Friday, July 17

Technical Difficulties

Sorry for anyone who has had trouble viewing or commenting on the blog in the last couple of days. We've experienced some technical difficulties due to user error :)

I've restored it to a few days ago, tested it and it appears to be back to normal again.

Bryce is doing so wonderfully right now that I almost hesitate to say so as not to jinx it. We thank you all so much for your thoughts and prayers - I know that is what has turned him around.

They are continuing the trend for the last couple of days again today. They are further weaning him off of his pain medicine, hydrocortisone and nitric oxide - all in small little baby steps of course. And the best news is he is still tolerating his feeds so they have upped his schedule to every 3 hours - just like a term baby would eat!

I hope he begins to push some out his bottom without the use of those nasty glycerine suppositories though. I hate to see them give them to him, even though I'm sure it's something all moms deal with sooner or later. But even more so because if he does that will be a great sign that his tummy can handle the challenge of processing food. Something he dearly needs to do and that can often times simply be too much to ask of a micro preemie. We can only pray.

He looks amazingly healthy right now and is sleeping most of the time. We're happy to see this because it means he's comfortable - finally - and when he's sleeping he's growing! And boy can you tell when you look at him.

Caleb and I have also been thinking of trying to spend a night at home if Bryce continues to do so well. We know better than to try to make any plans but we also know that we dearly need it for our mental health. Bryce will be six weeks old on Sunday and 30 weeks gestationally tomorrow. Maybe those are the magic numbers for a night at home? We shall see.

I'll continue to keep you updated day to day and we, Caleb, Bryce and I, continue to be eternally grateful for all of the wonderful people who check in on us daily. You are our little angels spread out all over this country and across that little pond as well - thank you, thank you, thank you!

Thursday, July 16

Room Air!

Bryce is on 21% oxygen - aka room air! Still on the conventional ventilator and tolerating it all really well, too.

So we'll probably take him home tomorrow.

A girl can dream, right?!

We have so far to go still and we could take one of those NICU back steps at any time now. But I feel great about where we are and how Bryce is doing.

They've left the amount of food Bryce gets at each feeding the same (4cc) but are increasing feeds to every 4 hours from 6. Hopefully he'll continue to do well with his respiratory issues so we can continue to make baby steps with his feeds. If we can get some nutrition in him I feel confident he'll really starting make some progress.

More coming soon - thanks for checking in with us!

Wednesday, July 15

Hoping for the Best

We've had a crazy, hectic, mostly amazing few days! We had the best weekend we could have asked for. Bryce was doing absolutely great and we had tons of family in from Waco to Corpus Christi to visit. We even had a chance to get out a little to eat dinner with family and go home for a couple of hours.

Monday was a hard day that started out great and took an abrupt turn for the stressful. Just a little reminder of how suddenly things can change in the NICU.

Poppa was babysitting while I was out to lunch with my Aunt Gene, Uncle Lolo and cousins Andrea and Tim. Everything was great when I left but by the time I got back they were in full on panic mode.

Bryce had been given another dose of the paralytic (which I loathe!) and then desatted with a heartrate drop as quickly as it took effect. They got him back up but it happened again. That's when I walked in.

Poor Poppa to have to be here alone for that, I know what it's like and it's terrifying. A blood gas test indicated that although Bryce was doing an excellent job of oxygenating his blood his CO2 levels were sky high. They tried suctioning him and repositioning him to no avail.

Finally the doctor came in and said he thought it was the oscillator so he asked them to restart it while he bagged Bryce for the third time that afternoon. As luck would have it the oscillator would not restart and panic set in once again.

Of course, the other oscillator was in storage and not tuned yet so Dr. Kelly was Bryce's ventilator for several minutes. The good news is that Bryce has always done well when being bagged so he was okay during the mayhem. Dr. Kelly finally decided that they should just try the conventional ventilator since the paralytic was given because he was fighting the oscillation of that ventilator anyway. The conventional was already in the room and on standby so they hooked it up in just a couple of minutes.

Unfortunately, another blood gas test came back with even higher CO2 levels so the decision was made to reintubate Bryce with a larger ET tube. He had had a significant air leak around his tube for a couple of weeks but he was so small no one could believe he needer the next size up. Turns out he did.

Once the new, larger tube was in Bryce rallyed and got his CO2 back down to within normal quite quickly. He's been holding steady ever since. His skin looks great and he's lost most of the swollen puffiness that he had gained last week with his kidneys taking their hiatus.

Caleb held him last night for a couple of hours and he tolerating all of the commotion remarkably well. He rested through the night so well that the medical director, Dr. Hodges, came by this morning to see why he hadn't had to run to Bryce's bedside all night.

Today they are weaning his pain meds again and going up on his feeds again. Both good things that he is so far tolerating well.

We couldn't be more proud of how well Bryce is doing considering all of the hurdles has had to face in his short life. As I was reminded of in rounds this morning by Dr. Kelly, Bryce has many predictors of long term developmental problems. But as Dr. Kelly added, we still have many reasons to be optimistic.

All we can do is hope for the best and prepare for the worst. However this all turns out we feel absolutely blessed to have Bryce in our lives and that's enough for us.

Sunday, July 12

5 Weeks

Happy 5 Weeks Birthday, baby Bryce!

We are so happy you came into our world, Sweetheart. You've shown us what is best about life and proven that even the hardest times can be fought through. We're so proud of how strong you've been and how much you've grown. Your getting to be a "real boy" now and we can't wait for the day we get to see you smile for the first time.

We love you with all our hearts, Honey - continue to be a good boy and surprise all of the doctors so we can take you home with us real soon!

Mommy and Daddy