Sorry for the lack of updates. We’ve been posting some photos to Flickr here and there from our phones, and just uploaded a few more from the DSLR this morning. Click here to see the full set, but some favorites are below:
Sorry for the lack of updates, but since Karen was released from the hospital, we’ve been pretty busy bouncing back and forth between home, hospital and Buy Buy Baby/Babies R’ Us. Jack continues to do very well! Early last week, he was taken off all IV feedings, and has been eating breast milk only. As you can see by the picture, he is now wearing clothes in place of the heat from the isolet.
Those are preemie clothes on him, and we still have to roll up the sleeves. He’s holding his own temperature with his clothes very well. When we come to visit him, he’s always very alert and keeps his eyes open as long as the lights aren’t too bright.
But once the feedings start, he usually passes right out. We’ve started giving him a pacifier here and there so he can start associating the sucking reflex with his stomach filling up. This is a newborn pacifier, but it’s about the size of Jack’s head!
Karen is doing great! She is backing off the blood pressure meds and is getting stronger and able to do more each day. She’s now driving herself up to see Jack during the days, and this week is spending a lot of time visiting pediatrician offices, even the one’s who told her that she should have had these meeting BEFORE the baby came. Her response, “It’s not like I planned on having my baby 10 weeks early!”
Below are some funny videos of Jack getting his diaper change (don’t worry, it’s all from the waist up) and his manly hiccups. Enjoy!
As far as we can tell, Jack continues to make great progress! He was taken off the bubble last night and placed on a high flow oxygen nasal tube. Allowing him to have a little more freedom, and it’s another step in the right direction. In addition to that, he’s been eating and pooping, showing that his digestive system is working well.
A few more new pictures were posted on Flickr.
Since last night, all Karen could talk about was what she wanted for her birthday, wishing to be able to get out of bed, get cleaned up, and go see Jack. Well, she got her birthday present!
Don’t worry, Jack’s just catching some rays to help his ruddy complexion and to look good for the ladies. Karen got to help with Jack’s care this afternoon. It’s funny what changing a diaper and taking a temperature can mean to you.
Jack’s intubation tube came out last night! He bypassed the mask and went straight to the nasal tube, and is doing great on the “bubble” as the nurses call it. I was able to be there while they were taking the intubation tube out and the nurse encouraged me to get a picture of him without anything on his face.
He continues to do very well, and just started feeding on breast milk tonight. All the nurses love him and he’s doing great. Karen is recovering nicely. She’s in a fair amount of pain, but is getting her self in and out of bed, taking a couple of steps around the room. We’ll try for a short walk around the halls tomorrow. Gotta run, K and I are going to head down for Jack’s 11 pm care.
I’ve been keeping folks up to date via email and phone calls, and now that Jack’s here, I’m having a hard time keeping up. So for a bit, I’ll try to collect here and distribute out from there.
Backing up a bit, Karen was having high blood pressures for a few weeks now, and was diagnosed with severe pre-eclampsia last Thursday. After going on and off magnesium a few times to keep her BP down, in addition to treating with BP meds, we made the decision to move toward delivery Tuesday morning. They induced Karen at around 10:00 AM, and her labor started progressing slowly. Everything was going pretty smoothly, however it was taking some time.
A little after 2:00 am on Wednesday, they decided that Jack had enough and it was time to head to the OR for a c-section. Karen was prepped, and Jack was born at 2:44 am weighing 2 lbs 8 oz and measuring 15 inches long! A good size for only being 30 weeks.
Since then, everything has been a blur. Karen is recovering well. She’ll be on the magnesium for until around 3 am Thursday. Her Blood Pressure is doing great now, and is resting comfortably. We hope to get her home sometime this weekend.
Jack on the other hand is going to stay here for a while. He’ll be in the NICU, likely until he would have been born near the end of September. He was intubated shortly after bring him down into NICU, but is doing great! They expect to take the breathing tube out tonight or tomorrow, and move him either to a nasal tube or c-pap to help him breathe a little easier, but only as much as he needs it. So far, that hasn’t been a lot. With the oxygen tube, the have him at around 40 %, and in normal air, we breathe around 21%, so he’s not needing much help.
