Everyday lives of the Meabon Household

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Happy One Month Harper!

I can’t believe our baby girl turned one month old yesterday. It’s hard to imagine our lives pre-Harper and it feels like she’s growing up and changing every day. Jared laughed at me today because I looked at her hands and said they didn’t look like newborn baby hands anymore! It’s even harder to believe that she’s been in the NICU for 32 days – that’s exhausting to think about. Conventional wisdom says that in order to make something a habit, you have to do it consistently for 21 days in a row. Well, we’re well beyond that and, personally, I’d like to break this habit.

Harper had an interesting one month birthday, to say the least. As mentioned previously, there was a wet spot on the bottom-side of her omphalocele that was causing some concern. On Thursday night, I spoke with Jennifer, Harper’s night nurse, during my 2am pumping. She noticed that the wet spot was causing some leakage onto Harp’s blanket and just wanted us to be aware. Dr. Kenton was planning to be out for Labor Day weekend but came in early on Friday morning to check on our girl before he left. Jennifer mentioned the leakage to him and he asked that we keep a close eye on it and let him know if anything came of it. I came in Friday morning and, after feeding and holding Harper for awhile, saw that there was a thick layer of green puss on her stomach. I called over Jeremy, her day nurse, to see what he thought. Hmm, could be the dreaded infection…. Jeremy cleaned the area and swabbed it to turn into the lab for testing. He also had to draw blood to make sure there wasn’t infection in Harper’s blood stream. Jeremy got in touch with Dr. Kenton to let him know what was going on. Since the area leaking was her omphalocele and this is so close to major organs and her blood stream, Dr. Kenton decided not to waste any time and move forward with antibiotics until we got the test results back.

Jared came to the hospital right about the time that Dr. Kenton made the call for the antibiotics. Harper has blood work every Monday and Thursday but it’s usually done during shift change to spare us from having to see our baby poked with a needle. I witnessed the blood draw on Friday and I wasn’t a huge fan of it but stayed strong. The antibiotics were ordered via an IV and Jeremy suggested I not hang around for the IV line to be put in. Jared decided to hang around and be strong for his little girl so I headed out for a walk. About 5 minutes later, I looked up only to see Jared walking my direction with a sick look on his face. The IV proved to be a bit much for him too! They tried 3 different spots in her arms and hands with no luck. Now, I’ve always known the head is an option for an IV line for babies. In fact, the nurses prefer it since the veins are the most accessible and it’s the least likely area for the IV to be messed up due to a baby squirming. Well, to the cranium they went! The irony about the whole thing was that Methodist has photographers will come to do newborn portraits. We’d held off on having Harper’s picture done but one of our favorite nurses, Becky, suggested that we have Harps picture taken before she lost her whole “newborn look”. We’d set up an appointment for Saturday morning at 10am but when the needle went to the skull, we decided it might be best not to professionally document that time in Harper’s life! Not only did she have the pinhead look going, but she also had an eye infection, some baby rash on her forehead and eyes, cradle cap causing a little dandruff and the IV causing a Harper’s Hats hiatus - poor thing was a mess for her birthday!

We still celebrated, sang a little happy birthday and I took the obligatory one month photos. Sweet Jennifer, who loves dressing up Harper at night, made a make-shift IV bow so she could still be stylin’ and profilin’. She also made her a one month birthday sign for her bed. Thank you Jennifer!!!

And just like that, we came in this morning to find our little girl back in one piece! The infection results came back negative, the IV was removed, the rash and eye infection are looking much better (I wonder if the antibiotics had anything to do with this) and her cradle cap is going away after a good bath. Her morning nurse, Leslie, was a fellow Texas Techsan so she had Harper all ready for game day.

Harper received an early birthday present from the nursing staff this week as well - she was moved from our corner cubicle to the Tinker Bell Suite! The NICU is made up of two large rooms, divided into quad cubicle areas, and a few small rooms along the north wall of the large rooms. On Wednesday night, the staff had some new babies that came in and needed to shift some of the existing babies around. Since Harper is a “long-term” stay, they decided to move her to one of the small rooms for a little more privacy. The rooms have Disney characters painted on the doors and we were put in the Tinker Bell room – very fitting I think! We’re happy to have a little more privacy and space to spread out. Thank you Charge Nurses! I’m also hoping this will get Harper use to a quiet space for when she transitions home. After being raised in the NICU with all of the commotion, beeps, buzzes and alarms, I think our child might need a freight train passing by her bed each night to fall asleep!

