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March 30, 2009
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Alexandra was released from the hospital on Saturday the 28th! We took our little girl home at 3:30pm. Today is our first pediatrician appointment. Wish us luck!

Looks like tomorrow is the day. Unfortunately Alexa needs to be sent home on caffeine after all. Today they put the order in and we were taught how to administer the meds. We have to call in tomorrow morning to find out if the official decision has been made on her release or not. Wish us luck!!!

Great news today, just like every other day ๐Ÿ™‚ Alexa passed her hearing and eye exam with flying colors! She’s taken every one of her bottle feeds for 24 hours, which means she’s ready to be prepped for release. Every baby has to have a 12 hour sleep study that tests for breathing issues. She was set up today at 3pm and will be taken off the extra monitors at 3am. The tech and doctors will review the results tomorrow morning to determine if she needs to go home on caffeine. If she’s does NOT need the added treatment we get to take her home TOMORROW!!!!!!!!! If she does, then we’ll have to wait till Saturday.
We also had our monitor and infant CPR class this afternoon. We’re all set to keep an electronic “eye” on Alexa’s breathing and heart rate.
Our first visit with the Pediatrician is one week from today. Wow, we can’t believe we’re almost done with the NICU. Alexa is finally moving on to the next step in life…being a regular newborn…and no longer really a preemie! Amazing!!

We’re up to 8 full bottle feedings per day! That’s every single feeding (which means she’s had her feeding tube removed!!!). As soon as they NICU staff sees that she tolerates this change well..they will run her sleep apnea study to determine if Alexa needs to go home with caffeine treatments. Baby may need a cup-o-joe in the morning ๐Ÿ™‚ย ย  ย The hospital’s ophthalmologist came in to do an eye exam to look for ROP. We’re also waiting to get the results from Alexa’s hearing test. One last ultrasound will be done of her brain to scan for any injuries, though the last one came back completely normal so we’re assuming the results will be fine once again. All these tests means that Alexa is just about ready to come home…so we’re keeping our fingers crossed that she passes with flying colors!!!

Alexa gained enough to make it out of her isolette and into a mini-crib!!!! She’s currently 1953grams (roughly 4lbs 5ozs). She’s gonna have all her baby fat soon!
The doctors are about to up her bottle feeds to all 8 per day. That means no more tube feedings very very soon. Nursing practice is going well, though it’s still just one session per day.
We’re prepping to take Alexa home and so is the hospital staff. Our CPR and monitor training class is this Thursday…which means she will be released either this Friday or next Monday. OMG, it’s almost over! Peter has scheduled his 2 weeks of paternity leave to start this coming Thursday. We cannot wait to be home with our completed family!

The doctor noticed that Alexa seemed to be pale Friday morning, so he decided that a blood test was needed. You see, preemies just don’t have enough bone marrow to produce the necessary red blood cells, they often times become anemic which necessitates a blood transfusion. She’s now as pink as can be and doing great. This procedure was explained to us last week since most preemies need a transfusion, so it did not come as a surprise.
In better news, they’ve upped her bottle intake to every other feeding, which means she’s now getting 4 bottles per day!
Tomorrow Amber gets to try her hand at nursing the “real” way FINALLY!!!!! Today we did another round of dry-nursing, and the staff thinks that she’s ready for the real thing. We will still supplement her feedings with either pumped milk or formula, but things are moving along so well ๐Ÿ™‚

As of yesterday, Alexa weighs 1784 grams (3lbs 14.8ozs). At 1800 grams she will be in an open bassinet. We had hoped she would be out at this last weigh-in, but she wasn’t ready. Monday for sure though! The doctor’s have increased her feedings to 32ccs and she’s now up to 3 bottle feeds per day. Yesterday Amber was able to “dry nurse” for the first time (pumped first so she had emptied each side) so Alexa could practice!!!

Miss Alexa is gaining weight like a champ. Yesterday she weighed in at 3lbs 12.5ozs, that’s 4ozs up from last Thursday! At this rate she’ll be out of her isolette and into an open bassinet by this coming Thursday!!! The doctors say she’ll be going home within the next 2 weeks (maybe even as soon as next week), so keep your fingers crossed for us ๐Ÿ™‚
In feeding news, Alexa has finished 2 full bottle feeds as of yesterday and we’re waiting to hear back from the doctor’s rounds today about adding a second bottle daily. Soon we’ll be able to nurse and Amber is more than excited.

