Monday, January 30, 2006

Growing Fast!

Hello to everyone! This is Cody and Kerri actually updating the blog today. We want to thank everyone for all of your comments, prayers, and support. We've enjoyed hearing all of your comments. They have lifted our spirits during this long ordeal. We appreciate Mom and Dad for all the work they've done to keep everyone updated, and we'll try to do our best.. between hospital visits of course... to continue to update you on his progress.
On to the important news... as mentioned yesterday, Ansel is now a big boy... resting in one of the big kid beds! He now weighs 4lbs. 4ounces and is downing bottles eight times a day. He no longer needs any feedings through a tube, so they were able to remove that today. His progress from one bottle a day to eight, in only one week, has been astounding. We look forward to having him home before too long. He's definitely moving fast in that direction. He also received his second RSV vaccination today. He will get those once a month through April, as October to April are the high risk months for cold infections. The NICU staff are also thrilled with his progress, yet are sad because it means soon they won't be seeing him. They won't even use the dreaded four letter "H" word near him. But for us, we look forward to having our family reunited at home.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Four Pounds!

Ansel is tipping four pounds two ounces. Six bottle feedings and two tube feedings daily fuel the growth. Tube feedings will terminate this week. An open bed replaced the isolet. Ansel generates his own heat and lays in a flat bed now. Today he received a transfusion, which pinked him up. Homeward bound in two weeks? Maybe. We are five weeks before his due date.

One of the nurses has a crush on Ansel - He is her favorite. She bought him some outfits and really looks after him. Nurses do become attached to the babies.

Living with Grandpa/Grandma Sneddon in Joplin, Kerri enjoys being out of, but close to the hospital. Doctors still regularly treat the wound and kidneys.

Sunday, Great Grandma Wilma visited and held Ansel. Grandma Jeanne (with her cough) looked through the outside window. Four generations....

Progress continues.

Notice: better captions for the pictures will be considered. Credit will be given when we know who it is. Post yours in the comments. (Nobody knows who came up with the first one).

"Mom, I can see up your nose."

Another bottle down.

Family Picture

"Gee, I wonder what this tastes like?"

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Thursday Update

Ansel and Kerri continue to make progress. Bottle feedings have gone from once a day to three times a day, with Ansel eagerly consuming the 35 ccs in each meal. Between feedings, formula is delivered through the feeding tube. Latest weight is 3lbs 11ozs.

Routine tests continue to return good results -- baby retina okay, brain bleeding okay, heart okay. His nasal cannella is only flowing low amounts of O2, and nobody gets excited anymore when Ansel pulls it out. Nurses bundle him to slow down the little traveler - who now wiggles around the ioslet, often piling up in a corner. Doctors are now weaning the steroids which help the lungs.

Activities are gearing up to prepare Ansel to leave the NICU. He gets to learn about the hard life - like regulating his temperature and sleeping on a flat mattress. We hope to bring him home in a few weeks.

Kerri is enjoying life out of the hospital. Her appetite is growing, and she enjoys the fresh air. She still spends lots of time in the NICU, and visits her nurse friends. The healing incision gets packed twice a day - in the morning by a visiting nurse, then in the evening by Cody. She is just as cheerful as always, and thankful.

(Click Picture for Larger View)
I'm Big Enough to Hold Your Hand

I can yell like the big ones!

Goodbye Dear Friends

"... psst - Dad! Check out the babe in isolet #3 -- She's Hot!"

Finished Packing, With View of Heliport Outside Kerri's Room

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Tuesday night

Kerri and Cody are getting settled in their new temporary home at Grandma & Grandpa Sneddon's in Joplin. Planning on staying there until Ansel gets out of the hospital, we suspect they are being treated in a royal way by Grandma. Kerri is having a nurse visit daily to care for the incision. The incision has done a lot of healing in the last few days.

Ansel had his first bottle of formula on Monday. Kerri reported that he had it downed in just ten minutes! The doctor was surprised at how well Ansel adjusted to the bottle. At this rate, he will be out of the NICU before we know it. Last weigh in was 3 lbs. 11 ozs.

Monday, January 23, 2006



Just received word that Kerri is going to be released sometime today. We will post more details later tonight.

As late as yesterday, Doctors were saying 'one more week'. But is seems that the incision wound has closed enough to release her.

