Sunday, November 23, 2008

November 25: Happy First Month

Today is Keelan's first month of life celebration.
A perfect time to give thanks.

Happy First month Keelan!

Her first visit to the pediatrician was today. She is now, 4 pounds and 14 ounces and measures almost 19 inches head to toe. We are happy with her progress. So far no incidents to report about the apnea monitor. Keep us in your prayers. As to our sleep, well, we a re a bit sleep deprived because of her feeding schedule but loving every minute with Keelan.

---To the nurses and doctors at the IL Masonic NICU: thank you again for your wonderful job taking care of Keelan. We could not asked for anything more. And to Priscilla from labor and delivery, we are in eternal gratitude to you for your dedication to your and your intuition, because of it Keelan is here alive and well. Thank you also to the nurses of mother and baby for taking care of me in such a special way.

November 24: I'm coming home!

Keelan is coming home today!

Friday, November 21, 2008

November 21: Closer to come home

November 21 I was saying yesterday, we are thankful for the blessing we have received and for the people in our path that have taken care of Keelan. She is closer to come home now and we are ready for her.

What is new with Keelan:
-feeding was 58ml almost 2 ounces of breast milk
-her eyes wide open more often
-she showed me what makes her comfortable--sleeping on my bosom

Thursday, November 20, 2008

November 20: Apnea Monitor Training

Well, well, well...we had a training on how to use an apnea monitor. There is just one way t describe it-LOUD- yes, it is loud and there is no volume to tune up or down. Today our trip to NICU was or felt more promising than yesterday. We (William and I and my Mom, who is visiting and helping me during my recovery) had our apnea monitor training, Keelan look and feel grown, and overall the wait to bring her home did not seemed as long as I thought it was. Mostly because I realized that today is Thursday and not Wednesday as I thought (that is what not going to work does to you- you lose track of real time).

Setting up the appointment for the monitor training was pretty easy and the trainer was very nice and easy to understand. Going home with the monitor means that Keelan will still have a "wires" connected for at least 6 to 8 more weeks. At least she will be home and that is all we want. We will not miss NICU at all, and I am sure that Keelan, if she could speak now, will say the same. However, we must say that Keelan have had nothing but the best care possible and that every nurse that have been in contact with Keelan had been very caring to her and sympathetic to us. Of course there is always "one rotten apple" but we want to focus on the positive and on the great people we had come across with. There are many people we want and need to thank.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

November 19: Car Seat Test

Keelan status now is:
1994 grams (aprox. 4 pounds 5.5 ounces)
passed most of her discharge tests but one-the nomogram
will remain at the hospital for a few more days
was given her hepatitis shot
need her RSV
needs a pediatrician
closer to come home!

November 18
We brought in the car seat to the NICU-Intermediate Nursery. We bought- well my Mom bought us- a Chicco Key Fit 30 car seat (high consumer report ratings), we were excited. This meant that Keelan was closer to come home with us. Well, not quite like that. After arriving to the hospital yesterday evening we realized that Keelan was "unreachable", she was being tested and had all sort of lines, cables, tape and what have you on her body. She was getting a "nomogram"(hope I spell this correctly). So, during the test is best not to disturb the baby so the results as a accurate as possible. Needless to say were kind of sad, at the same time, we know that she will be home soon but we were not able to hold her yesterday. Since the room was full and busy we decided to go back home- it felt terrible.
November 19:
Today, we went to the hospital at an earlier time. Lats night William could not sleep at all, I tossed a bit but woke up at 5am. As I was saying, we woke up this morning with the feeling hopeful she might come home, so we cleaned the house a bit more and organized her co-sleeper. Wash the sheets and all fabric that goes in the co-sleeper. Once the task was completed, we were off to the hospital. Hope was the word of the day. Keelan was still as sleep in her crib, so peaceful, so pretty, so innocent. We meet with the Doctor, who informed us about her status, so far so good, until were informed about the results of nomogram--not good. or at least not what we hope it would be. She has to stay a few more days due to an "apnea" incident. So, a few more days it is. Dad is heart broken as he was looking forward to have her at home tonight. She is back on "caffeine" and once home she will be monitored, at least for until she is 44 to 46 weeks old.
We are not thrill with the idea but given the circumstances it is best to look at the situation with an open mind. She had received the best care possible at the hospital. To jeopardize that at his time will be foolish, so we can wait a few more days-piece of cake.
Tonight, even with all the positive thinking, it is difficult to leave her behind.
Francis writes: "My selfish mind will say to me that is a good time to rest and have to myself, my motherly mind overrides that selfish thought and reminds me that she is all I want. Keelan is wanted and loved. I can not wait to have her home. She will be loved, cherished, and care for. Every day no matter how tired I feel I look forward to have her here and I look forward to see her grow, I look forward to share my life experiences with her. Plain and simple, she is a precious gift to me.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

