May 26, 2008

Two weeks old today!!!

Max is already two weeks old! I can't believe it. I guess it's true that they grow up way to fast. His milestone for the week is that he has started opening his eyes and looking around at his surroundings. He is so stinking cute when he does this!

I had mentioned in my last update that Max's right lung had collapsed and I am VERY happy to announce that the x-ray that was done this morning shows that it has reinflated!!!! His breathing has also slowed down a bit and he just looks a lot more comfortable overall. He isn't "tugging" as much when he takes a breath. Let's hope that this is a change that is going to last! I could've cried when I saw him this afternoon breathing without having to work as hard as he was.

The doctors' are starting to wean him from his nasal cannula as well. He is breathing room air at 6.5 liters. It looks like they are going to take him down a half liter daily, but we are not too sure on this. We are hoping they take it slow so that it's not a shock to him and we end up taking a few steps back again.

Overall, it looks to Tim and I that Max is doing VERY well. We haven't talked to any doctors this weekend so we aren't sure what they are thinking, but we do know that his breathing looks like it's getting better every day. Other than that, he is now up to 6 pounds 13 ounces and growing! He is also up to 1 ounce of breastmilk every 3 hours!

Keep the prayers coming!

May 23, 2008

Max's Lungs

We found out yesterday that Max's right lung collapsed, so they are going to try a few different things to see if they can get it back up and running. They are going to first try to increase the pressure in his nasal cannula to see if that helps. If it doesn't they are going to put him on the CPAP. Unfortunately, the next option would be to go back on the ventilator. He is still fighting and going strong, but he is still working very hard to breath. We are still playing the wait and see game to determine whether his lungs will be able to support him. It is not a fun game to play at all, but we are holding onto our hope and faith that Max is going to do well and that all of our prayers are going to be answered.

I also spoke to the nephrologist (kidney doctor) yesterday, and he said that Max is going to need to go on dialysis at some point and will need a kidney transplant. He is watching the results of Max's daily renal blood work very closely so that he and his team can determine when dialysis will need to be started. Right now, Max's levels aren't great, but are not to the point of needing to intervene- yet. All of the decisions in regards to his kidneys are going to be based on his lungs.

Keep the prayers coming that Max will adapt to his small lungs and that they will be able to sustain life. We are very, very scared, but like I said before holding onto our hope and faith. He is a fighter and we are not going to give up on him!

Max's cousin, Zach, gave him this doggy blanket that he loves to cuddle with!

Max telling mommy enough is enough

Max all nice and comfy in his bed

May 20, 2008

My Good Sam Nurses

If you ladies are checking out Max's blog, I wanted to take the time to personally thank you for everything that each of you did for me in my 6 week stay! It was a very rough time for Tim and I, but each of you managed to put a smile on our face every day. I couldn't have asked for a better group of ladies to have taken care of me. I would love to stay in contact with you, so please don't hesitate to give me an e-mail address so that I can contact each of you personally.

Once again that you for ALL that you did for me (even if it meant getting 8 IV's, 3 steroid shots, 3 shots of Brethine, preterm labor, cervix checks, etc.). Max greatly appreciates what you did to help his mommy keep him in for as long as she did. We wouldn't be where we are today if it weren't for you ladies!

Thank you,

Beth, Tim and Max

Max is a week old!

Max hanging out on his comfy bed!

Yesterday was Max's birthday! What a week! I think I had everyone updated up until Friday, so I will continue there. Our meeting with the doctors was a little disappointing. They pulled us into this conference room to let us know that they didn't have enough data and information to give us an outlook on what's to come. It was a very frustrating evening, but we have moved on and are looking at the positives that came out of it.

They did try to take him off of the vent Friday morning, but he didn't handle it well. He was working VERY hard to breath, so they had to put it back in. I did get to hear him cry before they redid it.

The rest of the weekend was pretty quiet, which was very nice for a change. Tim and I have been able to hold him whenever we want to for however long we want to. The nurses are wonderful with getting us involved with his assessments and letting us know what everything means, etc. We are so lucky to have such a great hospital in our backyard.

Now for the best NEWS of all!!!!! Max was taken off of the vent again yesterday! He is doing wonderful! He is keeping his oxygen saturation in the 90's and his breaths per minute are in a pretty good range. They are keeping a VERY close watch on him now that he is off of it. The resident called this morning that he anticipates him to do very well after seeing how he has done in the last 24 hours!!! YEAH! Also, as of Saturday evening, Max was up to 6 pounds 8 ounces!

Thank you for all of the continued love, support and prayers. The doctor told me this morning that all of the crossed fingers and prayers look like they are working :o) Please keep it up! God isn't going to let us down. Our little miracle boy is doing very well!
Max without his vent!!!

Max's many rolls :o)

Max is a very strong little man. He pushes himself off of his comfy pad so that one side of him is hanging off the other side

Our chunky monkey!

