Our little family

Our little family
Wife Woman, Husband Man, Catcher and The Hoskinettes.

Friday, March 19, 2010

2 weeks already?!

Catcher is 2 weeks old today, I was fully prepared for him to have to stay in the hospital till this point, considering he was born at 34 weeks gestation, that's 6 weeks early!! But he's already been home over 3 days, i can hardly believe how normal it feels now. He is such a good eater and sleeper, because he was born so early i really try to just let him sleep between every feeding, his little body still needs all that extra rest to grow and catch up. I so enjoy the brief times in the day when he's actually alert and awake, i usually get that once or twice a day for about a half hour each. He just likes to look around, because he was premature he can't focus on anything yet, his eyes were not meant to be seeing the outside world yet! Thankfully he's not really much of a crier, he makes a bit of noise when it's time to eat, mostly just little grunts and sigh's until i pick him up, then he quiets right down. Very rare to actually hear him cry though, about once or twice a day also, if that, he is so content all the time.

I'm really feeling the lack of sleep and that's been the hardest part so far. Because he is a preemie it's important to wake him and feed him every three hours, whether he would have woken up or not, and at night, that gets very tiring night after night. But it's all worth it, i know this phase won't last forever, and i love my time with him, and at night i'm not so worried about what the girls are doing while i have my quiet time with little Catcher, so that's nice.

Catcher had an outing to GrandDad and Nana's house last night (my dad and step-mom)but he was held the whole time and was more upset and irritable when we got home than he usually is, so i'm really learning that he just wants to sleep and be left alone between feedings, if he doesn't get good solid sleep then he doesn't eat well at the next feeding and that makes him feel yucky. Poor little guy, but he's getting me trained already, i know who's in charge here and it hasn't been me for quite some time :) Good thing i'm not a control freak or anything HAHA, oh well, i'm learning that lesson i suppose, i love all of my kids, they've all been little miracles and Catcher is certainly no different.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Catcher makes a Home Run!

It's Tuesday, March 16th, and Catcher is officially home! He came home this morning and is doing well. His sisters are so in love with him and so excited to see him, they want to know what he is doing every second of the day, and pretty much everytime they ask, he is just sleeping :)zzzz

Adjusting to a new baby at home hasn't been terribly hard, but then again it's still Adam's day off, tomorrow will be a whole other story.

We made good friends with one of Catcher's nurses, Margie. You don't realize how much effect you can have on a person in such a short time. She's an awesome person and we look forward to adding her to our circle of friends.

We baked cookies for the NICU nurses and the girls made thank you cards, they've done so much to help our little Catcher have a nice stay, they made all the difference in the world. Thanks!!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Catcher update

Had a wonderful visit with Catcher again today, and today's thanks goes to GrandDad for watching the kids (my dad :)

Today i brought an outfit for Catcher because by my view of things he should get to be in an open crib today, which means getting to wear clothes and be wrapped up in a blanket, no longer all nakey in an isolette. So sure enough when i got there the nurse told me that they would be taking him off the lights (jaundice all cleared up) and that since he was on room air anyway that he would be moving to an open crib. So i got out the little outfit i had for him and she let me dress him and i cannot explain how wonderful it felt to put clothes on my little guy. It made him feel like a normal healthy baby, not a sickly hospital baby. He did great mainting his temperature (which is the main requirement of being in an open crib) and was doing so well with all of his feedings that they pulled out the feeding tube. YAY! his face is now all clear from the oxygen and tubing he had before.

If it hadn't been for his episode of apnea a few days ago, he actually would be coming home tomorrow (which would have been 9 days just like my daughters did as preemies as well) however after an episode of apnea they are required to monitor him for five days. So by my calculations (and confirmed by the doctor) if he has no further episodes of apnea than he'll be home on tuesday. It feels so far away, but at the same time, sunday, monday and tuesday are Adam's days off, which means i can spend as much time at the hosptial as i want, and not worry about who i have watching the kids. So the time should pass easily i hope. I am so amazed at how well he's done, the nurses have really tried to not push him too hard so that he didn't have any steps back, which is normally common in preemies, but they have been so great. Can't thank them enough. Here's a pic of Catcher in his first outfit it says "i'm a great catch" and he sure is! i took the pic before they took out the feeding tube, so it's still there, but still cute none the less :)

Friday, March 12, 2010

Starting to "Catch" On

I got to visit with Catcher for 6 hours this morning, it was soooo wonderful! Thanks mom for babysitting!

