Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Jill's First Touch

I had to search through the pictures, but here is Jill's first touch with Gus - late evening on 2/26/06 - Gus' birthday:
First moments of life.... Gus' skin is so thin that it is translucent - showing the dark tone of blood. Now look at him below!
Smiling, almost 9 lb, Gus. A far cry from the 1 lb 12 oz Gus of the picture above. Yeah Gus - such a big boy.

Keeping in touch,
Gregg, Jill and Gus

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

New / Old Post

OK - first of all, life with Gus is awesome. We are getting "tuned in" to his needs and his medications have stabilized quite a bit over the last week.

The pulmonoligist reduced his diuretic dose by half and is eager to take him completely off of it and caffeine by his next visit. One month off caffeine with good results and we will be able to shed the pulse/respiration monitor as well! Gus' eye exams have gone really well too - his right eye is catching up so we are now on every 2 week exams instead of every week.

The addition of Prevacid to Gus' medication regime has made a great difference. After about two weeks on this medication we can really tell a difference in his ability to keep food down. Lots less throw-up and reflux after feeding. He was 8 lb 6 oz last week so we expect he is near 9 lb at this time.

Here are some pictures from Gus' first days in this world - I had just returned home from my seminary transcultural trip in Mexico and was not using the digital camera at that time. It took all 5 months to finish off this roll of film in my Leica and have it developed... I think you will agree that these are some moving photos from February 26 and 27, 2006.

Sweet Jill was able to eke out a smile the day after her delivery ordeal. She is so gracious an beautiful - even in the lovely hospital gown.
Nurse Sherri was Gus' receiving nurse. She was the nurse who did all the pre-care on Gus - getting him wired up, respirator in and IV lines in place so he could merely stay alive his first few hours of life. Jill was wheeled in on her delivery gurney to see Gus. What a miracle to see these pictures again for the first time... Sherri stayed on as Gus' primary evening nurse his entire hospital stay - such a blessing! Another picture shows Jill touching Gus' hand - she had no recollection of touching him in his first days so having these pictures available is certainly an encouragement.
Nurse Lindsay was with Jill and me during delivery. She was the one who made sure Gus was transported into the NICU right after he was born. Lindsay also was a regular with Gus - it is amazing how deeply committed each nurse and doctor was to our individual case.
Here is the first picture of Gus through his portal. You can see the variety of tubes - breathing tube, IV line, heart monitor, feeding tube - all in place. This was probably taken in the wee hours of 2/27.
Nurse Susie taking care of Gus and being so patient with us... Again, another caregiver who stayed with Gus through his entire hospital stay and became a good friend along the way. Susie lives in our community and has lots of ties with other friends so it seems fateful that we got to know her so well.

Not much else to report. Gus is eating more and more - about 3.5 oz every 3 hours. I'm still staying home with Gus - my full-time job doesn't start until September 1 so this is a great experience. I have A LOT of respect for parents who stay at home full-time having now experienced it myself. Jill has been back to work for a few months now. She works at home so it is really nice that she can take her breaks to be with Gus and me.

Enjoying the little things,
Gregg, Jill and Gus

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Long Time, No Post

Needless to say - life has been a little busy lately. Gus is growing a lot and generally doing well. He has had some upset tummy problems this last week so we are keeping an eye on that. He sees the pediatric GI specialist tomorrow (Monday) so hopefully we will get a better picture of how to help him feel better. At Gus' 4 month check he was great. Obviously small for a 4 month old but for his adjusted age of 3 weeks he was right on target: 8 lbs and 21.5 in long. We have to keep reminding ourselves that Gus was due to be born on June 11 so he will be much more like a 3 week old...

We also had a visit from the OH state program called "Help Me Grow" that is specifically in place to help premature babies reach their developmental goals. At this checkup there were four assessors who checked for all sorts of things like reflexes, motor skills, body symmetry, etc. Their assessment was that Gus needed no developmental help and shows no signs of physical or mental disability! We were very pleased!!! We will continue to have a case worker with us until Gus is at least two, just to keep tabs on his development. But Gus won't need any regular physical therapy or developmental help which is a big relief.

Gus' big eyes like to follow us around. He makes some great expressions but rarely has the patience for me to get the camera out and ready - especially if I use the flash. He already knows what is coming...
Good friend Pam B who was with us the night Gus was born - she lives nearby and drove Jill's mom to and from the hospital quite a bit during her labor and delivery. She is such a great mom to her own two daughters and really had a knack with Gus.
Here is my good friend from seminary, Cori T with Gus. As you can see she was able to coax a smile out of him. Cori brought lunch and hung out for a while - what a great gift that was.
Gus just hanging out making his "ooooh" face. We will try to get more pictures of him with Jill and me. He is cute all on his own though.

Gus' most recent eye check was pretty much the same as before. The left eye is completely clear while the right eye continues to slowly make progress. There is no word on when/if a determination for further laser surgery will be made or if they will just continue to watch it heal at this pace.

We also received information from the March of Dimes walk this week. "Team Gus" came in 6th for raising money in Montgomery County Ohio! His team fundraising amount came in right behind one of the larger banks in our area (and ahead of several others.) It looks like he was the largest non-corporate, walking for a preemie, team fundraiser. Pam, in picture two above, and I are going to the awards banquet on July 12. Thanks for your continued love and support.

Finding out who is the boss,
Gregg, Jill and Gus (the boss)