Week Eighteen
 
Sunday, March 30, 2003
 
Weight:      No weight taken
Feedings:  Gavage & Bottle feedings (72 cc 1/4 Breast milk 3/4 formula)
 
Bailey had a great day today.  She was given an arterial blood gas (ABG) at 4:02 AM that showed her Ph right where it should be at 7.408 and her CO2 level at a comfortable 48.9.  An ABG is the most accurate way of checking these figures so we were very pleased to see Bailey's CO2 levels below 50.  Because this ABG was so favorable Bailey's CO2 level will no longer be spot checked.  The ABG also showed that Bailey's red blood cell count was a little low, but the nurse said not to worry about it because Bailey's body should begin to fix that problem soon all on its own.
 
Bailey took three bottles again today.  The first was given by the nurse and Bailey drank the entire 72 cc.  The second was given by Stacey and she drank half.  A third bottle was given to her at 8:00 PM but Bailey wouldn't drink any of it.  The nurse made the mistake of adding the oral medications that Bailey usually gets through her NG tube to her bottle.  Bailey didn't like the way it tasted and refused to drink any of it.  I gave Bailey her third bottle at 11:00 PM and she drank all but 4cc and then spit up about 15 cc all over her and me.  This meant that Bailey had to be put in her third outfit of the day.
 
Bailey's day nurse said that she was going to suggest to the doctors tomorrow in their weekly meeting that Bailey be prepared for going home in the next couple of weeks.  This will start a process of the doctors deciding what medications Bailey will go home on and which ones she won't.  Then the drugs she will not go home on will be discontinued one at a time to make sure that Bailey can adjust.  We are excited to be taking steps to getting closer to Bailey coming home!!!
 
Bailey's cannula was set at 1 liter per minute delivering 40% oxygen.
 
The first picture below is of me and Bailey.  The second picture is of Bailey falling asleep while being burped (this is quite funny to watch).  The third picture is of bailey in her third outfit of the day.
 
 
 
 
Monday, March 31, 2003
 
Weight:      8 lbs. 2.5 oz. (3703 grams)
Feedings:  Gavage & Bottle feedings (72 cc 1/4 Breast milk 3/4 formula)
 
Bailey is now a chunky 8 pounds.
 
Bailey had another standard day today.  She took three bottles with about the same amount of success as the past few days.  Her cannula was unchanged from yesterday at 1 liter per minute of 40% oxygen.  The only change was that Bailey is no longer receiving her diuretic or any of the supplemental vitamins that are usually given to counteract some of its side effects.  Because she no longer gets the diuretic Bailey's diapers are no longer weighed.
 
The nurse mentioned today that Bailey will get a hearing test within the next week.  I have always been curious about her hearing so it will nice to have some solid confirmation of how well she hears.
 
The picture below is of Bailey holding on to Stacey's shirt as she was falling asleep.  Stacey thought, and I must admit that I agree, that it was cute.  I know that this is nothing special and that babies do it all the time, but you have to remember that Bailey didn't do anything for so long that it is fun to see her begin to do the things that normal babies do.
 
 
 
Tuesday, April 1, 2003
 
Weight:      No weight taken
Feedings:  Gavage & Bottle feedings (72 cc 1/4 Breast milk 3/4 formula)
Length:     19 inches
 
Bailey's newest cousin was born today to my sister and brother-in-law Beth and Eric Messmer.  The baby does not yet have a name, but she was a healthy 6 pounds 13 ounces and 19 inches long.  We were excited that things went so well for them.
 
On an equally positive note, Bailey was discharged from the hospital today and allowed to come home.  This is a day that we have waited a long time for.  Unfortunately, it was April Fools Day.
 
Bailey remains unchanged form yesterday.  She is now allowed to take as many bottles as she can tolerate.  In other words, if Bailey is awake they will give her a bottle.  If she doesn't take it, it is gavaged.  If she is asleep it is also gavaged.  This isn't quite on-demand feeding but it is a step closer.
 
Bailey smiled at me again today.  It is hard to describe, but when she looks at me and smiles so big that she looks like one continuous grin I melt and nothing else to matters.
 
 
Wednesday, April 2, 2003
(Click here to go to Father's thoughts)
 
Weight:      8 lbs. 8 oz. (3866 grams)
Feedings:  Gavage & Bottle feedings (72 cc 1/4 Breast milk 3/4 formula)
 
Bailey's new cousin's name is Brooklyn Kenney Messmer.
 