Today was another big day for our little guy, i breastfed again today and he did really really well, took about a half of his feeding that way, so that was really good. The doc was there when i arrived this morning so i talked to her for a few minutes. Apparently Catcher had an apnea episode yesterday morning, and after one of those they want to watch them for five days to make sure it doesn't happen again, so today was day one of the five, if it doesn't happen again then we'll be looking at Tuesday as a release day, but i'm not pushing it, if he's not ready then i'd rather he was being monitored there for things like that than have them happen at home and not realize it was happening. Apnea is when their heart rate drops and their oxygen saturation drops, and they usually stop breathing, they turn gray and it can be a bit scary, although in Catcher's case this was the second time it had happened and this time he recovered quickly and on his own, that is a good sign. I figure it probably happened when he was laying on his back, as that tends to be harder for him to breathe properly. But today when i went in he was breathing practically perfect while laying on his back, which is a very big step for him, one he's been having a lot of trouble with. His flow of oxygen was down to a half liter of room mix air, and after i ate lunch and came back i realized he'd pulled the tube out of his nose and it was not blowing into his nose at all and all of his numbers were still perfect. So when i pointed it out to the nurse she suggested letting it hang like that for a half hour or so and if all his numbers were still good then she would just pull it off. So a half hour later Catcher was officially taken off of oxygen! It was great to see even more of his little face, his feeding tube was moved to his nose to aid his suction at feedings, and hopefully within a couple of days of better feeding, than that tube will come out too.

He's getting stronger every day and i promise eventually i'm going to get the pictures i've taken up here for all to see, he's so beautiful, has blonde fuzz for hair and a sweet little nose that i think may turn out to be a "scott nose" if any one knows what that means :) Adam is anxious to see if Catcher has his chin, right now there is a derma-gaurd there from the tube that used to be in his mouth, but once that comes off we'll have a clearer view of his chin.

Today when he was laying on his back he had his arms up under his head and his feet all stretched out, he looked so comfy, just lounging in his bed. Although now that he's off of oxygen, he'll be in an open crib tomorrow probably. He is still in the isolet today because he was getting phototherapy again for jaundice (no big surprise) and it's easier to do in the isolet and keep them warm, than it is in an open crib, since they have to be all nakey with just a diaper on. But he'll probably be off the lights by tomorrow and that means an open crib and the posibility of even wearing clothes! i know it's silly but that's something i'm so excited for! I love looking at his little body, but seeing him in just a diaper reminds me he still has a lot of healing to do, seeing him in clothes would make him feel like a real little baby who might actually be coming home soon :)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

a little bit of "Catch-ing" up

There are so many puns to be made about Catcher's name, i admit it's kinda fun :)

Yesterday Catcher really started to turn a corner, in a good direction. Last i blogged, he was on a high flow oxygen, at 2 liters, and about 30% oxygen. Room air is 21%, so he was getting weaned closer and closer. Well yesterday he was doing so amazingly well that they decided to bring down the flow to 1 liter, and since he tolerated that so well they were able to switch him to a low flow nasal canula instead of the high flow. They upped his feedings yesterday too, they are still feeding him by tube because he is still on oxygen and they don't want to push him too hard and have him go backwards from working too hard and getting exhausted. I really appreciate that, because a lot of times just when you think your baby is doing better and they start pushing them too fast off of oxygen or onto bottle feedings and they're just not ready, then their poor little body gets so tired from working so hard that they end up back on more oxygen than before just to get a break. These nurses have been really careful not to do that...THANK YOU! It was exciting to see so much progress yesterday and most of it was while i was there holding him the whole time, he was doing just great.

