Monday, June 30, 2014

Day 67

This morning Walker had a big grin on his face when Mommy walked in to see him.  He had a great night and had behaved with no episodes.  The nurse noticed that Walker didn't have his cannula in his nose for about 30 minutes so she decided to turn his flow down to 800 and he has done great all day with it.  He was bright eyed and bushy tailed for his 9:00 feeding.  Mommy gave him his bottle, and he sucked down all 35cc in no time at all.  Granny got here just in time to hear the little guy let out a monster burp and then get to hold him while he rested.

Auntie Sandy, Taylor Jo and Mason also came down this morning and got to see Walker in his open crib.  They were so excited for how well he was doing with maintain his temperature and eating like a big boy.  Sandy got to change a diaper and hold the little guy while the nurse listened to him.  Taylor Jo was excited to watch him eat his bottle and couldn't get over how quickly he ate!  We tried to get Mason to change a stinky diaper, but he just laughed!  It is always so good to have friends that are like family visit and get to see how well the little guy is doing!

This afternoon at 3:00 he took his bottle well, but afterwards had some reflux.  It is really hard for Mommy to watch the little guy gag and spit up and feel so helpless.  Walker's reflux seems somewhat better since they took the tube out, but definitely still a problem for the little guy.  We are really hoping that, like the doctors say, this will go away with time and as he matures.  They try not to give medicine unless the reflux gets really bad, because the medicine causes side effects as well so we are hoping it will resolve itself soon.

It is hard to believe that Walker will be 10 weeks old on Friday and 36 weeks corrected gestational age.  We are really praying that God will allow Walker to continuing making strides so that we can get him home as soon as possible.  Please pray with us that God will allow Walker to make the gains necessary to make it back home to Snow creek, we can't wait to wake up each day with our son under the same roof!

Good morning Mommy, laying on his tractor burp cloth!

Auntie Sandy holding Walker

In his big boy crib!

Loving his "passie"

Sleeping hard after breastfeeding!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Day 66

Today was another good Sunday for Walker.  He had done well over night with his cannula they turned him down to just 1 liter of flow and he stayed on 21%.  He also did well with his feeds taking 30 each time for his nurse JoAnn who he loved!  He also continued to maintain his temperature and did really well all night long.

Walker got a visit from Granny and Papa who were excited to see his new room and how well he was doing!  They got to watch Walker eat two bottles, he sucked them both down, taking 30cc and then 35cc, this boy likes to eat!  Granny and Papa also took turns holding the little guy, who makes the sweetest faces and sounds!

Since Walker was doing so well on his 1 liter cannula and he was getting a lot of condensation in the line from the heater that comes with the high flow, Mommy and Daddy asked if he could be turned down to 900mL.  This makes his cannula low flow, which means he can lose the heated part and just has added humidity.  That way the little guy won't be taking in any water as he is trying to breath.  They will slowly turn him down by 100 until he gets low enough they feel they can take the cannula out completely.

Walker had a few self recovery episodes this afternoon, but you could tell he was having reflux each time.  His reflux seems to be getting less frequent and we are hoping that soon it will go away completely.  Walker got to breastfeed this evening and he ate for an entire 30 minutes. What a big boy!

We are so proud of our "little big guy" and the progress he is making and we are praying for more great days to come!

One proud Papa, they even have matching outfits!
Hey, its time to eat!!

Granny getting the "Good Kisses"

Milk Coma
Full and happy lil hunting buddy

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Day 65

Today Mommy and Daddy were excited, as always, to get to the hospital and see how Walker had done with his feedings and being in an open crib over night.  The nurse said he had done great taking over his minimum each time and he had gotten some good rest.  Walker had also done well keeping his temperature up above 97.6 which is the minimum for babies in an open crib.  He had also done well with his breathing and stayed on 21% all night, even though his flow drifted down to 1.25.  He was able to maintain so they just let him stay at 1.25.

This morning the little guy was still doing well at maintaining his temperature even though it was freezing in the NICU and he continued to do well with taking his bottle!  He did a big job while Daddy was holding him, and was grinning all over!  The charge nurse came and told Daddy and Mommy that since Walker was doing so well they would be moving him over to NICU 2 today!!  We can't get over what a big boy he is getting to be and this afternoon around 3:00 they moved him over to bed 9.  We are excited to have our own room for the first time, and we are excited for Walker to get some more quiet!