May 16, 2008

Quick update

Yesterday's Report: Max got a PICC line to use as a long term IV and he had his first hair cut because they tried to get his line in his head but failed at doing so :o( Other than that he had a pretty quiet day and is holding strong!

I called Children's this morning to see how Max did overnight and his nurse, Sarah, so that he is doing pretty good today. They have him on the CPAP which means that he is doing ALL of the breathing on his own. They are going to keep him on this and do a blood gas to see how he is handling breathing room air and on his own. If that test comes back showing that all is well, they will take the ventilator out today!!!! WOOHOO! This means no more tubes down his throat and possibly being able to hear a little bit of a cry when he gets oh so mad! Also, if he seems to be doing well with the breathing and not working too hard they may try to get a feeding in tonight with my breast milk to see how he does with that.

Tim and I had a huge milestone last night- we got to hold Max for the first time! It was the most amazing experience of our lives. We will be doing what is called kangaroo care tonight. This is when Max will lay on mine and Tim's bare chests so that we can bond more with him. This will help comfort Max because he will be able to listen to our heartbeats. There are a lot of benefits for him when we do this.

Also, we will be meeting with the doctors and specialists today at 4:00pm to go over test results, what's next to get Max on the road to recovery, and long term things that we will be dealing with.

May 14, 2008

Max has moved

Hello everyone,

We had a bit of a scare today, but Max is now stable and doing alright. He was moved this morning from Good Sam to Children's because of a rise in his blood pressure. He also had a rise in one of his levels that determines kidney function, so the doctors and nurses thought it would be best for him to be where the specialists are so that they can keep a closer eye on him and move quickly if something happens to come up. I was told at Good Sam that they were transferring him to put him on dialysis, but the urologist at Children's said that they were going to watch his levels and try to get them under control before they made any decisions. They did an ultrasound of his kidneys today that they are going to compare with the blood work to help decide what's next.

He is still on the ventilator and breathing rather quickly, but is doing some of the breathing on his own. They are watching to be sure that the air around his lungs does not increase. They are hoping this will reabsorb on it's own so that they don't have to put in chest tubes.

Thanks again for the continued support, love, and prayers. Max needs all that he can get right now, so please keep them coming.

Beth, Tim and Max

May 12, 2008

He's Here!

Max arrived at 9:52 this morning weighting 6 pounds 1 ounce and 19 inches long. He has a head full of black hair, chubby checks and a round tummy. He was breathing on his own before they took him from the delivery room to the NICU. Mommy and daddy did get to hear his first cry, which was the most beautiful sound we've ever heard.
When he got to the NICU they decided to intubate him so that he didn't have to work as hard to breath on his own and because a chest x-ray showed some air around his lungs (pneumothorax). They were able to bring the oxygen that they were giving him down 35%. A second x-ray was done and it looked like the air had increased a little bit since he has been born so they put him back on 100% oxygen for two hours in hopes that it would help alleviate the air. They prepared us that if this didn't work that they would have to put chest tubes in to relieve the air. The air inhibits his lungs from expanding the way that they are suppose to. They did a third x-ray at 2:00pm and it showed that the air had stayed the same, so they decided to see how he handles it without the tubes. When we were down seeing him this evening, he was down to only needing 25% oxygen.

He is breathing a little fast, but this tends to be normal for preemies. He should learn to control this within 24-48 hours. Overall, the doctor is very pleased with his coloring and that he is able to be keep his temperature up and that he is being weaned from the oxygen. We are still at a critical point for his lungs, but he seems to be pretty doing well.

A very good thing to report is that he has been urinating through the hole in his belly. Also, daddy got to change his first (ever) diaper and Max chose to save his first bowel movement (black tar) for him to change. Oh and this happened twice! Of course I didn't have my camera to capture the milestone.

It looks like they will be keeping him here at Good Sam probably until I am released on Thursday or Friday. There is no emergency, since he is urinating, on getting him there for his kidneys and the doctor would like to get his respiratory system stable before he moves.

Overall, he is doing pretty well and we are very positive that he is going to prove that miracles do happen and that he is indeed a fighter. We are so in love with this little guy and couldn't be happier that he is here and doing well. Thank you again for all of the thoughts and prayers!

Mommy and daddy are VERY tired so we are going to try and get some sleep so that we can make it down to see him and hopefully catch the doctors making their rounds.

All of our love,
Beth, Tim and Max

May 10, 2008

Max's Arrival is Set

Max will be making his grand appearance into the world on Monday, May 12 at 9:30am at Good Samaritan. He will be stabilized here and then transferred to Children's.

Please keep us in your prayers that the surgery goes well and that Max's lungs and kidneys are big and strong enough to support him through life!

