Monday, November 30, 2009

Your Own Clothes


Dearest Joshua David~

Hello sweet thing! How are you today? You look well! :-)

I came to see you twice today. When I saw you this afternoon, you were sleeping away. I picked you up and just rocked with you for a while. We did a gulp and swallow session and you took 12 ml of milk by breast! Your feedings have gone to 38 ml every three hours, so the rest went into your feeding tube. The nurse this afternoon stated that they will probably try giving you a bottle soon and see how well you do. You're at the gestation age where you'll likely do well.

For the 9pm feeding, daddy came with me. When we got there, you were being weighed and about to have your bath. Good news .... you weigh 4 lbs 6.4 ozs! Wow! You're such a big boy! We tried breast feeding again, and you took 10 ml. You had an active evening with the bath and eye exam, so you seemed a little worn out.

Daddy and I both got to hold you tonight. Your next eye exam will be in another two weeks. Your retinas are still not mature, which is aged related, so they need to keep checking you.

Also, the night nurse stated that your first bottle will be at your 3am feeding later! I hope you do well!

Do you like your penguin outfit? Daddy picked it out from the bag of clothes that we brought in for you. Your gigi (mommy's mom) bought it for you! You're officially in your own clothes! :-)

I thank God everyday for you! Keep up the good work!

I love you very much! :-)

~Mommy

Sunday, November 29, 2009

More Milk Please

Dearest Joshua David~

Hello sweet little thing! How are you today?

Today is your Aunt Katie's birthday! Yippie! She can't wait to see you when you leave the hospital. :-)

Daddy and I came to see you three times today for the 9am, 3pm, and 9pm feedings. At 9am, daddy and I both got to hold you. You slept when daddy held you. :-) We did a gulp and swallow session of breast feeding, and you took 16 ml of milk! You're total feed is 36 ml of milk every three hours, so the other 20 ml had to go through your feeding tube. We also took your temperature and changed you.

At 3pm, you did well again with your feedings. You took 12 ml of milk through your mouth! We also got to take your temperature and change you. You've been doing really well with regulating your own temperature.

When we came back at 9pm, I got to hold you again. :-) We tried to feed you again, and you took 16 ml before falling asleep. So, you took 44 ml of milk total today through your mouth! The nipple shield helps you. You're getting better! One nurse stated that we might be able to try a bottle on you tomorrow. We'll see. Once you are able to feed properly, you'll be home free! :-)

You continue to get cuter everyday! I can't wait to take you home and hold you! :-)

I love you so much! :-)

~Mommy

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Another Video

Dearest Joshua David~

Hello sweet boy! How's my little angel? :-) Today was a good day for feedings. Overall, you took 4 ml more milk than your total yesterday. Good improvement!

At 9am, your gigi (mommy's mom) came with me. We took your temperature and changed you. Then, we tried to get you to feed. You took 8ml of milk before falling asleep on us! Gigi held you for a while and you slept most of the time. It's almost December, so to get in the holiday spirit, gigi brought a stocking to decorate your bed! :-)


At 3pm, mimi (daddy's mom) came with me. We took your temperature and changed you again. You were a stinky little boy! :-P Then, we did another feeding. This time you showed off and took 18 ml of milk! Woo hoo! If you keep that up we'll be taking you home real soon! Then, mimi got to hold you.

Daddy came with me to the 9pm feeding. You were fussy for us and didn't want to feed right away. But, you eventually calmed down and took 8 ml of milk. So, you took 34 ml total over the day, and yesterday it was only 30 ml. You're showing improvement so lets keep it up!

Afterwards, the nurse had us watch the third video in the preemie series about "taking you home." That's a good sign that they had us go ahead and watch that video. It means you're definitely in the last stages.

The nurse last night weighed you and you're now 4 lbs 2.7 oz! A few more ounces and you'll be double your birth weight! :-) Daddy washed all the preemie size clothes that people have given you and we brought them to the hospital tonight. We labeled them all and put them near your bed. Now, you'll be able to wear your own clothes! A few outfits looked too small, so we donated them to the hospital for smaller babies to use. :-)

You continue to do well.

I love you will all my heart! :-)

~Mommy

Friday, November 27, 2009

Six Weeks

Dearest Joshua David~

Hello little precious! How's my sweet boy today? :-) Guess what .... today you are six weeks old (36 weeks gestation)! How exciting!