This afternoon Walker got a visit from Mamaw and Papaw Pruett who were excited to see the lil guy's new room.  They got to watch Walker eat his supper and he did really well, afterwards he was wide awake while Mamaw held him.  We think the little guy really enjoyed checking out his great grandma, and the feeling was definitely mutual!  Walker also got a visit from David and Gloria Ashby who were excited to see how much the little guy had grown and how well he was doing in his open crib.  This nice thing about Walker being in an open crib is we can hold him anytime we want, without worrying so much about his temperature or getting him in and out of the incubator.  Gloria was excited to hold the lil guy, who was tuckered out and decided sleeping was what he was ready to do, he did peek at her a few times though!

Walker did great with his feedings this evening taking around 25 each time, they also decided he was ready to graduate to the next size nipple since he was doing so well with his feedings.  He did have one episode after his 3:00 feeding, but the nurse said he was working on a "big job" and strained and held his breath.

 So far he has continued to maintain his temperature, keep bottle feeding, and stay on his 1.25 liter cannula for almost 2 weeks.  We are praying that Walker has turned the corner, and will continue to stay on this path with no setbacks.  We can finally begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel that leads to us taking him home, a day that we are truly excited for!  Please pray with us that soon we will be loving on this boy back in Virginia!
Good morning, today I loved my passie!

NICU 2 ahead!!!

Walker in his open crib in his new room!

Mamaw and Walker, he loves his great grandma!

Gloria loving on the lil guy!

Hey, I like this new room thing!

Friday, June 27, 2014

Day 64

This morning Granny went to the hospital to check on Walker and see how he had done over night, while Mommy went to a women's bible study at Admore.  Walker had done well with his breathing overnight and stayed on 21% on his 1.5 liter cannula.  He had also decided he didn't like his feeding tube, and he pulled it out.  The doctors decided since he had been doing so well with bottle feeding they would just leave it out.   He had done well with his bottle feeding over night taking more than the minimum each time!

When Mommy got back she had another big surprise, they had decided to put Walker in an open crib!  He had been doing well with maintaining his temperature in his incubator and they felt like he was big enough to move the open crib.  What a proud Mommy when she walked in and saw that!  During rounds the doctors decided to take him off several of his meds they stopped the caffeine, potassium, and his salts.  The only thing he is still taking is iron which is really great.  Since they were making so many other changes they decided to leave his cannula where it was today.

Walker had a visit from Ellen and Mary Peyton after bible study and Betty Wright from Admore Baptist also came by this afternoon.  Later Walker had another visit from his Great Uncle and Aunt, Bill and Bobbie Joyce and his cousins Taujinia and Dickie Martin.  They were amazed by the little guy and had lots of questions about life in the NICU, it is so special to have a visit from family!

Walker did well throughout the day maintaining his temperate, he has to stay at least 97.6 or above in the crib.  He also did well with his feeds taking between 25 to 30 each time. This afternoon Walker did an excellent job at breastfeeding as well.  Daddy and Papa were excited to see the little guy in his open crib and doing so well with his bottle feedings.  We can't get over how well Walker has been doing the last few days, and we really hope he can keep this progress up!

He was a little tired for his 9:00 feeding, and he didn't take quite the minimum for Daddy after eating 35cc the time before, but we are hoping he will do better at his 12:00 feeding.  We are also hoping he will continue to do well with his breathing overnight.

Please continue to pray that Walker has the strength to continue making this great progress and growing each day.

Walker's open crib!!

All tucked in tight!

Ready for hunting season!

What a big boy!

Daddy changing a diaper

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Day 63

This morning when Mommy got report on how Walker had done over night it was good news.  He had a few self recovery episodes so they decided to turn his flow on his cannula back from 1.25 to 1.5 liters to give him some extra help with his reflux.  This seemed to help the little guy and he did well with his breathing for the rest of the night, he is also up to 3lbs. 6ozs.

They also continued to bottle feed him all night and he took 25cc at 12:00, 26cc at 3:00, and 28cc at 6:00 which is great.  Those are all well above his minimum of 19cc so the little guy was eating up a storm!  We are really hoping if he can continue taking all his food by bottle today, that tomorrow they will remove his feeding tube.  Mommy and Granny were excited for a good day with Walker and to keep working on feeding.

