Second NICUversary

Blackberry #2 came home from the hospital 2 years ago today. When he came home he was: 2.2 kilos and 46 cm-s! Today he is 11 kilos and 350 grams! He spent 51 days in the NICU. He had good days and bad days. He was diagnosed with PDA, he had feeding issues, they were thinking he had NEC, he got several blood transfusions…, but for the good news: he was never intubated, he didn’t get a brain bleed and he didn’t develop ROP in his eyes. Today is his Nicuversary 🙂 2 years ago today I did not imagine that just in 2 years time he would be running, saying a bunch of words…. He is super cute and is really funny. I love him to bits. I cannot imagine life without him 🙂 But ofcourse that does not mean he does not get on my nerves some days, like tuesday when he ripped a book apart into tiny bits, I guess that is why he was so quite…

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BB#2 on his discharge day, with his favorite nurse.

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BB#2 finally at home, sleeping in his own cot, finally not an incubator!

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BB#2 nowadays.

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BB#2 with Christmas lights in the background.

Prematurity Awareness Month 30 Day Photo Challenge, Day 28

Day 28: Going Home

BB# 2 got to come home from the NICU after 51 days on january 15th, 2013.

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His empty incubator.

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The nurse dressing him up for the january cold.

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We didn’t have a preemie snow suit, so his snow suit was huge on him 🙂

If you would like to join in the challenge here are the details:

http://anotherdayinmommadise.wordpress.com/2014/11/01/prematurity-awareness-month-30-day-photo-challenge/

Prematurity Awareness Month 30 Day Photo Challenge, Day 19 and 22

Day 19: Wide awake

I have one photo for both days 🙂 He was about a month old when I could finally start seeing him awake 🙂

Day 22: No tubes or wires

BB#2 was about 5 weeks old when he was finally without tubes or wires. But sadly this state only lasted a few days when he got an infection and was again full of tubes and wires 😦 But after overcoming the infection he was finally tube and wire free for good 🙂

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If you would like to join in the challenge here are the details:

http://anotherdayinmommadise.wordpress.com/2014/11/01/prematurity-awareness-month-30-day-photo-challenge/

World Prematurity Day, 2014

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photo from facebook.

World Prematurity Day is on 17 November each year to raise awareness of preterm birth and the concerns of preterm babies and their families worldwide. Approximately 15 million babies are born preterm each year, accounting for about one in 10 of all babies born worldwide.

Today is the day to remember all the babies who were born too early.

Even though almost 2 years have passed, I still think about prematurity alot. It has, and is still affecting us, even after leaving the NICU.

On this day I am really thankful to all the doctors and nurses, who made it possible for Blackberry #2 to come home from the NICU after 51 days.

This year we celebrated by attending an event at the theater hosted by 2 of our city’s preemie foundations.

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BB#2 in a red sweater is getting his gift soap.

The beginning of the event was free. The kids could take a “behind the scenes” tour of the theater. We saw the orchestra pit, the hair and make-up room, and the stage ofcourse.

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Then from 5 pm, there was a musical show for kids, it was called Runaway Stars, the ticket prices were given to the preemie foundations. So after taking BB#2 home, BB#1 and I went back and watched the show. This was his first time at the theater, he really liked it.

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BB#1 waiting for the show to start.

2 photos from the show, both photos from the theater’s webpage, I don’t think it is allowed to take pictures.

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If you would like to read our preemie story, you can find it at:

https://theblackberryboys.wordpress.com/2013/11/18/world-prematurity-day/

Prematurity Awareness Month 30 Day Photo Challenge, Day 13

Day 13: Baby Sleeping

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In the first few weeks all BB#2 did was sleep. His favorite position to sleep (to this day) is on his stomach. Note all the hair on his little arm and back 🙂 He was like a werewolf 🙂 Luckily all that hair disappeared 🙂

If you would like to join in the challenge here are the details:

http://anotherdayinmommadise.wordpress.com/2014/11/01/prematurity-awareness-month-30-day-photo-challenge/

Prematurity Awareness Month 30 Day Photo Challenge, Day 9

Day 9: Tubes and Wires

This was after his CPAP was removed. He still had a feeding tube, a PICC line, and IV, and a pulse-oxymeter.

