Sunday, September 14, 2008

Day 60

Well, last night Cody and I slept at the hospital.  To give an indication of how tired I was, I slept better on the waiting room floor of the NICU than I did on a comfy couch the night of the hurricane.  I woke up way early this morning, but was able to go right in and visit with Rhys.  Cody on the other hand doesn't sleep very well any where other than our house, so he didn't get much rest.

Today started off much like Friday when Rhys had his little episode.  Since he had such a great day yesterday they decided to wean on his albuterol.  Rhys wasn't thinking that was a good idea so shortly after the day shift nurse came in he freaked out, kept dropping his O2 saturation and was quickly changed back to his previous dose of every 2 hours.  He was mostly good the remainder of the day and even got a little kangaroo this afternoon.  His personality is really shining.  Cody and I stare at him all day long and laugh at his behavior.  He gets his pouty lip when he's upset at having his diaper changed, he halfway peeks an eye open when you talk to him, and he will put a hand over his forehead or stretch into his superman position when he's really relaxed.  We are also seeing signs that he might become a thumb-sucker.  He gets his hands right up to his mouth and starts sucking, but he hasn't quite figured out the thumb/finger in the mouth bit.  But he's getting close!

We found out today that the eye doctor saw Rhys last week and no one told us.  She apparently came in on the night shift after we'd already left the hospital, but I'd think that is something the nurse from the following day could have seen and mentioned.  This was his first appointment, so we don't know exactly how it works.  The concern is ROP (retinopathy of prematurity), which is basically where preemies' eyes develop outside the low oxygen levels of the womb.  As is the case with lots of preemies, they require help with their lungs and also higher amounts of oxygen.  When we mention Rhys' oxygen saturation it is important that he oxygenates his body well on the lowest oxygen percentage possible.  The ROP develops when the high oxygen levels cause tiny veins in the eye to spiderweb and potentially cause blindness.  We are told the eye doctor working with the preemies is phenomenal and does her job very well.  Rhys has a follow-up appointment next week, which could be a little worrisome that she wants to see him again so quickly.  I believe the typical follow-up is two weeks.  He should be seen again on Wednesday so hopefully I can get more information.

Also mentioned today were the upcoming 2 month immunizations.  They go by actual age for these and not adjusted age.  I was quite shocked to be honest and hadn't given it much thought.  They rattled off what I consider a huge list of what they want to immunize him for, things I know we were never given.  It seems like they have a vaccine for everything these days, even chicken pox.  Since when did having chicken pox get so bad?  Or are parents just lazy today and not wanting to worry with it?  (btw, that is not a jab at anyone who might have given their child a chicken pox vaccine)  Cody and I weren't planning on giving our kids vaccines for anything unessential, but now we have a drastically different situation (i.e. an immune impaired child) so we're thinking he needs all the help he can get.

Sorry, still no picture updates.  We consolidated our bags last night when we went into the hospital and we left the camera in the car.  Rhys sure was looking cute though in his scary dinosaur shirt.  :o)


Jodi said...

I always hated it when Olivia and Logan were doing well with something, it seemed they were always so quick to knock the settings down. I know that they have their reasons, but I remember always wanting to let them be stable for a little while longer before pushing them again. I also remember Olivia having her immunizations when she was so tiny.

I am still amazed that Olivia's ROP only progressed to Stage 1 Zone 2. They usually require laser surgery if it gets to Stage 3. However, Olivia's strabismus is one of the effects of her ROP, even though it was mild. ROP is such a huge deal with micropreemies. I'll be keeping Rhys in my prayers.

Mary Anne Whiteley said...

In regards to the chicken pox vaccine- chicken pox has gotten much worse, and it's not the chicken pox so much, but secondary infections that go along with chicken pox. I was not going to get this one for my girls, but discussed it in great detail with the pediatrician. Also,when my first got the vaccine, it was just one shot, but now they are recommending a booster shot. She got this one at her 8 year checkup. By the way, it is one considered "required" for schools in Texas, however, I think you can get a waiver. I know in California, we can do this and I'm pretty sure you can in Texas, though I moved away when my oldest was 4, so it wasn't something I looked in to.

They have a lot more vaccines out now than they did even when my 3.5 year old was born. I know there is a rotovirus one, but some of the things I have been reading about make me nervous on that. There are a lot offered, but so many are not required. lists what is required for Texas, and it does list Hep A, but that one is only for certain areas and most of those are near the border, not in the Houston area. My girls have received them, but it's more of a risk in Southern California than it is here. I kept putting it off, but finally got that one. I recall there being a shortage of Hep A vaccines when there were outbreaks at some of the Houston area schools, so I figured it couldn't hurt to go ahead and get that one. is the list for recommended schedule and you can see by comparing the two that a lot more are offered than required.

I'm sorry to have put in so much information, but I thought I'd do this to be helpful. I know it can be overwhelming, and of course as the parent of a micro-preemie time is something you have little to spare. And then you have another immunization to worry about, the RSV one.

Just do some research, pray some, and do what you feel is the best for your child, and all will be fine.

Mary Anne

lauren said...

Hey there!

Like your little Rhys, my daughter was born at 23 weeks. She is now almost three and doing great ... most would never even know that she was a micro-preemie!! If you feel like it will help, you are more than welcome to check out her website -!

Thinking of you guys.

Take care,
~ Lauren