At his 9:00 feeding he took 21cc, which is good because it is above the minimum, but we would like for Walker to be taking more so that he can gain weight.  We discovered that the milk still wasn't flowing great out of bottle and Mommy kept having to stop and shake it up again.  They had changed what they were mixing into Mommy's milk and it seemed that the similac fortifier and the extra protein were causing the nipple on the bottle to clog up.  They decided to switch to just he similac in his 12:00 feed and he only took 20cc, even though he was sucking away.  The milk was still looking filmy and causing the nipple to clog us to they decided to switch Walker about the the original fortifier and protein combo that he was on.

At his 3:00 feed the little guy was hungry and he took the whole bottle, 30cc!  Mommy's milk with the old formula mixed in was much easier for him to get out of the bottle and Walker caught up on what he had been missing!  He did well with his 6:00 feed as well taking 25, and Mommy and Granny were so relieved.  We didn't like the little guy having to work so hard to eat, and we are glad the nurses and nutritionist worked so hard to get him straightened out.

Walker got some really good rest this afternoon between his feeds, some on Mommy and some in his bed.  He did really well with maintaining his temperature all day and we are so excited for the progress he is making.  Walker also had a visit from Pastor Payton and Paige and their kids this afternoon.  They got to see Mommy holding Walker after his 3:00 feeding and he was resting so well.  Paige loved seeing the little guy's feet and Payton thought he looked a lot bigger since he was down here last week!  Walker also had a visit from Cathy Cooper and her daughter Kristin and her granddaughter.  They got to see Walker working on his 6:00 bottle, and they were so impressed with how well he was doing!

We can't say it enough, it's these visits, calls, messages, gifts, and prayers that truly keep us going in this situation.  So many people have told us how strong we have been through all this, but we couldn't have done any of it without God and the support of all y'all!  Please continue to pray for Walker that he keeps doing well and moving forward each day!

Good morning smile for Mommy!

Cuddling after eating breakfast.

Sweet kisses

No love like a Mother's love!

Lunch time!

Holding onto Mommy's necklace that has my footprint on it!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Day 62

Today was Walker's two month birthday, we can't hardly believe how much our lives have changed in the last two months!  It is amazing when you have a child how they literally become the breath in your chest and the light of your day every day, it is a love beyond explanation.  Yesterday they had decided to stop his caffeine because of his age, but over night he had several episodes so they decided this morning to restart it but change it to just once a day instead of twice a day.  Hopefully this will help keep him from having episodes until he gets a little older and they try to stop it again.

They also decided because he is doing so well on his cannula and keeping his oxygen around 21% they were going to wean him.  This morning they turned him down from 1.5 liters to 1.25 liters, they are trying to take to slow so he doesn't get upset and start having episodes again.  He did well with the change in his cannula and maintained his breathing all day, staying on 21% for most of the time!

They also decided since Walker has been doing so well with bottle feeding they were going to change the way he does it.  The doctors decided that they were going to make him ad lib with a minimum of 19cc.  This means that they will give Walker his 28cc in his bottle, and he can take as much as he wants as long as he takes at least 19cc.  If he can maintain eating just from the bottle they will take out his feeding tube!!  This is a huge deal if he is able to achieve this and get, and keep the feeding tube out that is something he has to do before going home.

 At his 9:00 feeding he ate the whole 28cc, at 12:00 and 3:00 he ate around 20cc which is still above his minimum.  At 6:00 Granny and Papa discovered that the medicine they normally give him through his tube, but are now giving him in the bottle with his milk, were causing the nipple on his bottle to clog up and keeping him from being able to suck as well.  They were able to mix the milk a little better and he sucked the rest of his bottle down!  Hopefully we can get this medicine issued sorted out, and Walker can do well with his feedings over night, we know he will eat well for Kayla, one of his favorite nurses!  We are really praying that God can watch over Walker and he will be able to get his feeding tube out tomorrow or Friday.

Please pray with us that Walker can continue to do well with his bottle feedings and also do well on his cannula, we are starting to see great milestones take place and we owe it all to prayer and the grace of God!

Sleeping holding onto his oxygen tube!

Mommy giving me my first bottle of the day!

Hungry boy!