November 16: Learning to latch

Keelan is closer to than we imagine to be able to come home. She already weight 4 pounds and 5 ounces. The new skill for Keelan to learn is how to latch. We have been practicing together, Keelan practice to latch to my nipple during her feeding and learn how manipulate the breast so she can get enough breast milk. It has been an interesting experience, mostly because the breast feeding process has become a bonding experience for William, Keelan and I.

I am still in awe. Motherhood is an experience one can never fully understand until the day in which you become a mother. The feeling and level of responsibility is incredible. The closest thing to motherhood (before having Keelan) for me was teaching. Now, everything is different, I still love to teach but Keelan has become my first love.

PS- William and I had completed our Infant CPR training.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

November 13: And the poop don't stop...

Today Keelan is doing everything
she did a few days before and...
  • 3 pounds- 15.5 ounces (1800) almost 4 pounds!
  • Feedings are now 1 ounce and
    10 ml. of milk about 40-43 ml.
  • Only feed by bottle
  • Definitely latching on to breast-OUCH!
  • Poooooooooping very well...non stop
It is just an amazing thing to observe the Keelan's progress, every day there is a small change. A milestone in Keelan's world. I love to see how she keeps her eyes wide open at times- she just stares at something, who knows what. A penny for her thoughts...

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

November 11: more about Keelan's progress

Keelan is...
  • 35 weeks old
  • 3 pounds- 15 ounces (1778)
  • 16 inches
  • Taking 1 ounce of milk (formula and breast milk) by bottle and regular nipple
  • Started non-nutritive breast feeding
  • Learning to latch on to breast
  • Opening her eyes often even with the bright light
  • Sleeping more now that she is using more energy to eat
  • No Digoxin or Caffeine
  • Able to maintain her temperature
  • She pulled off her feeding line from her nose all by herself
    -the best thing is that she will not need it anymore!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

November 8: Sweet Pink Dreams Celebration

Thank you to all our friends for taking the time to celebrate with William and I the birth of our daughter Keelan. We are blessed and honored to have friends like you.

Thank you to my mother and other family members for their support and love.
Keelan continues to progress, she will be moved to an open crib today (God willing) as long as she can maintain her own body temperature. The next step after that is for her to be able to suck, swallow, and breathe. Also, to stop taking Digoxin and Caffeine, and most importantly to continue to gain weight. She is now 3 pounds 14 ounces. Continue to have Keelan in your prayers.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

November 5: Keelan Progress Update

Keelan is now:
  • 34 weeks old
  • 3 pounds- 11 ounces
  • 16 inches
  • Tolerating 1 ounce of food
  • Pooping well
  • Opening her eyes often
  • Making noises
  • Not too much crying
  • Sleeping a lot
  • Seeking to breast feed...and boy can she find her way!
  • Showing strength
  • Recognizing Mom and Dad's scent
  • No IV fluids
  • Still on Digoxin and Caffeine
    (her jaundice is down)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Keelan at NICU

Registry Update

Friends and Family

These are happy times for us, we want to share with you the progress of our daughter Keelan Francis during Francis' pregnancy. We also want to thank you for your love and support. Thank you.

