Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Round 1 of Theo vs. Bacteria

Theo loves the mobile his nurse tracked down for him
We had a wonderful Christmas day with Theo.  He was such a delight; he ate well, slept well, and spent enough of the day awake so that we could open one present and read him O'Henry's The Gift of the Magi (a family tradition).  Dad did a great job reading the story; Grandpa Dave would be proud!

Monday was a different story.  Theo went from being on "auto-pilot" for the nurses and doctors to being time intensive.  All warning signs pointed to infection; first, his dialysate (dialysis fluid) was cloudy after he was drained, and then he refused to take any of his bottle.  Good thing he has a really incredible nurse who caught the changes right away.  When he wouldn't eat any of his bottle, she decided to check his belly to see if it was sensitive, and noticed that he had a hernia in his belly button.  He was also very sensitive to her touching his stomach.  So, she escalated things right away to the neonatologist, and the surgery team and nephrologist were called right away to check out Theo's belly.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!  We wish you all a day full of cheer and a chance to celebrate all of your blessings.

Nick, Natalie and Theo

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The "H" Word

Today the nephrologist said it.  The "H" word.  That's right.  "H", of course, standing for HOME.  That's the first time that anyone has talked about Theo coming home and not meant it as some far off, hypothetical time.  Before anyone gets too excited, there is still a lot of progress that needs to be made.  But, we are getting closer.

Theo continues to make slow but steady progress.  Some days are better than others.  For example, Theo ate like a champ on Sunday.  He took a bottle at every feeding, and was able to finish between 45-55 ml of each 60 ml bottle, meaning that only a little bit had to be given through the feeding tube. Then yesterday, he had a tough feeding day.  He threw up a lot (not just baby spit-up), and was obviously uncomfortable.  (Grandma Ronni brought a bunch of bibs when she visited this week, and they have come in handy!) So, the neonatologists decided to back off his feeding by bottle a little bit and give his stomach a longer period of time to digest each meal.  Like we have been warned from the doctors and other NICU parents, progress is usually made with two steps forward, followed by one step back.  The good news is that he has finally started to put on some weight.  He has been hovering around 7 lbs for the last week or so, but over the last few days has climbed up to 7 lbs, 7 oz.  Almost back to his birth weight!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Theo's First Photo Shoot

For some unknown reason, Natalie has decided to give me free reign as a guest author on her blog. I've gladly accepted the offer, though one thing I promise is that my pontificating won't come close to her far more refined, intelligent style.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Progress report and the protective nature of motherhood

Today marks the first full week for Theo's dialysis.  So far, there have been no major complications, which is a relief.  Theo is not eating as well as we'd like, so he is being fed by a combination of the bottle and a feeding tube.  He has been getting sick after almost every feeding, and it is so painful for me to watch when I can do nothing for him!  Today was a great day for feedings, though.  At his noon feeding he took 55 ml of the 65 ml bottle, leaving us with only 10 ml to put in the feeding tube.  That is the most that he has eaten since he started dialysis, and I am one proud mom!  Coming from someone who takes great pleasure in food, it is very difficult to watch Theo be "forced" to eat.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Roller Coaster of NICU life

Our family
We were warned that the NICU experience would be like a roller coaster.  Some days are wonderful, while  others are a lot tougher.  I'd have to categorize yesterday as a little bit of a tougher day.
Theo's lungs have healed remarkably well.  He no longer has any help breathing.  The doctors and nurses have all commented on how remarkable his lung development has been to this point.  (And trust me, Theo likes to show off his powerful lungs!)

Friday, December 2, 2011

Two great days!

Theo has had two great days of progress!  Yesterday, the doctors were very pleased with the status of his lungs.  In fact, Theo was breathing so well that the doctors would have removed the respirator had he not been scheduled for two surgeries today.  He also lost weight -- he weighed 7 lbs 8 oz when born, but two days afterwards had climbed to 7 lbs 14 oz because he was retaining too much fluid.  For whatever reason, his body started working more efficiently to process urine, and by yesterday he weighed 7 lbs 4 oz... right in line with a normal weight loss for a newborn.  The nurses have started to treat him more like a full-term baby, and bundled him up in a swaddle.  His medications have been reduced significantly; he was taken off a lot of the pain medicine and sedation medicines.
One proud dad!

Today was a big day for our little guy.  Nick and I spent a few hours with him in the morning before he was transported for surgery.  We loved his nurse today.  When she found out that we had not held him yet, she immediately helped me to pick him up and hold him for a while before we put him into the cart to be transported to the OR.  Nick also held him.  I honestly don't remember being happier in my life.  Holding him felt so incredible.

Welcome to the world, Little Theo!

(The original email -- written on Wednesday, November 30th)

Friends and family,

I apologize that we have not sent a mass email out until now.  We have not had access to our computer until tonight, so our communication to this point has been haphazard.  As some of you know, we were anticipating Theo's arrival on December 5th.  He decided to come meet us a bit earlier; we are overjoyed to announce that Theodore Bruce Foy was born on Monday night, November 28th at 9:03 pm.  He weighed 7 lbs 8 oz and is 20.5 inches long.  

Nick and I could not imagine a more perfect little boy.  He is absolutely gorgeous, and we could not be more in love with him.  Based on all the tests done over the last few months, we knew that Theo may have a long road ahead of him.  The journey started as soon as he was born; although he came out crying, it was clear that his lungs were underdeveloped so he was immediately taken to the NICU, where he is being loved on by a great team of nurses and doctors.  He is a fighter and seems to be doing well so far.  Nick and I were able to go and see him a few hours after he was born, and he couldn't be any cuter.