Thursday, October 2, 2008

It's coming... just by way of that I have a couple of free seconds before I hit the sack tonight... one of the last things the babies have to do before they are allowed to go home is to pass the car seat challenge: survive two hours in your car seat without setting off all your alarms! Since sleeping through most of her life so far hasn't been much of a problem for wasn't a huge surprise that she passed that test with flying colors last night!

The only thing standing between her and home now is that she has to show that she can consistently gain weight on her lower calorie milk. Being a preemie...she needs more calories than the 20/oz that breast milk contains, so you can fortify it with more calories by adding formula. We can fortify it at home to about 24 calories/ they have weaned her down to that this week from about 32 I think, but want to see that it won't be a big set-back for her once she gets home. She's actually hit a plateau, and lost some weight the last few days..but we have to take into account that she got her immunizations this week, and it takes her little body a bit to get used to the lower calorie milk. Tonight when we called, she was back up to 4 lbs. 7 oz.... so we are just praying that it will continue the upward trend.
The doctors have told us that Saturday is our target day... so that basically means that we are going to ask all of you to come up to the hospital and escort us home. If you have access to any large vehicles: suburbans, hummers, limos, 18 wheelers etc.... go ahead and bring them. Also, if you are or know of any police officers or anyone with sirens and lights on their vehicle... we invite you to go ahead and clear the way for us. We'll basically set up a moving fortress, and our poor little civic (which has already paid the price once this month!) will be safely in the middle, with Avery in her little car-seat, and Stephanie sedated in the back seat next to her!

Also, more great news, is that our good friends and NICU neighbors, the Forsyths get to bring Zack home a day before us! Zack was born exactly a month before they've really earned their big day! We have been so grateful to have them there with us through all of this...we've gained life-long friends by carrying each other through this crazy adventure. Send all your prayers out to them on Friday and get them home safely!
As if it were foreshadowing our next big challenge to come, Avery got her RSV shot today. For those of you who don't know (and believe me, I was not exactly in the know on these things before Avery either...), RSV is the fancy term for the common cold...which is mostly an annoyance to most adults, but can be deadly for preemies. When people talk about RSV season, they are referring to the cold/flu season...which lasts from about October to March, give or take a few weeks, each year. We are so lucky to live in a time where they have a shot...a SUPER expensive shot, but a shot nonetheless, which can inoculate babies against RSV. It's a monthly she'll get it throughout the season... lets all just pray for all these babies that they don't get it. Our challenge as parents is to do all we can to keep her from getting it. So, we had the nurses and docs sit us down and tell us over and over that we need to be VERY careful not to go out to any group events, not expose her to other young children (just because most kids get sick from other kids...who got sick from other kids etc.) and to make absolute sure that our visitors aren't even a little bit sick. So, that means we're gonna have a pretty long, non-social winter...but it's worth it if we can keep our baby healthy and alive.

We are so blessed to have come this far. One of our doctors wisely counseled us to take some time now to cry it out together, talk it out...get our worries and fears from the last two months out....because when she's home, that time will be over. She'll need her future to be filled with our hope...not our fear. So, for us...that's the only way to go.


Allie, Jared, and Zack said...

We made it... can you believe it?!

Sherrie D said...

Ryan and Steph,

She is beautiful! She looks so big and fat. That is a compliment, by the way. We are so happy for you, and you will continue to be in our prayers.

Love forever, Aunt Sher

Katie said...

YAY YAY YAY! I am SO happy for you guys! I am so glad that she will be home with her mommy and daddy where she belongs!

Beckypants said...

Yeah! Good luck, congratulations, and take that baby home!!! She's beautiful.

Anonymous said...

Precious Gorgeous Little Pumpkin! Congratulations on all your milestones.

Holly Addis
Mom to preemie Samuel

Mortensen Family said...

Okay, so I'm starting to get better at this blogging thing. I just barely figured out how to leave you a note. Shouldn't have been too hard..."Post a comment." Anyways, Ryan, I've decided to hire you as my full time journal writer as well as my family photographer! How does that sound? I'll call you as soon as I go into labor so that you can catch every second of the glorious experience they call childbirth. Your pictures of Avery and Steph are gorgious! You really have a talent. Of course it probably isn't that hard, considering they are both incredibly beautiful girls! We are so excited for you guys. I can't believe she comes home so soon! Call me if you guys need anything! I mean, if I can roll my body out the door to help! :) WE LOVE THE HANSENS!!!

Jen said...

We are SO happy for you guys! Congratulations! Can't wait to talk to you guys soon and see little avery on the web cam! I'm keeping myself so incredibly healthy so i can see her in person in November! :)

**ASH ~N~ JAKE** said...

CUTE!!! Avery sure did alot better with the Halloween costume than Reina did :) Come over and watch all the biggest lose/project Runways!