Sunday, June 18, 2006

Father's Day Update

Gus has now been home almost three weeks and he is doing well. He is still on the heart/respiration monitor and has added Zantac to his drug regimen. He has had some reflux and a hard time digesting mostly formula - the Zantac seems to be helping after about 5 days on it now.

Gus likes to hang out on the living room floor and look around. There are a lot of cool patterns for him to focus on.
Gus isn't always perfectly happy. When he is really hungry or his tummy hurts he can scream as well as the rest of them...
Good friend Steve Beyer came over for a visit and was thrilled to get a little Gus time. Gus seems really comfortable with others and has an easy time transitioning from person to person.
Deb and Chuck Wiggins brought over an awesome dinner last week. Here is Deb cuddling with Gus.

Gus had another eye check and a weigh in this past week. His left eye is all clear after the laser surgery - his right eye still has one spot that is getting better. We return on Tuesday of this week for another check. Gus is over 7 lbs too - he is gaining weight as expected. Due to his reflux the doctor reduced his formula concentration and we no longer have to fortify breast milk before he eats. That seems to have helped his stomach feel a little better.

It was a great father's day - I got to hang out with Gus quite a bit and had a call from my other kids today too. They are excited to come and spend time with their baby brother soon.

One Day At A Time,
Gregg, Jill and Gus

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Our First Week Home

Well, we have survived our first week with Gus at home. Actually, more than survived - we have loved every second of it! Sure, he needs to get up a few times in the night to be fed and then there are the dirty diapers and the crying because of an upset tummy... But he is home with us and he is thriving! As a testimony to how well Gus is doing he went in for his weigh-in at the pediatrician today and he is 6 lb 8.4 oz!!! He is just shy of a pound heavier than when he left the NICU eight short days ago. The pediatrician will keep watch on Gus' weight and adjust the formula as needed - this is actually good for him right now as he catches up and builds new tissue.

The camera has been a little busy since Gus came home. We are smitten - in a deep state of smit - with him. Here he is giving a little smile in his bouncy chair. He is pretty content other than having an upset tummy now and then. He made the transition to using formula for some feeds on his last day at the NICU and it doesn't always agree with him. Gus is getting a fair amount of breast milk as well so it helps to make him feel better.
The classic cute baby sleeping picture. This was taken with natural light coming through the window above Gus and in the "Moses basket" sent by his great uncles Hugh and John. It is a wonderful woven bassinet that we can position in any which way to make a comfortable nest for Gus.
Evan Bole - this picture is JUST FOR YOU! Here is Gus' having his first full bath after coming home and it shows his BELLY BUTTON!!! Gus looks a little like Buddha here, but he is happy and growing like he should.

Gus' appointments all went well last week. The pulmonalogist gave us a great report - he will review the monitor data and decide when Gus can go off the caffeine dose and diurel in addition to stopping the oxygen during feeds and wearing of the apnea/heart monitor. We don't expect this to take place for at least 3-4 months, but Gus will have a monthly checkup anyway.

His eye exam went well - there is a great deal of healing that has taken place in Gus' eyes since his laser surgery. We will go back next Monday for an exam with the doctor who performed the laser surgery. We should know what sort of after-care Gus will need by then but so far all indications are positive. There is a strong possibility that Gus will have glasses as a toddler - a small price to pay for having correctable eyesight.

Thanks again for your continued prayers - and for your prayers for Kenyon Kill, MH and all the other babies as they continue their NICU experience. Thanks also to all the doctors, nurses, staff and the March of Dimes who, with their love and skill, make it possible for preemies to grow, thrive and live normal lives.

Growing Together,
Gregg, Jill and Gus

Thursday, June 01, 2006

The First Few Days...

I wanted to post an update about Gus' first few days at home. The short version: so far so good.

The longer version goes like this... We are thrilled to have Gus home. As dear friend Kris Kill wrote - no more driving to MVH, no more washing up to our elbows just to look at our baby, no more worrying about what the report will be after rounds, no more calling in to get the "update", no more getting calls from the doctors or nurses with potentially disturbing news. No doubt, Gus is still a preemie and has a long way to go to catch up but we are so encouraged by his homecoming.

So far Gus' week has been filled with appointments. He saw his regular pediatrician on Wednesday and then today (Thursday) saw both the pulmonary specialist at Dayton Children's Hospital and a home health checkup scheduled by the hospital. Tomorrow we go in for Gus' two week eye exam to check out how well he has healed from the laser surgery to correct retinopathy due to premature eyes. He seems to be looking around a lot and focusing in on faces and distinct objects. We really pray the healing has been completed and the scarring has stopped.

Life at home is different for Gus than at the NICU. Mom and Dad get to love on him all they want - he really enjoys that! There are new sounds and smells - and the lack of sounds and smells at home. We made fajitas tonight - probably not a smell he ever imagined in the NICU... We are getting lots of smiles and cuddles - Gus seems more calm and ready to explore than he ever was able to at the NICU. He still sleeps a lot and eats a lot and grunts a lot - he only cries when he is really hungry or has a seriously messy diaper. We think he is just perfect and keep telling each other that.

Once again, we want to thank everyone who has been so amazingly supportive of us during the last thirteen weeks (and prior to that when Jill was on bedrest!) If you aren't on our regular "Christmas Card" list - i.e. you didn't get a Christmas Card from the Brekkes in 2005 - please send your mailing address to me at the link in my profile. This includes you "Anonymous Victoria from Wisconsin"!!! We would love to send birth/homecoming announcements out to you as soon as they are printed.


P.S. A few more pictures will be coming soon...