Tim and I are having one heck of a time coming up with a way to thank each and everyone of you for all that you have done for us, but nothing we do or say will truely tell you how much we appreciate all of the thoughts and prayers that we have been showered with over the past 4 months. Max is one lucky boy to have such a great support team rooting for him. We thank you all from the bottom of our hearts.

All of our love,

Beth, Tim and Max

May 8, 2008

Well... that was fun!

Hello everyone!

It has been a VERY long and HARD day here. This morning around 1:30 I was woken up by contractions- very painful contractions! I timed them for about half an hour then called my nurse because they were getting more intense and closer together. I was put on the contraction monitor to be sure that they were indeed contractions- which they were. They were ranging from 6-9 minutes apart. Max was then put on do be sure that he was handling them well- which he was. The resident was then called and he wanted to check my cervix- OUCH! He was a small Asian guy and he kept saying, "I sorry, yah!" I thought I could have slapped him. Anyway, I was less than a centimeter dilated. I was given a shot of Brethine to see if it would stop the "labor"- which it did. At this point it was about 3:30am and I had one heck of a time falling asleep. I only got about a total of 2.5 hours :o(

I woke up feeling very queasy and overall like crap and by 8:30am I was feeling the contractions again. My growth ultrasound was at 9:00am so I got up and got ready to go down for that. (Max is measuring 5 pound 5 ounces, but his fluid levels are a little less than 1cm. The doctor is very happy with his weight gain and his monitoring and would still like to try to get me to 36 weeks).

Once I got back to my room, the contractions were increasing in intensity. I was put on the monitor and it only picked up a few of the many that I was feeling. I started to wonder if some of them were really bad gas pains. So I was given something to alleviate that- it worked a little bit. By noon I was in some major pain, but I stuck it out until about 2:00pm when I was put back on the monitor to see if it would pick any of them up. Once again it picked up some of them, but not all. My nurse kept feeling if my belly was getting tight when I had one and it wasn't- very wierd. She called the resident who told her to give me another shot of Brethine and something through my IV to get my bowels moving and to stop my nausea (at this point, I had not eaten anything except 3 graham cracker squares). I layed on the monitor for another hour after the shot and my uterus finally started to calm down, for now. The contractions came back. My nurse came back in and said that the doctor on call said to start me back on IV fluids and to give me another shot of Brethine. Once again, I was finally comfortable again.

Around 4pm after 2.5 hours of being on the monitor and finally some relief, the doctors decided to start oral doses of Brethine 4 times a day to hopefully get me to 36 weeks. This drug makes your heart race which causes me to get the shakes and get VERY hot. I was told I will become more immune to it and it won't make me feel this bad. It is definitely better than contractions though. I now have a ton of respect for those women that go natural. You ladies are some tough cookies!

I think that is it for now. By the way, the date has once again changed for the c-section. I think it is being scheduled for Monday, May 19. I am still running on very little sleep, so I am going to lay here and watch Lost and fall asleep. Have a good evening and I'll keep you posted!

May 5, 2008

A few small updates and one bigger change

Hello All!

I'll start with the bigger change- the c-section has once AGAIN been changed. It is "scheduled" for Monday, May 19. Personally, I am finished marking my calendar for when it will be. It just gets me excited :o) Now that I am finished with my small complaint, I will move on to the smaller updates.

Dr. Polzin (my main doctor) made a visit to me today to see how things were going. So I will start in chronological order of things that have changed over the past week.

1. I have been contracting for a a few days now- I don't feel as many as they say I am having (I
don't think so anyway?!?)
2. I started feeling VERY itchy (back, belly, chest, feet, etc)
3. Max had two dips in a row while he was on the monitor (his heartrate dipped to the 90's) and
his baseline was in the low 120's, which is unlike him
4. and I now have an answer other than "no" for a change in discharge.

As for the contractions... if I am on the monitor and they notice "contractions" in a rhytmic pattern I stay on for longer (2.5 hours the other day. The doctor that was "watching" it went to a delivery before he okayed me to come off)

I mentioned the itching to my doctor, which I thought was normal for two reasons #1 the air in this place is very dry and #2 the stretching from a growing belly, and she said that we needed do a blood test to check my bile salts. They are looking for something called cholestasis (click on the link for more info)

The dips in Max's heartrate weren't HUGE, but they kept me on the monitor for an hour to check to see if he did it again. He didn't!

As for the discharge, I'll keep it clean. I think I am losing my mucus plug. I was told to keep an eye on it.

So back to the 3rd date change, Dr. Polzin does not think we will get that far because of the combination of the 4 smaller changes above. With that said, Max will come when he comes :o) I honestly think it can be as early as this week.

We'll keep everyone posted as new information is given to us :o)

Have a great week!

May 4, 2008

Max's First Pair of Chucks

I couldn't pass up the "Old Navy" version of his Grandpa Tony's favorite shoes. We do have a pair of the "real" thing though. It will be awhile before Max gets in them, but his Auntie Allie and Uncle Rick got them for him- so cute!