Josh and I visited Kieran together today around noon and were there for a few hours. He's been holding steady - he's still on the CPAP mask at 20% oxygen (and later in the afternoon, even less oxygen!) He did not start my milk today but they're pretty sure it will happen tomorrow - his neoprofen is done and that's what they were waiting for. He'll be starting just a few ml/cc's per feeding. I hope to report tomorrow that he's finally on it. I've been anxiously awaiting that day - after all, it makes all my work at the pump worth it!
We were both able to hold him today in a warm blanket, but not yet skin-to-skin - it sounds like we can start this tomorrow since he's been so stable on the CPAP and been much more relaxed during procedures. Skin-to-skin care is also known as kangaroo care: you place baby chest to chest near your heart and the benefits are numerous - improved weight gain, helps baby regulate body temperature and lessens respiratory distress, to name a few. It has benefits for mom & dad as well - bonding of course, and it helps boost my milk production! Oh, and it makes me warm & fuzzy, too ;) I have also been anxiously awaiting the day we get to start on a daily basis - I did get to do it on his birthday with him and it was amazing to feel my son on my skin. Since he's had so much going on we haven't been able to try it yet, but his ability to maintain low oxygen levels on the CPAP and stay calm during procedures - previously challenges for him - are showing us he's about ready.
This was Josh's first time holding Kieran since he's been born! It was really emotional for both of us, as you can imagine. There is something so magical about watching a father hold his new baby for the first time; being able to fully take in his features up close, and being able to kiss him and smell him. He looked so proud and in awe and in love.
I held him for a long time as well, and then it was time for another procedure. They attempted to put a central line IV in - also called a PICC line - basically, it's an IV that extends from his arm and a catheter goes up the vein close to the heart. Since he will need long-term care and many blood draws, it's a good option that allows nurses to continually pull from the same vein and not have to poke him over and over again. We were told after the procedure that it didn't actually take, but that the IV they did place was good enough - it's a peripheral IV now, one that only extends an inch or two into his arm. He tolerated the procedure well - he was on a little bit of narcotic through it - but his oxygen remained the same and they were able to lower it later on in the evening, which is great news!
The last thing that we talked about with the nurse practitioner today was about a possible infection. His white blood cell count & platelet count were down, which can indicate an infection of some sort, so he was started on antibiotics right away and then cultures were sent to the lab. Hopefully we can nip a potential infection in the bud so that Kieran can just focus on relaxing, growing & spending time close to mom & dad.
All in all, our little guy is holding strong. No major setbacks and an improvement with the lowered O2 levels is a pretty good day for Kieran.