Sunday, January 29, 2012

Oskar the Amazing

Yesterday Joel and I talked to the doctor taking care of Baby Oskar and she said he was doing so well they were going to take him out of the incubator and put him in the open crib. She said they had been dragging their feet with him because even though he was doing exceptionally well, he is small for his gestational age and he is still pretty young (34 weeks if still in the womb). But, in her words, he won. He's been given a try because he's so determined. If he maintains his temperature and gains weight for 48 hours in the open crib he passes the test and has done everything he needs to do to come home. And since this morning which has been 12 hours since in the new crib he was doing great. So Oskar the Amazing may be coming home after 3 weeks instead of 5-8. Crazy! I can't wait and yet I'm pretty scared to be responsible for this tiny baby. In other news Joel and I still don't know what we're doing with our life, as far as where we're going to live when Oskar gets discharged from the hospital. We don't know house/apartment we'll live in and we don't even know what state we'll be in. Luckily the financial situation has worked out really well. Also I'm thankful I haven't had to sneeze for two weeks. Mostly I'm thankful for the miracles we've seen with this baby and the prayers and support from so many family and friends. Heavenly Father is truly watching out for this little baby and his parents.

Friday, January 27, 2012

2 Weeks

Oskar is two weeks old today! When we walked in to the NICU he was wearing clothes, they were preemie size but still big on him. It was so precious. He's still doing really great. Today he weighs 3 pounds 5.6 ounces and he's still eating like a champ. They took out his feeding tube and he now eats exclusively from a bottle. At every feeding he eats more than his allotted amount and yesterday I fed him the entire bottle and he was still hungry the pour little thing, so I poured some more milk in his bottle and he downed the rest of it. Then he pooped a lot. The nurses are way better at maneuvering around a poopy diaper in the incubator than I am. They taped a piece of paper to his incubator outlining the things he needs to accomplish in order to be discharged. He's got all of them crossed off except for two: gain weight and hold his body temperature, and these two kind of go hand in hand. Once he hits 4 pounds and seems to be holding his temperature well they'll put him in an open crib for 48 hours and if by the end of that he's both continued to gain weight and keep a good temp then he can come home! In other news my incision has started bleeding so we went to the doctor yesterday and he thinks I might have a hematoma, a collection of blood under the skin. So I just have to wear gauze pads over the cut now to sop up all that old blood. It's pretty gross. Other than that I've been great.

Monday, January 23, 2012


Oskar hit 3 pounds today!! And we tried to nurse tonight, it didn't really work because he wasn't getting the immediate results, but we're going to keep trying every evening when we get to hold him. Hopefully it won't take too many tries to get him to go for it. He's also holding his temperature better. I think it's a matter of two, maybe three weeks before he's coming home. I can't wait!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

1 Week Old

Yesterday was one week since Oskar was cut out of my uterus, and he's doing really good. He's still breathing on his own and eating about half of his meals from a bottle, though the last day or two he's been doing two or three consecutive bottle feedings. We usually go to the hospital to see him twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening. We only get to hold him once a day so we usually do that when we come in the evening. Both times we see him we get to change his diaper and feed him, in the morning we just feed him while he's still in the incubator. I'm getting more confident with feeding him but burping him still makes me nervous. Starting either today or tomorrow I'm going to do skin to skin contact and I'm pretty excited about it. My milk production has been pretty terrible, I can't even make enough to feed him at all of his feedings and he really doesn't eat very much. I'm going to talk to the lactation consultant again on Monday but she did mention that doing skin to skin contact would help with the milk production and I'm really hoping it does. Not making enough to feed him is quite depressing. He got moved into a new room this week because he's doing so well. He also had a routine ultrasound on his head this week to check for brain bleeds and the results were great, he didn't have any bleeding in his brain. Two days ago when they told us last he weighed 2 pounds 11 ounces and even though he's only gained a few ounces so far he looks different to us. The nurses said that if he continues eating like he is he'll put on weight in no time. We're so proud of him! He's such a little feisty guy, he actually pulled out his feeding tube yesterday, something the nurses told us he wasn't strong enough to do. They also said he wouldn't be able to eat from a bottle for two more weeks so I guess they're not used to such incredible babies like Oskar. We love him so much and it's getting harder and harder to leave the hospital every time we go in, I want to take him home NOW. Keep praying for him and hopefully he'll be home in no time.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Monday, January 16, 2012