As of yesterday…Alexa is back up to her birth weight of 3lbs 8ozs! That means she’s able to stay dressed inside of her isolette with the heat low enough to let her regulate her body temp herself. This is fantastic news, and a huge step! We have a few outfits to dress her up in which is so cute.
She is also off caffeine, which means she hasn’t had any apneatic episodes in the past week. More huge news!
Today she took her WHOLE feeding by bottle! Normally babies do not learn the suck/swallow/breath combo till the 34th week of gestation, so Miss Alexa is ahead of schedule. Ahhhhh a sign of things to come ๐Ÿ™‚ The doctors will order two bottle feedings per day now, until she finishes both…then three, four, and so on. Hopefully this means Amber will be able to nurse soon **crosses fingers**

Miss Alexa had her first bath yesterday. She did so well, absolutely no fussing. She loved her shampoo (aka mini baby head massage). She has so much hair that Amber had to rinse her off over the water bowel rather than wiping her off with a cloth. So sweet ๐Ÿ™‚ We’re making such great progress that the doctors gave the order to have Alexa start bottle feeding. Amber was able to give her the first taste…and she took 8ml’s like a champ (and the other 20ml’s were done through the tube like normal). We also got the great news that she’s up to 3lbs 5.5ozs (from 3lbs 4.3ozs). Another 2.5ozs and we get to start dressing her up!!

We’re officially off the IV!!!! Alexa’s PICC line was removed the other day. She’s now receiving all of her nutrients orally (through a feeding tube that’s been moved from her mouth to her nose). The only medication left is her caffeine (hope she doesn’t turn into a coffee junkie, lol). As of last night she has had ZERO apneatic episodes, so we’re hopeful that she will be medication free very soon. The nurses have started to administer vitamins and iron supplements. Alexa doesn’t love them, and spit some up, so they’ve spilt the dose in 2 to make it more tolerable.

In other great news, she’s gained 2oz’s. They’ve held her food at 25ml per feeding for the time being, as that amount is proving to be good for growth at this point in time. Amber is pumping away and doing all that she can to make sure Alexa has Momma’s Milk as often as possible. Hopefully we’ll start bottle feeding soon, since that’s the next step before nursing can begin!

Alexa is doing wonderfully! She has been taken off antibiotics and her nasal cannula (which provided positive air pressure) has been removed. No infection was found and she has been having just 1-2 apneatic episode a day (which is considered low enough to no longer need the breathing reminder a nasal cannula provides). She has also been been taken off bili lights because she is no longer considered jaundice. While she loved her tanning bed, she’s happy to be able to take her goggles off and look around ๐Ÿ™‚

We had an amazing night last night! Since Alexa is off of the antibiotics, we were able to do kangaroo care. We both held her skin to skin on our chests for about a half hour each. It was just beautiful, and the most relaxing visit thus far! Hopefully we’ll be able to do it again tonight, and this time take some pictures!
Alexa is looking just adorable. She’s finally getting a little chub on her face and we’re getting more comfortable handling her. We are both so much in love with this little girl ๐Ÿ™‚

We’re still feeling it out, but we have chosen Alexa as Alexandra’s nick name ๐Ÿ™‚ We needed a smaller name for such a tiny little girl!
Please use this email – for any questions, comments, greetings, salutations, etc., to Alexa ๐Ÿ™‚

As many of you already know, Amber went into labor on Monday night. Alexandra was born at 11:08pm weighing 3lbs 8ozs. She was roughly 10 weeks early and is staying in the NICU for the next few weeks. She is doing very well and has been “graduated” down to the 2nd level ICU. Peter has visited Alexandra daily since she was born while Amber was healing from the emergency c-section. Amber was released from the hospital on Friday and is now able to join Peter during visits. The family is bonding and learning how to deal with the new situation. We are hopeful and cannot wait to take our little girl home. More updates will be posted in a new section on the website soon. In the meantime, please see all the pictures we’ve posted so far on Alexandra’s new Flickr account ๐Ÿ™‚
P.S the shower is still on, we can’t wait to see everyone on March 14th at 1pm!

One Comment leave one →
  1. April 14, 2010 1:49 am

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