Born 5/24/2012 at 2:05PM. 29 weeks. 1lbs 11oz. 14 inches long.
It’s been a busy couple of days and we know a lot of you are wondering what is happening. We wanted to first thank everyone for their love and support. Your visits and messages are comforting. Please know that we are all well. Laura and Dayton are recovering as well as can be expected considering the intensity of the last couple of days. Here’s a brief journal of what went down:
2:15 PM We had a scheduled ultrasound to just check Dayton’s growth and development.
2:30 PM Learned that Dayton was not developing as he should and we were told to stay the night in the hospital for further monitoring. Laura was put on bed-rest. A steroid shot was given to Laura that would flow into Dayton. The steroid’s purpose was to speed up the growth of his lungs.
Later that night the doctors continued to monitor Dayton’s heart rate. They noticed a couple dips in the rhythm but decided to hold off any further action to allow he steroids time to do their job.
6:00 AM Dirk left for work thinking things were well.
12:00 PM Another ultrasound was performed. The doctor’s determined that Dayton was in distress. They decided to perform an emergency c-section. Dayton’s chances of survival seemed to be better on an IV in the Neo-natal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) than inside the womb.
12:42 PM Laura called Dirk and told him to get to Waukesha Memorial asap. Dirk ran (literally) to his car and drove from Downtown Milwaukee to Waukesha.
1:30 PM Dirk arrives at the hospital to find Laura being prepped for surgery. Dirk was immediately thrown into full scrubs and was told to wait while Laura was anesthetized.
The c-section and delivery went very smoothly. We’re very impressed with the doctors at Waukesha Memorial. We couldn’t have picked a better hospital.
2:05 PM Dayton was born and made a little cry. In the room, he was immediately taken by the NICU nurses and put on a breathing tube. The breathing tube went between his vocal cords so he could no longer make noise but he could communicate through his facial expressions and body language. All of Dayton’s other procedures were done in the room with Dirk and Laura present.
After the surgery, while Laura was recovering in post-op, Dirk was allowed to visit Dayton in the NICU. Dayton opened his right eye and Dirk held his hand.
Thursday evening was a blur of calling people, visiting Dayton in the NICU, seeing friends and family, resting, recovering, and healing. Dirk drank many many cups of coffee.
Dayton is a very active boy. He kicks and moves his arms a lot. We’re taking all of this as signs that he’s going to pull through.
Waukesha Memorial Hospital has been amazing. The room allows Dirk to sleep on a couch and be near Laura in her bed. It has a private bathroom for us to use and is very close to the NICU – everything is on the same floor.
Early in the morning, Dirk was present for the removal of Dayton’s breathing tube. After this he began to breath on his own, with a little help from a positive pressure tube going into his nostrils. The positive air pressure helps to keep is little lungs inflated so his muscles don’t have to work so hard to take breaths. I cannot tell you what a relief is was to see his chest moving without the aide of a machine. It will probably be one of the most wonderful moments of my life.
Later in the day, light treatment was started to reduce his billirubin and janduous. You can see by some of the pictures that his skin color is a bit off. The light helps with that.
12:00 PM First feeding of breast milk. 1cc was all he needed. He took a nice long nap after that while Dirk held his head and hand.
The rest of the day was another blur. Laura has been getting up and moving, albeit slowly, to minimize any stiffness. It’s also nice to just get out of the room and see her baby.
Dayton is also doing very well. We know that he will be in the NICU for a long time, most likely 2-3 months, but all of the nurses there are amazing and kind. They love their jobs and it’s readily apparent that they love the kids they take care of. The NICU is available to us anytime of the day, and we’re planning to visit Dayton as much as possible. They have boarding rooms here as well that we’ll take advantage of.
Kangaroo care is skin on skin contact and is really beneficial for a preterm infant like Dayton. Although the nurses take great care of him, and we can touch him, the poor guy is left to sleep all alone in his isolette for much of the day. Kangaroo care allows us to hold him and let him know that he is loved. Laura and Dayton finally got to try it today and it was pretty amazing.
Dayton’s first bath.
Dayton is up to 17 cc of fortified breast milk every 3 hours and it’s helping him to gain weight. He hit 2 pounds today!
The nurse’s at Waukesha Memorial’s NICU gave me a Father’s Day present too:
Dayton is up to 2 lbs 2 oz and is digesting between 17 and 20 cc of breast milk every 3 hours.
