Teeny Tiny Truman

This page is all about Truman, born Aug. 8, 2006 to Kara and Ben.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Update: December 28, 2006


Truman had another pediatric appointment today. He continues to gain weight, not quite as fast as last week, but the 20 grams a day he put on this last week was still good.

However, Truman has a diaper rash (presumably caused by the high-calorie breast milk) that has gone from bad to worse to horrible. During his last appointment, a cream was prescribed. That made it worse and it even started bleeding, so we discontinued that a few days back. We had tried leaving Truman open to the air, but that did not go well for him as he really likes his boundaries and managed to stick his arms through his cradle, turn completely sideways, and many other contortions and screams while uncovered. So this week, we were sent home with a tank of oxygen and canula tubes and instructed to put a diaper on him loosely and run the tube into the diaper for an hour three times per day. The doctor joked that the oxygen is for the wrong end of what you would expect for a preemie. They also came up with a concoction of a type of over-the-counter cream mixed with stoma adhesive powder that we are to mix and apply to his bum as well.

It also turns out that Truman's labs from last week show that he is deficient in calcium, vitamin D, and phosphorus, none of which bodes well for bone growth. So, we are being prescribed a special formula for Truman to take. We will have to mix it 50/50 with expressed breast milk for his bottles. So my goal of my little one being an exclusively breast-fed baby for at least a year will not be met, but we will do what we need to for him. They are recommending that we continue with the nursing sessions. (I currently nurse Truman for half of his feedings and bottle feed the remaining four). I've also been instructed to drink more milk, which for any of you who no me personally is like prescribing me to drink battery acid. Ah, the sacrifices we make for our children.


Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Christmas at Home!


For a kid who can't play with much yet, Truman was quite the popular gift recipient this Christmas. I guess he was a very good boy this year.

Truman did beautifully with weight gain his second week home -- gaining almost an ounce a day. His pediatrician said just to keep on with what we were doing. We don't know whether it was the Prilosec for reflux or the doctor's advice not to stress over minimum volumes or how many bottles and just to give him what he would take, but something worked.

Truman finally appears to be learning to sleep at night. Some nights are still struggles, and he is sometimes hard to get back down after a feeding, but we are definitely making progress. It looks like the trick may be to keep him up and very entertained during the early evening hours to wear him out for a long night.

He's also advancing developmentally. He has learned to roll over from his tummy to his back and tries to do so almost every time he is placed on his tummy. Sometimes it takes a lot of rocking before he can make it, but with enough effort he can usually make it over. He also is really enjoying looking at things on his play mat and is clearly swiping (and sometimes hitting) the toys dangling above him on the mat. As best we can tell from the baby books, he is on track for his adjusted age. There are a few things he doesn't do that typical newborns would and some things that he can do that typical newborns can't do yet.

Truman gets some supervised tummy time on his play mat for the first time.

Truman meets Flora.

Gramma helps give Truman a bath.

Truman gets a little exercise.

Merry Christmas from Truman to you all!

Merry Christmas Everyone,
--Kara & Ben

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Settling In


The three of us are settling in at home and loving it despite the sleep deprivation.

Truman has his days and nights mixed up and doesn't like to sleep at night unless he's being held, so that is proving very draining for us, but we are finally starting to achieve some cradle time at night in the last couple of days. Ben takes the first shift until about 2 or 3 a.m. with Truman and then I take the rest of the night and sleep in 30 minute spurts. It's exhausting!

Feeding Truman is still a struggle. He has not gained as much weight as his pediatrician would like (we are going to a special clinic for low birth weight babies), so we are tinkering with ways to make him grow. The primary issue is that Truman greatly prefers breastfeeding and often screams at or fights the bottle, which means it can take too long to feed him and that (as well as the fighting the bottle) wastes energy. So, the latest solution is that we give him three or four bottles a day of expressed breast milk mixed with Neosure preemie formula to make it higher calorie and give as much as he will take in half an hour without fighting. For all other feedings, I breastfeed hind milk, which means that I have to pump for 5 to 10 minutes before breastfeeding him. In the middle of the night, it is no fun to pump while trying to hold a crying baby at the same time, but you do what you have to do. The pediatrician also prescribed an anti-reflux medication to see if that would help.

He is spending several hours awake each day and having longer periods of alertness. In the last couple of days, he has taken to entertaining himself with his mobile or crib mirror for a while in the late afternoon. He seems to enjoy some time free of blankets and arms to kick and swing his arms about. He is also getting good at lifting his head and turning it and holding his head up for a few seconds on his tummy. He's also starting to sway his arms toward objects, so we think he'll start grabbing things soon. He is also getting good at rolling from his back to his side (usually to escape a diaper change). He loves to be held and talked to for very long periods.


Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Home for the Holidays

Well, we made it.

Early yesterday afternoon, Truman Borden was finally discharged from the Baylor University Medical Center Neonatal Intensive Care Unit into the care of his parents. Amazingly, he came home on the due date originally predicted by Kara's ObGyn: December 5th. At the time of Truman's discharge, Truman was 3 months, 27 days (120 days) old. His adjusted age (the age his is developmentally, measured from his date of conception) was one day. His weight was 4 lbs, 13.8 oz.

The day of discharge was one of great excitement and anticipation, and one of a little nostalgia. Don't get me wrong, we certainly didn't want to be at the hospital any longer than absolutely necessary, but we had taken a great deal of solace and comfort in knowing that Truman was under the care of an amazing and caring medical staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We were also essentially bringing an end to a number of relationships that we had built at the hospital over the last four months, including his primary nurses, who for all practical purposes had acted as foster parents on Truman's behalf. To them we owe our unending gratitude and thanks, because without their help, we would not be taking our baby home.

We officially received Truman's approval for discharge around 11:45am, but we had to wait another hour or so before heading out because we were waiting on Truman to get his RSV shot. We finally started rolling Truman down to Discharge and Pick-up at about 12:45. By 1:00pm we were in the car and ready to head home as a family for the first time.

It was very exciting to walk Truman in through the front door and give him a quick tour of his home, but we couldn't dally around too long because he was due for a meal by 2:00pm.

As the day went along, we were introduced to that state of exhaustion that all new parents come to learn, but it was very nice to be a part of something that is normal for a change.

Truman's walk through life will now, at last, begin in earnest. With work, luck, love, and patience, hopefully it will be a long and successful one.

Thank you everyone for your interest and support through this chapter in our lives. This blog has been somewhat theraputic as well as a great way to keep everyone informed without having the telephone ringing off the wall. It has also been nice to come home nightly and be able to read all of the comments posted by family, friends, college buddies, colleagues, and even those of you whom we have never even known in person. Your kind words and prayers have meant a great deal to us over the last several months.

This blog will not be ended just yet. There are too many friends and family who are interested in how Truman progresses. But from here forward, the updates will be coming along a little less often. One reason for this is that Truman's quest to grow and graduate from the NICU has now ended. The other reason is that now, as parents of a newborn and as working professionals, time is a little scarce. I'm sure that many of you can relate.

Thank you, everyone. And Happy Holidays!

--Ben & Kara

Monday, December 04, 2006

Rooming In Today!

Just a quick note to everyone: As of 3 pm today, Truman is completely disconnected from all tubes, wires, monitors, etc. We're staying in the hospital tonight and we have Truman in our room and in our hands. It's just wonderful!

While there is a small chance that we may have to room in an additional day, it appears far more likely that Truman will be discharged from the NICU tomorrow afternoon and will come home for the very first time.

More details to come later, but for now I have to get back to the hospital. There are more important things than blogging to do at the moment!

Rooming in. No wires, tubes, or monitors. Just Truman and us.

Yes, the room is something of a mess, but that's because we're packing it up! We're expecting news of our discharge approval at any time.

Truman enjoys what is going to be his fianl nap at Baylor University Medical Center.


Sunday, December 03, 2006

Update: Sunday, Dec. 3


Even though Truman is eating marvelously (and large amounts), he lost weight on Friday and held to that weight yesterday. The hospital is still indicating that he is likely to go home on Tuesday, but he really needs to gain at tonight's weight check and again tomorrow to hold on to a due date departure. They have upped the fortifiers on his breastmilk to bring it to 26 calories to help this process along.

He is doing great. Now that he eats how much he wants when he wants, he appears to be evening out to a four-hour schedule and taking about 2.3 ounces at a time, give or take a little.

We also got results back from his MRI. The blood is still in his brain, although resolved to some degree. However, we were very pleased to hear that at this point, no damage has been done to the white or gray matter of his brain, so it is about the best result we could hope for. He'll have another MRI in three months.

A couple of matters that could push him later into the week are an eye exam and a Synagis (RSV) shot scheduled for tomorrow. Sometimes the eye exams in particular really wear the babies out. However, for now, we are scheduled to room in with him at the hospital tomorrow.


Friday, December 01, 2006

Five Pounds (For Real)


Truman gained 25 grams yesterday, which makes him 5 lbs for real, rather than just holding onto swelling from surgery. That also means he is done dropping water weight after surgery and on back on the path of real weight gain!