Thursday, December 29, 2011

busy week

Virginia has had a busy week filled with lots of progress, alot of growing, a steady stream of visitors and some new experiences.

Heaths parents, aunt, sister, brother in law, and nephews came down to Connecticut for a few days to visit and my parents, sister, brother in law and nieces are arriving tomorrow for a visit. We are enjoying celebrating the holidays with our families, showing off our growing little girl, and getting their help in getting Virginia's room together. We are thankful to each of them for their love and support, home cooked meals, help around the house and always knowing how to make us smile.

Virginia is up to 3lbs 6ozs and 16.5" long. She is now on the lowest level of respiratory support and has truly made tremendous progress in the past few weeks. They have tried to bottle feed her, but it is clear that she needs a little more time until she is ready for that challenge. Like every other milestone, we are confident that Virginia will tackle bottle feeding when she is ready.

We are looking forward to the new year and know that 2012 will be a great year for our family. We hope that it is filled with good health, lot of laughter and happiness for our family and yours.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Our Christmas Gift

Virginia gave us a wonderful gift yesterday, she is now off of mechanical respiratory support and on nasal cannula. This is more wonderful progress. She is still on "room air" oxygen and breathing comfortably.

Virginia's doctors ordered a renal ultrasound last week because of our family history of kidney problems and did discover a few kidney stones which are likely the result of some of the medications that she had several weeks ago. She has not shown any problems clinically and we likely would have never known about them if they had not performed the ultrasound. We are hopeful that the stones won't present any problems, but the nephrologists will regularly check them.

The focus in the next few weeks will start to shift to oral feedings and transitioning to an open crib. While these next steps will certainly present new challenges for Virginia, we are so excited to be able to be more and more involved in her care and help her along in experiencing more and more "baby" milestones.

Specific prayers that we could use this weekend:

That Virginia is able to continue her great respiratory progress.

That Virginia continues to steadily gain weight.

That Virginia's kidney stones cause her no problems, or better yet reslove entirely.

That Virginia takes to oral feedings well.

We cannot thank you all enough for all of the good thoughts and prayers that you have sent our way. We ask you that you continue them into 2012. We expect it to be a very exciting year for us, but recognize that there will be many challenges along the way. For now, we are going to celebrate all of the great things that Virginia has been doing lately and enjoy the holidays with our little girl.

Wishing each of you a very happy holiday season

Thursday, December 22, 2011

2 Months Old!

Virginia is 2 months old today. Its hard to say if the time has flown by or gone at a snail's pace. I suppose it depends on the week. Lately Virginia has been doing a lot of growing and has been making great progress, so the days are flying by. She is up to 3 pounds and was moved out of the intensive care room and into a transitional care room this morning. We are thrilled with these milestones!

We feel so blessed this holiday season. While this is never how we imagined starting our journey as a family, we are so happy, thankful, and fortunate to be where we are. We are looking forward to celebrating the holidays and seeing family and friends in the coming week, but we are also looking forward to a quiet Christmas day as a family of 3 come Sunday.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


Virginia has now doubled her birth weight. She is 2 pounds 14 ounces and almost 16 inches long. All of her nurses are amazed how well she has been doing and how big she is looking. There are several tiny new babies in Virginia's NICU room. Seeing these new babies around us is a great reminder of how far we have come just like passing the rooms with the "big babies" is a good reminder of the good things to come.

The picture below was taken while her nurses were changing out her CPAP equipment and cap. It was nice to get a good look at her face without all of the tubing.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Even more good news

Virginia was switched from NIP to CPAP on Friday and they have been lowering her CPAP settings each day. She is still on "room air" oxygen support and has been maintaining her oxygen levels and heart rate wonderfully! She has certainly turned a corner in her respiratory progress in the past week and a half and we pray that she continues to improve. This is truly the best christmas gift we could ever ask for.