Plans are for her to stay with Jack and Wilma Sneddon in Joplin, to be close to the hospital.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Thursday Night

Thanks everyone for all your support.

Ansel is at 3lbs, 9ozs. Doctors monitor his growth while watching his breathing capability. If he grows too fast, he outstrips lung capacity. They give him a diuretic when they want to slow him down. Kinda sounds like an Oprah diet.

The CPap has been weaned back to two hours a shift, which is 2hours on, 10 off. Ansel is less grumpy without it. Progress points include the many sounds Ansel makes as he clears his passageways. We have a growing boy.

Kerri is done with dialysis! Big step. The ports are to be removed Friday. Kidneys are rated at 30-50% and increasing. The big issue remains the incision. The vacuum machine is still on, and will stay on another week. The wound must heal from the inside out now. Care Givers regularly clean and trim the wound, which is now the only time Kerri takes morphine. She has weaned herself off the rest of the pain killers. The appetite is returning, probably helped by the pain killers leaving. We are now mid-seventh hospital week.

Thanks for all the notes and comments. Kerri really loves reading them.

Side Note: A sister of one of Ansel's nurses adopted a NICU baby this week. This shows that not only the nurses are special, but their families are too.

(Click Picture for Larger View)

"What's that in the Nurses hand????? Oh, No. That can't be good!"

"How much is that dog, in the Window?"

"CPap time"

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Tuesday Night

After several days of small steps, Tuesday was a really good day. Kerri ate better today, and Ansel is now at 3lbs 7ozs. Kidneys now operate at 30 percent, letting Kerri skip dialysis today.

Ansel is being weaned off the CPap, 6 hours on, 6 hours off. He slept better and cried less. He really hates the CPap. Kerri held him this morning, and Cody held him tonight. Doctors have also decreased the steroid treatment for his breathing.

Wednesday, Doctors will continue to work on Kerri's incision, which continues to be a concern. Kerri's spirits continue to be high, as always. We continue to hear compliments from the nursing staff of her sweet and strong character.

Cody started back to MSSU, working Monday, Wednesday and Friday. School Tuesday and Thursday.

This small family is an inspiration.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Sunday Night

Kerri looked great tonight. Recovering from an episode of nearly fainting Saturday night, her color and animation had returned by Sunday. The vacuum machine is doing a good job and the excretions are more clear which is a good thing. Another bit of good news, Kerri's kidneys are starting to work a little. Her scheduled dialysis on Monday has been cancelled. We'll wait and see if she needs it on Tuesday. Able to eat a little on Saturday and Sunday, Kerri is trying to wean herself from the pain medication which she believes may be upsetting her stomach. The wound is still quite open and will take some time for it to heal, but things are looking better.

Ansel does not enjoy the Cpap and has cried quite a bit today. Cody thinks it hurts his little nose. Off the Cpap for two hours every ten hours gives him a little reprieve. Starting some steroid treatment today, the steroids are supposed to help the breathing situation. Ansel was sleeping comfortably as we left the hospital tonight. Kerri and Cody were able to calm the baby by holding him and he was able to rest. Ansel may be held now twice a day, so that is also exciting for Mom & Dad.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Friday Morning

Happy Birthday, Ansel! Today Ansel is one month old. Weighing in on Wed. evening at 3lbs. 4 ozs., he had the Cpap removed on Thursday and is breathing on his own again. Kerri relinquished her rights of cuddling Ansel Thursday night and Cody got to hold him. Cody and Kerri only get to hold him once a day, so that was a big sacrifice for Kerri.

Kerri is facing a multitude of procedures today: dialysis, the redressing of the wound, and a liver doctor is coming in to see her. Doctors suspect that the spots they are seeing on the liver is more blood clotting, but they most likely will do a MRI today, possibly a biopsy, to determine what is going on there. The dye test the doctors would like to do is not possible because of the dialysis. Kerri will be pretty busy today--no boredom there! Her spirits remain high and looking forward to perhaps a release from the hospital next week.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Tuesday Night

Great news! A new milestone! Eating hardy, Ansel now weighs 3 lbs. Ansel's problems with his breathing continues from yesterday. The nurses report he is fighting the CPap which is a good thing because he is trying to breathe more on his own again. Ansel got to listen to his first book tonight as Mom & Dad read a bedtime story to him.

