Getting out of the hospital was longer and more difficult than it should have been, but we are all home at last! Owen is in bed, and Mary is feeding Ivan (and he is eating very well, by the way). We will try to get some sleep and I will post more tomorrow if there is time.
Sorry I didn't post anything yesterday - I know a lot of people were looking for an update.
Ivan has been in a new room where Mary can stay right there with him and feed him and hold him a lot. I think that's one thing he has needed this whole time - we could not hold him much in the NICU. I've been sleeping at home and keeping Owen at night (Yesterday he spent the day at some friends' house, and today he went up to the hospital with me for a couple of hours. He's not sick at all, so I guess his "spill" on Sunday was just due to gaging on something).
Since we were on a new floor, that meant another new doctor, and another new opinion of what needed to be done and when we could leave. This doctor was younger, and told us right up front that he liked to err on the side of caution. That's not exactly what we wanted to hear.
He thought that Ivan should stay for a few more days ("few" meaning 3 to 7!) to get more antibiotics and to monitor his feeding. The whole thing with the antibiotics was a "just in case" treatment. There was concern about a possible infection, but all of the blood tests have been negative and there have never been any signs of one. However, this doctor said that if there was an infection, the 7 days of antibiotics Ivan has had so far might not be enough to kill it off completely.
Basically, I told him "no". I told him that I was confident that Ivan is fine now, and there is nothing left to do for him except to get him off the feeding tube so that he can eat normally and go home. We talked about it for 20 minutes or so, and he finally just asked us to think about it and said that he would think about it and we would discuss it more the next day (today).
After he left, we talked about praying for Ivan to start eating better and stuff like that, but Mary really felt like God was telling her to pray for that doctor to simply change his mind. So, that's what we did. And can you take a guess what happened?
Well, he came back this morning, and said that he had spoken to the doctor down in the NICU, and that doctor had convinced him that no more treatment was necessary! He stopped the antibiotics this morning, ordered the feeding tube to be removed, and said that as log as Ivan is eating well from the bottle today, we should be discharged this evening.
God is good!
I brought Owen back home at lunch time to feed him and let him take a nap, and we're going to go back up to the hospital for one last time tonight, and come home all together as a family.
Mary just called to tell me that while she was out of the room, Ivan pulled his feeding tube all the way out! Then she gave him a bottle, and he drank more than half of it before falling asleep. Hopefully, the nurse will not insist on re-inserting the tube and Mary can get him eating well tonight.
The doctor called me this morning to let me know that Ivan would be transferred out of the NICU today, and would be moved to a regular room where we could stay with him (even spend the night) and take care of him. He said Ivan was progressing nicely, and they would be taking off the air tubes and turning off the phototherapy lights. The only real concern left is that he is still not taking a bottle very well.
Our plan was to eat lunch quickly after church, and then all go up to the hospital for the afternoon. We needed to be there by 2:00 at the latest, because the hospital did not have enough of Mary's milk to cover Ivan's 2:00 feeding. However, as we started eating lunch, Owen "spilled the graham crackers" again.
So, we scrambled. We were considering trying to find someone to watch Owen for the afternoon, but we needed to leave in just a few minutes to get there in time. So, we decided that Mary would stay home and I would drive up to the hospital to deliver the milk.
On the way there, I got a call saying that Ivan was being moved and they gave me his new room number. I got there by 2:00 and was able to feed him myself. He took a little bit from the bottle, but wasn't really very awake so I had to give him the rest via his tube. I spoke to the new doctor for a few minutes, and then headed back home.
I really don't want Owen to have to spend another night away from home, so we decided that I will stay home with Owen, and Mary will spend the next two nights in Ivan's room at the hospital. That way, she can try to work with him more on the feedings and hopefully get him to nurse soon.
I may ask someone to watch Owen during the day tomorrow so that I can go be with Mary, but only if he doesn't "spill" again. I suspect that he may have gotten re-infected with whatever he had a couple of weeks ago, and whoever he got it from probably got it from him to begin with, so I don't want to keep perpetuating that cycle. It could be just a one-time problem from something he ate, though. Mary even wondered if it might be stress-related, from all the shuffling around and being away from us for so long. It's hard to know for sure.
So, we're getting near the end of this, but still need prayer for a couple of issues. Please pray that Owen will not be sick, and also that Ivan will start eating properly so they can remove the feeding tube and send him home.
Ivan is continuing his progress towards normal infant life. He's no longer getting extra oxygen, although there is still a tube feeding regular air into his nose. That will hopefully be removed tonight.
He has started eating from a bottle a little more, but not yet enough to remove the feeding tube or to try nursing him. The last time I fed him he took about a fifth of his bottle naturally, but then got tired so we had to use the tube for the rest. For whatever reason, they were not warming the bottles beyond room temperature, so I suggested they try the next one a little warmer and hopefully he will respond better to that.
We are home again for the night and ate some great sandwiches which were left over from Lael Fadely's first birthday party, which, regrettably, we missed yesterday. Owen was able to be there, though, so I'm sure he represented the Kelso household well (and probably ate all of our share of birthday cake).
Less than an hour ago, Travis dropped Owen off at our house, and he was so excited to see us and be home. It's hard to believe that we went 4 days without seeing him! It was already past his bedtime, but of course we let him play and talk a little and read some stories to him. He told us about going to Chloe's house and Jayna's house and Grant-Dean's house and how he went to a birthday party and played with balloons and trains and all sorts of other things. He was resistent to going to bed for a very short while, but I think his tiredness soon caught up with him and he was glad to lay down when we finally made him.
We have been told by many of our friends who kept him over the last four days that he has been so well behaved for them. I'm so glad to have such an easy-going kid. It made it just that much easier to deal with this whole situation with Ivan knowing that Owen was well taken cared for and not causing anyone too much trouble. A great big thanks again to all of our friends who took care of him (as well as those who offered to help but didn't get the chance).
Oh, yeah - as Owen came in the house, he said "I like that Travis".
Tomorrow, I'm going to go ahead and go to church and teach my class, and Mary will stay home to get some rest and spend time with Owen. Then we'll take Owen with us to the hospital for the afternoon. He won't be allowed in the NICU, but being a children's hospital, they have a lot of play areas and interesting things for kids to do and see. We probably won't stay real late because of having Owen there, but at least we will be able to take turns visiting Ivan a little. Monday, we'll spend most of the day there again while Owen stays at the next-door neighbor's.
If all goes well, we will take Ivan home on Tuesday!
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