Week Four
Sunday, December 22, 2002
(Click here to go to Father's thoughts)
Weight:     2 lbs. 3.5 oz. (1004 grams)
Feedings: 5 cc of Breast Milk (20 cal)
Ab. Girth: 21 cm
Head:       25.5 cm
I went to church at 10:30 and then straight over to the hospital.  Stacey wasn't feeling well so she stayed home.  When the two of us went back later that day the nurses asked us to leave for five minutes.  Of course this made us a little nervous, but we left anyway.  Five minutes later we came back and this was our surprise.
Bailey's nurses found out that Stacey and I were supposed to go to Hawaii for Christmas to visit family.  We had saved all year to buy the tickets.  Even though we had decided to stay in Utah instead of going to Hawaii, for obvious reasons, Bailey's nurses wanted us to experience Hawaii.  See the pictures below to share our first Hawaii experience.
Bailey's grass skirt is made of green yarn.  Her flower headdress is made of paper die-cut flowers.  Her coconut shell bra is made from the tops of nipples.  Thank you to all the nurses that helped put this together and who were involved in other acts of kindness like making Christmas ornaments and blankets.
By the way, United Airlines could care less about our situation and are treating us the same way they would treat someone who simply decided not to fly.  No refunds, all penalties applicable, and we have to make reservations in the next month or we loose the tickets completely.  Funny thing is, we don't know what airport to make our outbound reservations from because I'm looking for a job and we could be moving, and we don't even know if Bailey will be able to fly within a year.  Nothing quite like the understanding of big-business.  It sure would be nice to have that money back to help with medical expenses.
Monday, December 23, 2002
Weight:     2 lbs. 3.5 oz. (1009 grams)
Feedings: 7 cc of Breast Milk  (20 cal)
Ab. Girth: 20.5 cm
BM Morn: 1 small green
BM Eve:   1 large green
Today Bailey finally reached 900 grams.  That's 2 whole pounds!  I know it doesn't sound like much, but this represents a 34% increase in her birth weight.  Today they also told us that Bailey had a bad staff infection and that they had taking more cultures to try and find out the extent of the infection.  They were worried that it might overrun her tiny little body.  In addition, because she had been on so many antibiotics they were worried that Bailey might be growing yeast.  The nurses and doctors informed us that they would be testing for that as well.
Despite this bad news we remained in good spirits.  Here are some more pictures of Bailey.  Even Bailey was in good spirits.  You can see her smiling in the first picture.
We also gave Bailey a cotton ball bath and changed her linens to a Christmas theme for the holidays.  Stacey and I made these linens and head been looking forward to using them.  They can be seen in the pictures on Christmas day.
Tuesday, December 24, 2002
Weight:     2 lbs. 4 oz. (1024 grams)
Feedings: 8 cc of Breast Milk (20 cal)
Ab. Girth: 23 cm
BM Eve:    1 large seedy with suppository
Today, Grandma and Grandpa Strong (my parents) both got to see Bailey for the first time.  In addition, Aunt Katie (my sister) and Uncle Doug (married to my sister Rebecca) both got to see Bailey.  Even Doug's sons Andrew and Michael were able to peak through an open doorway and see Bailey.  Aunt Rebecca didn't go in to see her because she had a slight cold.  Everyone was amazed with how little she was and nervous to touch her.  Everyone told us how beautiful she is.  Before leaving for the night, my dad and Doug assisted me in giving Bailey a blessing to help her overcome her infections.
After Christmas Eve dinner, Stacey and I went back to the hospital to be with Bailey.  We wanted to be there to wish her a Merry Christmas as soon as it turned midnight. 
Wednesday, December 25, 2002
Weight:     2 lbs. 6 oz. (1070 grams)
Feedings: 11 cc of Breast Milk and began adding some Fortifier (22 cal)
BM Morn: 3 green
BM Eve:    4 yellow with suppository
By adding some fortifier to Bailey's milk the calories per ounce are raised form 20 to 22.  Eventually she will be given full fortifier.  This will raise the calories per ounce to 24.  One once of milk is equal to 30 cc.
We woke up Christmas morning to a phone call from the hospital.  I hate getting phone calls from the hospital because I'm always afraid it will be bad news.  When I see the words "Utah Valley Reg." on our caller ID my heart always sinks.  However, this morning brought wonderful news.  Bailey's infections were gone and the doctors were also no longer worried about yeast.  We were truly blessed to have such good news on Christmas morning.  Our prayers had been answered.
When we got to the hospital, Bailey was wearing a Santa hat.  She looked really cute.  We were also able to take a family picture with everyone who was there.  From left to right the people in the picture are: Aunt Katie (my sister), Grandma Strong (my mom), Stacey, Grandpa Strong (my dad), Me, Aunt Beth (my sister), Uncle Eric (Beth's husband).
Stacey and I went back to the hospital later that night to be with Bailey.
Thursday, December 26, 2002
Weight:     2 lbs. 8 oz. (1140 grams)
Feedings: 14 cc of Breast Milk (22 cal)
BM Morn: 1 yellow
BM Eve:    2 yellow
Thursday morning I went out to my sister's (Beth's) house to help lay tile.  I hadn't been there long when my cell rang and Stacey told me that they had moved Bailey from the HFOV to an new ventilator, the VIP Gold.  This stirred mixed emotions in me.  The move meant that the secretions in Bailey's lungs had gotten bad enough that they needed to get her off the high frequency machine (the HFOV).  They like to keep preemies on the HFOV for as long as possible because the likelihood for lung damage is less on the HFOV.  However, the HFOV has a tendency to not allow the natural secretions in the lungs to leave the lungs causing all kinds of problems.  The VIP Gold helps with the secretions, but the likelihood for lung damage goes up on this machine.  The nurses and respiratory therapists all told us that most preemies last between 2 and 4 weeks on the HFOV before they must be moved to a different ventilator.  Bailey had lasted 3.5 weeks so I felt good about the move.  In addition to all this, the move to the VIP Gold meant that we would finally get to hold Bailey.  The VIP Gold has flexible tubing that makes it possible to hold her.
Because of some bad communication I didn't make it back in time to hold Bailey, but Stacey did get to hold her.
The first picture is of the new ventilator and the second is of Stacey holding Bailey for the first time.
The nurses also informed us that Bailey's feedings had finally reached "full."  This means that she is now digesting the proper amount of breast milk for her weight.  Although she is still being fed through a tube down her throat, she no longer receives IV feedings.  This is good because the IV feedings interfere with her liver.  Now that she no longer receives IV feedings her liver will be able to function normally.
Friday, December 27, 2002
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Weight:     2 lbs. 5.5 oz. (1068 grams)
Feedings: 17 cc of Breast Milk (22 cal)
BM Morn: 3 yellow
Although I didn't get to hold Bailey that first day possible, I did get to hold her skin-to-skin on Friday night.  Skin-to-skin is where Bailey gets to lie directly on my bare skin.  It was amazing.  I really felt like a dad.  Stacey also got to hold her skin-to-skin.
Saturday, December, 28, 2002
Weight:     2 lbs. 9 oz. (1168 grams)
Feedings: 18 cc of Breast Milk (22 cal)
Ab. Girth: 24 cm
BM Morn: 1 large yellow
BM Eve:    2 yellow
Nothing new developed.  However, I did get to hold her again skin-to-skin.  I felt bad that her mom didn't get to hold her.  Stacey was there, but the decision was made to put her back in her bed because her oxygen absorption was a little low and the partial pressure of CO2 in her blood was a little high.