2002-12-31

Six

This morning I changed another diaper and held Hailey kangaroo style. Her feedings are up to 13 ml. She needs a little more oxygen after eating. They speculate that it is due to the digestive activity. I took my brother and sister-in-law in to see Hailey for the first time. Jay looked a little scared of the small little Hailey. Sanna and Elizabeth bought Hailey another pink bear. This one is a mom bear holding a detachable baby bear bear that plays a little melody.

2002-12-30

Number Five

I changed the first and only diaper I can remember ever changing today. Hailey filled it with poop and I cleaned it up. It wasn’t the first dirty diaper to change though. Sanna changed the first dirty diaper around the 5:30 p.m. feeding. Dirty diapers are a good thing, they mean Hailey’s digestive system is working. I’m sure all of us will get tired of them one day soon.

Brianna got to perform kangaroo care today. That means she undoes her shirt and the baby gets placed right against her skin. Brianna and little Hailey were happy about this. Hailey, the Drama Queen, screamed when the nurse picked her up but quieted down as soon as she got into Brianna’s arms.

Hailey was receiving a little oxygen while we were there. Her heart rate also had several drops. The nurses say that this is common with preemies because they sometimes forget to breath or have a heart beat. They use a stimulate in their IVs to help prevent this. Each time it picked right back up so they were not too worried.

Hailey is eating 10 mL at a time now. Tonight Brianna supplied all the food. When we arrived at 8:00 p.m. the nurse checked to see how much milk was still in Hailey’s stomach. There was 6 mL left from the 5:30 p.m. feeding but she put it back in because it was still a little early. Hailey wasn’t to be feed until 8:30 p.m. I didn’t think Hailey would digest that much milk in 30 minutes but the nurse said it could happen. After 30 minutes of the kangaroo care the nurse checked Hailey’s stomach before feeding her again and all 6 mL had been digested. Way to go Hailey, prove Dad wrong.

There are some Day Five pictures in the gallery.

2002-12-29

Four Days Later

We have some new pictures in the gallery, just for Jill.

Today is my mom’s birthday. Hailey celebrated by getting off of CPAP. She is now breathing totally on her own. She only has a small tube in her nose to help her with her oxygen needs. They are feeding her 5 mL of breast milk every three hours. Before each feeding they pump her stomach to see how much undigested milk is still there. Sometimes there is none, sometimes there is some. At 5:30 p.m., there was almost 4.5 ml still in her stomach. Sometimes when they find milk left in her stomach they return it and withhold the next feeding, other times they will feed her additional milk, and sometimes they will discard the old milk and feed her new.

Hailey is no longer wearing her cast hat. She has a very full head of hair. Most of it is longer than mine. If she would have stayed in Brianna’s womb full term she probably would have had pony tails or dreadlocks. The hair is very wavy and will probably be curly when it is longer.

Brianna held Hailey for almost an hour. It was much easier today because there aren’t so many wires and tubes attached. Hailey was able to maintain her body temperature while Brianna held her. When it was time to return Hailey, the nurse told Brianna she could change her diaper and perform cord care.

I video taped Brianna changing the diaper. Brianna knows how to change diapers but it was very difficult for her to grab Hailey’s legs to lift her up over the old diaper because the IV is now in Hailey’s foot instead of her arm. Afterwords Brianna cleaned the remnants of Hailey’s umbilical cord. The alcohol swab was very cold and Hailey didn’t like it. She cried until Brianna stopped. Hailey is developing a strong set of lungs and can cry very loud now. Someday soon we will regret that, but right now it is sweet music.

2002-12-28

Going Home

The nurses have been calling the first 72 hours the honeymoon period, during this time they get a good feel of how the babies are going to adjust to life in this world.

Hailey’s bilirubin level is high so they have started phototherapy to help with Jaundice. Jaundice isn’t normal, but it is very common. I think both Brianna and I had it as a baby. They put a protective eye shield over the baby’s eyes to protect them from the very bright light. Hailey looks like she is sunning at the beach.

They have also began feeding Hailey breast milk 5 mL at a time. That’s about a teaspoon for all you non-converts.

They have determined that it is safe for us to hold Hailey. We get to hold her two times a day. We can only hold her for 30 minutes while she is in phototherapy.

We are leaving the hospital today around three. It is a very emotional time. It seems that all of the people on our floor are leaving with what seem like really big babies, but they are only three day old newborns.

Several people came in to prep Brianna for discharge, there are papers to sign and instructions to be given. At three Sanna and Elizabeth took all of our belongings to our house so we wouldn’t have to deal with them. Brianna and I went up to NICU (pronounced as /nick-you/) to see Hailey one last time before we go home.