I came to see you three times today and brought different people with me. For the 9am feeding, I brought gigi (mommy's mom) along. We changed you and took your temperature. You and I worked on gulps and swallows. We tried it this time by ourselves (with no help from lactation nurses) and we did 12ml of milk via your mouth! Yea! You also had a really loud burp that even the nurses chuckled at. :-)

For the 3pm feeding, we came back and did it all over again. This time we only got 6ml, but it's still something. Plus, we got more practice on me holding you correctly. Then gigi got to hold you!

At 9pm, daddy came along, and good thing he did .... mommy was getting pretty sleepy by then! ;-) We had one of the nurses help us, and we got you to take 12ml again! Then, daddy held you while you got the rest of your feeding through the tube. The nurse said that she was proud of you .... and so am I!

We were there for your nightly weigh in .... you are now 4 lbs 2.4 ozs! Getting on up there!

I went out shopping today with daddy and gigi. I got some things for us for the nursery to prepare for when you come home. Hopefully it won't be long until you're here! Can't wait to take you home with me!

I love you little precious! :-)

~Mommy

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

Dearest Joshua David~

Happy Thanksgiving sweet little thing! I hate that you're still in the hospital during a holiday, but at least you are healthy and continue to do well. That's all I can ask for, and I'm so thankful for you and your daddy today!

We brought some pies in for the nurses to celebrate Thanksgiving. We took them a pumpkin, a sweet potato, and a pecan pie. I labeled them all from you. They loved them! :-)

You had a slew of visitors today. Your two grandfathers and mimi came to see you at different points. Your gigi is coming tomorrow with me.

Daddy and I came to see you for the 9am and 9pm feedings. When we came in the morning to see you, you had gained 38 grams since your last weigh in. You were 3 lbs 15.2 ozs!

We had a lactation nurse help us gain. You had a better seal this time and it appeared as though you didn't swallow as much air as the last feeding. The nurse didn't aspirate the air out, so we just waited to see how well you would do. Also, we weighed you before and after. You took 16 ml by yourself via mouth! Only 18ml had to be given via nose feeding tube. Good job little man! Oh, and another thing that has changed .... when I'm not there, your feedings through the nose tube are now done over 45 minutes (you were fed for an hour prior).

Later, we came back at 9pm. You still don't have the stamina to attempt two feedings back-to-back. The nurse tonight thought that we might be able to try early next week. At 9pm, we got to see the nurse measure you. You're now 41.5 cm (16.34 in) long and your head is 29.5 cm (11.6 in) in diameter. You're still growing! :-)

We did another feeding. Tonight you took in 12 ml. Which means, you took 28 ml of milk via mouth today. That's almost an entire feeding with only two sessions (full feeding is 34 ml)!

The nurse tonight explained more on why we're pushing you to learn breast feeding prior to bottles. When using bottles, the milk just drips out and you don't have to learn how to suck very well. Also, you can't control the rate of the milk, so you could get overwhelmed with too much in your mouth. Once you get better at breast feeding, we can introduce a bottle to you. The nurse was thinking of having you practice more over the weekend (increase the number of feedings you and I try) and maybe introduce a bottle on monday. I'm going to go to three feedings tomorrow and saturday to help you (probably the 9am, 3pm, and 9pm). They'll be long days, but it'll be worth it to see you improve. At each session, you get a tad stronger so the more we try the better you'll get .... and the faster we can get the feeding tube out of your nose. Plus, we get to see each other more often! I can't wait until we're both not living at the hospital! :-P

And, here's the big news .... you were weighed again tonight .... you're now 4 lbs 1 oz!! You broke the 4 pound barrier! I'm so proud of you! What wonderful news on Thanksgiving Day!

I'm so thankful for the blessing of you in my life!

I love you dearly!

~Mommy

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Chubby Cheeks

Dearest Joshua David~

Well, we have a lot to discuss little precious!

Last night, daddy and I came back to see you for your 9pm feeding. We had a lactation nurse help with getting you to suck and swallow more. She used a "supplemental nursing system" (SNS) to help you take in more milk. She put 10ml of milk in the container and let it run through a tube going out the nipple shield. With help, you took it all through your mouth, plus extra milk through the shield from me! It took you a little while, but you got it all in. So, you only had to take 24ml of milk through your nose feeding tube. You also swallowed a lot of air, so you gave a few good burps! You get tired during the feeding, so the nurse said you didn't have enough stamina to try two feedings in a row. After, I got to take your temperature, changed you, and held you for about an hour. :-) Oh, and you weigh 3 lbs 13.8 ozs!

