Friday, May 21, 2010

And we're back!

After a little hiatus to get settled into our new life as a family of four, we're back! Okay, I'm back - Josh never did post an entry like I bugged him to ;) Anyways, the past week and half has been wonderful! I am absolutely LOVING being mama to 2 in my own home - I was so over having the double life as Maia's mom at home and Kieran's mom in the NICU.

Leaving the NICU after 53 days!

I knew life as a family of four would be a big adjustment, but I have to say, it's gone so smoothly thus far, much easier than I thought, anyways. Maia has adjusted pretty easily and is an adoring big sister - she wants to be with Kieran constantly and cover him with kisses. She loves helping pick out his clothes, help with diaper changes, and enjoys taking baths with her brother. She is almost always quite patient and very understanding when I need to focus on Kieran and she needs to wait for my help. She's even made more progress with her potty learning - right after Kieran was born/her 2nd birthday is when she went into underwear for the whole day; just the other night she requested to wear underwear at night instead of a diaper and she's been doin it ever since! I feel really fortunate that Maia's had an easy time welcoming Kieran into our home. Sometimes she says to me, "Kieran home now? No Kieran doctor?" To which I happily reply "Yes, Kieran is home now." :)

First family photo at home!

This one makes me laugh :)

First bath at home

As for Kieran, we brought home a pretty healthy baby, all things considered, and the extra care he's needed has dwindled as the days have gone by. For example, Kieran came home needing the following medicines: Amoxicillin to prevent UTIs in case his kidneys backed up into his bladder, Valgancyclovir, the antiviral to treat his CMV, caffeine to stimulate his central nervous system and treat his apnea, and a multivitamin with iron. He had 5 or 6 med times which required us to put meds in a small bottle of breastmilk, which was sort of a hassle to do right before a nursing session. But good news - as of tomorrow, Kieran will be done with ALL medicines except for the multivitamin. How cool is that!?

Besides the medicine, I knew we'd have to do quite a bit of follow-up with some of Kieran's lingering issues: audiology, ophthalmology, renal follow-up for kidney issues and possibly surgery for his inguinal hernia. As of this week, we've had the ophthalmology appointment and a renal ultrasound and kidney scan. The ophthalmologist said Kieran does not have retinopathy of prematurity and his eyes are developing normally! She will just need to see him annually for a few years, as preemies are at greater risk for needing glasses, strabismus, etc. Great news there :) Also, the kidney scan and renal ultrasound informed us that he does not have kidney reflux and his kidneys' swelling has decreased - he had the enlarged kidney in utero and now there is barely any swelling. Furthermore, a urine culture Monday showed that Kieran's protein levels are normal! If you recall, he was spilling protein into his urine so his NICU doctors were concerned he wasn't getting enough protein and were pushing formula with extra protein on us. We opted to not give the formula, (for one reason, it can actually be harder on kidneys), and lo and behold his protein levels are now normal, hooray! We do have a follow-up appointment with a renal doctor in August to see how things are doing, but the issues appear to be resolving on their own thus far! As for the audiology exam, that's in June - that's to check his hearing, probably on an annual basis, to make sure he's not suffering hearing loss as a result of the CMV infection. His pediatrician says that at this point, he will not need surgery for his inguinal hernia because it's pretty small, but we'll keep an eye on it to see if it's bulging profusely. He may need surgery for it down the line or it may resolve itself.

Kieran is still on the apnea monitor but his caffeine will be stopped tomorrow. He's had two apnea alarms total. The alarm goes off if he hasn't taken a breath in 20 seconds, and he has 10 more seconds to resolve it himself before we're urged to stimulate him to breathe. The first alarm was 24 seconds in the carseat, and the second was 28 seconds while taking a nap, so both were self-resolved, which is great! If all goes well without his caffeine, we can expect for him to be on the monitor one more week and then the final week of monitoring he will only have an oximeter on at night to measure his oxygen intake. So we'll see! Hopefully we'll be done with it soon.

So, like I said, we've basically brought home this beautiful, sweet little boy who is a champion breastfeeder, a lovely sleeper (he gives me one good 3-4 hour stretch a night! Thanks, Kieran!) and oh, he smells delicious, too - not like a hospital or medicine anymore! He is an absolute blessing and I feel so honored to be his mother, and so lucky to have him all to myself now. He had quite an interesting start to life, but he is now thriving at home, held or worn (in a carrier) for hours on end, loved and hugged and kissed on, and nursed whenever he likes :) We are having so much fun with him!

Josh wearing K in the Moby Wrap. It's kind of a continuation of all that skin-to-skin/kangaroo care we did in the NICU!

What else...Kieran's weight gain has progressed nicely! He was 5 lb, 11.2 ounces Sunday the 9th, and 6 lbs 2 oz on the 14th. As of Tuesday Kieran was 6lb, 4 oz, and his next weigh-in is the first week of June. I'm sure he'll hit 7 lbs by then! He is now 39 weeks gestational age and 9.5 weeks old. He's acting like a newborn would (which is a good thing, that's his corrected age) with regards to his feeding - I think we had a growth spurt for a couple days recently because he wanted to nurse every hour in the day! He's also doing great physically and developmentally: while on his tummy, he can lift his head up and switch sides and can lift his feet pretty high off the ground. He will also move his eyes and sometimes his head to follow our voices.

Sibling love

I love the furrowed brow.

Lounging in the sun during our family picnic.

Thanks SO much for following us and giving us your prayers, keeping us in your thoughts, and sending your comments and well-wishes. We are so grateful to have had so many people in Kieran's corner, and it's been wonderful to have you all witnessing our little miracle grow these past two months. I look forward to continuing to update this blog on a regular basis and hope you continue to keep up with us!


  1. I am SO happy to hear everything is going so well. We think about you daily and are constantly praying for your family. :)

  2. He's been thriving since the day he was born. Y'all have been on such a journey, and I hope he continues to improve. Happy home baby-moon!
    Love, the blondos

  3. He is amazing, and you are amazing! Blessings to you all, little Collins family.