I’ve taken some photos with the phone and posted them over at Flickr:
And here’s some video of the little kicker being fussy in the incubator:
Hi everyone! It’s another week, another email. Here’s what’s going on with our family.
From head to toes, Kraken is about 13.5 inches and weighs about 1.5 lbs. This week’s food comparison is “an average rutabaga” – a vegetable I have never seen in person, so I can neither confirm or deny the comparison. He’s filling out and gaining weight, so his skin is less translucent. His hair, which has already grown in as much as it will for birth but was snow white, has started to turn to a color. Will it be dark brown like mine at birth, or blonde like baby Erik’s? Only 14 weeks and change until we find out! His lungs continue to develop and get ready for his first breath of air. His nostrils, previously plugged up, are beginning to open, and his vocal chords are becoming more developed to make that first big wail.
As for me, I’m luckily doing fine with the summer heat. That’s the one thing everyone (family, friends, co-workers, people on the street, the cashier at the grocery store, the mail man, etc.) have said would be horrible for me. But I’m not spending too much time outside, and I’m usually cold-natured anyway. In fact, I’m still sleeping with an extra blanket! I do have a distinct “pregnancy waddle” now – I tried to walk as I used to, but my legs hurt from compensating. So now I fully embrace my pregnancy waddle, and take my sweet time walking from one place to another. This is hard though when I still need to rush to the bathroom to vomit, which has happened several times since last week. There’s also been an increase in round ligament pains and general achiness.
Earlier this week, I had strong abdominal cramps and had not felt Kraken move for a few hours. Under my doctor’s advice, we drove over to the Labor & Delivery unit at our local hospital (the same place we will deliver at) and got checked out. Luckily, the cramps were NOT labor pains, and the doctor confirmed after a few tests that I was not at risk to go into pre-term delivery anytime soon. The abdominal cramps prevented me from feeling Kraken move, but once I heard his heartbeat from the monitor and relaxed a bit, I could feel him again. The cramps were diagnosed as “probably gas, with round ligament pains and/or some Braxton-Hicks pains”, and we went back home after a few hours. One good thing was that we got a sneak peek at the birthing center, and I was pleased that the staff was incredibly friendly – LOVED my nurse – and they worked hard to make us comfortable.
Now we are working hard to schedule birthing classes, tours of daycare/nursery facilities, find a pediatrician, and get everything organized as much as we can. I start my third trimester in less than two weeks – I can’t believe that’s almost here! – and soon will have more frequent OB appointments. They are currently every four weeks, but will be every two weeks and then every week as the due date approaches.
Have a great week, everyone!
Karen, Erik and Kraken
Hi everyone – sorry this is late, but this time it’s on purpose. I wanted to wait until after today’s OB appointment to give an update.
This week, Kraken is about a foot long from head to toe, and weighs 1.4 lbs (this was his measurement at the appointment today). By next week, he will grow another half inch and gain about 4-6 more ounces. His brain is growing quickly, and his taste buds are developing. His lungs are starting to create surfectant, a substance that helps the air sacs in his lungs inflate once he is born. He continues to fill out and gain weight, and his skin is beginning to turn opaque. My uterus/his home is about the size of a soccer ball now.
As for me, I am doing well. My trip to Texas went well, and flying wasn’t a problem at all. I’m still getting nausea/vomiting spells, but I take it all in stride now. The nursery is moving along very well – the painting and wainscoting is done, and the floor has arrived and will be installed the weekend after next! My first baby shower will be in just over two weeks at my best friend’s house, and we also have friends in Ohio throwing us one two weeks after that – we are so lucky to have such great friends!
Hope you all have a great week,
Karen, Erik and Kraken
HI everyone! Hope you’re all doing well and had a great holiday weekend.