This is  Preemie diaper on him, still looking really huge on him.

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If you would like to join in the challenge here are the details:

http://anotherdayinmommadise.wordpress.com/2014/11/01/prematurity-awareness-month-30-day-photo-challenge/

Prematurity Awareness Month 30 Day Photo Challenge, Day 8

Day 8: Tiny toes

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This photo was taken after BB#2 came home. His little foot in BB#1’s hand 🙂

When BB#2 was born, orfcourse he was very small, but his feet were big compared to the rest of him. His foot was the same size as his leg from his knee to his ankle 🙂

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This a more painful photo. BB#2’s little toes in the NICU. They poked his little (big) toe so many times, it was usually purple 😦 He has little scars on his toes to remind him 😦

If you would like to join in the challenge here are the details:

http://anotherdayinmommadise.wordpress.com/2014/11/01/prematurity-awareness-month-30-day-photo-challenge/

Prematurity Awareness Month 30 Day Photo Challenge, Day 6

DAY 6: Food

While they’re in the NICU, premature babies have several milestones to meet before they can go home with their parents. Before NICU discharge, premature babies need to be able to breathe, eat, and keep their temperatures stable.

Breathe without oxygen: One of the first milestones that many premature babies meet is being able to keep their oxygen saturation high without needing extra oxygen or other respiratory support. Many preemies need some kind of respiratory support soon after birth. Some babies may only need extra oxygen for a short time, but others need it for longer. Babies who are very small or very early at birth are at risk for a chronic condition called BPD and may need extra oxygen even after they’re ready to go home.

Luckily we did not need to be intubated, even though I did not get any steroid shots before BB#2 was born. BB#2 did not get any surfactants either after he was born. He was on CPAP for a few days and after that he got oxygen into his incubator for a few weeks. And finally he was breathing on his own without any help, any plus oxygen. He did not develope BPD.

Maintain a stable temperature: Most premature babies need to sleep in an incubator to stay warm. Premature babies aren’t able to keep themselves warm. It is a milestone that is based on weight more than gestational age, and most babies are able to keep themselves warm by the time they weigh about 4 pounds.

Take all feedings by mouth: Premature babies are not as strong as full-term babies and aren’t able to coordinate sucking and swallowing until about 32 to 34 weeks gestational age. Most premature babies are nourished with TPN (total parenteral nutrition, a type of IV fluid that provides total nutrition to someone who cannot take any nourishment by mouth. TPN contains sugars, electrolytes, vitamins, proteins, and fats, and can supply all of the nutrients that the body needs. Premature babies often receive TPN while their intestines mature. The TPN will be given through an IV, an umbilical catheter, or a PICC line. When milk feedings are started, the amount of TPN that a baby receives will gradually be tapered down as the milk feedings are increased.) at first, and they are fed through a feeding tube until they’re strong enough to drink from the breast or from a bottle. Before babies can be discharged from the NICU, they should be eating from a bottle well enough that they are gaining weight steadily.

BB#2 had the most problems with feedings. He had a feeding tube for about 6 weeks, through which he got my breast milk that I pumped for him around the clock. He also received parenteral nutrition through his PICC line for weeks. In the begining he had problems with digesting my milk. He would get sick from it. So there would be days he did not get any milk, just the TPN. It was the most awful feeling that I would take him the milk and they would say he cannot be fed through his tube yet 😦 We had to run at this feeding issue 3x times before he finally stopped getting sick and could start getting my milk, but this took about the first 10 days of his life. They also started to investigate if he has NEC (Necrotizing enterocolitis, where portions of the bowel undergo necrosis (tissue death)). They said the x-ray did not prove this, and finally he overcame the problems and started digesting the milk.

Eventually he learned to take a bottle, and a few days before his discharge he started learning the art of breastfeeding, which he continued to do untill he was 9 months old. My milk however was not enough so we had to supplement with formula and pumped milk, so our feeding routine was a pain in the…. First measure baby, then breastfeed, measure baby again, calculate how much he ate, then make some formula, feed to baby. Then pump the remaining milk that he left inside, because he was too tired to work that hard 😦

So as you can see feeding preemies are not easy. Not easy for the baby, or the Mom or the doctors/nurses.

