Jan 10 2011: Carol (our surrogate)’s water broke – PPROM at 19 weeks 3 days and is admitted into the hospital. Baby has a strong heartbeat but no amniotic fluid. The doctors give us a 1% chance of survival. They observe her and ultimately send her home. If she can make it to 23 weeks, the baby has a 20% chance.
Feb 6: Carol went to the hospital Wed night with bleeding and then contractions (22w 5d). Amy and I went out there Thurs until today. The contractions are under control but the bleeding comes back at night when the baby gets active. We’re now at 23.2 and hoping he stays in as long as possible (she will be in the hospital until delivery now). Baby has strong heartbeat and is doing well – but still little to no fluid.
Feb 7: Our son, Benjamin Charles, was born today – 17 weeks early – and is critical but stable. He’s just 1 lbs 12 oz but one heck of a fighter.
Feb 10: A bit of a rough day for Benjamin but he is holding in there. It is so nerve-wracking watching the nurses and doctors constantly adjusting things to compensate for his prematurity. They keep reminding us he is not out of the woods by a long shot. But watching him wiggle and stretch you can see the will to live is strong.
Feb 11: Rough going here- Benjamin needed a transfusion last night to bring his blood count up. Also his kidneys had stopped working yesterday – bad news. They gave him meds and finally today after a day and a half he wet his diaper again. Even the dr cheered. His lungs and blood pressure are still troublesome, but we have hope. I donated blood today special for him for when he needs more. Grateful for another day.
Feb 12: A better day so far for Benjamin. His kidneys are still not 100% but a big improvement from earlier yesterday. Lung x-rays show some improvement and his numbers look good – oxygen is down to under 40%. Though things can change at any moment, we are going to enjoy this one. He is also getting grandparent visitors today! (Janice, Charlie, and Edie)
Feb 13: Benjamin had another good day. *knocks wood*. He needed another transfusion yesterday but that is expected with all the blood they take for tests. Kidney function is improving and even lung x-rays are better. Amy and I continue to be grateful for each day, the extreme kindness of friends and the generosity of strangers
Feb 14: Benjamin was moved to a new ventilator today, and he’s going to be started back on milk. He gave me a few scares with his breathing before the ventilator was set, but he’s doing well now. He had a brain sonogram this morning and it looks good. He’s still losing fluid weight, but hopefully the milk and lipids will start fattening him up soon. Happy first week Benjamin!
Feb 16: Ben had a good day yesterday and a good night last night. They removed him from his main line and he’ll get a picc line today. He’s getting fewer labs done and he’s doing well on his new ventilator. Thank you all so much for your love and thoughts. They also took him off of dopamine and are upping his milk feedings. Go Benjamin Go!
Feb 17: Today (for now) Benjamin is off all his medications. He is getting TPN and milk for nutrition, but right now all his systems are doing what they should. With his fancy new picc line he can lay on his belly, which puts less pressure on his organs and helps open his lungs
Feb 18: So we had our “state of the baby” with Benjamin’s medical entourage: Everyone is pleased with his progress so far. The goal for now is to gain weight and not get an infection. He is gaining a little already but is not back to birth weight yet. He will probably need surgery to close a PDA (an opening between the pulmonary artery and the aorta that normally closes on term babies) but they are going to wait for now.
Feb 24: Benjamin has been having some liver issues, but they should clear up when his milk intake increases (he’s up to 4ml, 8 times a day). His blood gas levels have been off today too but they have been trying to tweak things to make them better. Overall though he is doing pretty well and is almost back to birth weight.
Feb 25: Benjamin’s 18th day was mostly uneventful, which is the way I like ’em. He got a blood transfusion and was put on a medicine to help with his liver function. He’s gaining weight and is nearly at his 1lb 12oz birthweight. Today is 26 weeks gestation. There are still 14 weeks until he would be officially ready to be born.
Feb 28: Benjamin had a banner day today. Gained 10grams, got rid of that pesky ventilator leak and was pretty mellow all day. Also, moving to NY is looking imminent! More details by Wednesday. The people in Lancaster have been amazing, but there’s no place like home.