Today got even better!!! When Adam and i went in to visit Catcher today he was on the low flow nasal canula and at room mix air! 21%!!!! Go Catcher! He was tolerating it so well that they were slowly going to turn down the flow until hopefully by tomorrow he can be off of it and in an open crib! Wow what a big step that would be! They upped his feedings again today to 45mls and he is tolerating them perfectly, no residuals left over between feedings and NO spit up at all, which is just awesome! His feedings are still thru a tube and today they said they wanted to start feeding him with a bottle or breastfeeding. Now even thru a bottle all he would get is the milk i've been pumping for him anyway, and the good thing about a bottle is they can see exactly how much food the baby eats, so i was fine if they wanted to start him with that. Well the nurse asked if i wanted to try to breastfeed him for his first real feeding instead. I said yes of course, but secretly didn't think he'd do very well, i've never seen him terribly anxious to suck on anything, not even the binky very much, but i figured why not try it. To my surprise he actually did much better than i expected, he didn't get much, but they didn't let him go for very long because he still has the oxygen on, they didn't want to push him too hard. He still got some (they use a syringe to suck everything out thru the tube down in the stomach to see how much more was in it than there was before feeding, then put it back in their stomach - this is how they check to make sure the baby is digesting between feedings) it was more than i expected, it was no where near a full feeding, but for how little he is and for his first time, i was quite impressed, as was the nurse. She put the rest of the feeding thru his tube, but they'll be starting him with a bottle soon and once he starts to get the hang of that they'll be able to take the tube out from his stomach and that will help him latch on better too.

The nurses asked how long his sisters were in the NICU for when they were born, and both Elaine and Katie were there for 9 days, the nurses are just sure Catcher is already in competition with his sisters and trying to show them up and be out in the same amount of time. I'm not pushing it, i figure i won't worry unless he's in there for more than 2 weeks since his birth. Tomorrow will only be one week, he's doing really well, but i want to be sure he's going to do well at home so i'm content to let him take his time to really get all the help he needs. I'm feeling more relaxed about his NICU stay than i did with Elaine and Katie, partially i think because he is so much closer, i don't have to drive all the way to Stockton just to visit like i did with Katie. Having Catcher right here in Modesto is fabulous. And having been thru this all before, i know it won't last forever, and in fact it will seem so short once it's done, that i'll wonder why i ever stressed about it.

All in all it has been a great couple of days for our little Catcher. He has a little stuffed hippo that we named Mitt, "Catcher's Mitt," the nurses all thought that was so cute, they keep Mitt cuddle in the crib right next to Catcher, it's like a little piece of us is close to him. We're going to have to bake lots of cookies and make a great big thank you card for these nurses when this is all over, they have been amazing!!

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

It's 5am, can't sleep, might as well blog.

Yesterday Catcher came off of the CPAP machine and is on high flow oxygen, it's much prettier to look at, doesn't take up his whole head and face :) He is getting phototherapy for a slight jaundice, but we are so used to this because all of our babies went thru it. In fact yesterday before the nurses had even mentioned it Adam said "well next will be the tanning lights" (that's what the phototherapy lights look like) and he was right, within a few hours test results showed he was slightly jaundice. Not a huge deal, it's very common with preemies.

Catcher's little personality shines thru so much even though he is still so tiny. Most babies, especially preemies, like to stay curled up tight, like they were when they were in the womb, Catcher however is not like most tiny babies. He LOVES to stretch out in every direction. He likes to be on his tummy with both arms out and at least one leg kicked straight out, and sometimes both legs straight out. I used to feel him do this all the time on the inside, he'd move in every direction all at once and he was very particular how I would lay, if i was laying in a position he found uncomfortable he would kick and kick and kick until i'd move and then he'd calm right down. It's so strange how things i felt him do on the inside and wondered about, are now the same things he's doing on the outside. I feel like i knew him so well before he ever entered the world, I love my little Catcher!

I got to hold him for the first time yesterday!!! yay! He is still hooked up to a lot of machines and an IV so it was a little precarious trying to get it all settled but it was so wonderful to bond with him and to feel him breathe against me. it's like baby magic. All of his vital signs were stronger and more regular while i was holding him. It's proven that this kind of holding (koala care, or skin to skin) can really improve the health of a preemie, so i'm looking forward to cuddling my little guy as often as possible.