Today, I came back for your 3pm feeding. We had a different lactation nurse to help us and we weighed you before and after the feeding. We didn't use the SNS, only the shield. With the nurse's help, you gained 20 grams during the feeding! Wow! Because of that, they took out 20ml from your syringe, and you only had 14ml go through your nose feeding tube!

When I got there, mimi was already holding you .... and before I left, gigi was holding you! Your grandmothers sure love you! :-)

I changed your diaper and outfit before I left. You had a nice poopy diaper and proceeded to poop while I was changing you. Then, you decided that wasn't enough and wanted to pee everywhere as well. Thanks! :-P



Daddy came back with me for your 9pm feeding tonight. We had a nurse help us again and you did well. I can tell you're filling out and even have the beginnings of little chubby cheeks!

Daddy got to kangaroo care you (hold you skin-to-skin) and he burped you during the feeding. You were all cozy sleeping on him. :-)

I can't wait to see and hold you again little miracle!

I love you so much! :-)

~Mommy

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Big Changes


Dearest Joshua David~

You had some big changes today when I came to visit you this afternoon. First, you no longer have a pulse oximeter on your foot. The doctors thought you were doing fine without it, so you have one less wire! :-)

Also, you've gained even more weight! You're now 3 lbs 12.1 ozs! Wow! Such a big boy!

Yesterday evening grandpa Mike and mimi came to visit you (daddy's parents). They both got to hold you! And, they gave you a bath. Now, all the grandparents have held you. :-)

The nurses are going to test you this evening. They've moved you into an open crib to see how well you regulate your temperature. I was there when they moved you from your isolette (incubator) bed into the open crib. If you do well, you'll be able to stay in the crib. :-)

We did another feeding lesson to see how well you're sucking and swallowing. The nurse weighed you before and after I tried to feed you. You gained 2 grams, so the nurse decreasesd your feeding by 2ml to compensate. Tonight, I'll go back again to see you for your 9pm feeding. Each day we'll try to do two lessons to get you feeding better.

After our lesson, I just held you for a few hours. You got the hiccups again. Then you slept. :-)

Can't wait to see you again!

I love you so much! :-)

~Mommy

Monday, November 23, 2009

More Weight

Dearest Joshua David~

Hello little sweetie! I can't believe how big you've gotten! You're now 3 lbs 10.5 ozs! Yippie! I spoke to one of the nurses, and you need to be at least 4 lbs before you can stay in an open crib. You need to gain a little more weight so that you can regulate your temperature better.

You're feedings have increased to 34 ml of mommy's milk every 3 hours. You're still adjusting to the increase, so you still had some residual milk in your belly at your 3pm feeding. You didn't have a lot, so the nurse wasn't concerned.

We did another gulp and swallow session today. It was just the two of us, and you did well. The charge nurse came by during the feeding session and wants us to increase to two feedings a day to push you more. They don't want us to do two in a row since you'll need to rest between them. So, we're going to try the 3pm and 9pm feedings and see how you do. You need to learn to take more milk in at each feeding by yourself (without the feeding tube). Tomorrow, the nurse said she was going to weigh you before and after to see how much milk you're taking in at each feeding.

After our session, I held you for a few hours until daddy came to meet us. Mimi and grandpa Mike will be visiting you tonight.

You are so precious!

I love you very much! :-)

~Mommy

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Hiccups

Dearest Joshua David~

Hello little man! Daddy and I had another good day visiting you today!

We had another session of feeding, trying to get you better at swallowing and breathing. We didn't have a lactation nurse there to help, but the nurse watching over you helped to position us. I'm calling these sessions "gulp and swallow" since you've gone past the "lick and learn" phase. :-) You did well! You started to get the hiccups at the end, and I thought you were going to spit up when I picked you back up! But, you were able to calm yourself and rest against my shoulder as the hiccups went away.

Today your grandpa Jim (mommy's dad) is doing the Arizona Ironman triathlon. Grandpa Jim nicknamed you "Rocky" because you've been such a strong, little fighter since the day you were born. Rocky was a boxer in a series of movies. You'll have to get a lot bigger to see them.


After I held you for a few hours, I passed you on to daddy. You continued to sleep soundly in daddy's arms.


Sweet thing .... you've gained a little more weight. You now weigh 3 lbs 8.2 ozs .... over 3.5 pounds! Mommy's so proud of you! :-)

Before we left, daddy took your temperature and I changed you (just wet .... woohoo!). ;-) Then, we changed your little outfit. You squirmed all around and cried a little as we moved you around. I can tell your lungs are getting a tad bigger since your "cries" are a little louder. As soon as we snapped the last button, you stopped wiggling and smiled at us!

