has to take small steps in his learning to take the bottle. Apparently, the amount of calories he burns taking the bottle is a large concern so this week he moved up to 20 mls once a day. The calorie concern has a lot to do with him being a preterm baby. Next week Grady will get to have the 20 mls from a bottle, twice a day. This little man is really enjoying that bottle. It took a little bit, but once he figured it out, that was all she wrote.
Grady has also been moved up to a larger respirator system with larger and longer tubing. This allows him to get into the floor to sit in his bouncy seat or watch the television or just look at how big everything is. There are plenty of padded mats to make him his own little space. With Grady in the floor, we can get down there with him. Mommy really enjoyed just laying in the floor with her boy. I will get those pictures up next time. Most of the babies have floor toys that they can play with. Grady has the strength in his little hands to play with some toys, but he is still so small that Mommy just holds his hand or helps him with some stretches. One day, they will be taking a nap together in the floor.
Well, there are so many little things that can be shared with you. I promise to get back to sending you all updates sooner. Grady has so many people loving and praying for him that we feel very blessed. Thank you all for your continued prayers, love and support.
Talk soon,

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Bath Time

It has been too long since we have talked. So, I am sharing a couple of my favorite pictures to make up for neglecting you. As you can see, bath time is getting much better thanks to Mommy's great idea. Grady wears himself out during bath time. He is beginning to enjoy the water. No, he has not turned into a duck yet, but practice makes perfect. Just look at that relaxed little man.
Grady continues to grow. He is now 9.5 lbs and 19.5 inches long. The massage therapist came to visit today. We now have two books to instruct on how to make this little boy enjoy touch more. It is going to be interesting to see how this works for him. There is a lot of repetition with this, but the best part is that there are no exact moves. If the baby likes it, you just keep massaging that area. Believe it or not, she told us the back is usually the area the baby does NOT like. Children! They just don't know what is good, sometimes.
Tomorrow, Grady will begin his bottle feeds once a day. That will be great times for all involved. He has been practicing with the paci and doing a great job. Grady can make that paci pop, so the bottle was easy for him to get the hang of. The only problem he is having now is that he does not want to stay awake to finish his dinner or lunch or breakfast. That will be our challenge. Teaching him to enjoy his food is the easy part. He has spent the first four months of his life, sleeping while his tummy was getting full by the feeding tube.
As always, Grady's progress has much to do with your support and prayer. He is a very strong little boy and I can not wait until you all can get to know him. He is one blessed little boy, having so much love sent his direction. Thank you all for being a big part of our lives.
Talk soon,

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

4 Months? 3 Weeks?

Happy Birthday, little one. Today, Grady is 4 months old and 3 weeks old. Sounds funny, huh? If Grady had been born on his due date, he would be three weeks old. But, instead, God blessed us with this little man four months ago today. The nurse tells us that he is 8.75 lbs and and almost 19 inches long. Just about the right size for a three week old. Puzzling, right? Sometimes I get a little confused, too. He may be 4 months old, but remember, he has been growing to his birth size these first 3 months that he has been with us. So, today, Grady is 4 months old and 3 weeks old.
Most of you know, Grady moved to the TCU, Transitional Care Unit, a couple of weeks ago. Here, we get to care for all of his needs. We pick him up and hold him when we want to. One of Grady's therapy lessons is to be held while he eats and he needs to have his paci. This will help him associate a full tummy with suckling. But, it is wonderful and scary at the same time. All of Grady's bells and whistles now mean a lot more to us. Learning what all of these represent is a little intimidating. There are many other lessons that we need to complete, as well. So far, we have all completed several things. One is giving this little boy a bath. Now, it sounds a little odd that we have to learn to bathe Grady, but remember, he has several new attachments that can not be submerged in water. Mommy has found a way for Grady to enjoy his baths. He can sit up, which helps his breathing. Yeah, Mommy. All little people should get to enjoy their baths. And he smells so good afterwards. Grady loves to have lotion put on his feet and hands. We are still working on his comfort levels for his legs and arms. His Ocupational Therapist is referring Grady to massage therapy. Hhhhmmm. Where is the sign up sheet for that?!
Now, if we have to be checked off for a bath, you can just imagine all the other things that need to be learned. So far, we have jumped in with both feet. Daddy was the first to change Grady's trach. He got us all started and now we are all taking those first steps and getting our check list shorter. Thanks, son. It is a relief to know that you are here to prod us on.
Well, I must say it is wonderful to be here spending this much time with Grady. Getting to know him and learn what his personality is developing into is great. He has a little bit of a temper. But only when he does not get his way. The Boppy is turning out to be his favorite thing from home, besides Mommy and Daddy and sister. Sorry, Pete, but Grady doesn't know you yet. Music is very soothing to Grady. He is still charming all of his nurses and the eye doctor told me he is a very strong little fella. Grady loves his hands and he is learning to grip things. If he is mad, you may as well just wait until he gets tired. You will not be getting that grip to open until then. One of my favorite things is the bridge of his nose. It is the perfect place for a kiss. If you place him right under your collar bone on your chest and hold him close to you, his nose is right there just asking for you to plant a big old kiss on it. Hey, just wait until it is your turn to hold him. You will try it, I promise.
Thank you all for being an important part of our lives. Going through this with you there makes all of these challenges a little easier. Your support and prayer has brought us a long way.
Talk soon,