Daddy's little boy!

Granny giving Walker a bottle!

Papa giving Walker a bottle, his is Papa shirt!

Good night y'all, eating is hard work!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Day 61

Today Mommy was excited to get to the hospital and see how lil Walker had done overnight.  He had been a very good boy and hadn't had any episodes and was up to 3lbs. 5ozs.  He had taken most of his foods by bottle although he did have a few residuals, where he has food left in his stomach.  They just subtract that from what they are going to give him, so if he had a 2cc residual instead of getting his whole 26cc he would only get 24cc.

The nurse said yesterday this is very normal for him to have some food left in his belly because his stomach needs to catch up.  Walker is use to eating only about 8.5cc an hour and now we have changed that to 26cc in about 30 minutes by bottle.  His stomach has to figure out how to process this new amount, and be able to catch up with what he is eating.  At 9:00 he took the whole bottle except for the last 2cc which the nurse told me to save to help push his supplements through his tube.

Walker is getting potassium, salts, and iron several times a day to help make sure his body has what it needs.  They were giving him caffeine twice a day, but now that he is almost 35 weeks they decided today to discontinue that.  The caffeine was to help Walker remember to breathe, but now that he is older that isn't as much of an issue.  Walker did well with his cannula today he stayed on 1.5 liters and was on 21% all day long!  We are really proud of how well he is continuing to do on the cannula, he even maintains his stats during feeding times which is great!

Walker also did well with his 12:00 feeding, he ate 20cc so they had to give him the rest through his feeding tube.  They want to make sure he gets his total amount, even if he can't take the whole thing by bottle.  Walker also did well with breastfeeding this afternoon, and then got to cuddle with Mommy for over an hour, time which Mommy cherishes!  It is amazing looking at that little guy, I could stare for hours.  It is truly a blessing how perfect he is, and we could not be more in love.  Please continue to pray that God strengthens his body so that he can breath on his own soon and continue making progress eating by bottle. This experience has really taught us how blessed we are, because Walker is truly a miracle from God!

Best view in the world!

Definitely Mommy's little guy!

Arms back relaxing!

Mommy's flash startled me!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Day 60

Today started off with Mommy thinking about the fact that we have been in the NICU for 60 days!!  It is hard to believe that it is has been that long, but we are truly blessed when we look back at how far Walker has come.  He is such a strong little boy, and has already gone through so much.

Walker did well overnight and the weaned his cannula down to 1.5 liters which is half of what it was when he started.  He has also been on his cannula for a whole week now, which is the longest he has made it so far.  We are really hoping this is the final time and he will keep moving forward from here.

This morning Mommy and the nurse were talking about how well Walker had been doing taking his 8.5cc by bottle every time and they decided to ask the nurse practitioner if they could increase his amount.  She thought it was a great idea and decided that he could try to bottle 26cc, and whatever he didn't take would go in through his tube.  This is basically condensing his feeds back down, but hopefully because he is taking it by bottle and the digestion process starts as soon as he starts eating this will help with his reflux.  Mommy started at Walker's 9:00 feeding giving him 26cc and he took the whole thing!  Apparently this boy has been waiting to show off his eating skills!  He did the same with his feeds every three hours for the rest of the day.

 Each time taking the whole thing, Mommy also got to burp the little guy for the first time today.  When Walker was taking 8.5cc the amount was so small he didn't every really need to burp but now with his larger amount he was burping like crazy.  It is amazing to think that the little guy is 60 days old and Mommy had never heard him burp.  Even his burp is adorable, and music to Mommy's ears, at least until he is a little older!

Walker had a visit from Clinton and Mary Jo Vipperman who go to Rich Acres with Granny and Papa.  It was so nice of them to come all the way to Winston, and they even brought a photo album with pictures from  Mommy's shower, so thoughtful! Don Gordon, the Pastor at Ardmore Baptist church, also came by the afternoon to check on Walker.  This afternoon, Robin Williams and Pat Nevins, who both teach at Collinsville Primary with Mommy, also came down to see the little guy.  He had just finished eating his bottle, and they were amazed and how big he is getting.  What a loved little boy he is!

This rest of Walker's day went well he rested, did well with his breathing, and did great with his eating.  We are truly so happy and proud of our lil man and we hope he can continue to do so well!

