Friday, July 24, 2009

Jack: "The NICU is a marathon, not a sprint."

The summer rush of preemies hasn't really materialized at the Missoula NICU. Usually there is a wave of new babies by the end of June, and the summer months stay fairly steady. This summer is different. They are down to only eight babies, and a few of those will probably leave in a few days. In comparison, they usually see at least 20-25 babies at a time in the NICU.

Now that Jack has two months of the NICU under his belt, he's a real pro. Babies have come and gone during his stay - all of them born at higher gestational ages then him. So far we haven't seen any preemies that were as early as Jack, and usually he's been the most critical baby around (not the case anymore). For some newborns that find themselves in the NICU, it's often just a precaution, a temporary detour of a week or so before they take that first trip home. Jack has them all beat on duration, number of surgeries and cuteness.
Since the numbers have dwindled, it's easier for certain baby characteristics to be more apparent in the preemies. This last week, we had concerns that Jack may becoming the "stinky kid" of the bunch, so we gave him a nice sponge bath. He wasn't really a fan of this, and he cried like a big boy. He came out of this experience cleaner, smelling good, and exhausted. Bathing is hard work, but no one wants their child to be the stinky kid.

There is one area where his doctor would like him to pick up the pace. Last week, Jack was displaying some Oprah-like yo-yo dieting that left him weighing as much at the end of the week as he did at the beginning. So the doctor took drastic measures and put him on....corn oil. I know, weird huh? In high school I wanted to gain weight so I got some expensive milkshakes at GNC. Little did I know that I could have saved some money by buying some Mazola at Walmart and gotten the same effect. Jack likes this .55 milliliters of this greasy goodness in his milk so much that he's back on the upswing. He now weighs 3 pounds, 6 ounces - triple his initial birth weight.

We are also hoping that Jack has made his final breakup with CPAP. Two days ago the doctor decided to give him full days on the nasal cannula. This means he still has trouble with his "A's and B's" (apnea and bradycardia) from time to time, but doctors hope that by week 35 gestational age, he will grow out of these non-breathing spells.

Jessi's brother, Bryce, gets married today in Missoula, and Jack is the honorary ring bearer. We snapped a few pictures of him in his wedding attire. He couldn't make it to the wedding because they don't make nasal cannulas that go three miles from the hospital to the church, and that whole being out in public around dense crowds is kind of a problem too. Hope you enjoy them.


P.S. For those of you who asked about whether Ronald McDonald tucks us in at night, the answer is no.
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Tami said...

Oh my! He is so darned cute!!! Way to gain the weight Jack. I'm so glad he is on the nasal cannula! He has come so far and is doing so well. As always, my prayers are with him.

I always enjoy the updates and I check often to see if there is any news on Jack. Hopefully, it won't be long before he's breaking out of NICU and headed home with y'all.


Blalock said...

Big hugs to all of you!!!

kranberrys said...

Aww....He's a cutie! I'll be praying for you guys and especially little Jack...You might or might not remember me, but this is Karissa a friend of Katie's from way back in Jr. High...anyways... Bless you all!

Whitney said...

Jack looks so handsome!

Jessi said...

Thanks guys! I am glad you read the blog and get the updates on our sweetie pie, Jack. It is just nice to know we have support from people near and far!

Jessi said...

Oh and Karissa - I think I remember you! Thanks for checking out the blog and for your prayers.. they really make a difference!