Poor guy. Dayton has an inguinal hernia and will need surgery at Children’s Hospital. I guess these types of hernias are fairly common in premature babies because of their under-developed muscles. The nurses in the NICU say it doesn’t hurt him. I hope they are right.
Dayton weighs 2lbs 8oz.
Dayton weighs 2lbs 10oz and can drink 22cc (3/4 oz) of milk directly from a bottle. It’s a lot of work for him to swallow so he only gets fed this way once a day, the rest comes from a g-tube direct to his stomach.
Great Aunt Shirley nit Dayton a hat that fits perfectly. We showed it to him using the front camera on Dirk’s iPhone.
Happy 4th of July!
Bath day! Dayton weighs over 3 pounds too!
Dayton’s been off his nasal cannula for a couple days and is breathing on his own! This is so huge for us. We can see his face!
Also, today he moved to a big-baby crib. No more isolette! This is another huge step because it means he is ready to start regulating his own temperature. The isolette was doing that for him for the last 5 weeks. He has plenty of blankets to keep warm but he’s doing it on his own. No more plexiglass – We don’t have to open doors to get to him anymore.
In other news, he’s taking bottles like a champ! Gulp gulp.
If he can continue to breath on his own on his back, drink milk on his own, and regulate his own temperature, he can come home! We’re hoping it will be in the next 2-3 weeks. Yahoo!!
The NICU doctors have decided that Dayton can come home in a few days. We’ll test out his stability by staying in a boarding room right down the hall from the NICU. Laura and I will be alone with him for a couple of nights, WITHOUT WIRES. No probes. No beeping. No other screaming babies. Just Laura, Dayton and I alone for once. With some early 90s Disney movies on VHS. Of course, in case anything goes wrong, the NICU staff will be there for us. We’re really excited! Especially for Aladdin.
Dayton leaves the NICU!
Moving on to the boarding room. It’s really awesome that Waukesha Memorial Hospital offers this opportunity. We couldn’t imagine just taking him home cold turkey after 6 weeks of constant monitoring of his oxygen saturation and heart rate. It’s kind of like we’re in the desert on our own. Good thing we can call in the Marines if our water supply runs low or if we just can’t figure out how to open our canteens.
BTW, the Aladdin VHS was rewound. Must have been by an old fogey like us that remembered to “be kind and rewind.”
The first night in the boarding room went very well. In fact, we’re comfortable enough with Dayton to take him home today! I’m ready:
We’ve went through everything with the NICU nurses, and with a few tearful goodbyes we were discharged from the hospital. Again, we can’t thank the NICU staff and the doctors at Waukesha Memorial enough. They saved Dayton’s life. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you!
Now we can be a “normal” family..
“Normal” except for the fact that we have a 4 1/2 pound son that needs to be isolated from germs. By doctors orders, we can’t visit public spaces nor have anyone other than us hold him. We also need to keep visitors down to a minimum. And those visitors need to WASH THEIR HANDS. So, sorry in advance. We know a lot of you want to come over and play with the little guy. And believe me, he wants you to come over and play too. When Dayton is ready to see you, think hard about who you’ve been in contact with. If your buddy at work was sick yesterday, don’t come over. If you feel a slight tickle in your throat – stay away. Sorry.
BUT we’ll keep this space updated with videos and pics. I can feel your excitement through the intertubes.
Thank you again for all your love and support. And food! We are so blessed to have so many awesome-freakin friends! Shelly brought a fruit basket to the hospital that we lived on for weeks. We have frozen food up the wazoo (Thanks Jill, Krystal, Holly, Heather, Kelli and Mom – probably others) – wonderful! Kelli brought us over some horchata – neato! Tim, Chris and Dave K helped me move stuff – wheew. Heather helped with yard work – thanks! All of our friends – very very many – who came to the baby shower and gave us so many sweet presents and helpful things. The handmade gifts are so rad. Both of our families who have stuck with us for the last couple months and helped out all over the place. And to anyone else who has listened to (or will listen to) my blabboring. THANK YOU!!!
Happy Birthday Laura! This is the best present ever.
Thanks again for all of your support. We’re overwhelmed by the love you’ve shown us.
Dirk, Laura, and Dayton
P.S. Leave a comment. We read them.
Up Next -> Dayton’s First Months