just the facts, ma’am

No pictures today (mainly because I was tired last night and didn’t feel like correcting them), so it’s a “just the facts, ma’am” post for today. So without further ado…

h4. Toby News

It’s been a very good week in Tobyland, if I do say so.

First off, he’s remained isolette-free all week. As I mentioned in the “last post”:, he moved out on Sunday (aha, I was right, it _was_ Sunday), and since then has remained comfortably in the upper 97 – middle 98 range, without the need for a ridiculous amount of covers or layers of clothes. Or hell, even a hat most of the time. He’s become quite proficient at removing the thing with just the slightest brow furling, so ten seconds after we put it back on him, we find it again barely resting at the peak of his head.

On the eating front, he’s advanced quite a ways. They’ve started bottle feeding him, at first twice a night, now three times a night, in addition to Mom’s breastfeeding during the day. He’s quite taken to the bottle feedings apparently, completely finishing one and partially finishing another on Tuesday night/Wednesday morning, followed up by two complete bottles Wednesday night/Thursday morning. He’s still working on getting the breastfeeding down, but he’s definately doing alot better with that as well, sometimes going just five minutes, sometimes ten, sometimes the full 15-20 required to count it as a ‘full’ feeding (meaning he gets no extra via a “gavage “: feeding). And occassionally he decides he just wants to be lazy, and sleeps instead of eating on his own. But he’s certainly getting the idea, and before long he’ll go for all eight of his daily opportunities.

As to other Toby news, not a _whole_ lot to report, since those two items are his main priorities at this point. He’s in need of a good bath since they’ve had us forego giving him one this week so as not to cool him down, but Saturday he’ll be shiny clean again as they’ve given us the OK. On the milestone front, some time this week he broke through the five pound barrier, and (as of Thursday night) weighed 5 pounds 2 1/4 ounces and is rapidly outgrowing a few of his preemie outfits. We’ll keep a few of the outfits around to embarrass him in front of girlfriends when he’s a teenager, but most are likely going to be donated to the fine folks at Children’s Hospital so future residents and their parents won’t have to worry about tracking down clothes that fit. It was certainly a relief to have a few donated outfits available when he first needed them, and we’d like to pass on that favor!

h4. Thoughts from Dad’s Perspective

But, as you can see, all is advancing well for our little guy, and before long they’re going to scare the hell out of us and tell us he’s ready to go home.

It’s amazing how quickly you can fall into a routine, even one as bizarre as extended daily hospital visits. A nurse shocked me a couple days ago by offhandedly mentioning that if Toby continues the improvements in his eating, he’d probably be going home in a week and a half or two. I knew the day would be coming, and have been looking forward to it immensely, but still it made my heart skip a beat. Even though it’ll be a very happy day when he can leave the hospital, I have a feeling Toby will be the only one getting much sleep when we first get everyone home! I suppose all parents (especially us first-timers) feel the same way. Thankfully, we have more than our share of support (howdy Grandparents & Aunts/Uncles – expect a few frantic calls!), but it’s still going to be a huge adjustment!

A little life is soon to be fully in our hands, and here’s to us hoping we’re up to the task…

Miscellaneous POTD

spa, easter, and lately

h4. Spa Treatment

As I said in the “previous post”:, Toby had to make a trip back to his isolette for a few days to get his temperature back up. More than one of his nurses called this his ‘spa treatment’, so that’s how I’m going to think of it. He certainly seemed to enjoy it… and we enjoyed seeing him spending a bit more time awake than seeing him exhausting himself trying to keep warm!

p(images). !/images/tobyspa1_sm.jpg(Attack of the giant hand!)!:/images/tobyspa1_lg.jpg

p(images). !/images/tobyspa2_sm.jpg(Here it comes again!)!:/images/tobyspa2_lg.jpg

p(images). !/images/tobyspa3_sm.jpg(Keep that hand away from me!)!:/images/tobyspa3_lg.jpg

p(images). !/images/tobyspa4_sm.jpg(Good to see the little guy’s eyes again!)!:/images/tobyspa4_lg.jpg

h4. Easter Visitors

Easter Sunday was a busy day for Toby – a whole gaggle of visitors dropped in for some full-scale harrassment. Uncle Kelly finally got to see his nephew up close and personal; Grandma & Grandpa Faltin stopped by again, bringing Grandma Oelkers in as well. Finally got a few pictures with the grandmas – they always seem to sneak off before I can grab a shot or two…

p(images). !/images/tobyandkelly_sm.jpg(Uncle Kelly greets his nephew)!:/images/tobyandkelly_lg.jpg

