Thursday, October 30, 2008

7 lb. Baby

We've had some exciting news in the past couple of days. Emerson has been doing great on her breast/formula ratios. Each day they are continuing to add more breast milk and less formula. Last night, Emerson officially weighed in at 7 lbs. 1 ounce. Travis and I are so excited that she is finally getting enough food to put on some weight. Dr. Lipman came in this morning and gave us our "game plan" for the upcoming days. This afternoon we will be at a 60cc breast milk/ 20cc formula ratio. Tomorrow (Halloween) we will be able to go to complete breast milk! I am so thrilled that I have already called the lactation specialist to be at our "first" feeding. If all goes as plan, on Saturday she will decrease the octreotide (medicine) dose to 1/2 and on Sunday she will be completely off of her meds. Needless to say, I will be a mess all weekend wondering if her tear has healed. Dr. Lipman is very optimistic and feels that we would have seen reaccumulation already if her tear was not healed.
Dr. Lipman is getting things together for a discharge next week. "Emerson is ready to come home" he tells us! We are ready for her to be home too :-)
Your thoughts and prayers are much appreciated during these upcoming days.
Attached are some pictures from throughout the week- enjoy!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Incorporating Breast Milk!

Today we were able to incorporate 10cc's of breast milk into Emerson's bottle. She is now getting 45cc's of formula and 10cc's of breast milk. We will continue to monitor her saturation levels and watch for changes in her x-rays. If all goes well, the plan is to add 10cc's of breast milk each day. She continues to be a great eater. She sucks her bottles down in less than 5 minutes with very few spit-ups or spills. The nurses are impressed with her determination!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

BIG things happening!!

Emerson had an eventful Wednesday! We started the morning by getting a new "big girl" bed. Emerson was starting to outgrow her bassinet so her nurse requested that she be moved into a crib. She is very much a wiggly worm so she has plenty of room to kick around.
She took her x-ray at 10 am which looked wonderful! Dr. Phung moved her 35cc's for her 2 pm feeding. Emerson seemed to be confused with all the milk?!?! We are moving up 5cc's each day until we get to 55cc's (Sunday). If the x-ray's still look good we will start incorporating breast milk into the formula on Monday. Our wish is to get Emerson on a strictly breast milk diet.
Dr. Phung is going on vacation and has given our case to Dr. Lipman. We pray that he will guide us in the right direction!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

25 CC's and Loving It!

Emerson is becoming more active as she gets older. The nurses have brought in a swing to keep her entertained! She swings for about 5 minutes before she falls asleep. We have to put blankets around her to keep her in place. Her nurses refer to her as a "big girl" yet she is only 6 pounds 14 ounces.

UPDATE: Emerson's x-ray on Monday looked really good. The fluid was almost completely gone from around her lung. Dr. Phung increased her formula to 25 cc's with a follow-up x-ray on Wednesday. It looks like the octreotide is working! We are hopeful that we will be able to increase her formula feedings and gradually incorporate breast milk!

Having FUN in the NICU!!

Tonight I was able to get in the bathtub for the very first time. I had a great time! Daddy had to hold me up while mommy cleaned my body- we had to be very careful not to get her central line wet! It looks like Emerson is going to be a water baby!!!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Emerson's New Trick

We think she is the #1 BABY!!
Emerson's length was measured this morning. She has grown 2 inches since birth and is now 21 inches in length.
Dr. Phung was off this weekend so we will know more about adding to her feeds tomorrow!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Emerson is 3 Weeks Old!

