Friday, December 25, 2009

Progress and Plateaus

Merry Christmas to everyone! We had a great day with family and then a wonderful night with Braden. I got to do an hour long hold with him and feel him squirm to find a comfortable position while I felt his body expand and collapse as he breathed against my chest.

Braden is doing well and we are in more of a plateau phase at this point. He is 31 weeks gestational age and 22 days old. He made such wonderful progress these first few weeks and at this point the milestones are much longer and slower to show results.

On the up side Braden started feeding through a tube last week and has made solid progress in terms of volume as he went from 1cc to 22cc every three hours. Feeding is a long process and this is a great start, even if he is spitting up :) He also had his PIC line removed which means he is off IV support in terms of nutrition and getting his support through this feeding tube which includes breast milk (yes I am on the every 3 hour pump schedule), and additional vitamins.

The doctors have reassured us this is all expected with preemies and we need to exercise patience as we hope to cross the next several milestones. These markers include Braden continuing to tolerate his feedings as volume increases, meaning he keeps them down; moving his oxygen support towards 21% (room air); and reducing the flow through his nasal cannula. They also want to see his red blood cell count come up and are attempting to do this via medication in order to avoid another blood transfusion.

Braden is a popular guy in the NICU and we love that the nurses fight to care for him. We are also so thankful and blessed that our ante partum nurses, maternal fetal specialist Dr. DeStefano, and OBGYN Dr. Neyman all continue to take an interest in Braden by stopping by to check in on him.

He is surrounded by love and we need every ounce, thank you and Happy Holidays!


  1. Dear,dear Brian, Julia and Braden,
    I have tears in my eyes and chills as I read your post this morning...both from the joy that Braden is doing so much better. It is such a wonder evry time that you post a progress report and we know that our little fellow is improving each day...know that you are loved and prayers are lifted daily for all of you...I look forward to getting to hold him as well...that is if his grandmothers will let me...have a wonderful holidy and kiss Braden for his Aunt Bonnie.
    Love you guys! Aunt Bonnie

  2. Thank you for the greatest Christmas gift ever Julia and Brian...Beautiful Baby Braden!! So glad you got to really hold your precious baby Jules. With each day Braden continues to grows and you get closer to having him home with you 24/7. Hugs and love to you all, Gammy/Momma

  3. Hi Julia and Brian: It is so good to read of the progress of Braden. May the slow progress be the ever apparent strength that he has. Nice to hear you are home and doing better Julia. I hope you are able to sleep and get the much needed rest you require to maintain the strength to be the mom for Braden. Brian, I did like your mustache, but glad to see you could shave it off. Nice to see the pictures of the two of you holding Braden. May his precious soul keep his physical body strong and every growing!
    Love, Light and Blessings,

  4. Hey Julia and Brian, I am so happy to hear that Braden is doing well in his NICU journey. It sounds like he is flying through the routine quite well, if you guys have any NICU question, I would love to help! I am glad to hear that you are doing Better Julia!!!