p(images). !/images/tobymomandgrandmaf_sm.jpg(Howdy Grandma F!)!:/images/tobymomandgrandmaf_lg.jpg

p(images). !/images/tobyshockedgrandmaf_sm.jpg(No idea what happened here, but Grandma F seems thrilled…)!:/images/tobyshockedgrandmaf_lg.jpg

p(images). !/images/tobyandgrandmas_sm.jpg(Grandmas gang up on Toby)!:/images/tobyandgrandmas_lg.jpg

p(images). !/images/tobyandgrandmao_sm.jpg(Finally caught Grandma O)!:/images/tobyandgrandmao_lg.jpg

p(images). !/images/tobyandgrandmao2_sm.jpg(Got her twice in one day!)!:/images/tobyandgrandmao2_lg.jpg

p(images). !/images/tobyandthefaltins_sm.jpg(Toby, meet the Faltins)!:/images/tobyandthefaltins_lg.jpg

Apparently, someone’s already trying to get his affiliations set…

p(images). !/images/tobychiefs_sm.jpg(Oh, come on, like the Chiefs’ll ever win it all!)!:/images/tobychiefs_lg.jpg

The Faltin men take a cue from Toby… 🙂

p(images). !/images/larrysleeps.jpg(Larry follows Toby’s lead)!

p(images). !/images/kellysleep.jpg(Kelly follows Toby’s lead)!

h4. Lately

So, what’s news lately? Several things…

First off, out from the isolette he goes again. I’m under the impression that he was out late Sunday; Lynn seems to think sometime Monday. How we can lose track of something from a couple days ago seems odd, but it’s been an odd time in our lives! Either way, so far he’s doing very well, generally keeping himself in the low to mid-98s with just a couple light blankets (versus the two or three light blankets, two layers of warm clothes, and a layer or two of his quilt the last time). A day or two more and we can probably not worry about his temperature anymore and can focus exclusively on getting him eating on his own.

Monday was a busy day for little Toby on the medical front. Apparently all the blood work that goes on while a baby is in the NICU resulted in him being a bit anemic. The doctor recommended giving him a couple blood transfusions to take care of that, and of course, we took his advice. So poor little Toby gets an IV hooked up for the day, along with more blood work (have to make sure they’re giving him the absolute right type of course). Want to make Toby mad? Do some blood work! I felt bad for the harrassment incurred upon him, but it’s good to know he’s got the strength to (loudly) complain should the need arise. All went well with his transfusions, and today he’s got quite a bit more color to him, along with quite a boost in his energy level.

Finally, to make his day complete, he got to have himself a little eye test. So, a couple drops to dilate his eyes (yet another way to make him mad). Followed by a visit from the pediatric ophthalmologist, who had the unenviable job of holding Toby’s eyes open with a couple small apparatuses and checking them for “retinopathy of prematurity”: The results? Toby has Stage 1 ROP(retinopathy of prematurity), which is the lowest level of the disease. Meaning that, like himself, his eyes are just premature and he’ll most likely be just fine given a little maturing time.

More to come as spare time allows, stay tuned! 🙂


win a few, lose a few

Well, it can’t all be smooth as silk, and today we had our first minor setback.

As I mentioned earlier, Toby has been working hard to keep his temperature up where it belongs, but just hasn’t gotten there yet. He just can’t seem to break out of the lower 97 range, when he really should be in the 98s.

Lynn called me at the office for Toby’s morning-doctor’s-report report, and today it was decided to quit having him work so hard, and back to the isolette he goes for a few days. The doctor had brought up the possibility a couple days ago, but with as (relatively) smoothly as everything has gone up to this point, I didn’t think much of of it. And honestly, it isn’t particularly troubling to me – he is, after all, still just 4 weeks old, and Mom would have been all of 34 weeks along at this point had he not made his entrance – so much developing still lies ahead.

So at worst it’s just a little disappointing to me, since it likely means he won’t arrive home quite as early as I’d hoped. Of course, I could be wrong, and the extra time in the isolette may speed his arrival for all I know – gain a little weight; gain a little strength; gain a little stronger zest for eating; certainly not bad things. Still, I’m sure when I see him later this afternoon, I will not be all that thrilled to see him back in his old home. But if it means a stronger little boy when he _does_ get home, you won’t hear a complaint out of me!

Oh, and what do you know, *Happy One Month Old cutie!* 🙂

Miscellaneous POTD

a few days later, a few more pics

Slacking again, I know. Not a ton of news re:our little (for now) guy, but I’ll try to fill those interested in with bits and pieces.