Jared was a little over it all yesterday - can you tell?

Each nurse cares for two babies during her shift. Our new neighbor is a cardiac baby so he’s required to have nurses that are on the certified cardiac team as his primaries. This is good for us since it means we should have only a handful of nurses that we will work with creating more consistency in care for Harper. Many of Harper’s original primary team nurses are cardiac trained so we are ensured to continue with these nurses. Unfortunately, a few of our favorites are not on the cardiac team so we might not be working with them anymore and we have some new faces to meet. We’ve found ourselves making more recent night trips to Methodist than we’ve had to in the last week or so to meet new night nurses but hopefully we’ll see this taper off again once we are on a regular rotation.

You’ll notice that Harper has a new addition to her wardrobe – kimono shirts. The hospital has a standard white with orange stitching that they provide but, of course, this wouldn’t do for stylish Harper. Her Honey and her mother are now on a shopping crusade to find more kimono shirts. I was able to score a few at Babies R Us but thanks to Zulily.com and Etsy.com, she has more on the way.

We’re still continuing to hear how well Harps is doing and some whispers of home so Jared and I are doing what we can to prepare ourselves. We don’t want anything on our end to hold up the process once we get the green light – whether that is in 2 weeks or 2 months. We’ve signed up for the NICU Baby CPR class on Friday night. Whoa, how Friday nights have changed for us! We’ve also lined up an appointment to meet with our potential pediatrician so we’re excited to meet her and get to know who will care for our baby girl. Lastly, we’re going to be trading in one of our cars for a “mom-mobile” so the car browsing we’ve been doing over the last few months might soon turn into car buying. I’ve never driven an SUV before so if you live in the San Antonio area, I will be happy to post pictures of my new ride and you can watch out for me – I can be a little dangerous behind the wheel of a car, not to mention a big car! The plan is still to discuss details with Dr. Kenton once we hit the 6 week mark so I might have an update in a week and a half. Don’t worry, I’ll keep you posted on this for sure.

Thank you for all of your prayers and thoughts for Steve. He was dismissed from the hospital on Friday and VERY ready to get out. He’s feeling much better and will meet with the doctors this week to discuss surgery on his colon. We’re interested to see if they will continue to push for it given his other ailments. We laughed at dinner last night because between Steve and Harper, our family has the entire abdomen covered as far as issues go.

Lastly, wreck ‘em Tech! Way to go Red Raiders in the first football game of the season! We love football season and with Steelers Football starting next Sunday, Jared’s about to jump out of his skin. And yes, Harper already has Steelers gear thanks to our friends Cate, Kristen, Lindsey and the Burdettes. She will be fully decked out and photographed next weekend.

Much love to you all,


A little Harper video action:


boo and stacy said...

Love love love the video! I just smiled the entire time and wanted to pick her up and snuggle her!!! And again Brooke, she looks just like you.

Way to score the new Tinker Belle real estate Harper!!!

Happy 1 month!!!

CaroM said...

Happy one month Harper!!. She gets cuter every day! I'll continue to pray she gets to come home soon

bonnie said...

I was so ready to see a video...
she DOES look like a
real baby, Brooke :-) I am smiling...watched it several times...
she is so precious and sweet mommy voice was a delight to hear! I love you all!!

Unknown said...

You had me worried there for a second- but I'm glad things turned out all right. She's so pretty!

Julie said...

Happy 1 month Birthday!! So glad the infection results came back negative- Praise God! Also- try Baby Gap online for Kimono tops!

Anonymous said...

Happy 1 month birthday sweet Harper!!!
Love and prayers to all,

Kristin said...

What a great video with that little smirk! Glad that she is doing a little better. Happy one month, baby girl! Love the Tech hat too. :)

OmomtoJ said...

Brooke that brought a tear to my eye (the video). I loved when she smiled!! Beautiful.

AVJoe said...

Hey Brooke I found your blog and just wanted to say what a blessing it has been to take care of your sweet girl!!