I know that all of this will seem so short and insignificant once he's home, but this time in the hospital right now feels like it's going to last forever. Although i remember feeling this way with my girls when they were in the NICU too, so i know it really won't last forever, just feels like it. It of course doesn't help that since my body just had a baby i'm all hormonal, i know i'm irrational and unreasonable about stuff, but that doesn't make it any easier not to cry over every little thing. Yesterday i cried because i couldn't find my hairbrush, now in hindsight of course that is just silly, but in the moment i was so frustrated and tired and stressed and all i needed to do was brush my hair so we could go visit Catcher, and i couldn't without the brush. See there i go trying to rationalize irrational behavior, man it's gonna be crazy for a while lol.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

All about Catcher

Catcher Lee Hoskins was born Friday, March 5th, 2010 at 11:20 in the evening (not 11:48 as originally reported by my sister on facebook:) He was born via c-Section because there was so much that had been going wrong with my body that the dr and i had a long discussion weighing the pro's and con's of an early delivery. I was 34 weeks pregnant and my blood pressure was really getting out of control, i'd been having SEVERE headaches (a sign that the blood pressure could cause a stroke) and to top it off the fluid around the baby had fallen to dangerously low levels. Last week my fluid level was a 12 (they view pockets of fluid on an ultrasound and measure their size to give a total overall amount)a 12 was much lower than it had been, but not bad. Well at my appointment on friday the level had dropped to a 7, and if the level drops to 5, it will most likely kill the baby. Waiting any longer to deliver the baby would have more than likely killed him as they didn't know how fast the fluid was dropping. To clarify, i was not losing fluid, not like my "water broke" or anything, this was all caused by the high blood pressure. high blood pressure puts pressure on the kidneys to work harder and can cause real damage to the kidneys, well the baby's kidneys help replenish the fluid and if my blood pressure remained high consistently it had an adverse effect on his kidneys as well which caused the fluid to not replenish as it was used in normal function by the baby. Anyway, all the medical crap aside it came down to the fact that delivering friday meant an early LIVE baby, delivering even a week later would most likely mean a dead baby. in those terms it made an easy choice, deliver that night.

Then of course we couldn't just stop there and make everything wonderful, no i had to go and have more complications after delivery....just to make it more exciting i suppose lol. I was recovering from my c-section which had occured very late at night and around 3am a nurse who was checking on me noticed that the incision from the c-section didn't look right, i won't give you the gory details but it didn't look right so she called the dr. The dr at first thought it was no big deal over the phone but i heard the nurse nearly yell at him to get here right away. So he came, he looked, i went back in for another surgery. Apparently i was bleeding inside and it was making a massive hematoma (colleciton of blood) under the incision. This was bad for several reasons not the least of which was all the blood i was losing inside my own body, as well as the pressure it was putting on the incision. Anyway, i had to have another spinal block and another surgery to open me up stop the bleeding and close me up again. Then even more time to recover. Apparently this pregnancy just had to be a big production, couldn't make anything easy, not even the recovery :)

But it is Sunday now and i've been up and walking around and feeling great since yesterday afternoon. Catcher is in the NICU at Kaiser in Modesto for now but may be transferred to Santa Clara to be watched more closely. His main problem is breathing, as to be expected at his young gestation his lungs are not quite mature yet, but we've been down this road before and i'm sure he'll be out in a few weeks. thanks to everyone who's already wished congratulations, we'll post pictures as soon as possible.

Monday, March 01, 2010

To Bed Rest, or Not to Bed Rest? That is the question.

Well i enjoyed several weeks of freedom from bedrest, but it appears i am back there again. My blood pressure is jumping up again, and is only up when i'm up, if i lay down it goes back to normal, go figure, this has been the problem most of the pregnancy. It had resolved for almost a month, everything was better, and now it's not again. We aren't really sure why it all of a sudden got worse again, but it means we're probably still looking at an early delivery. But just how early is up to the Dr. I have an appointment this week on Friday with the dr and i'll be 34 weeks, both Elaine and Katie were born at 35, so i don't know if they'll want me to wait one more week just to hit 35 or if they'll just decide to stop messing with my body and take the little guy out at 34. I really don't know. But either way it feels like we could be looking at little Catcher's face within the next two weeks sometime. I'm scared and excited all at the same time. It's a lot to take in. I had gotten used to the idea that since i was doing better that maybe i could go full term for once, or at least much closer to it, and the idea of taking home a baby the same time i go home, i mean wow, that would be awesome, i've never had that before and i was really starting to feel like it could be a reality! But alas it appears that may not be the case. Although his health will not be bad by being born this early he may still spend a week or two in the NICU simply for being early, i don't know. A lot of unknowns still, but rest assured i'll certainly let everyone know when Catcher arrives, whenever it may be.