Monday, August 3, 2009

Jackpot!







No, we didn't win the Nigerian lottery or the World Series of Poker, but Jack has had a good month and that makes us feel like the luckiest parents around. It probably comes from having the bar set so low after he was born. We heard about all the discouraging statistics, studies and stories about micros born at Jack's age, so even the tiniest step forward was a huge milestone. Those micro steps seem to have grown to baby steps in the past few weeks, and now we know never to underestimate Jack's progress.

Jack's early diet included various vitamins, lipids and the preemie Gatorade. Over a month ago, he started to get a little milk during the day. Over time he was able to live solely on milk fortified with extra calories and corn oil fed through an OG tube stuck down his throat. This last week Jack gave breastfeeding a whirl. We were told that most preemies just don't know what to do with it. For babies that are still struggling to breathe and don't have fully developed brains, the combination of nursing, swallowing and breathing is almost impossible. Even some full term newborns have difficulties with it.

Like many other hurdles in his way, Jack just seemed to say, "hey, no problem." He took to it like a pro, so now he's nursing for one feeding a day. Since he seems to get the multi-tasking of nurse/swallow/breathe so well, some day he may be able to drive a car, eat a burrito and text message at the same time. We can only hope.....I think.

Since the last update, Jack has been through quite a growth spurt. For the first part of the week, he was averaging a one ounce gain per day. Right now he is closing in on four pounds (currently 3 pounds, 13 ounces). Apparently lots of magic things happen when they are around five pounds, so we'll continue to cheer him on as he packs on the ounces.

Now that the wedding festivities and visitors are finally over, Jessi and I will be leaving the Ronny McD House to return to the Miller Inn. Corporate America often gets a bad rap, but the crazy red and yellow clown has something good here. So you don't always have to feel guilty about ordering a Big Mac, Super-sized fries and a large diet Coke because some of that may be going to help people who have babies in the hospital.

(Now stepping on to my soapbox) And just one last unsolicited political thought for you to ponder. Those who know me know that I am a political animal. Our current personal situation, coupled with the on-going national health care debate, have made Jessi and I very appreciative of our current health care system. Sure, it may need some fixing, but I think our situation would have been very different under a government-controlled system where rationing is often used for cost control. Just before Jessi underwent an emergancy C-section, we were told that Jack probably wouldn't be "viable," but they still did everything they could to save him. I don't know of too many health care systems in the world that would have even tried to give Jack a chance just because of the massive expense to save a baby that may not be "viable." So it's very likely that he was born in one of the only places in the world where he would get a shot at life. We are very thankful for that. (Now stepping off my soapbox).

It's hard to believe that August is here already. The last two and a half months have been long and hard, but time seems to be picking up a bit. We don't know when Jack will leave the hospital. It could be a month - it could be two or three months. We never really got much of a chance to prepare for his coming (putting together nursery, buying clothes, "nesting"...) but we are finally starting to tackle some of those projects. It's fun and we consider it a blessing. Have a great rest of the summer!

Jon

P.S. Jack is now fluent in Mandarin Chinese thanks to his new Aunt Kay. He now cries in Chinese.
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6 comments:

Blalock said...

I'm so thrilled for this latest big step for Jack. And I'm sure you are too Jessi. And I also wanted to say "Amen" about what you said on your political soapbox Jon. Our youngest was born in Italy and was in the NICU in Florence for a week and all his followup care was there until we moved to Germany where he received care once in a German hospital and then our middle son had surgery and I finally said "enough! I'll fly back to the states before going through anything else overseas!!!"

Barbara said...

Yay Jack! I love the updates! And, I love the new blog look! Very cool. I'm excited to see you next week.

Whitney said...

Thanks for the continued updates! Here's praying to reach the Big Five!

katieoz said...

You three are amazing! Praying for you constantly! Amazed to see how Jack is growing!!!! Sooooo awesome!

Brandi said...

Cries in Chinese! I love it! I love the great, great news on all his continued accomplishments. He is setting himself up to follow in Jon's successful footsteps! I think a father-son presidential run isn't a crazy thought! Yah, Jack!! Breastfeeding... He is true rock star!

VBF said...

My ex-24 weaker has thrived in a government controlled socialised health system. She had two complex surgeries and a variety of ongoing health issues. I really feel the need to speak up for public health care. My daughter had the best of everything and we never, ever had to think about insurance or what it was costing.