The ride home was very quiet, Brianna cried from the time we left until we reached her our house. I helped her out of the car and took her upstairs to lay down. The dog and cats were very excited to see us, they have had a strange and lonely week themselves. Brianna and I tried to rest for a while but found it was too difficult so we began to arrange the mess that has become our home. The kitchen and dining room tables were filled with Christmas gifts, important hospital papers, baby gifts, flowers, and assorted junk that just needed to be put away.

We re-opened the Christmas gifts to see what we got. We opened most things on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in the hospital but we couldn’t remember what was in the bags and boxes. There were a lot of things for Hailey which she will need very soon. It was a very good Christmas.

We found that putting up the baby clothes wasn’t a good idea. It was just too depressing to go into Hailey’s room and try to put away all of Hailey’s things. We closed her door and put away all the other items instead.

One of the people who discussed discharge with Brianna and me was a NICU lactation consultant. She told us that it would be hard to get more than one trip a day to the hospital because of Brianna’s surgery. She said it would be a good idea to try to minimize travel in order to speed Brianna’s recovery. We planned on returning to the hospital on Sunday but decided it would be better to go back that night to see Hailey under better circumstances.

Returning to the hospital turned out to be a good idea. Hailey was breathing room air when we arrived and I got to hold her for almost an hour. That little baby can get very heavy and your arms get very tired when trying to hold her. The task is made difficult by the vast array of tubes and sensors attached to her body but the joy is well worth it.

After I held Hailey the RT, which I guess is a respiratory therapist, came in to reattach all of Hailey’s tubes and wires. They glue a strip of hook and loop, a.k.a. Velcro (TM), just under her nose. The tubes for the CPAP then attach to hook and loop to feed air into lungs through her nose. This causes her stomach to also fill with air so they insert a tube down through her mouth and into her stomach for ventilation. They also use this tube for feeding. The tubes from the CPAP are attached to a hat on Hailey’s head with safety pins and rubber bands. Only the hat isn’t really a hat, its a small section of the cloth they use to cover casts on broken bones.

Since the RT would have all of the tubes off of Haley’s face she took off Haley’s hat and let us get our first look and picture of the baby the way she was supposed to look. She is so pretty. This one thing made the day perfect and improved the ride home and the day.

2002-12-26

24 Hours

Hailey is almost two days old. Her condition seems to be OK. They are assisting her breathing and adding oxygen as needed. She required a surfactant to be added to her lungs. The one application seems to be doing the trick. In a few days her body will manufacturing the chemical on its own.

They will start feeding Hailey breast milk tomorrow. Luckily Brianna has been able to get some milk. It is only a little amount, but Hailey is only a little girl and will have enough nourishment. She won’t be able to take a bottle for two to three weeks, so she will be feed by a tube that is inserted into her stomach. If Brianna can’t produce enough milk the NICU has ‘Donor Milk’ that they will use.

2002-12-25

The Baby Hailey Timeline

First Trimester

June 2, 2002 (Week 01)
Ovulation Kit Positive
June 18, 2002 (Week 03)
EPT Has Two Lines
June 19, 2002 (Week 03)
1st Sonagram
217 hCG
June 21, 2002 (Week 04)
498 hCG
June 25, 2002 (Week 04)
2nd Sonogram
2625 hCG
July 3, 2002 (Week 05)
3rd Sonogram, baby and heartbeat
98 b.p.m
July 8, 2002 (Week 07)
4th Sonogram, heartbeat
120 b.p.m.
July 19, 2002 (Week 08))
1st OB Appointment
August 1, 2002 (Week 10)
Heartbeat on doppler, 165 b.p.m.
August 8, 2002 (Week 11)
35mm long
August 12, 2002 (Week 11)
Visible face and moving limbs
August 16, 2002 (Week 12)
2nd OB appointment

Second Trimester

September 7, 2002 (Week 15)
Sid thinks it’s a girl
September 18, 2002 (Week 16)
Unexpected office visit
September 24, 2002 (Week 17)
A Crib for baby
October 3, 2002 (Week 19)
Elvis Green Chili Fried Chicken
October 4, 2002 (Week 20)
3 of 5 days at the Dr.’s Office
October 11, 2002 (Week 21)
Elvis Green Chili Fried Chicken
October 21, 2002 (Week 21)
Elvis Green Chili Fried Chicken
October 23, 2002 (Week 21)
Elvis Green Chili Fried Chicken
October 28, 2002 (Week 22)
Elvis Green Chili Fried Chicken
October 29, 2002 (Week 22)
Registered at Target
November 1, 2002 (Week 23)
Elvis Green Chili Fried Chicken
November 10, 2002 (Week 24)
Apple Jam and Gravy
November 11, 2002 (Week 24)
Elvis Green Chili Fried Chicken
November 19, 2002 (Week 25)
Elvis Green Chili Fried Chicken
November 28, 2002 (Week 27)
Thanksgiving trip to Seton for early contractions
December 4, 2002 (Week 27)
Elvis Green Chili Fried Chicken

