Sunday, January 16, 2011

Delay, delay, and updates.

Hey there everybody,

Sorry for the delay in posting an update... we had the very best intentions on revealing a big surprise for you all... but there's been a delay.

No, we're not in ongoing negotiations with Pampers and Similac for exclusive marketing rights to this blog.  But if anybody knows anyone from any of those companies... we're willing to listen.

There was a chance that Mr. Logan was going to be headed home this weekend and we wanted to announce it with a splash.  Unfortunately though, he just wasn't able to meet all his benchmarks in time to do so.   So... we continue to wait.

It may be later this week, or it may be closer to his "official" due date at the end of January.

Overall, the kids are doing well.  Both have had some ups and downs, but we continue to make good progress.  There's a lot of stuff to cover, so hang on... details below.

Caroline - She's just passed the 4 lb. mark and is even beginning to have arms and legs that look like little baby "chubby limbs" as opposed to the thin little pencils she started out with.
As you can tell, she's gotten bigger compared to the phone
she used to be the same size as.
She's still on the nasal oxygen - the Vapotherm - which provides constant levels of pressure and warm oxygen.  Just after Christmas, she had pretty well maxed out her levels on the Vapotherm and was approaching the point where she would require going back on the ventilator.  The docs decided to give her another round of steroids and she has responded quite well so far.  She's currently at about half of the settings on the Vapotherm and they're pushing her to wean off of it.  She's gotten her eyes checked and has passed with flying colors.

Logan -  Logan's getting big.  He's past the 8 lb. mark and measures over 20"long.
Logan's torso used to be the same size as the phone.
Now he could probably eat it.
After a week or so with some oxygen coming from the wall unit (the very lowest level of oxygen support), he kept pulling his nosepiece out.  So, the docs figured he was trying to send a message and let him go on room air alone.  He's been doing pretty well.  He still has some dips in his levels when he eats and occasionally when he's in a position he's not used to - in a rocker or a carseat - but he's getting better at it.  If he can keep those levels high for several days straight, he'll be able to come home without any oxygen tanks or monitors.  We've got our fingers crossed.  We had a bit of a scare with him on the 31st.  He had a regularly scheduled head ultrasound and it showed a spot on one side of his brain that looked suspicious.  The early indications were that of a "PVL" which essentially means that there was a section of the brain which had been without oxygen for a while and had diminished and died.  Obviously we were extremely frightened by this diagnosis, as even a minor PVL can lead to slow development of motor skills (walking, coordination, etc.) and a major one can lead to conditions like cerebral palsy.  Thankfully, our NICU docs were skeptical of the ultrasound reading and calmed our fears, assuring us that even if he did have one, the one that registered on the ultrasound was tiny and uncharacteristic of typical PVL's, that we should wait and see.  Two weeks later, we've had a followup ultrasound and I'm happy to report that there is no evidence of the PVL.  It was just some random ultrasound shadow that had shown up and given us concern.

This brings me to a point I'd like to make about our incredible doctors, nurses and staff at the NICU.  They are truly fantastic.  They are hyper-cautious - attentive to the very slightest change in blood pressure, temperature, or oxygen level, yet are able to do so with great care for the concerned parents of NICU babies.  It's truly a remarkable talent and one that I am happy they have.  We've come across some scary situations in our few months with them, and they continue to pull us through with reassurances and comforting kindness.  Without them and their incredible knowledge and compassion, our time could have been miserable wrought with fear.  We've been blessed to have them guiding us along this journey.

And with that said, on to the photos and some videos...

Mom got to hold them together over Christmas.
Caroline slept... Logan couldn't quite figure out what the
heck she was...

They fell asleep together and held hands.
Uncle Nick visited from Colorado over Xmas!

Since you've seen some video of Logan, I've added 2 videos of Caroline to even things out.

Here she is pulling her favorite trick to annoy the nurses- pulling out her nose tubes and setting off alarms.

And here she is working over her pacifier...  Somebody so small has gotta be hungry - she's going to eat like a champ!

The interlocked hands form an impenetrable grip on the paci.
Only a fool believes they'll be able to steal it away from her.
Got to wear pants for the first time ever!
Hopefully she's not doomed to a life of pantsuits...
Caroline stylishly cheered on the Hawks for their Bowl victory!

When Logan sleeps... he sleeps hardcore!
Logan finished a full bottle and was rewarded with
the opportunity to watch some playoff football with Dad!
Logan had a pretty rough case of diaper rash.
The nurses propped him up and aired him out for a few hours.
The rash cleared up, but his shame will live for a long time.

Logan is learning how to sit up and maintain his oxygen levels.
That means some time in the rocker!

That's the update for now... I promise the next one will come sooner than this one did.

All our very best to you and your families!

Mike, Melissa, Logan and Caroline Vogel