posted by Tim

Giving Shots and Back to Bottles

Hello dear readers. It's been a long while since I've blogged about
our many unusual adventures in parenting. I've been pretty swamped
with work for the last month and a half. The spring is a busy time for
me anyway, so when Nathan decided to show up early, it toppled my very
carefully balanced schedule.

I'm happy to say that I'm finally caught up and not so stressed out
about work any more. Thus I thought I should write a blog post with
this spare few minutes.

As I write this, mom and Nathan are napping in the chair next to me in
the NICU at Beth Israel. Earlier today, Nathan had his second swallow
study at Children's Hospital. Unfortunately, the study showed that
he's still aspirating (taking food down the wrong pipe) when he tries
to swallow milk of a standard thickness. The good news is that the
the doctors have determined that the thickener that was allowing him
to eat by mouth was not the cause of his elevated bilirubin levels, so
tonight we gave him his first bottle after a week long break. Somehow
he knew, because he was totally psyched. (Video of Nathan trying to eat everything in sight to follow.) He finished the whole bottle in about 15 minutes, and was looking for more. After a couple of good burps he was off to sleep.

Earlier this week I got to experience something completely new. Its a
pretty regular occurrence for Nathan to get a shot, but I've never in
my life had to give one. Katie and I new this was coming. We were
informed that Nathan would need to go home on blood thinners - and
that we would have to give him a shot twice a day - about a month ago.
At that point my biggest question was: how do I practice giving a
shot? Surely they don't teach people to give shots by just showing
them what to do and let them start stabbing at people. In my head I
pictured something that looked like one of those CPR dolls that was
used for this sort of thing. The doctors said they thought that
giving shots was practiced on a piece of fruit or something like that.
Later on, Katie was taken through a lesson using a rubber glove
stuffed with cotton balls. Katie says it was really good for
practicing keeping the needle steady post poke.

On Tuesday we got a visit from very nice nurse practitioner from
Children's, for shot training. To my relief she produced a small
rubber pin cushion looking item for us to learn on. After a little bit
of time with that, it was time for one of us to do the deed for real.
I volunteered to go first.

The trick of all this is that it's possible to do it wrong. Its not
just poke and plunge. If the needle goes too shallow, then he won't
get drug in his system. Too deep, and we might hit muscle and really
hurt him. We had to be shown how to pinch just the skin and put the
needle in at a good angle.

The worst part of it was right before I put the needle in. I stood
there pinching his skin the way they showed us.

I have to say that, despite the fact that he's in a little bit of
pain, Nathan's reactions to things of this nature are hopelessly cute.
He usually doesn't respond to the prick right away and he rarely
cries. His expression changes to a look of utter bewilderment. Like
someone just cut him off on the highway from four lanes away. Sort of
a "wait ,WHAT'RE YOU DOIN'!?" All the while vigorously sucking on his
pacifier. He's a good boy. He doesn't even make his parents feel too
badly for having to give him a shot.

posted by Tim

Ready to Eat

Ready To Eat from Katie Vogele-Bongiovanni on Vimeo.

posted by Katie

Happy Due Date!

Friday April 29, 2011 - the day we were told to expect baby to show up.

They say the hardest day of pregnancy is the day after your due date, when you're still pregnant. Passing your due date in the NICU isnt much fun either. But today were just excited that Nathan is 40weeks, full term, and that hes healthy and here with us. Now we just have to keep working on the skills needed to come home.

ps. Yes, I do realize there was also a big wedding today, and I was in fact up at the appropriate ungodly hour and could have watched it, but I thought pumping for my son and going back to sleep was a better idea. I was tempted to call my friend and be the first to wish her a happy 30th birthday, but I restrained myself I dont think anyone wants birthday calls in the wee hours of the morning.