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Three Days Old

We finally decided on a name!! His name is going to be ... Oskar Brinkerhoff Ackerman. It's quite a big name for such a tiny guy but we think he'll grow into it quite nicely. Oskar has been doing really great so far. He has been breathing on his own and today started eating from a bottle. He doesn't eat very much at a time but he has those reflexes which is just awesome. He is really tiny, only 2 pounds and some ounces but he is the cutest baby I have ever seen in my entire life. He's just perfect. I got to change his diaper twice today which was kind of scary because he's so small and I don't want to hurt him but with practice I think I'll be fine. I also got to feed him three times today and he did so good. Sometimes he gets tired in the middle of eating so they did put a feeding tube in so when he gets tired they can just put the food down in his stomach but the for the last feeding he ate all his food by himself. I'm so proud. He's eating every three hours and so I'm pumping every three hours and taking what I get to him. It hasn't been enough yet so they supplement with some formula but hopefully soon I'll begin making enough. I also got to burp him after he ate which was way scary because he kept jerking backwards. The nurse kept telling me I was stronger than him and to hold him there but that is easier said than done.
We really like the nurses that are taking care of him, they're really informative and always tell us what a cute baby he is. They help us and show us what to do and always calm me down when I get anxious about an alarm going off or Oskar pulling on his cords. He's also had a lot of visitors in two days, Joel's parents have come to see him along with Kelsey and Boyd, Dave and Lisa, and Cecily. Tyler and Jessica came yesterday morning and Tyler helped Joel give Oskar a blessing. Amanda and Jake came yesterday and today the Jackie and Jason Brinkerhoff family came along with Pete and Bekah. He's meeting a lot of his family and I hope the nurses don't get tired of us bringing in so many visitors, we just have big families!
We love his SOOOO much and are so grateful to have him be ours, we realize how blessed we are to be in such a good situation now with all of the scariness of before. Keep praying for him and hopefully he'll grow and progress quickly. I can't wait for the day when I get to take him home with me, I don't think I'll ever put him down!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Friday, January 13, 2012

Friday, January 6, 2012

Latest Baby News

Joel got a job offer to write for a PAC here in Utah so we decided to stay for January to see if it's something he wants to do. If it is something he wants to do we're going to move back to Utah for this year. Because of this our original plan of staying for three weeks was extended to staying through the end of January. So I made a baby appointment with the same midwives Kelsey goes to so I could have a checkup while I was here.
The first thing the midwife did was listen to the baby's heartbeat, which sounded good. Then she measured me with the tape measure to find that at 31 weeks I was measuring a 26, which is what I measured at my last appointment a month ago. She immediately took me to get an ultrasound there at the clinic where they found my baby was in the 10th percentile, compared to being in the 27th percentile at my last ultrasound more than a month ago. They also found in this ultrasound that the blood flow from the cord was cutting in and out which meant the baby wasn't getting a constant flow of blood. Perhaps because of that the abdomen and femur measurements were small (the head was good though). The midwife said when a body needs something it sends it to the most important places first, like the head, and the other parts of the body suffer, like the abdomen. So it seemed like the baby wasn't getting enough from the placenta, causing him to be small.
Next she sent us up to the maternal fetal medicine section of the hospital at St. Mark's in Salt Lake. On the way there we stopped at Joel's parents house where Joel and his dad gave me a blessing. At this point I was feeling terrible and figured that we would have to deliver the baby not only early but soon. The midwife had told me that he was probably going to have to come early but he would be okay.
Once we got to the hospital they did another ultrasound where they essentially found the same things except with their measurements he was in the 15th percentile. Next they took me into another room where they strapped me to the monitor to check the baby's heart rate. The doctor said it was okay but not as good as she wanted it to be. While the heart rate was being monitored they gave me a shot to help the baby's lungs develop in the case that he would have to come early he would be farther along. Then they looked at the baby on an ultrasound again to see three good movements from him before they would let me go.
Today we have to go back again so they can monitor his heart rate again and give me the second steroid shot for the baby's lungs. Unless things drastically increase we're going to have to go back every week for the next 9 weeks to check on him. Along with that I have a fetal kick sheet where I have to monitor the movements of the baby and write them down.
All in all I feel a lot better about things. I've realized that if he comes early it obviously wouldn't be ideal but it would be okay. He would have to be in the hospital a while but hopefully he would still be healthy and he would grow like he needs to. I'm not a fan of worrying myself to death the next 9 weeks monitoring the movements but that's better than a premature baby. I already had a freak out early this morning where I didn't feel him for a while and thought something was terribly wrong. Luckily I have Joel who calmed me down, made me eat something and lie down to count the baby's movements. I felt 10 movements in 15 minutes so everything was okay.
So there is the whole situation. Joel and I have recently tentatively decided that we will stay in Utah until the baby comes because it's probably not smart to travel back to California in this state, plus the doctors here are so nice and a much shorter drive than they would be in California. Please keep us in our prayers and especially keep praying for the little Guy.