Laughing, Weeping, Living

Life happens. You laugh about it or cry about it, sometimes both.

The Sweet Little Peanut

on July 13, 2013

Agnes and me. She is only hooked up to a monitor and a n/g feeding tube in this picture!

Agnes is doing well. I think the doctors are surprised, but in a good way! She is disconnected from all I.V. fluids and medications now, as of yesterday morning! She is getting all her nutrition from breast milk, fed through a little tube that snakes through her nostril, down her esophagus, and into her stomach. Starting yesterday she also switched from a continuous feeding to what the medical peeps call “bolus” feeding. That just means they give the milk quickly. For Agnes, they have started by giving her the full amount over two hours with a one-hour break before the next feeding. She is tolerating this change well, and today they increased her food which was also just fine for Agnes. In a couple days they will try feeding Agnes the full amount over one hour with a two-hour break between feedings.

Today Agnes seemed to be working a little harder at her breathing than she was a couple days ago. The doctor listened to her breathe and didn’t detect any congestion in her lungs or any other possible cause, so they will just watch Agnes and see if she improves. They did talk about possible interventions, but I’m glad they opted to leave her alone. She is maintaining a good oxygen saturation level, so she doesn’t really need help, but of course the docs want to make sure she is comfortable and happy. They did decide to give Agnes a dose of caffeine, which seems like an odd treatment, but a lot of the NICU babies get it. Supposedly it helps the tiny babies with breathing. The doc thinks it might help Agnes take big deep breaths. As far as I could tell, all it did was make Agnes stay awake and alert for the entire afternoon while my mom held her, my dad held her, I attempted to get her to breastfeed for 25 minutes, Jeremy held her, then I held her again, then put her in her bed when my arm fell asleep…and she was still awake and alert when I left for the evening. Yay, caffeine. I did offer to the doctor that I would be willing to drink more coffee so Agnes could get naturally caffeinated breast milk, but I think the doc thought I was joking.

It really looks like Agnes might be on the launching pad for coming home. I think she will be out of the NICU in a week or maybe two at the most. If there are no setbacks. All she needs to do at this point is keep gaining weight, start maintaining her body temperature better, and be able to eat by mouth. And even the feeding can be fudged a little since the doc told us she would be willing to send Agnes home with a feeding tube. I don’t want to deal with a tube! I think Agnes will be able to suck; she did okay when I tried her at the breast this afternoon. She really made an effort for a long period of time, and I could feel that she was sucking a little. She wasn’t effective, but this is only her second attempt. Even if she can’t make it at the breast, I’m confident we can at least find a bottle she can use.

She’s a sweetie, and she is defying expectations. Go Agnes!

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2 responses to “The Sweet Little Peanut

  1. Rachel Lanier says:

    Judy, this is such a great picture of you and baby Agnes. She is so beautiful. Your posts re the NICU reminds me of the years I spent rocking the babies there as a volunteer. I prayed for each one of them, and marked them with the sign of the Cross. Thanks for all your postings. Our Bible Timeline study group asks about you often. We miss you, Jeremy, and little Steven, and keep you in our prayers. God bless.

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