Third Trimester

December 6, 2002 (Week 28)
Terbutaline prescription
0.5cm Dilation
December 8, 2002 (Week 28)
1st Lamaze class
December 12, 2002 (Week 29)
1cm Dilation
December 14, 2002 (Week 29)
2nd Lamaze class
December 16, 2002 (Week 29)
Might have lost a mucus plug
Elvis Green Chili Fried Chicken
December 20, 2002 (Week 30)
3rd Lamaze Class
Sunday through Tuesday (Christmas Eve.) in hospital to stop preterm labor.
December 25, 2002 (Week 30)
Hailey came early, because Brianna’s placenta abrupted

The NICU Disposable Camera


See the The NICU Disposable Camera set See the The NICU Disposable Camera set.

Hailey in N.I.C.U.


See the Hailey in N.I.C.U. set See the Hailey in N.I.C.U. set.

2002-12-24

And So This is Christmas, and a Happy New Year

11:00 am The nurses here have been really great they get Brianna whatever she needs and they do a lot of not so pleasant things. Vomit cleanup and urine tabulation currently top the list. Finally Brianna is being weaned from the magnesium sulfate IV. She has also completed her antibiotic treatment, and Hailey has received two steroid shots via Brianna’s derriere. If the weaning goes well we may get to go home in time for Christmas.

2:00 pm The Magnesium sulfate has been stopped and the terbutaline has been started. Now the visitors arrive. Today we have Eric (Brianna’s brother) and Jason and the Vasquez’s (Adrian, Kim, Cody, Jayson), Nana (my mom), Shannon (my sister), Karen (soon to be sister-in-law), and the fabulously funny Autumn (our niece). Kris Westlund delivered flowers, greetings, and soup (mmmm soup) from San Antonio.

6:00 pm Finally we are going home, we will get a chance to have Christmas eve at our house. We arrive and warm up the turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, and green beans. After dinner we open our Christmas gifts to each other and declare that this is the best Christmas ever. We are finally relieved enough that we think we might get some sleep in our own bed tonight.

8:30 pm I was getting ready for bed and had just stepped out of the shower when Brianna yelled from the bathroom. She had found uterine bleeding while trying to go to the bathroom. I immediately started putting on my clothes telling her to page either Sanna or Brinkman but that we had to go back to the hospital as we were instructed.

The trip to the hospital took less than 15 minutes it should take 30 minutes. I pulled into the emergency entrance, put Brianna in a wheel chair, pulled my car around to the emergency parking, and ran back to push Brianna back up to Labor and Delivery admissions. As we rounded the corner to Labor and Directory, Holly the nurse leaned out of the nurse’s station and yelled for us to go to the same little room we were in before. The nurses rushed in and began the admission process.

The bleeding stopped at the hospital but Dr. Brinkman was rushing in from San Marcos to examine Brianna. Once their she found that the outside of Brianna’s cervix was bleeding and decided we would spend the night at the hospital for observations but that we would go home in the morning. The fetal monitor was attached and there were no contractions.

After twenty minutes the monitor was removed, a blood test was taken, and Brianna was given a sleeping pill to help her sleep through the night. A little while later the nurse came in to re-start the fetal monitoring. Dr. Brinkman wanted to monitor the baby for another hour. Brianna and I both fell asleep on the small hospital bed.

1:00 am The nurses rush into the room to take Brianna’s vital signs and put an oxygen mask on Brianna. They also begin to start an IV “just in case.” We ask why and are shown that the baby’s heart rate had dropped significantly for about 6 minutes. They tell us that Dr. Brinkman has been paged and is on the way. I begin calling Sanna so she can get in from Thorndale. Dr. Brinkman walks in just as I reach Sanna and Elizabeth and takes the phone to discuss the situation.

One of the blood test indicates that there could be danger of Brianna’s placenta separating. Dr. Brinkman tells us “we’re going to have a baby” and an emergency C-Section is the only safe way.

The nurses begin prepping Brianna for surgery. Brianna is very scared. They shave her stomach and take her into the surgery room to finish prepping her. They leave me with some paper pajamas to put on. I will join the party after Brianna is prepped. I get the cell phone and start calling people. I call Tina, Eric, Carol, and more. I am very worried now and about the only words I can speak are, “Brianna is having a C-Section now.” Each person says OK. Tina arrives at the hospital first and provides much needed encouragement. She takes our cell phones and begins calling everyone in the phones memory informing them of the situation. I try to call my parents twice but nobody answers the phone so I call my sister and tell her we are having a c-section, tell Mom. She can’t reach them by phone so she dresses her two kids and drives down the road to beat on their windows to wake them up. I manage to get one last call off to Fredd and Rox and go into the delivery area to encourage Brianna.