You are so precious little angel!

I love you .... my little miracle! :-)

~Mommy

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Where Did You Go?


Dearest Joshua David~

Hello little sweetie! How are you today? You've gotten so big! You're just shy of 3.5 pounds .... you are 3 lbs 7.8 ozs! And, you're a bit longer .... you are now 36 cm (14.2 in). Though, the nurse said that measuring lengths are never the most accurate since you little babies tend to squirm! ;-)

Today daddy and I saw you for several hours. I held you "Kangaroo Care" style (skin-to-skin) for about 2 hours. You were tucked under my shirt and it was hard for daddy to see you because you wiggled. :-) You got lost in my shirt! Where did you go? :-) You were squirmy and whiny when the nurse took you out of your bed to put you on me. But when I started to talk to you, you calmed down and stopped. It was so cute!


Once we put you back in your bed, you pulled a new stunt .... daddy noticed that you had pulled your feeding tube out of your nose! You wiggled it right out and were so proud of yourself! Of course, we had to call the nurse back over to put a new one back. Sorry little man! Don't worry, one day we'll take it out for good!

Tomorrow grandpa Jim is doing his Ironman race in Arizona. Wish him luck! Last night, mimi and grandpa Mike were there to visit you. Mimi got to hold you for a few hours. Boy, are you popular! :-)

I can't wait to see and hold you again!

I love you .... forever and ever! :-)

~Mommy

Friday, November 20, 2009

Five Weeks

Dearest Joshua David~

Hello sweetie! You are 5 weeks old today (35 weeks gestation)! :-)

We had another good visit at the hospital today. Gigi went with me to the hospital to see you this afternoon. After work, daddy came to meet us.

We had another lactation nurse come in to help us with your feeding lesson. You did really well again. You had a lot of good sucks and swallows. The nurse was guessing you'll be at this "phase" of feeding for another week or so. The lactation nurse stated that once you can take in about half of your feeding by breast, they'll try to initiate bottles. So, right now, your feeding is 32ml. If you can get up to 16ml by yourself, that would be a huge step! The nurse was guessing you were getting between 1-3ml. Once you started to slow down, you had a large burp and then spit up! Ew! ;-) Of course, your tube feeding was going in your belly at the same time, so you probably got a little too much in at once.

After that, I changed your diaper and outfit. Then, I held you for a about two hours. The nurse gave me a little Gator outfit to put on you. You quickly lost your arms in it since it was a little too big!

I pray that you continue to do well!

I love you so much! :-)

~Mommy

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Warm and Bundled

Dearest Joshua David~

Hello precious! Lots of news today. Gigi (mommy's mom) met me at the hospital today. Your weight at the last weigh in (last night) was 3 lbs 4.9 ozs. Then, before we left, the nurse weighed you and your weight went to 3 lbs 5.6 ozs!

Your feedings have increased to 32ml of milk every three hours. Previously, they added a fortifier into the milk (at a ratio of 2:1) to add some extra calories to help you gain weight. Since you're growing better, they've decreased the ratio to 1:1.

Gigi got to hold you again! I passed you off to her after we did our second "lick and learn." :-) You were all warm and bundled in her arms. :-) You slept soundly.



We did two "lick and learns" today. We did the 3pm and the 9pm feedings. At the 3pm, it was just us, and I held you for several hours afterwards. At the 9pm, I had one of the lactation nurses come in to check on our progress. You did really well for the nurse! We used the nipple shield and you had several big gulps of milk. You still have to pace yourself and go slowly, but each little drop counts. The nurse tried to aspirate the milk out to see how much you digested. She got one ml, but she thinks you probably got more than that based on your actions and the large, loud burp you had! :-) Afterwards, I changed your diaper, and it was a big poop! The nurse said you've gone past "lick and learn" phase .... now you're sucking and swallowing and trying to add breathing into the mix. Each day we'll do a little more. :-)

You're such a cute little man!

I'll always be here for you! I love you very much! :-)

~Mommy

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

No More Caffeine

Dearest Joshua David~

Hello sweet thing! Daddy had a meeting after work, so it was just the two of us today. I spoke to one of the nurses today and she gave me some updates on you. First off, they stopped your daily caffeine dose. Your body no longer needs it. Also, your next eye exam is on the 30th (two weeks from your first one). Your eyes are still "immature" in development, but they're to be expected for your age.