This week, Kraken continues to grow and gain weight. He’s about 11 and a half inches long from head to toe, and will be about a foot long by the end of the week. He weighs about a pound and will gain another 3-4 ounces by the end of the week. His lungs are now doing a lot of development as blood vessels grow to prepare , which is good news – after next week, his chances of surviving outside of the womb increase. His kicks get stronger every day – they are now strong enough for Erik to feel them (he got three strong kicks last night) and to visibly make my stomach jump – during the very strong kicks, you can see lumps rise up from my stomach. In fact, as I write this, he’s kicking like crazy and making my stomach touch the laptop!
As for me, I’m feeling ok. Still throwing up (twice over the weekend) but dealing with it just fine. What’s new is that the relaxin hormone my body is producing to loosen the joints in my hips and pelvis (to prepare for labor) has loosened every joint – so my lower back feels a bit out of joint. Sleeping can be tough because my hips and back hurt after a bit, so I need to change positions every hour or so. It’s a miracle Erik gets any sleep with all of my rolling around and blanket thievery. Our poor cat Fred keeps trying to sleep on my torso, and I shoo him off as soon as I wake up. Stanley keeps trying to sit on my lap like he did before I was pregnant, and he doesn’t quite understand why he’s not allowed to.
This weekend, I am heading to Texas to see the Fort Worth family – everyone is getting together for Chrissy’s medical school graduation! I am SO proud of her, and I know she’s going to do great things at Johns Hopkins. It’s going to be great to see everyone!
Until next week,
Karen, Erik and Kraken
Hi everyone! Here’s the weekly update.
This week, Kraken weighs about a pound, and will be 1.25 lbs by the end of the week. He’s about 11 inches from head to toe! His sweat glands have developed, and his skin is becoming more opaque. His hearing has almost completely developed, and he can probably hear the difference between my voice, Erik’s voice, and everyone else’s voice. Inside, his pancreas is developing steadily and his eyes are fully formed (although the irises won’t develop pigment for a while). He’s still got a lot of growing to do – but he’s starting a growth spurt and will double in weight in the next few weeks! His kicks, which used to be soft and only felt a few times a day, are getting stronger and constant. I can feel him throughout the day kicking away, although he definitely has distinct rest cycles.
As for me, I’m doing ok and getting bigger by the day. Erik had a work trip out of town this week and is coming back tonight – I think my belly has noticeably grown in the couple of days he has been away! I’m still getting exhausted – I don’t think I’ll be getting that “second trimester burst of energy” that the books tell me I should have experienced by now. Of course, they also said my nausea/vomiting would stop in the first trimester, so what do they know? This weekend, Erik will be doing a lot of work on the nursery. The fabric I ordered for curtains and nursery accessories has arrived, and I can’t wait to see them in the nursery. We’re just 4 months away from my due date, and there’s so much to do!
I’ve attached a picture of me that Erik took when I was about 19 weeks. It’s my favorite maternity picture so far – Stanley’s in it!
Hope you all have a wonderful holiday weekend!
Hey everyone – sorry this is late!
This week, Kraken is 7 inches from head to butt (10.5 from head to toe) and will be 8 inches from head to butt (11 inches head to toe) by the end of the week. He almost weighs a full pound now! Kraken is continuing to get bigger and develop his systems more, and he now has eyebrows and fully formed eyelids (which are still closed). He’s definitely kicking hard enough for me to feel from the outside, but not enough for Erik to feel yet.
As for me, I’m still battling nausea and vomiting, and am exhausted. In fact, tonight when I got home from work, I had to take a nap to get the energy to make dinner and write this. This week I have been sitting at a different desk temporarily and the chair has been bothering me a lot. Since I’ve been sitting there, I am incredibly sore by the end of the day – like I’ve walked 10 miles. I look forward to getting in my regular, comfy chair by next Tuesday. Hopefully, that will help the aches and pains. Today at work, someone visiting for a meeting said I looked like I was about 8 months along, and was quite surprised when I told her I was only 5 months along. After that, I went into the bathroom and cried for 30 seconds, and called her some names in my head and got over it.
Hope you’re all doing well and have a great week!
Karen, Erik and Kraken