Walker likes to sleep with his foot hanging out!

Good morning Mommy, is it time to eat??

Passed out after taking his third bottle for the day!

Good night Mommy, thanks for all the yummy food!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Day 59

This morning after another good service at Admore Baptist church, Mommy and Daddy were excited to see how little man was doing.  He had a good night with no episodes that required intervention, but he did have a few self recoveries.  They had also weened him down to 1.75 liters on his cannula, and he had done well with that over night.

Walker had a great morning and did really well with his breastfeeding, he took in 20cc which is great!  He ate really well, and then was in a milk coma!  He also had a visit from Granny, Papa, and Uncle David, who were excited to see the little guy.  Uncle David even got to change his first of many diapers!  He did well especially considering he had never changed a diaper before, Walker didn't mind being the test run.  

Walker behaved all afternoon and took his 5:00 bottle for Mommy in a hurry with no trouble at all.  He did have a few destats, but he was also working on a big job at the same time.  After he took his bottle and got his stinky diaper changed, he was snoozing big time.  He is starting to get into the routine of his feeding times, and he is more awake when it is time to eat.  

Walker also did well with his 9:00 bottle and seems pretty settled in tonight.  Tomorrow he will have been on the cannula for one week, which is the longest he has been on it.  We are really hoping that he will continue to do well on the cannula and soon be on room air!  The little guy is up to 3lbs. 3.8ozs, and hopefully he will continue gaining weight and doing well!  Thanks for your continued prayers!

Good morning Mommy and Daddy!

Ready to breastfeed, got my matching bib on!

Getting to be such a big boy.

Holding Daddy's ring, it use to go all the way up my shoulder, now only 3 fingers fit!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Day 58

Today Mommy and Daddy got to the hospital bright and early.  Walker had done well over night with his breathing on his 2.5 liter cannula and hadn't had any episodes!  This morning at 9 the nurse checked his residual, which is how much food is still in his stomach, and he had 8cc.  Walker is allowed to have up to an hours worth and keep getting fed and an hour's worth is 8.5 so he was right on the edge.  The nurse said we could go ahead and give him his bottle at 9 and she would check it again before she started his feeds at 10:00.  Walker ate his whole bottle and did really well, when she checked him at 10:00 his belly was empty so getting the bottle helped his digestion get moving.

During rounds the doctors said he looked good and the only thing they were going to work on was weening his cannula down to 2.25 which they did and he did great with.  Mommy got him out at 1:00 to breastfeed and the little guy did great he took in 10cc, so the nurse didn't start his food until 2:00.

After Mommy breastfed, we held the little guy for a while and didn't put him back in bed until around 1:55 around 2:30 Mommy noticed that the temperature on the heater/humidifier portion of Walker's cannula was not what it normally is.  We called the respiratory therapist over and she asked how Walker's stats had been.  We told her he had been doing great and had really had any destats.  She told us that his oxygen tube had gotten unplugged, and he had been breathing just room air on his own for about the last 30 minutes!  What a big little boy, this definitely shows us how much stronger he is getting!

Walker did well with his 5:00 and 9:00 bottles taking the whole thing both times which is really great.  Mommy and Daddy are so proud of how well the little guy is doing with his feedings and taking his whole bottles each time.  The nurse was also able to ween his bed down to 27.7 so he is only 7 tenths away from being able to move to a crib!!

Walker also had a visit from Barbara and Gary Dove who were excited to see the little guy. They even brought hims his first pair of camo overalls!  We can't wait till Walker is running around the house wearing nothing but his overalls!  Tonight Mommy and Daddy got to go visit with Geoff, Ellen, and Mary Peyton and have a cookout.  It is such a blessing to have such wonderful people go out of their way to be so kind to us.  God really blessed us when he sent us to Admore Baptist church, and allowed us to meet such a wonderful family, who has been so amazing to us and we are beyond thankful!

We are so excited about the strides our little boy is making, and proud doesn't even begin to describe the way we feel!  It is truly a miracle from God how far our little boy has come, and we are truly thankful for Walker each day, hour, and moment we get to spend with him!  Please continue to pray that he keeps making gains each day!

Good morning world!

The bib says it all!

Daddy giving me a bottle!

Whoa Daddy!

Hard say good night and leave that sweet face!

P.S. Here's last night's video