William and Francis
Registry List

  • Education Fund (FULFILLED)
  • Boppy Newborn Pillow (Floor Activity Pillow) (FULFILLED)
  • Boppy Sweet Pea Pillow and Slip Cover (FULFILLED)
  • Boppy Urban Slip Cover Pink (FULFILLED)
  • Boppy Black Nest Head Support (FULFILLED)
  • Boppy Tummy Time Play Leaf(FULFILLED)
  • Chico Key Fit 30 Infant Car Seat (FULFILLED)
  • Universal Car Seat Carrier-stroller frame (FULFILLED)
  • High Chair Cover (FULFILLED)
  • Bumbleride Queen B Classic Pram in KOA color (FULFILLED)
  • Bumbleride Flyer Travel Stroller in KOA color (FULFILLED)
  • Bumbleride Queen B Rain Cover (FULFILLED)
  • Ski Hop Stroller Bag Chocolate (FULFILLED)
  • Piddle Pad for Car Seat Shooping Cart Nest (FULFILLED)
  • Pacifier holder (FULFILLED)
  • Brown 2 in 1 Tote (FULFILLED)
  • Portable Change Station Set (FULFILLED)
  • Easy Diaper Bag- Chocolate (FULFILLED)
  • JJ Cole Bundle Me Pink Stroller Cozy Line (FULFILLED)
  • JJ Cole Cocoa Stripe Diaper and Wipes Caddy (FULFILLED)
  • Deluxe Newborn to Toddler Tub (FULFILLED)
  • Bath Storage Basket (FULFILLED)
  • Organic Hooded Towel Set (FULFILLED)
  • Organic 7 Washcloth Bouquet (FULFILLED)
  • Portable Baby Bather (FULFILLED)
  • First American...Deluxe Grooming Essentials Kit (FULFILLED)
  • Bum Genius Diaper-White (FULFILLED)
  • Frog Wash Cloth (FULFILLED)
  • Duck Wash Cloth Set (FULFILLED)
  • Bum Genius Bottom Cleaner Spray (FULFILLED)
  • Bum Genius Odor Remover Spray (FULFILLED)
  • Diaper Pail (FULFILLED)
  • Wendy Bellisimo Knit Coverall and Hat-White (FULFILLED)
  • Wendy Bellisimo Cable Knit Cardigan Set- White (FULFILLED)
  • Wendy Bellisimo Knit Coverall Cardigan Set- Grey (FULFILLED)
  • JJ Cole Winter Hat - Ivory (0 to 6 months) (FULFILLED)
  • Medela "Metro Bag" Double Breast Electric Pump Set (FULFILLED)
  • Organic 2 Pack Burp Cloths (FULFILLED)
  • Organic 3 Packs Everyday Bibs (FULFILLED)
  • First Years Newborn Soothies (FULFILLED)
  • Hospital's Choice Thermometer Set (FULFILLED)
  • Bunny Meadow Crib Bedding 6 Piece Set (FULFILLED)
  • Bunny Meadow Blanket (FULFILLED)
  • Serta Organic Perfect Night Crib Mattress (FULFILLED)
  • Organic Cotton Crib Mattress Pad (FULFILLED)
  • Organic Crib Fitted Sheet (FULFILLED)
  • Organic Sweater Knit Blanket (FULFILLED)
  • Organic Swaddle Me Adjustable Wrap (FULFILLED)
  • Koala Baby Ecru Luxe Blanket (FULFILLED)
  • Kids Line Brown Luxe Blanket (FULFILLED)
  • Night Table Lamp (FULFILLED)
  • South Shore 5 Drawer Chest Vanilla Cream
  • South Shore Night Table-Vanilla Cream (FULFILLED)
  • South Shore Pure White Changing Table
  • Serta Organic Changing Station Pad (FULFILLED)
  • Organic Multi use Flat Pad (FULFILLED)
  • Kids II Bright Starts Play Place (FULFILLED)
  • Sassy Baby's 14 Piece Toy Gift Set (FULFILLED)
  • Rhyming Reflections Crib Mirror (FULFILLED)
  • Baby's Soft Cloth First Books Set (FULFILLED)
  • Silver Piggy Bank (FULFILLED)

November 4: Reflections

Is time to vote. I woke up early today (4:30 am) not by choice-I just did. My first thought of the day today was Keelan. So I called NICU. I was pleasantly surprised to hear that her weight is now "1652", in plain words/numbers we can all understand that is about 3 pounds and 10.5 ounces, another milestone for Keelan. It is amazing to realize, now, that the little things- the ones that seem the must insignificant are those things that make us the happiest.

I am still going through emotions, making sense of all that had happened since the afternoon of October 24. Yet, we still have to officially thank all the people involved and in particularly the nurse that took it upon herself to repeat the test, even when it seemed unnecessary. She was an angel.