This past week, Emerson has been receiving octreotide daily through her central iv. Yesterday, Dr. Phung increased her disage to 6 micrograms per kilogram. This was a significant jump from her previous 2 micrograms per kilogram. Dr. Phung seemed pleased with her last x-ray yet wants to be more aggresive with the medicine. Emerson's saturation rates have been in the high to mid 90's and has been in good spirits. She would like to be able to eat more than 15 cc's of formula but that will come with time. The 15 cc's really only holds in her stomach for 2 1/2 hours so she gets pretty angry before her next feeding. I am still pumping away hoping that one day Emerson will be able to drink breast milk. Our freezer is about to explode with baby bottles! The nurses keep reassuring us that we will go through all of the milk so DON'T throw it away!
Emerson is growing up so fast! Last night before bedtime she dropped her "soothie" on the floor so she put her thumb in her mouth and began sucking away. Pretty resourceful :-) She continues to be a lovable and sweet little baby! We enjoy any/all the time we have with her even if it is in the hospital!!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Life is Good

Grammy came to town for 4 days to get to know Emerson. Emerson has been back on 15 cc/3 hour feeds since Wednesday. Her xrays look good and her meds have been increased each day. We are on an upward trend!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Emerson is Hungry - 10/11/08 - Day 15

Emerson has had quite a few significant changes over the past two days. When we sent the last update Dr. Phung had just increased Emerson’s feeding volumes to 20 CCs. She continued at this level for about a day when, unexpectedly, another attending physician in the group making rounds boosted the amount to 30 CCs. Lauren and I were somewhat baffled that the physician had made such an adjustment without viewing an x-ray, but thought it might be a sign of improvement.

Saturday morning brought the first x-ray since Thursday. We were hoping to see the continuing ebb of the chylous fluid. Instead we got a pretty big shock. Not only was the fluid re-accumulating, but also it appeared to be larger in volume than the original amount of fluid initially discovered. The physicians decided to reduce her next feed to 15 CCs and consult the on call pulmonologist regarding commencing Octreotide, a medication that halts the body’s production of chylous fluid. There was much discussion and the decision was made to wait until Emerson’s regular attending physician came on at 7 pm. She would then take the lead. After Dr. Phung reviewed the earlier chest x-ray she took Emerson off all feeds and started the medication in intermittent doses.

This morning’s chest x-ray appears to have some improvement over the previous day’s image. The pulmonologist also concurred and expressed that he was very pleased with her “breathing sounds” while examining her. Needless to say poor Emerson is a little upset about the lack of oral feeds. She has nearly sucked her pacifier to smithereens and has become understandably upset. We hope that the medication allows the fissure in her lymphatic system’s “plumbing” to heal quickly so she can resume the Portagen formula feeds.

We don’t have any pictures to share from the last two days since Emerson had us on pacifier duty around the clock. I promise I’ll snap a few good ones tomorrow and get them out to the group.

Lauren, Emerson, and I thank you so much for all of the support we have received. We love you all so much.

Best regards,
The Froschs

Friday, October 10, 2008

Feedings Resume - 10/8/08

Emerson's Lastest Update:
On Monday, Emerson was wheeled into the OR at Arnold Palmer Hospital to get a central line. She was placed under general anesthesia and a surgeon performed the operation. I had to sign a consent form which was a terrible feeling. Emerson was wide awake and didn't make a sound. The nurses had to get mommy a chair and tissues because I was a mess!
Emerson came out of surgery and was wheeled back to Winnie Palmer Hospital. When she awoke they removed her breathing tube and thankfully was returned to her original room in Pod 6. She was her normal self and ready to play.

Starting Tuesday Emerson resumed feds again. She is on a special formula that is low carb./low fat that will break down easier in her lymphatic system. She was given 10 cc's every 3 hours. She was really happy to be able to eat again after 4 days with just IV fluids!

As of this afternoon, her chest x-ray looked good with the accumulation of liquid. Dr. Phung is allowing her to increase to 20 cc's of her special formula. Dr. Phung will not be on duty tomorrow so our next x-ray will be on Saturday. We are hoping if Saturday's x-ray looks good we will be able to mix breast milk with her formula. We currently have over 80 bottles of frozen breast milk!!!
Emerson seems to be in good spirits and is excited to get more food.
We pray that we continue to move in the forward direction!
We appreciate all of your prayers- we need them :-)
*I've attached some of our lastest pictures of our little monkey. She is an absolute joy!!!
Love,Travis, Lauren, and Baby Emerson