Tuesday, September 25, 2007

She's home

We brought Abigail into the lobby of Children's Hospital at 2:09 p.m. Eastern Time today. (One of the information desk ladies printed out a visitor tag with the time on it as a keepsake.) A short time later, we were cruising across Columbus with a baby in the back seat.

It was quite surreal after 112 days being able to walk out without anyone stopping us. We had been told that the discharge process could be quite long and odious, but it really wasn't that bad. After we talked about a few things and signed a few papers, our nurse for the day (one we never had before, oddly enough) walked us to the door and said goodbye.

The photo above is us with Abby outside the hospital. To see more pictures from Abby's first day of freedom, click here.

We came straight home and got Abby and all her accessories in the apartment. She slept most of the way home, but she woke up not long after we arrive and started looking around. She then demanded her first at-home diaper change and bottle, and now she is resting happily on her mom.

I've taken a good chunk of the next two weeks off work, which will allow us to keep Abby home for almost all of that time. That is good for her health, obviously. After that, she still won't be going out much for a while.

She did come home on oxygen and with an apnea monitor, but they're easy enough to use. She's also on a medicine to fight thrush, which is the only other significant medical problem she's coming home with.

So we're home and happy. This blog now will return to its regularly scheduled programing, but I'm sure that still will include lots of cute pictures of Abby.

Thank you all for your support, love and prayers over the last several months.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

We have a target date

Assuming things continue as they have been, Abigail is scheduled to be discharged from Children's Hospital on Tuesday -- two days before her due date! For a baby born at 24 weeks, going home anywhere near due date truly is amazing and a miracle.

Abby has been doing wonderfully this week. She's been switched to on-demand feeding, and she is taking up to 60 mLs every three hours or so, which is a rather impressive amount for her age and size. If feeding continues to go well and there are no other problems, Tuesday's discharge should actually happen.

This, of course, means Katrina and I continue to make arrangements for her homecoming. It sounds like she will be coming home on oxygen, so we are making arrangements for that in the next few days. On the bright side, that means she'll still be on a monitor. That will help us not be paranoid about her, especially at night.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Homecoming is coming

Abigail continues to be amazing. She is at 5 pounds, 2 ounces and looking good. She will be at full feeds tomorrow (Monday) and then getting fortification in the milk later in the week.

If she continues to tolerate the feeds as well as she has been, she will get her PICC line removed sometime this week. At that point, there will really be nothing left keeping her in the hospital.

In other words, she could be heading home as soon as this weekend. Next week is more likely, but we're probably talking two weeks max unless some other problem pops up.

She's still on slight oxygen, but they will continue to try to wean her this week. She can come home on oxygen, but it will be much more convenient if she's breathing on her own.

We're busy making final arrangements for Abby's homecoming, especially babysitting. If you're in the Columbus area and available from 2-7:30 p.m. Tuesdays and would be interested in looking after a very cute and happy little girl, let us know.

You can see recent pictures of Abby here.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

The good news keeps coming

As of Wednesday night, Abigail officially is five pounds!

She also is making great strides in other areas. Her bottle feedings have gone quite well this week. They started with 5 mL every three hours on Monday and have increased them by 5 mL each day since. She almost always is quite anxious for her feedings.

She was doing so well that her nasal cannula was removed for several hours on Wednesday, but it was put back a few hours later because her blood oxygen wasn't staying high enough without the slight supplemental oxygen she was receiving.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

More good news

Abby is continuing to make great progress!

She was moved back onto a nasal cannula on Sunday morning and did a good job of keeping her stats good all day. She also filled a few more diapers, but none while we were at the hospital.

All three of us got to hold her for at least an hour today, and she was pretty happy most of the time.

But here's the biggest news of the day: Abby likely will get her first bottle sometime on Monday. As long as no other problems crop up, Abby's ability to eat is going to be the determining factor in when she comes home.

That makes Monday a big day. We'll let you know how it goes. In the meantime, you can see some new pictures here.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

A very good day

Abby is continuing to shed her post-surgery fluid gain and is being much more alert every day. Not always happy, but alert and interactive.

On Saturday, Abigail reached several great milestones:
-She was moved into a regular crib for the first time.
-She was held by her mom's mom for the first time.
-She was taken off the ventilator for the first time since her surgery. (And likely will go from C-PAP back to nasal cannula sometime on Sunday.)
-And finally, in a first that I'm sure she'd love me to share with the world: She had her first truly dirty diaper.

It was a great day all around. Abby also could get to return to the better unit (C4) at any time, but that depends on the availability of an appropriate bed spot more than anything.

Friday, September 07, 2007

She's huge

Abigail is recovering nicely from her surgery, but she has gained about a pound in retained fluids in the last few days. Hopefully, she'll start losing this weight quickly and get back to her real size. Then it will be time for her to grow again.

She's still on the ventilator, and we've been told she will be until the puffiness goes down. As she's being fed via IV again, she's going through the IVs quickly like always. This means she'll likely get a new PICC line sometime today.

Yesterday, we moved to Abby's seventh bed spot at Children's Hospital. Let's just say we know the place quite well. We're now in Bed 41, which is one of the isolation beds in J4. Once she's done recovering from surgery, we should get one more move -- back to C4.

Katrina's mom arrived in Columbus last night, so we're looking forward to a good weekend with her.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Mission accomplished

It's been a long, yet good 48 hours.

After working the holiday to write four football stories for our weekly high school football preview section, I obviously took Tuesday off for Abby's surgery to reconnect her intestines.

Her procedure was scheduled to begin at 8 a.m. As those of you familiar with hospitals might guess, that didn't happen. Not even close.

We arrived before 7:30 a.m., just in time to catch Abby being wheeled into an elevator to go down to the surgery waiting area. After more than 30 minutes there, we were told there were some emergency cases that would have to go first, so we were sent back up to her room.

We eventually found out she was rescheduled for 11 a.m., so we all took a nap until then. But 11 came and went with no word from surgery. As the noon hour approached, Katrina, Abby and I were all getting hungry and cranky. (Abby hadn't been fed since midnight in preparation for the operation.)

After a tedious amount of waiting and lack of communication, Abby was wheeled into the OR around 2:45 p.m. Katrina and I were strangely serene about the situation, as this was a "happy" surgery and Abby had already came through so many more difficult things. We even worked on thank-you cards while we waited.

We received word the operation had gone quite well a few hours later, and we got to see her in her new room around 6:30 p.m. She was still quite out of it, but looking good. She still is on a ventilator, but that likely will only be for a few days, at most. She also was moved back to the NICU for more seriously ill babies (J4), but that is standard procedure after this operation and she likely will get to go back to C4 before too long.

Today was a huge step in the right direction for Abby. It likely will be around a week before her intestinal tract begins to function normally and we can get back on the road to getting her growing and getting her home.

We thank you all for your prayers and support today and every day over the last three months.