On that note, I do believe that there was something special happening on that day. It was Ivette's birthday
, my deceased sister. And as her memories may have nothing to do with Keelan, I am convinced that Ivette was there and watching over, just like an angel. This may sound to many like a cliche, it does not matter to me. On that day, my husband and I witness a miracle. Our gratitude has not limits; and when we think about what would have happened if we had left at the end of the test. What would had happened if we had been inpatient? What would had happened if the nurse would have just done "her work" and not take that extra precaution step? What if...?
Yes, I am convinced, it was a miracle. The signs were there for us to see that she was getting ready to come early. Early in the pregnancy she was "in position", we started to prepare for her really early as well- purchasing the bassinet, arranging the bedroom, etc... We started to make changes when we really did not have to yet. To me, now reflecting upon what had happened, these were signs for us. Our last ultrasound was the most visible sign Keelan was up to something. She was so low in my pelvis that the nurse could not see her face at all.

Maybe we are, or I am reading too much into it. In any case, it is still a miracle she is her with us and that her progress so far has been steady. I am convince this pregnancy was blessed. I can not help it to think about how much we (William and I) wanted Keelan in our lives. She has definitely changed us, her arrival although unexpected, could have not happened at a better time. Thanksgiving is around the corner, and this one will be a very special celebration of life.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

November 2: Keelan at NICU-Intermediate Nursery

Keelan after a bonding session of " skin to skin contact" with Francis.
Check out those lips...just like mom.

William and Keelan bonding.

Keelan smiling at William. She does like to smile.

Francis and Keelan bonding-Kangaroo style (skin to skin).

November 1-2008

Keelan is making progress. Today her bilirubin is down to about a 6 from 9. The higher the number the more dangerous it is. She was diagnosed with jaundice [... a yellowing of the skin and other tissues of a newborn infant. A bilirubin level of more than 5 mg/dL manifests clinical jaundice in neonates whereas in the adults 2 mg/dL would look icteric. In newborns jaundice is detected by blanching the skin with digital pressure so that it reveals underlying skin and subcutaneous tissue. Information retrieved from Wikipedia on November 2008] and currently she is receiving phototherapy to reduce the levels of bilirubin. Every day is a milestone for Keelan. Everyone says she is doing great.

Our routines (William and me) have so drastically changed. Everyday we go to the hospital and there is nothing else more important than that. William look forward with "extreme anxiety" to go to the hospital to see Keelan. Me, I am still in awe-kind of in disbelief, like living a Dali in a Dali or Frida painting. At times all this seems surreal, like a beautiful sweet yet sour dream. I think is because I after planning and preparing for a December delivery all of the sudden I find myself a turned into a mother. I remember, going for a routine test and then...blam, kablam, blast and KABOOM...the baby is here! No birth plan, no waiting, no walking up and down counting contractions, nothing! I was rushed to the surgery room, blast with general anesthesia (since Lovenox users can not have an epidural or some types of anesthesia due to the negative interaction of the drugs having the potential to be fatal), fifteen minutes it is -to the tune of the Miss America song- Keelan is born. I really miss it, being able to see her coming out and transition to our world.
After her birth, things have been a bit stressful, confusing, and painful as well as joyful. In a flash we have change, I have changed. She is my world and I am eager to give the best I can offer to the full percentage of my abilities. I am really looking forward to her development as an individual. Of course this open up another can of worms-getting old. I am 40 years old, I used to look at myself in the mirror and not realize my true age. Not that I was in denial, but i did not feel my biological age. Now, eight days later after the birth of Keelan, I look at myself and see a mother, I see I am 40, it is my reality. Not that I feel old, but I feel suddenly a sense of responsibility that I have never felt before. I guess the motherhood bug has got to me. Yet, when I hold her in my arms I feel a bit clumsy- I have never been "Miss Pink and Rose Delicate Flower"
kind of girl. I can't wait to bring my Keelan home.

Every day going and coming to the hospital is become more difficult because I do not want to leave her behind. She is a feisty as mom, you should see her the other day while I was holding her in what is called Kangaroo (skin to skin), out of the sudden she this tiny thing of a person started to wiggle just like a professional contortionist from the top of my chest all the way until she found my breast. And let me tell you, she really fought her way down, when she could not get what she was she was looking for on one side, she managed to wiggle her way to the right...I wished I had a video camera then, it was just amazing because this 3 pound 10 ounces girl had a lot of strength to pull such a stunt like that.

Well, back to her progress, she is can now suck, tolerate at least 16 ml of formula or breast milk, pee like a fountain, open her eyes even with bright light, sneeze, yawn, cry-only when she have to- among other things. She, I believe recognizes and distinguishes me from William. When William holds her she smile "looks at him", relaxes and sleep. When I hold her, she does all the same things that she does with William but...except that she immediately search for you know what-my breast. She can smell it.

Keelan in her quest to breast feed.