Well, I'm a little too tired to work on pictures right now, but I have just enough time to ramble a bit on how little Elias is doing. He's looking better every time I go in there. Being in the NICU is a little hard, because I have to "scrub in" to get to him. Once scrubbed in, I can't bring any food (just a pre-approved water bottle that they gave me) and I have to leave the scrubbed in area to use the bathroom too. It's not too hard to scrub in, but the soap that we have to scrub our arms up to our elbows with is pretty tough stuff on the skin, so we've been trying to limit how much going in and out we do.
But onto more important things, he's breathing is much better. He doesn't have a huge mask on his face, but just those little nose tubes. He usually is given room air in his nose tube, but they have been giving him extra oxygen throughout the day for various reasons, and then wean him back down. The nurses say that the room air has about 21% oxygen, and they sometimes increase his to 30%, but usually not for that long.
He currently has a feeding tube going into his nose as well, but as nursing gets better, I hope that will be taken out. I got to nurse him for the first time today, twice. The first time he had very little interest, and as soon as I got him started, the nurse started supplementing into his feeding tube, and he immediately stopped, and I couldn't get him going again. So for the next feeding I asked if they wait to supplement until I was done. He ate on and off for almost 20 minutes, but never more than 3 minutes at a time or so before he fell asleep again. Still, I was encouraged that he's starting to get it.
Tomorrow they're planning on putting him under bright lights with the eye patches on. This is because, from what I understand of it, his jaundice is supposed to start getting high tomorrow (it isn't now...but following some chart, normal babies his age and development start getting high belliroubin levels) and they don't want to give jaundice a chance to develop and interfere with the extra work his body is doing now to get better. I'm sorry I don't have a better medical explanation for it, but it made sense when I was talking to the doctor about it. The doctor was just trying to make it clear to me that they were doing it because that's what stage he was in, and not because he was getting worse.
He's still on a warming bed with a tubes and monitors on him. The main tube goes in through his belly button, and the rest of the monitors are mostly on his feet, and of course the tubes on his face that he's always trying to get off. He will probably be on the warming bed until they remove the thing in his belly button. Not only can they put things in through that way, but they can draw blood through there, so he doesn't have to get poked so often for tests. After that is removed, he will go to a crib in the NICU.
The doctor has been trying to prepare me that 1 week is way too optimistic for him to be coming home. My goal was to have him home for Thanksgiving. Knut wanted him home saturday! Although he said it is too soon to say whether or not he'll be ready for Thanksgiving, he wants us to prepare for the fact he may not be home that early.
They have ruled out his lung problem to the fact his delivery went so fast, which they were considering, and lay it all on his prematurity. They were worried about infection as well, but as tests have come back since he was born, infection is negative, and he got to come off of his antibiotics today.
And for all of those moms out there who like to talk about their kids' poop, Elias pees and poops like a champion. Knut and I laugh at how many nurses have told us this. It started when after he was born and had several nurses surrounding him, trying to get him oxygen, and he peed on all of them, just seconds after birth. Another nurse at the NICU made the comment "Yeah, he can pee REALLY far!" And before his first helicopter ride, he had his first poop, so as far as that goes, all systems are running!
And by the way, I'm horrified that Knut put that picture of me up after birth. I had just finished crying over the fact that we were going to be seperated, and was saying goodbye, and had just given birth and all, and someone snaps a picture, and there I am for the world to see.
The picture of Knut holding Elias is a much better one, and I'll have to put it up soon. He wasn't able to hold Elias until yesterday afternoon, and it was obvious his arms were aching for him! I could see Knut bonding with him so much in just those few moments. To think that never left him when they took him out of my birthing room, followed the helicopter to Fargo and saw that he got settled in the NICU, kept in close contact with the nurses every few hours through the night, visited him in the morning...Knut hardly left him and it was more than a day before he got to have his little boy in his arms. He breathed a sigh of relief when he finally got to hold him, that's for sure. Needless to say, Knut is very eager to get him home.
When Knut's parents brought me up to Fargo on Sunday, we brought the kids and they both got to scrub in and see Elias, but one at a time. I'm not sure how much they get, but we got some pretty good pictures of them together. Linda has been nice enough to take the kids while I'm in Fargo, and it's so nice not to have to worry about them at all. Whenever Knut stops in to see them, they inform him they're not ready to come home yet...so I'm sure they're not suffering too bad at Grandma's house!
Well now I'm really tired. Maybe if things get better soon, I'll be able to post some more pics.