And still we came out lucky because after the initial problems we did not develop reflux or any oral aversions and we were not even colicky

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BB#2, 11 days old. You can see the feeding tube in his mouth and the TPN went into his arm. (not the one pictured, the other one).

If you would like to join in the challenge here are the details:

http://anotherdayinmommadise.wordpress.com/2014/11/01/prematurity-awareness-month-30-day-photo-challenge/

Prematurity Awareness Month 30 Day Photo Challenge, Day 5

November is Prematurity Awareness Month.

At anotherdayinmommadise I found a 30 day photo challenge which I am joining:

http://anotherdayinmommadise.wordpress.com/2014/11/01/prematurity-awareness-month-30-day-photo-challenge/

Please check out her blog.

Since it is already day 5, I won’t do all of the days, since I don’t have pictures for all the topics anyway.

Some of these photos, memories will be painful and it won’t be good to remember but it will be good to realize how far we have come.

Day1: Baby Bump

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This Ultrasound photo was taken 3 weeks before Blackberry #2 was born, so at 27 week.

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This is my favorite baby bump photo. This was taken 1 week before BB#2 was born, so at week 29. We were having BB#1’s 5th birthday party. I had just bought this maternity top and I had only gained 1.5 kilos.

Day 2: Happy Birthday

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Blackberry #2 was born on the 25th of november, 2012. His due date was January 31st, 2013. He was born at 30 weeks via emergency C-section due to a placental abruption. They said if I had arrived to the hospital 5 minutes later it would have been too late for him. He was born with and APGAR score of 9/10. He was 1560g and 40cm. Since I was under general anasthesia I did not see him, when he was born. He was taken to the NICU right away by an ambulance. This phot was taken by my Mom, BB#2 was a few hours old here. I didn’t get to meet him in person untill he was 3 days old 😦 I onyl had this picture till then. He was really cute 🙂

2013 in pictures

2013 was the year of the good, the bad and the ugly….

It was hard, it was sometimes scary and ofcourse there was lots of joy 🙂

Blackberry #2 finally joined the family at home and I had to learn to be the Momma of 2 boys.

January

Jan.15th was the day, that after 51 days in the NICU, we got to bring Blackberry #2 home from the clinic. This was the day that Blackberry #1 got to meet his little brother for the first time! (no kids are allowed in the NICU).

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I didn’t think we would be home by that time, since the year started out bad, really bad. After doing really well, and having all his IV-s out, nothing sticking out of him, on january 1st Blackberry #2 caught some infection and became really ill, and I went in the clinic the first day of the year to find him with an IV in his head, and his leg and arm tied together so he wouldn’t yank it out. Everything started all over again, no milk, antibiotics, IVs, monitors etc….This is exactly why they call your stay at the NICU a rollercoaster. You have good days and then you have bad days and you never know what to expect. But luckily he was strong and became well again soon and was home by the middle of the month 🙂

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February

It was carnival at pre-school and Blackberry #1 was a viking!

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March

Blackberry #2 got to go for his first walk in the outside world in his stroller 🙂

I was a little worried: it was 16 Celsius outside and look at all the clothes I put on him 🙂

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April

It was Easter and Blackberry #1 went on an egg hunt 🙂

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May

It was Mothers day at Pre-school.

Blackberry #1 was the birdie in the play 🙂

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Summer (June-July-August)

Summer was hot, and fun and relaxing. We went on a couple of vacations 🙂

I had my birthday in july, I turned old 😦

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October

We carved a pumpkin and Blackberry #2 learned to stand and sit 🙂

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November

We celbrated the birthdays of the Blackberries 🙂 (6 and 1)

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December

We went on a winter vacation (post coming soon), celebrated Christmas and rang in the new year 🙂

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2014 will be exciting: Blackberry #1 will start school in the fall, and hopefully Blackberry #2 will start to walk and talk 🙂

I hope we will have good health and less doctors appointments.

I hope to travel  abroad (the last time I left the country was in 2011 😦

How was your 2013?