We hope everyone had a good Memorial Day weekend. Joy’s Dad drove in from OK and got to see his grandson Spencer for the first time this weekend. We also had a great visit from Joy’s uncle Howard and aunt Barbara and they also got a chance to see Spencer too. Joy’s mom left with father for the week and will be back next weekend. After that, she’s heading back to Oklahoma until Spencer comes home. Then she’ll come back to help out again.
People have asked when Spencer is coming home and the short answer is we don’t know yet. We were originally told it would be close to his original due date of July 20th. Then we were told he could go home as soon as he meet certain criteria:
- He has to be over 4 lbs
- He has to maintain his own body temperature
- He has to be able to be bottle fed, which means he needs to breathe, suck, and swallow on his own
When Spencer was born, he was 3 lb 12 oz, but within the first 3-4 days, his body weight dropped down to 3 lb 5 oz as he lost some of the fluid he was retaining. He’s been on intravenous fluids since then and he’s been fed Joy’s breast milk through a tube that goes into his stomach (the tiny red tube you see going into his mouth). As Spencer has adapted to the feedings and started processing the milk, they’ve gradually increased his feedings and he’s gone from 3-5 mL to a whopping 24 mL and hour! Since he’s feeding so well, they removed his IV this weekend and he’s now being nourished solely by the feeding tube. With this increased feeding, he’s back up up to his original birth weight! We suspect that in a few more days or a week that he’ll be able to cross criteria one off the list!
The nurses in the NICU have recently allowed us to bring in outfits to dress Spencer in. The other day he was rubbing his fingers all over his face so we decided to put him in this cute little mittened outfit.
During our visit last night, Joy and I got to give Spencer another bath. It’s still done with wet wash cloths and baby shampoo and for the most part, he didn’t seem to mind. He really enjoyed getting his hair washed and I think the bath really seemed to tucker him out because he curled right up on Joy’s chest and dozed on and off for 20 minutes. I like to read him a bed time story during our evening visits before we leave for the night.
The nurses say Spencer is an awesome baby, hardly any trouble and a great sleeper. He’s occasionally had a few de-sats (where his respiration slows a bit and his blood-oxygen drops a tiny bit), but if that happens they just came by and love on him a bit and he’s back to normal. At his last checkup this morning, the doctors said they were going to administer a little caffeine to help combat the de-sats and they’re going to move him to a continuous feeding cycle, instead of every 3 hours.
Thanks to everyone that’s been praying for our family. Joy is doing much better and is finally getting her “land legs” back. Since she’s been on bed rest for close to two months she still gets tired pretty quick but me and the pups are there taking good care of her. I know this sounds weird and contradictory, but I think we’ll both feel better (though maybe not as rested!) once Spencer comes home.