Kerri had a rough day with nausea again. Hopefully, tomorrow will be better. Another dialysis is scheduled for Wednesday. Cody got to spend the entire day with her since the weather was too stormy to work. Kerri remains in good spirits, as always.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Monday Update

Kerri & Cody continue to enjoy your comments, cards and letters. Thanks everyone.

Baby Ansel continues to gain weight, now up to 2lbs 13oz. Feeding time is every three hours, the main course is about an ounce of formula. A routine blood transfusion was given, to replace blood taken for tests. There was a set back today as Ansel began to struggle breathing. Cultures are being run, and the medical staff are keeping close watch. The NICU nurses had warned us to expect occasional difficulties.

Kerri had another dialysis today. The kidney doctor believes her kidneys will come back in time, although they were expecting them to wake up before now. We suppose that after the big insult to her body, a few parts just need some time off. The wound vac machine is doing a good job helping her incision to heal. Kerri would be able to leave the hospital now, except this machine isn't available for outpatient use. The appetite continues to grow a little each day. Apples and peanut butter were dinner and dessert tonight.

Friday will be the four week mark of Ansel's birth. We appreciate everyone's support, prayers and good wishes.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Saturday Night

The special cleaning machine attached to Kerri is working well. The debris from her incision is being vacuumed up. The incision is pinking up, healing better.

There is now talk of a release date for Kerri - Monday Jan 16th. This date is based on 10 more days of use with the cleaning machine.

Kerri has been able to increase her food intake slightly each day, mostly based on dry cereals. Dialysis continues three times a week. Doctors ultrasounded her liver today, still checking things out.

Ansel has graduated to a larger diaper. At 2lbs 12ozs he is still little, but the loads have increased. Feedings are not continuous any more, but are now given at three hour intervals. Cody says he is the cutest baby in the NICU. We don't disagree. Window watcher notice: Ansel moved to a different room - ask for directions to the new window, or just look for fresh nose prints. Kerri and Cody hold Ansel once a day and change his diaper.

The Millers plan to visit from Springfield on Sunday.

Mom and Baby continue to make progress each day. Thanks for all the prayers.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

January 4th, 2006

A quick note tonight on progress for Kerri and Ansel. Ansel is doing great! He weighs in at 2 lbs. 12 ozs! We are very excited about his progress. Kerri and Cody change his diapers, take his temperature, and are learning all about Ansel's attached monitors. The little family is adapting well to life in the NICU. As always, the nurses are very helpful and kind.

Kerri has been able to keep some food down. Hungry, and wishing she could eat, some foods are finally starting to sound good to her. Mostly relying on small snacks to sustain her, we are hoping she can regain her strength as her stomach settles back down.

A vacuum machine to promote healing by cleaning tissue and stretching cells is attached to Kerri's abdomen. Visiting medical students come in and are fascinated by the new machine. We wonder if they know of her miraculous history. Dialysis was given again today. Kerri says she can sleep through the process for a few hours and get some much needed rest.

Kerri and Cody are hopeful that Kerri will be able to come home soon. We will be looking forward to that day!

Monday, January 02, 2006

New Year 2006

Cody and Kerri celebrated New Years in the NICU holding Ansel. The nurses provided sparkling punch to all present that watched the clock roll to 2006. Sunday, the Millers - Bill, Joyce, & Eden spent the day.

Ansel weighs in at two pounds seven ounces, gaining nicely. His feedings have increased to 7.5 CCs per hour of formula. The PICC line was recently removed due to clotting, but since he has achieved full feedings, it isn't necessary to replace the PICC. The preemie tests continue to look good - heart okay, brain okay etc.

Kerri continues to have dialysis three times a week. Wet compresses are put on her tummy to aid the healing of her incision. Doctors plan to use a vacuum device to clean the wound later this week. Eating continues to be a problem, as Kerri can't hold much down. Cody went home to devil some eggs, an attempt to find something Kerri can hold on to. Success! Kerri ate a half egg, with some soy milk, and it stayed. Always cheerful, Kerri's good attitude continues despite the challenges.

Kerri and Cody thank everyone for your visits, comments, notes, and calls.