Thursday, July 31, 2008

Moving Forward

Alexa is doing very well today. She started taking a bottle again and they took the tube out of her nose. She lost a little weight from yesterday, she's now at 3lbs. 13.9oz, but that was to be expected.
We got new orders today that she can eat however much she wants, whenever she wants and she seems to like this much better. She was getting a little impatient waiting for her next feeding, so the nurse put her in the swing and she seemed to like it.
If she continues to do well with her feedings and her body can regenerate her red blood cells they are talking about her going home on Sunday. If the red blood cell count doesn't go up she will have to have a transfusion. The doctor was surprised that she hasn't had to have one yet. Just another little miracle.
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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Mommy's Girl

Her feedings were started again yesterday at noon and the X-ray showed a huge improvement from Sunday. They let me feed her all day and she did great. No signs of pain or spitting it out. Then throughout the night the nurse tried to give her the bottle and she didn't want anything to do with it. They ended up giving it to her through the tube.
When I got there this morning I fed her and she did great. She's done really well all day with her feedings - she just likes her mommy!
Her X-ray from this morning was a little worse than yesterday, but much improved from Sunday. The nurses & doctor continue to keep a close eye on her to make sure this doesn't develop into an infection or something worse than what it is. Her I.V. should come out tonight if all goes well.

Monday, July 28, 2008

It's a bug!

When we were first admitted to the NICU we were told to expect a roller coaster ride and to count on her getting some kind of bug during our stay. We almost escaped, but no such luck.

Another X-ray, taken this morning, showed that the inflammation in Alexa's stomach had worsened and it was looking more like she had a flu virus. Her feedings have been stopped for 24 hours and more lab work and X-rays will be taken in the morning. Since they stopped her feeding she is sleeping very well.

An I.V. was started to give her fluids. Since her veins are so tiny the best one they found was in her head - I had to leave when they put it in, but the nurse said she didn't cry very much.
When she's awake she gets fussy until someone holds her, so when mom's not around, the nurses jump at every chance they get (which isn't very often).

We're hoping she'll be back to normal by tomorrow - she's already starting to act like she's getting a little hungry and that's the first indicator that she's feeling better.
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Sunday, July 27, 2008

A minor setback

The nurse told us today that we might stay the night with Alexa tonight and take her home tomorrow! She said since she was eating so well, there was really no reason for her to stay in the NICU. About 20 minutes later, Alexa wouldn't take any of her bottle. She would suck for just a little bit, and then cough hard and start to cry. Then everything she took came right back up. We later learned she sent her nurse last night to the ER because she spit up milk in her eye.

After an Xray and labwork, we're still not exactly sure what's wrong with her. The doctor thinks it may be Acid Reflux or a virus, or a combination of both. She just had her feeding tube removed, but they had to put it back in because that's the only way she'll take her food now. Hopefully this won't last too long. We've already seen so many of her roommates come and go. One family we've really enjoyed associating with just went home today. Hopefully she will get better soon and be able to come home with us. As always, all your prayers are much appreciated (and felt!).


We'd been decided for quite awhile that our baby's first name would be Alexa. We were undecided even until a few days after she was born on what her middle name would be. Melissa had pretty much decided it would be Paige, and had already told everyone that's what it was. Around the time Melissa was getting ready to check out of the hospital, the nurses told us we had to decide on a middle name because we couldn't leave without filling out her birth certificate.

It was quite the ordeal at the hospital that day. We were taking suggested names and opinions from everyone. We even took votes from our nurses. Finally, after weighing all the possibilities, we decided on Faith. Before Alexa was born, Melissa went in for a routine checkup. She was still two months away from her due date. Everything seemed to be fine, and the doctor did some routine labwork. The next day, Melissa excercised in the morning as usual, then got a call from the Doctor that she needed to come to the hospital for some additional tests.

