It’s been quite a while sine we’ve posted. When Adrienne went back to work and we started doing more of Adair’s care, it became harder and harder to get posts written. And when we did have a bit of time, we prioritized sleep over writing! Imagine that!
In the meantime, Adair has grown and developed with tremendous success. He’s approximately two weeks before his due date, and we’ve been back in KW at a hospital closer to home for nearly a week. He’s about 7.5 lbs now. Since the last post, Adair successfully transitioned to low-flow, and eventually got off oxygen altogether. While still at McMaster, he moved out of the intensive section and into their level 2 nursery. We waited and waited for news that he could transfer to a home hospital, and here we are! So where do things stand? The last hurdle is for Adair to be able to feed completely on his own steam. His lung disease related to his prematurity causes him to get out of breath very easily, and he has to carefully pace his feeding to give him a chance to catch his breath. He huffs and puffs throughout his feeds, and it takes him an average of an hour to complete most of a feed. That part is okay, but the difficulty is that these feeds seem to wear him out and he sleeps too heavily to eat at all a lot of the time. While most full-term babies will wake when they’re hungry, preemies often don’t and they also often can’t sustain longer periods without eating. So, if he won’t wake up to eat when we need him to, that will cause some problems when he’s home. Right now, we can just tube feed him, but the plan is to get rid of his NG tube and get him doing the work on his own. It takes time and patience! It’s especially hard because all we want to do is get him home, but there’s no rushing this stage. He’ll figure it out on his own time. The only other issue that they’re monitoring is his eye disease, but they can do that with him as an outpatient. Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP) is caused by the growth of the eye in an oxygenated environment instead of in the womb. Oxygen causes the growth of the vessels to stop and start, resulting in a buildup of tissue that’s similar to scar tissue. In its mild form, this can cause gaps in the baby’s sight, and at its most severe, can cause the retina to detach. Adair’s disease his been quite mild, but they want to monitor it.
Okay, enough of the medical stuff! At 7.5 lbs, he’s a chunky little guy with lots of awesome rolls. I love looking at them because we’ve worked so hard to get him to this size and it’s such a change from his scrawny, nearly translucent body when he was first born. We feel so very fortunate that he’s done so well. There’s so much that could have gone wrong, so many problems that he avoided, and we’re immensely grateful for this!
He’s become quite the little character too! We’re getting to know his personality and all of his many voices. He cries rarely, but he has a range of moans, groans, and grunts that often make us laugh. Most of them are related to farting ( which he does a lot) and pooping ( which he does less often). They add a fortifier to my breast milk and give him an iron supplement so he gets quite gassy and sometimes constipated. Poor guy!
As for us, we’re doing well. Mostly, we are ready for him to come home. It will be so nice to take him for a walk around the block, and to be able to visit with more than just parent+1. Imagine both of us in a room with him and both his grandparents! This is something people take for granted outside a hospital setting, but isn’t part of our current reality. For me, I’m excited to feed without pumping afterwards! Right now, I feed and then pump right away, which can take 1.5 to 2 hours each time. To be able to do away with the pumping will be amazing! And to wake through the night to Adair’s beautiful self instead of my breast pump is something I can’t wait for! We’re so close… just a couple more weeks we hope!