You're still a little small, but for your gestation age we need to increase our "lick and learns." We're going to try to do two a day during your feedings. We did two today, and you did better with the second one. You got some good gulps of milk in. Lets keep it up so your feeding tube can eventually come out. :-)

Some new blood work was done on you (they draw blood periodically to check you). You're still anemic (typical for preemies like you), but your blood work showed improvement. Your body is trying to correct and regulate itself, so the doctors will wait to see if you continue to show improvement.

I held you for a few hours and you slept for a bit. You were a little fussy at times, but then you calmed down.

Before I left you, I took your temperature, changed you, and learned how to change your pulse oximeter (which is on your foot).

Your grandpa Jim flew to Arizona this morning. He's doing an Ironman Triathlon race this coming weekend, and you're his little inspiration. :-)

Keep growing strong.

I love you very much sweet thing! :-)

~Mommy

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Bath Time

Dearest Joshua David~

This was a big day for several people! First, your grandpa Jim came to see you early in the morning, and he held you for about an hour! I spoke to him later in the day before I saw you, and holding you made his day .... which I believe because holding you makes my day too! :-)

You saw the eye doctor last night. Your exam went well. So far so good .... you're within normal limits for your size and age, as far as eye development. You'll be checked again later to make sure things are still developing as they should.

You did well for your "lick and learn" today. Afterwards, I held you for a few hours as you drifted to sleep.

Daddy and I had a new experience today .... after I took your temperature and changed you, we got to weigh you, give you a bath, and change your outfit! :-) After the bath, daddy took another picture of you because your hair was so fuzzy and cute! There's a little bit of red in your blonde fuzz! ;-)

Other good news .... when I walked in to see you, your weight was 3 lbs 2.3 ozs (when they weighed you last night). When daddy and I weighed you, your weight went to 3 lbs 3.6 ozs! You're almost one whole pound above your birth weight (2 lbs 4 ozs). I'm so proud of you!

You're doing well .... keep it up!

I love you so much little Joshua! :-)

~Mommy

Monday, November 16, 2009

Quiet Day

Dearest Joshua David~

Hello again! Today was a relatively quiet day at the hospital. I was there with you for about five hours, and daddy came to meet us after work.

Mimi had draperies made for your room at home, and they were installed today. After she put them up, she came by the hospital to see you in the morning. I just missed her when I came to see you. The draperies are pretty and I can't wait for you to see them when you come home. Each day daddy and I are preparing your room for your arrival! :-)

You're still gaining weight! You are now 3 lbs 1.1 ozs! The feedings and vitamin have stayed the same.

You'll have your first eye exam tonight. The nurse said she'll have to put some eye drops on your eyes, and you'll probably not like it. The doctor will see how your eyes are developing and growing. And, they'll continue to check them as you get bigger.

I held you for a few hours, after we did another "lick and learn." Then, you slept on my chest as I rocked in the chair.

You're such a sweet boy!

I love you very much! :-)

~Mommy

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Big Step

Dearest Joshua David~

You have reached a big step .... you are now 3 pounds in weight! :-) I knew you could do it! ;-) Daddy and I came to see you for several hours today. As soon as we got there, I took your temperature and changed your diaper (which was poopy by the way!). Daddy got to change you before we left.

video

We did a "lick and learn" while you were getting your feeding. Afterwards, I continued to hold you. Daddy took a video of us together! :-) You spit up a little, so daddy and I got to wipe you and change your outfit. It would have been easier if you weren't so squirmy! ;-)

Your feedings and vitamin have stayed the same. No real changes since yesterday except your weight.

All the nurses love you .... and so do we! I love holding you and giving you little kisses!

Keep growing strong for us. Everyday daddy and I pray for continued health for you!

I love you so much!

~Mommy

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Little Bigger

Dearest Joshua David~

Hello sweet thing! Did you miss me? :-)

Today was another good day at the hospital. Gigi and grandpa Jim came to see you earlier. Daddy and I came later in the day.

Your feedings have increased to 30ml of milk, dispensed over an hour, every 3 hours (8 times a day). Also, your vitamin has increased. You're now getting 0.5 ml of vitamin once a day (was a quarter of a ml). And, you're 2 lbs and 15 ozs! You'll be three pounds by the end of the weekend!

We did another "lick and learn" today. We'll try to do one everyday, and eventually, we'll do two a day. You were sleepy today, so we didn't over do it. You took a few drops and did well with sucking. Then, we let you sleep and rest.

I got to hold you for a few hours. Daddy and I gave you lots of kisses! :-)

I love you so much!

