Sunday, January 17, 2010

Baby Jack Update, 1-17-10

Wow...I look at that picture from November, and I'm amazed at how much Jack has changed since then. Look at my cute little elf! Here he his, sucking on his beloved pacifier:

If you haven't noticed, I am not currently blogging, due to the situation with Jack and the incredible amount of time and energy I have been devoting to his care. I have been prepping our house for his eventual homecoming, which I am hoping will be mid to late February, as the doctors have suggested (nothing is written in stone, however). That has entailed lots of scrubbing, hauling boxes, moving furniture, etc., since he will still be rather fragile when he comes home (and for a long time afterward) and needs an exceptionally clean environment.

In addition, there are the daily visits to Jack that usually end up being 4-5 hours at a minimum, but are usually longer. The visits are wonderful, and filled with kangaroo time, teaching him to feed, and meeting with doctors, nurses, and various therapists. Add to that the seemingly endless pumping I must do (I'm usually good for 6-8 a day, although I should do more) and the continued daily life on the side that everyone experiences, which still includes job hunting and freelancing, and you can see why I am so overwhelmed most days. My bloodpressure continues to be an issue, although I'm hopeful I can get off the medication as I lose weight (which is another burden for me right now) and exercise more. There is just not enough time in the day, and I am always tired, but I'm a mommy and I have a purpose, and that keeps me going.

Anyhow, Jack is doing great at the moment. He is 11 weeks old, 36 weeks gestation, and weighs a whopping 1490 g (3 lb 4 1/2 oz). He has ROP (retinopathy of prematurity) but it's still at stage 2, zone 2, and hasn't really changed from last week. We are hopeful that it regresses like it does for many preemies. Jack is usually breathing room air (21% oxygen) and at a low flow (.9 L) on a nasal cannula. His feedings are up to 27 cc every 3 hrs, with fat and protein being added to my breast milk for weight gain. Jack is working with various therapists to learn how to eat and strengthen his muscles. Best of all, he is blossoming into a beautiful little baby boy, with a very vibrant personality...although we, as his parents, might be a little biased.

Thanks, as always, for the prayers and well wishes for our little "spitfire," as one of his nurses called him means the world to Pete and me. I love reading your comments, and it makes me feel good to know so many people out there care. I hope to update everyone more frequently than I have been, but I have a feeling I'll have my hands full for the next few months.

Hope you are all having a wonderful 2010!


Char said...

oh, i'm so thankful for the update!! he is in my prayers daily. he is just so bright and cheery. hope he keeps on being this wonderful spitfire.

avant garde said...

chris, thank goodness! i think we have all been hoping and then worrying and then hoping again :) he's a beauty! ssssssoooo happy you updated us and continued love and wishes and support from me too, i promise!

kendalee said...

Oh how lovely to have an update and to hear that you are well (albeit tackling so much on so many fronts, which just has me in awe) and that baby Jack is thriving - what a sweetie he is!!! Just melts my heart. My thoughts are with you... k xo

2KoP said...

Hi, Chris. I haven't stopped by on your blog in a while (It's Susan, Kenn's wife from The Animal Store in Lincolnwood.

First, congratulations! Your Jack is just beautiful. I'm sure you don't know this, but our twins were born at 24 weeks. They spent 5 months in the hospital and a year on oxygen at home. I can't even believe this as I type it, but they just turned 18 years old (in November) and will be graduating (on time) from high school in June.

I've spent a lot of time mentoring moms of preemies and am happy to be a resource for you. If you want to see what 24 weekers look like at 18, here's one of my blog posts with a recent picture (the preemies are the boy and girl in the back). And here is a post I wrote about them for the Chicago Moms Blog in honor of their 17th birthday.

Best of luck to you. The best advice I got before they came home from the hospital was to sleep as much as you can, because he will still have the habits of a newborn when he gets home, which means not much sleep for you.

kat said...

Chris - so glad to hear the update. Wishing him continued strength and good improvement and all the best to you parents!

Chris said...

Thank you everyone for your wonderful comments. It means so much to hear from all of you. Jack has his ups and downs, but one day soon he'll be home with us :)

Susan—Thank you for the advice. I'm so interested to hear from other micro preemie moms, so I would love to hear what you have to say about your experience. I'm off to check out your links now. Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your story!

drollgirl said...

congratulations on your little boy! i haven't been here in a while, and i am sorry i am so far behind.

i hope all goes well and that he gets bigger, stronger (and faster?) soon.

i bet he is as adorable in person as he is in these photos! :)