Bailey took four bottles today.  The first three were given to Bailey throughout the day by her nurses with varying degrees of success.  Stacey gave Bailey her fourth bottle this evening at about 8:20 PM.  Bailey drank 60 cc of her fourth bottle and the rest was gavaged.
 
Bailey's occupational therapist told us tonight that she is going to recommend that Bailey be moved to "on demand" feeding.  If the doctors agree, this means that instead of feeding Bailey 72 cc every three hours (by bottle if awake and gavaged if asleep), Bailey would be feed just like any other baby.  She would be feed when she was awake and hungry and she would only be fed as much she will drink.  If she can do this and continue to gain weight, we will be one step closer to going home.
 
Although Stacey and I are working for the same company, we do not take lunch together.  Although we would like to eat together, we take lunch at different hours and each of us goes to the hospital separately.  This way Bailey gets each of us for one hour during the day, for a total of two hours with her parents each day, instead of just one hour with both of us at the hospital at the same time.  Just one of the small sacrifices that we are happy to make for the good of our daughter.
 
 
Thursday, April 3, 2003
 
Weight:      No weight taken
Feedings:  Gavage & Bottle feedings (72 cc - 95 cc, 1/4 Breast milk 3/4 formula)
 
Bailey took three bottles today.  However, at the most she only drank 35 cc and the rest had to be gavaged.
 
Bailey's feedings have progressed one more step.  She is still fed by bottle if she is awake and gavaged if she is asleep, but now she is allowed to go four hours between feedings instead of just three.  If she only goes three hours, she is given 72 cc.  If she goes four hours, she is given 95 cc.  Just as an FYI, 30 cc is equal to one ounce.  This brings us one step closer to on demand feeding.
 
Bailey's cannula was set at 1 liter per minute delivering 50% oxygen for most of the day today.
 
 
Friday, April 4, 2003
 
Weight:      8 lbs. 10 oz. (3919 grams)
Feedings:  Gavage & Bottle feedings (72 cc - 95 cc, 1/4 Breast milk 3/4 formula)
 
Bailey took six bottles today.  None of her feedings were completely gavaged.  They were all started by bottle.  At the most she drank 62 cc but she only drank 40 cc from the majority of the bottles.  Bailey's occupational therapist is concerned that 95 cc at one time might be too much for Bailey to drink.  She has asked the nurses to wake Bailey up every three hours and encourage her to eat.  This is fine line to walk because they also want Bailey to learn how to recognize when she is hungry and communicate it to the rest of the world.  If she is woken every three hours it is harder for her to learn this.
 
Bailey's hearing test was today.  The test was done while she was asleep.  Three sensors were placed on Bailey's forehead (one in the middle and one on each side of her head) and a small probe was placed in Bailey's ear.  The probe makes a sound and a computer used the sensors on Bailey's forehead to monitor how her brain responded to the sound.  This is how the test is conducted on all NICU babies as old as Bailey.  Bailey passed with flying colors.  I was relieved to hear this.
 
Bailey's cannula was set at 1 liter per minute delivering 50% oxygen for most of the day.
 
 
Saturday, April 5, 2003
 
Weight:      No weight taken
Feedings:  Gavage & Bottle feedings (72 cc - 95 cc, 1/4 Breast milk 3/4 formula)
 
Not many changes with Bailey today.  I kind of feel like a broken record when I say that now, but, as I discussed on April 2nd on the Father's Thoughts page, Bailey's progress simply isn't as visible as it was a few months ago.  However, there were a few changes that did take place today.  The first was that Bailey received the last of Stacey's breast milk.  All of the stuff that we had frozen is now gone so Bailey will now drink only formula.  In addition, the formula that Bailey has been taking has been changed to the formula that she will go home on (one step closer to going home).  Unfortunately, her stomached hasn't taken to it and she is spitting up quite regularly.
 
Bailey took 6 bottles today that were supplemented by gavage feedings.  Bailey's cannula was set at 1 liter per minute delivering 45% oxygen for most of the day today.
 
Bailey likes to spend time on her stomach and has a very strong neck as can be seen in the two pictures below.  If you would like to see a video of Bailey on her stomach click here.