I will post some recent photos tonight or tomorrow. Thank you all for your continued good thoughts and prayers.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Good News

Virginia was extubated again on Saturday and has been doing great on NIP! Below is a quick summary of the different types of respiratory support that Virginia has been on or will eventually be on:

endotrachial tube and ventilator: a tube placed directly into the airway that delivers direct breaths with specified pressures and oxygen concentration.

NIP: Prongs placed in the nostrils that provide intermittent breaths with specified pressures and oxygen concentration.

CPAP: same as the NIP but instead of providing breaths it provides continuous pressure.

Nasal Cannula: Prongs placed in the nostrils that provide continuous pressure at a lower rate than CPAP.

Everyone is very happy with how Virginia is doing off of the vent. Her settings are fairly low and she is on "room air," meaning the oxygen concentration is the same that you or I breath everyday (21% oxygen). She has had very little apnea and her breathing is nice and comfortable.

Now that she is extubated she has been sucking on a pacifier and let us hear her first cry. Even 7 weeks after most people hear their baby cry for the first time, it was still the most beautiful sound in the world.

our little burrito with her big pacifier

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Happy Holidays from Virginia

In Lieu of Holiday Cards this year, we are e-wishing each of you a very happy holiday season. We are so happy to celebrate Virginia's first christmas together as a family.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

bright eyes

Virginia has been more alert lately, letting us see her pretty eyes. She has developed a reputation for being extra expressive and lets her nurses know exactly what she wants. Some may say that she has developed a reputation as a diva...

Friday, December 9, 2011

1 pound...

Virginia now weighs 1 full pound bigger than her birth weight. She is getting bigger and stronger each day and her doctors are getting her prepared to try to take her off the vent again in the next week. We could use LOTS of prayers that the second attempt is successful and that she stays off of the vent.

Virginia has had a very good week save for about 24 hours mid week where she was retaining too much fluid and needed a round of diuretics. After receiving the diuretics she was significantly better in a matter hours. Her doctors have restarted her daily diuretics, which should help keep the fluid under control. She was on these about 2 weeks ago, but her kidneys were too sensitive to them so they had to discontinue the daily dose and give a different diuretic "as needed." The problem with that was determining when she needed the intermittent dose, like earlier this week where it took her having a bad day to know that she was in need of the medication. So far her kidney levels are great on the daily dose, so we are hoping that it stays that way.

She also had her first eye exam this week. Her eyes looked normal for her age and prematurity and will be checked again in 2 weeks.

Our growing girl is now 15.3" long and about 2.5 lbs and we are finally seeing her get a little chubby. She is getting more beautiful each and everyday. She will hate me for this in about 15 years, but check out her double chin below :)

Specific prayers that we could use this weekend:
That her doctors are able to successfully take her off of the ventilator and that she is able to stay off.

That Virginia continues to steadily gain weight.

That Virginia is able to handle her daily diuretics.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Just a few Photos

Virginia loves her new snuggling blanket, which was knit by her great grandmother :)

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Big Girl Clothes

Some of Virginia's nurses have started dressing her in big girl clothes! She is now 2 pounds 4 ounces and will start fitting into the rest of the adorable clothes that Dylan sent her very soon.

Virginia has been doing really well since she has been back on the vent. Her settings and oxygen requirements are well below the settings that she had before they transitioned her to the NIP. We are praying that she continues to do well and that they can try to take her off the vent again in the next week or so. She now gets about 1/2 an ounce of food every two hours and continues to impress the doctors and nurses with how well she handles the feedings.

We are so thankful for all of the good thoughts and prayers that are sent to Virginia everyday.

Friday, December 2, 2011

A Step Back

Unfortunately Virginia's doctors reintubated her yesterday. They did a chest xray in the afternoon and she simply wasn't keeping her lungs full enough and needed the added pressure that the endotrachial tube and vent provide.

While this is frustrating and disappointing we are thankful for a number of things:
She lasted over 24 hours off of the vent and had only one apnea episode.
She was initiating her own breaths comfortably.
The reintubation did not have to be done urgently and went very smoothly.

Virginia just needs to gain some weight and strength before attempting the change again.

Thank you for your continued prayers.