August 20, 2010

Welcome Home Cullen!

Most of you know that Cullen was welcomed home on Friday, August 6th after 8 1/2 weeks in the NICU!  We enjoyed our final evening in the NICU with he and Presley in Care by Parent room.  They provide a room in which you can stay the night with your baby before taking them home.  Although Presley wasn't quite ready to come home we were glad that she could join us in this experience. There were so many firsts...walking across the room without cords attached to him, no monitors alarming (at least not his), learning to fortify his bottles, waking up to feed in the middle of the night...the list goes on.  It was really such a neat experience and we were joined by two of our favorite nurses, Elissa & Saminthia.  It was definitely very bittersweet taking him home and much more difficult than we thought it would be because we had to leave Presley behind.

The past two weeks have been a whirlwind and we couldn't have done it without the help of "OllieDDGrandma" (we can't decide what she should be called).  We have had a lot of doctors appointments and visits back to the NICU to visit Presley.  Grandma loves doing the 2 am feeding so we have loved letting her do it!   She helped us in giving him his first bath, has cooked many meals, folded clothes, cuddled with Cullen, changed a lot of diapers, given suppositories, cuddled with Cullen, washed dishes, cuddled with get the picture!  She is taking a few days off this weekend and boy do we miss her already!!

We took Cullen to his first pediatrician appointment a few days after being discharged.  He had gained 2 oz a day since being discharged and was up to 6 lbs 13 oz.  At this point, there is no telling what he is going to weigh at his next visit!  Although that sounds huge to us it puts him in about the 1 to 2 percentile for his measurements so he's still a bit of a little guy!  At all of our doctor's appointments people would stop and say "Oh look at the new baby!  How old is he??"  When we responded with 10 weeks they were quite perplexed!  We go back to the pediatrician this week to confirm that he is still gaining weight so we're excited to see what the verdict is.  He is still having some issues with reflux (despite taking Zantac) so we're hoping to get that under control.

We also visited the Opthalmologist and Pediatric Orthopedic doctor.  Cullen is still at Zone 3 Stage 0 for his ROP.  That's fancy talk for his eyes are doing wonderful!  Preemies are at risk for Retinopathy of Prematurity in which the retina can detach and cause a number of issues, including blindness if left untreated.  Presley is currently at Stage 1 (can't remember which zone) so we're praying for a Stage 0 at her next exam.  Because she is still in the NICU, the Opthalmologist visits her there to check her every couple of weeks.  This is a very uncomfortable exam because he has to clamp their little eyes open and "poke" around.  They numb the eye area so that all they feel is pressure but it is still quite uncomfortable for them and it also is painful for Mom's heart so I opted to wait in the waiting area while Dad comforted him.  Our Pedi Orthopedic doctor said that Cullen's femur fracture is healing beautifully!  Praise the Lord!  He is about 60-65% healed and we'll go back in 6 weeks to have another x-ray done.  He gave us permission to assist him in straightening his leg to work on his range of motion and after working with him a couple of times, he started straightening it out again!  Babies are so resilient!

I will post more later updating on Presley since this is so long but I'll leave you with a few photos of Cullen's homecoming!

 Supervising Cullen in the car seat!
On our way out of the hospital! 
One of our favorite nurses, Saminthia!
His first time outside!

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