Sunday, March 29, 2009

Always a surprise with her!

To give you a little NICU room organizational info, there are 5 rooms total (at our hospital anyways), numbered 1 to 5. Room 5 is for the babies in the most serious condition, and Room 1 is for the babies closest to heading home. Our little Audrey started out in Room 3, which was a surprise, since we thought she'd likely be in Room 4 (but she didn't need help breathing and went straight from birth to Room 3). SO I went in to see little Audrey last night at 8pm. I had been there at 2 that afternoon to feed her, David went back at 5pm with Mimi to give her a bath and all seemed to be normal. I approach the desk wearing my name tag with her room #3B, the receptionist looks at my tag and looks at the list, then looks at my tag and back at the list....then says YOUR baby is in room 1. I felt like I had just won the biggest prize ever at the gameshow. I looked around the lobby and expected applause and cheers as I fought back the weepy joy I could barely contain. The reality that this little girl just made a huge jump without any warning moving her closer to home with our family was overwhelming.

The nurse said she had already completed her assessment, which included her weighing in at a whopping 3lbs 6ozs. She hinted that Audrey would be coming out of the isolette if she had gained weight over the past 5 days...which I knew she had. So this morning when I returned to see her, she was in an open crib for the first time. Today they increased her nipple feedings to 2 out of every 3 feedings, and if she does great with that they will push a little further and see how she handles taking all of her feedings from bottle and breast. Once she gains the strength to eat independently and continues to gain weight, I think our littlest moose will come home. Nurse Andrea indicated it could be as early as next week....we have a lot of work to do! Crazy to imagine after all we've experienced, this half pint is gonna come home with us soon.

Monday, March 23, 2009

The 3 pound milestone!

Today our little Audrey burst through the 3 pound milestone. Tonight she weighed in at 3 lbs - 1 oz, which is just over an ounce more than her last weighing 24 hours earlier. Her diet is completely milk now, and the IV has been completely removed. She continues to amaze us and tonight papa got his first shot at feeding her with a bottle. She didn't take much, since she tires out quickly, but she's figured out how to latch on and get the milk out! DeeDra started breast feeding once a day back on Thursday of last week. Audrey's catching on well and has started gaining steady weight now, so we are very pleased with her progress. The feeding tube is still in to supplement the other feedings, but hopefully that will come out soon as well. The doctor tells us she is mature beyond her size, but the goal is still at least 4 lbs before they will consider releasing her to come home with us. We're looking forward to getting her home so she can meet her big brother and we can have the family under one roof. Check out Audrey's big smile at the thought of coming home!

We had a great weekend with Wyatt too and enjoyed some quality time at our local park. I had fun bouncing and jumping while Wyatt sat and looked up at me doing a hand-stand above him. He seemed to enjoy it, and I had fun getting out and jumping around with him. He particularly enjoys when I run fast pulling him in the wagon on the trips to and from the park. When we started out toward the park yesterday, the first thing he said was, "Fast Daddy." Once I started running, Wyatt started squealing and laughing loudly. If I were a betting man, I'd put money on Wyatt enjoying snowboarding just as much as his daddy does. It'll be a couple of years, but I'm thinking he'll pick it up quickly and have an absolute blast in the snow.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Alright Audrey!

One week after arriving in Texas, she is almost back to her original birth weight, and has completed photo therapy for jaundice. Audrey continues to take more milk and less fluids from IV. Hopefully in the next week or so she will begin to breast and bottle feed. It is difficult to imagine this teensy girl without all the wires attached. Looking back at photos of Wyatt's birth, I am in awe of the vastly different experience this has all been. The pregnancy and birth have been so filled with worry, it seems like a hazy dream. Hard to believe we have a dear baby girl who will actually come home with us in a few weeks and become a vital part of this pretty cool little family we've become! She may not make it home in time for Wyatt's birthday, but hopefully we'll have her here for David's. I can't think of a better way to celebrate!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Audrey Shea Parrish arrives

It's been a while since our last post, and the birth of our new baby girl seems like a good point to pick it back up. Yesterday, March 10, 2009, at 8:25am, Audrey Shea Parrish was born. She weighed in at 2lbs 13 ozs and was 15-1/2" long. She entered the world 8 weeks before her due date, after what seemed like an eternity of 3 visits per week to the specialist to monitor her progress. We knew she would have to be delivered early, but also knew that she was healthy according to all of the tests. The big question was when, and last Friday our specialist answered that question. He said it was time and we were scheduled for 7:15am on Tuesday morning, March 10. We had to be at the hospital at 5:30am and woke up around 4:15am. Neither DeeDra or I slept well, so the early rising didn't really matter. Everything went smoothly at the hospital, and Audrey came out in much better shape than any of us expected. They estimated she'd weigh 2lbs 5 ozs, but she was more, and they thought she'd need help breathing, but she's been breathing completely on her own for her entire life. She cried right after she was born and with all of our concerns leading up to the birth, I must say that hearing that baby cry was the best sound I've ever heard in my life. She truly is amazing and DeeDra and I are so very grateful that she's doing so well. She is small and will likely be in the NICU for about 6 weeks, but she's got a great start and we feel very fortunate.

Enough of the words. Here are some pictures of our daughter... and one of big brother Wyatt. And, yes, we'll need to change the name of our blog now.