~Mommy

Friday, November 13, 2009

Four Weeks

Dearest Joshua David~

Guess what! Today you are four weeks old! I can't believe that four weeks ago today I was in the hospital giving birth to you. Time seems to have gone by quickly. Which means, it won't be long until you can come home with me! :-)

You're feedings have been changed. You are now getting 27ml of mommy's milk every 3 hours! We did another "lick and learn" today, and you were really active! You did well stopping yourself and taking a breath after a few swallows. We used a "nipple shield" to help you "latch." Eventually, we'll try a bottle too. The lactation nurse measured the amount of milk you swallowed and it was over one ml! Good job! One day that feeding tube will come out! :-)

Afterwards, daddy and I both held you. You spit up on daddy! Once we repositioned you more upright, you were fine. I think you had a little too much milk! ;-)

Oh, and every little gram counts! You're now 2 lbs 14.4 ozs! Woo hoo! Three pounds here we come!

Daddy and I learned more about car seats and safety for when we take you home. When it gets closer to that time, you'll need to pass a car seat test to make sure you maintain your vitals for over an hour at a 45 degree angle.

I pray you continue to do well. You're the best thing daddy and I have!

I love you .... forever and ever! :-)

~Mommy

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Sleepy Time


Dearest Joshua David~

Hello sweet thing! Today was another good day at the hospital. It was just me and you today (daddy worked late), so we got to spend a lot of time together.

We did another "lick and learn" and you're doing well. You weren't as active as yesterday .... you were more sleepy. We did a little, and then I let you rest. You've gained weight though. You're now 2 lbs 13.6 ozs! I think you'll be 3 lbs sometime this weekend.

I held you for a few hours again today. You drifted off to sleep, so I just watched you and gave you little kisses. It was pretty quiet today, which we both liked, so it was really enjoyable to sit there with you.

You did have a new hat on. It was yellow and cute on you!

Keep growing strong!

I love you so much! :-)

~Mommy

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Gigi's Turn

Dearest Joshua David~

Hello there! We had another good day at the hospital today. Your feedings have stayed the same. You're still getting 25ml of milk every 3 hours. We met with a lactation nurse again today for another "lick and learn." I learned a new way to hold you while breast feeding. You still can not latch on by yourself (will take more time), but the nurse said you were doing well. You can breathe, suck, and swallow .... but it's hard for you to do them all together! :-)

Today is Veteran's Day, so gigi (mommy's mom) and daddy had off from work. We all went to the hospital together and guess what! Gigi got to hold you!


You were incredibly peaceful when she held you .... even more so than when daddy and I hold you some times! You slept most of the time. I gave you little kisses! :-)

You continue to do well. I pray for continued health for you.

I love you dearly!

~Mommy

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Increased Feeding

Dearest Joshua David~

Hello sweet thing! When I came to visit you today, Mimi was already there watching you! We got to visit with you as you slept. Earlier in the day, your grandpa Jim saw you. After work, daddy came to see us. You're a popular guy! :-)

Your feeding amounts have increased. You now get 25ml of milk every 3 hours. And, you've gained more weight! You're 2 lbs 12 ozs! Keep up the good work!

We had another lesson with the lactation nurses of "lick and learn." It'll take a little while, but you're getting better at feeding. One of these days we'll be able to get that feeding tube out from your nose! ;-)

I got to hold you for several hours today. You slept most of the time, but there were times when you were wide awake and looking around at me. When daddy got there, he got to hold you during another feeding. Even though you appeared to be sleeping, I gave you several kisses and talked to you. When you were awake, you gave me cute little smiles. :-)

It was a good day at the hospital today. I pray you continue to do well!

I love you little Joshua!

~Mommy

Monday, November 9, 2009

Multivitamin And More

Dearest Joshua David~

Hello little man! You were wide awake when I came to see you this afternoon. And, you continue to do well. You are now 2 lbs 11 ozs! You've gotten bigger, but the outfit you had on today was too big for you! It took me awhile to find your right arm because it was tucked in the sleeve. :-)

We got to move on to the next phase of development between us. We need to start teaching you that food goes in your mouth and not a feeding tube in your nose! So, a lactation nurse came in during one of your feedings and started us on "lick and learn." You're still too small to latch on to a breast, or bottle, but you did well for our first lesson. :-) You probably ate about a half of a ml of milk, and the rest went in your feeding tube. Each day we'll try a little more.

Daddy came to see us after he got off from work. I was holding you when he came. I held you for several hours. When daddy came, he held you and then changed your diaper! I got to take your temperature and snap your clothes back on.