Brianna is still very scared and in pain. She has received an additional IV, an epidural, and the dreaded catheter. She is crying and I’m trying to calm her when she yells to Dr. Brinkman, while you’re down there could you do a little tummy tuck. To keep with Brianna’s good mood she yells “whee” as the nurses mover her from the operating table to the bed.

2:42 am At 3 lbs 3 oz a 13 inch long Hailey Diane Jones is brought into the world 9 weeks early. Brianna just gets to touch Hailey as she is whisked up to Neonatal Intensive Care.

In case your wondering, it’s Dr. Diane Brinkman.

2002-12-22

And Then &#8230

In an attempt to fight Brianna’s boredom, we bought a Sony Play Station 2. Playing is great fun. We picked up two games, one an aircraft fighter type game, the other an ‘E’ for everyone rated game. The aircraft game would play back crashes at different camera angles to show the user how they failed to complete their mission. We started crashing into the ocean at full speed to admire the crash analysis.

Sundays are Lamaze days so at 5:15 p.m. we left the house to go to Lamaze. That pressure we discussed earlier had returned the night before. Right before 7:00 p.m. my cell phone went off. I had forgotten to turn the ringer off as requested so I quickly shut off the phone. Caller ID indicated it was Sanna and Elizabeth. We had a break at 7:00 p.m. and Brianna returned the call.

Dr. Brinkman wanted Brianna to stop by Seton so she could look at Brianna’s cervix. We had hoped to get home before too late so I could watch “A Helicopter Is Born.” We wouldn’t make it.

No admission workers work on nights or weekends, so the Nurses have to pick up extra duties and admit patients as well. They follow their guidelines exactly. Coincidently, we are admitted back into the ‘small room’ and are becoming very accustomed to Seton’s Labor and Delivery department.

Note to Expectant Fathers * Have you insurance card out so they can make a photocopy * Have your wife’s work address and telephone number * Have the next nearest relative’s contact information

I have filled this form out 3 times, but I think I have filled them out differently each times.

Once in the room the nurses type the patient information into the database. They go through the fields and ask the patient about their history. We have been through this three times but it seems that each nurse asks the questions differently. Some, like tonight’s nurse, go into great detail asking a question for each box. Have you ever had herpes? Have you ever had AIDS? While other nurses would ask, “Have you ever had a sexually transmitted disease?” Then she would elaborate getting more detail only if it was necessary. Both nurses were very nice about everything. We thought the doctor would examine Brianna and send us home again, so the nurses help off on attaching Brianna’s patient ID bracelet.

Dr. Brinkman arrived to examine Brianna’s cervix and knew all she needed to know after about 15 seconds. Brianna had dilated to 2.5 cm and had dropped to a -2 cm station (from a -3). Brianna was also moving rapidly toward effacement and was estimated to be 80% effaced. Brianna was also experiencing regular contractions paced about 6 minutes apart. Brianna would have to be hospitalized and administered an IV to help control the contractions. Magnesium sulfate was given for the contractions, steroids were given to help develop Hailey’s lungs, just in case, and antibiotics were given for good measure in case of infection. The IVs were difficult to start and required two nurses and both arms before finding a suitable vein. Somebody mention the ugly method of acquiring urine and I thought Brianna was going to start crying at the very mention of the catheter word.

Medical personnel are very odd in the way they freely throw around the

dreaded application of the catheter. They say we will use a catheter like it is as simple as giving an aspirin. After seeing the pain on Brianna’s face from getting a catheter on Thursday I think I would crawl to the toilet through broken light bulbs before I would consent to a catheter. Luckily good will prevailed and Brianna was allowed to mobilize on her own behalf. Every 6-8 minutes she would disconnect the monitor and go to the restroom.

You haven’t had a little know fact in a while so I will give you one now.

Little Know Fact No. 5: Patients who have been administered Magnesium sulfate have their urine output monitored. The patient urinates into a special pail that hangs in the toilet and a nurse will come by later to empty the pail and take inventory of the urine. What is the worse thing you have taken inventory of at work? I bet you don’t want to be a nurse, now do you?

My insurance company requires that you call in for “pre authorization” within 48 hours of being admitted to the hospital. I didn’t need authorization the previous times because we left before 3 hours. This time I called and got authorization. The lady on the other end of the phone could hear the fetal monitor in the background and was very nice. At the end of the call she wished us the best of luck. I think that was a very nice gesture but I wonder what I was getting “authorization” for, I hope Hailey doesn’t think she has clearance to land.