Being members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we believe in the Priesthood, and Priesthood blessings. I felt like we should give Melissa a priesthood blessing before going to the hospital. A good friend of mine came over to help with the blessing. In the blessing, I felt Heavenly Father's love strongly for me and Melissa, and I told her that she would be ok, and that the delivery and pregancy would all go well. Just a few hours later at the hospital, we found out that Melissa was seriously ill and would need to deliver very soon. We told our families of the situation, and almost immediately we began to feel God's love for us as friends and family prayed for us. It was amazing how an experience like this made us feel so close to God. We heard of so many people who said they were praying for us and thinking about us, that it really gave us great courage. Never once did Melissa or I feel fear during the entire experience. I was a little scared when I first saw Alexa, but I know without a doubt that prayers were answered, Melissa's blessing was realized, and Heavenly Father's love helped us through.

After all that happened, we felt like her middle name should maybe have a little more meaning. It was our faith in Christ, and the faith of our friends and family that really helped us through. This has changed our lives forever and hopefully her name will always remind us and her of the miracle that happened on 6/19 at 6:19.
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Thursday, July 24, 2008

Eat, Eat, Eat!

We are now able to feed Alexa 4 times / day by bottle. She has finally figured out how to suck, swallow, and breath all at the same time. This took nearly 2 weeks and was a little discouraging at times. Now that she's got it down we're hoping they will continue to increase the amount of times/day she can be hand fed.
Although the picture may not show it, she is getting bigger. She's up to 3 lbs. 11oz. and should be able to be in an open crib in the next day or two. This is just another step closer to allowing her to come home.
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Sunday, July 20, 2008

1 month birthday

It was actually a couple of days ago, but Alexa had her one month birthday. She is starting to do a little better with her feedings. Today she took 14 ccs - which was her best so far. Alexa had a nurse, Tara, that remembered Ansel and the Sneddons very clearly. She was asking about how he and Kerri were doing when another nurse said, "Did you say Ansel"? Most all of the nurses knew them and want to know how they're doing.

Grandma and Grandpa Petersen came to visit today and Grandpa got to hold Alexa for quite a while. He tried to play it off like it was no big deal, but I think he really liked it. Alexa must have too, because she slept the whole time. She only opens her eyes when she's being fed, or having her diaper changed.
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Alexa's House

Alexa's staying in an incubator where she's been for the last couple weeks. When she gets to 4 lbs, they will put her in an open crib. Grandma Petersen made this isolette cover for her (that all the nurses have been commenting on). She's up to 3lbs 9oz as of today, so she has nearly half a pound to go. At a rate of about 1 oz per day that will probably take her another week to get up to 4 lbs. The nurse said probably about two more weeks to go. We're hoping it will be sooner than that.
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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

First Bottle Feeding

Alexa had her first bottle feeding a week ago on Monday. She is not very interested however, as she only took 4 or 5 cc's. After about the same performance during the next few days, the nurse decided to hook her oxygen back up to help her breathing during the feedings. It worked well on the first time as she took about 15cc's. The next day it was back to the same old thing as she is only taking around 4 or 5 now even with the oxygen. The nurse said that's the main thing keeping her in the NICU now. Her bottle feedings and she also needs to gain more weight. She's up to 3lbs 5 oz now.
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Friday, July 11, 2008

Alexa's Birth

Alexa Faith Petersen was born on June 19, 2008 at 6:19 p.m. She weighed 2 lbs. 7 oz. and was 15 in. Due to complication of preclamsia, she was born 9 weeks early. As difficult as the circumstances are she has been blessed with a strong healthy body. So far, she has had no setbacks and continues to grow and progress.
She has been a great blessing to us as well. Parenthood is something that can't be explained, it just has to be experienced to know the joys a child can bring. Even so small she has already brought a new dimension to our lives.
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3 Pounds

Alexa hit the 3 lb. mark on July 9th. She still seems so tiny and fragile, but we're getting used to it. There was an 8.5 lb. baby in the same room for a night and she looked like a giant baby compared to Alexa.
She's getting better at controlling her eyes so they don't dart around so much. She also seems to be more alert when she is awake.
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