They've started you on a multivitamin once a day (which goes in your milk). We'll continue to give you the vitamin even when you're home. Next week, once you pass 34 weeks gestation, you'll have your first eye exam. The doctors need to keep monitoring you to make sure your eyes are developing normally. Hopefully you've inherited your daddy's eyes .... mommy wears glasses! ;-)

I pray you continue to grow healthy for us!

I love you sweet boy! :-)

~Mommy

Sunday, November 8, 2009

A Few More Grams

Dearest Joshua David~

Hello sweet little thing! Today you were sleeping soundly when daddy and I came to see you. As we were coming in, your grandpa Jim and Gigi (mommy's parents) were leaving. Tonight, after the night shift change, your grandpa Mike and Mimi (daddy's parents) will come to see you. Everyone will see you today! :-)

You are a few more grams! You now weigh 2 lbs 9.6 ozs! Big boy! Can't wait until you reach the big 3 lbs! ;-)

You had on stripes today. How cute!

I got to hold you again during your feeding. You made little squeaky noises as you drifted to sleep. When the nurse put you back in your bed, you got fussy and grabbed my shirt because you didn't want to leave! I didn't want to leave either! :-)

You continue to do well. We pray for you everyday and can't wait to bring you home!

I love you so much!

~Mommy

Saturday, November 7, 2009

You Have Clothes


Dearest Joshua David~

Oh my goodness .... today you have clothes! :-) You are no longer a naked baby with just a diaper on. ;-) When daddy and I came to see you today, you had on a cute little outfit with paw prints. Of course, when we took you out of your bed, the nurse took your outfit off so I could hold you "skin-to-skin."

You've gained weight! You're now 2 lbs 9.2 ozs. Yea! We'll take every gram we can get!

Guess what? You are very popular and have many friends! Today, your Aunt Katie hosted a baby shower for us. Granted the shower was planned for awhile since we thought you were coming a little later, but as they say in the entertainment business, "the show must go on." :-) The shower was a lot of fun, and you got a lot of stuff. You have more little outfits and they range in sizes. You have some that are preemie size and some that you'll need to grow into. You also got blankets, towels, hats, booties, and things for the nursery. How exciting! Daddy and I will organize everything for you so that when you come home you'll be able to see what everyone got you.

I love you very much! :-)

~Mommy

Friday, November 6, 2009

Three Weeks

Dearest Joshua David~

Today you are three weeks old! :-) You're doing much better. Your blood sugar was good the last couple of times they checked, so your PICC line is out of your arm! No more IV fluids! You still have your feeding tube and monitors on your chest to continue to check vital signs.

I held you again today for about 2 hours. You were wrapped like a burrito, so I took a picture once you were placed back in your bed. You were sleeping soundly the whole time I held you. I got to change your diaper as well (it was only wet .... woohoo!). :-)

Other good news .... you're in a different part of the nursery. You are not considered "sick", just small, so you were moved to the last area of the nursery. I got to help move you to the next area. You will remain here until you are discharged. That's exciting! That means you are doing well!

Your feedings have remained the same. So, we just need you to put on weight, which will take time.

Good news and a good day with you today at the hospital. I love holding you! Keep growing so we can take you home!

I love you so much!

~Mommy

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Getting Bigger


Dearest Joshua David~

Today is your Uncle James's (mommy's brother) birthday! I spoke to him earlier in the day and he told me to give you a kiss for him. As soon as I came to see you, I gave you a nice kiss from your uncle. :-)

Guess what? You're off your IV glucose! They've left the PICC line just in case you need it again. The last two times they checked your blood sugar you were fine. Maybe they can take out your PICC line tomorrow. Then, you'll just have your feeding tube.

Oh, and other good news .... you've gained some weight! You're now 2 lbs 8 ozs! They've increased your feedings to 23ml of milk every 3 hours. You're still adjusting to the increase, so you had some residual milk in your belly when I was there, but it wasn't a lot.

You're in a new bed. You're in the same room, but your bed has changed. As you continue to get healthier, they'll keep changing your bed and room until we can take you home. :-)

I got to hold you today for over 2 hours. They wrapped you like a burrito and I rocked with you as you went to sleep. Every once in awhile, you'd cough or sneeze. You smiled a few times and it was so cute!

I love you very much!

~Mommy

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Nice Pacifier

Dearest Joshua David~

Hello little man! You were in the middle of a feeding when I came to see you today. When you are having your feedings, you like to use the pacifier, especially now that the feeding tube isn't in your mouth anymore (and in your nose). You've gotten pretty good at holding the pacifier, especially if we move your arm/hand to hold it for you. :-)

I got to watch you fall asleep with the pacifier, and I sat with you for three hours. Growing up, daddy and I went to a little Episcopal school with a headmaster named Father Hale. He would lead chapel services three days a week, and one time he asked the question, "What is the only population on Earth that is without sin?" The answer, of course, is babies. Babies are sinless. Watching you fall asleep reminded me of that. You were so innocent laying there with your pacifier. It reminded me of how blessed we are to have you .... our little miracle from God. :-)

Your feedings and glucose have not changed, except they added some more protein to the milk to help bulk you up. I spoke to one of the doctors there. They will continue to check your glucose tonight and tomorrow. Hopefully, if you continue to regulate well, the goal will be to take you off the IV tomorrow. If they do, they'll also take out your PICC line! So, we'll see how well you do and if they're able to do that tomorrow or not.

Daddy came to see us after work again. Before we left, the nurse pricked your foot and checked your blood sugar. It was good, so we'll see what happens tomorrow. Oh, she also changed your diaper. You promptly peed everywhere. :-P

Keep being strong for us! I love you so much!

~Mommy

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Ironman Baby


Dearest Joshua David~

When I came to see you today you were wide awake. You were in the middle of a feeding, so you were a little wiggly. They've increased your feeding to 21ml of milk. And, you've gained some weight! You are now 2 lbs 7 ozs! Keep growing strong!

You're still on glucose, but a small amount (1ml). They'll check your blood sugar again to see if they can decrease it more, or take it off.

I was able to see you for three hours today! And, I held you for most of the time. :-) Daddy came to see us when he got off from work.

You had a new addition to your "hulk" doll. Your (Great) Aunt Beth got you the hulk doll right after I had you, and we were both still in the hospital. It was to remind you to keep fighting and to grow strong! This morning, when your grandpa Jim came to visit you, he added an "Ironman" medal to the doll (my cousin Chris made the "medal" for my dad last Christmas). Grandpa Jim is doing Ironman Arizona later in the month, and he gave you this medal for good luck. :-)

Overall, the nurses say you are doing well. Keep growing!

I love you very much! :-)

~Mommy

Monday, November 2, 2009

Found Your Thumb

Dearest Joshua David~

Hello sweet boy! Today was a good day at the hospital. Daddy started a new job today, so I same to see you by myself for awhile. I held you for almost two hours! You were peaceful and didn't squirm very much. You mostly slept. :-) After I held you, the nurse took your temperature and you were warmer with me than in your bed. We were cozy together. :-)

Your glucose level was better today, so they lowered your IV again to 1.0ml per hour. Maybe you'll be off some time this week.

You had no residual left in your belly from the earlier feeding, so your digestion has improved. They still have you on 17ml of milk per feeding, but they've added some extra formula to increase your calories. This way, you'll hopefully gain more weight.

When you were placed back in your bed, you found your little thumb and started to suck on it. Usually, you try to stick your whole hand in there. But today, you sucked your thumb briefly. It was so cute! You did it so quickly I couldn't even take a picture!

Once daddy was done with work, he came and met us at the hospital. As we were leaving, you wiggled a little, and it looked like you were waving. :-)

Ok, little man .... keep being strong for us. I love you very much! :-)

~Mommy

Sunday, November 1, 2009

It's November

Dearest Joshua David~

It's November, which means we're slowly getting closer to bringing you home! It was cold and rainy today. Good day to be indoors and warm.

When they checked your glucose last night, it was still a little low, but this morning it was higher. So, they lowered your glucose IV to 1.5ml/hr. They'll continue to lower you as long as your body continues to regulate.

When daddy and I came to see you, you were sleeping soundly again. But, we quickly woke you so I could hold you! You squirmed around for a little bit before falling asleep against me. At one point you were fussy. When we put you back and changed the diaper, we quickly knew why! I guess you wanted to wait for me to hold you before filling your diaper! :-) Sometimes, you would make little squeaky noises. Daddy took a video of you making those little noises. :-)

video

You're still doing better on your feedings. In fact, you've gained weight! You gained 20 gms so you're now 2 lbs 6 ozs. :-)

Earlier in the day, grandpa Jim, gigi, and mimi came to visit you. Your grandpa Mike had surgery earlier. But, he'll come to visit you when he's feeling better.

Oh guess what? Your belly button stump came off! Now, you have a cute little belly button. :-)

Keep growing strong! I love you so much! :-)

~Mommy