He continues to put on weight, and is already somehow up to 4 pounds, 8 1/4 ounces, as you can see from his daily trip to the scale from tonite (almost naked pics to boot – he’s getting good at hiding the eyes from upcoming pictures though!):

p(images). !/images/tobyweight.jpg(4 pounds, 8 1/4 ounces!)!

p(images). !/images/tobyfat2_sm.jpg(Almost naked baby getting weighed)!:/images/tobyfat2_lg.jpg

p(images). !/images/tobyfat1_sm.jpg(Almost naked baby getting weighed)!:/images/tobyfat1_lg.jpg

This Sunday, he had a few more visitors – Grandpa & Grandma Faltin and Uncle Gary & Aunt Lynette got to stop in and see him. Ashley, Taylor, & Cameryn (correct any mispellings Lynette!) came along as well, but unfortunately anyone under 14 can’t go into the NICU unless they’re brothers or sisters. Sorry gals! Hope you didn’t get too bored hanging out!

p(images). !/images/tobyandgrandpafaltin_sm.jpg(Grandpa F checks out his grandson)!:/images/tobyandgrandpafaltin_lg.jpg

p(images). !/images/tobyandlynnette_sm.jpg(Aunt Lynette ponders #4)!:/images/tobyandlynnette_lg.jpg

Grandma Oelkers stopped by again today, but of course, Dad forgot to snap a picture or two. Next time!

In other Toby related news, he’s working hard at keeping his temp up – was running a little cool the last few days (low 97s). When he’s cool, he’s sleepy, and so spent a the majority of time just napping away.

p(images). !/images/tobynaps_sm.jpg(Toby’s main occupation these days – Napping!)!:/images/tobynaps_lg.jpg

p(images). !/images/tobytonap_sm.jpg(Getting ready to nap)!:/images/tobytonap_lg.jpg

But today he was keeping himself pretty balmy (mid 98s), so he wanted to check everything out…

p(images). !/images/tobyandmomlook_sm.jpg(Toby & Mom check each other out)!:/images/tobyandmomlook_lg.jpg

p(images). !/images/tobylooking_sm.jpg(Toby checks out his new digs)!:/images/tobylooking_lg.jpg

p(images). !/images/tobygrabsnose_sm.jpg(Get this off my face!)!:/images/tobygrabsnose_lg.jpg

p(images). !/images/tobygimme_sm.jpg(Gimme that back…)!:/images/tobygimme_lg.jpg

p(images). !/images/tobywonders1_sm.jpg(Wonder what they’re looking at…)!:/images/tobywonders1_lg.jpg

So, what’s left to do before he can make the trip home? Well, he’s just going to have to make the I’m-hungry-give-me-that-food connection and actually eat for a decent amount of time. We (or should I say, Mom – I just try to stay out of the way) have been offering milk to him a few times a day for the past week. Some days he seems to get the concept, some days he doesn’t. And when he does, sometimes he eats his fill (which the nurses define as 15 to 20 minutes of feeding), sometimes he just tuckers out after five minutes. The goal is eight unassisted feedings (once every three hours) completed in a day – the best he’s done is one unassisted with a couple 7-8 minute ones thrown in in a day. But he’s getting better at it all the time, and I have no doubt that before long they’re going to scare the hell out of us and tell us he’s ready to go home!

Miscellaneous POTD

some more random pics

Just some new pics for everyone… enjoy! 🙂

h4. Harrassing Toby

Mom & Dad can’t help harrassing the little cutie!

p(images). !/images/tobyandfingers_sm.jpg(Mom & Dad Harrass Toby)!:/images/tobyandfingers_lg.jpg

p(images). !/images/tobyhand_sm.jpg(Dad Harrasses Toby on His Own)!:/images/tobyhand_lg.jpg

h4. Taking a Bath

Well, still no naked baby pictures (he does *NOT* like being naked outside), but at least here’s a few of him swaddled up while we try to give him his bath.

p(images). !/images/tobybath1_sm.jpg(Toby Takes A Bath)!:/images/tobybath1_lg.jpg

p(images). !/images/tobybath2_sm.jpg(Toby Takes A Bath)!:/images/tobybath2_lg.jpg

p(images). !/images/tobybath3_sm.jpg(Toby Takes A Bath – despite the expression, he does seem to enjoy his baths!)!:/images/tobybath3_lg.jpg

h4. New Home

This morning he was moved out of his isolette (the acrylic, well, box he was in since about 3 days old – helped regulate his temperature) into his very own crib. And how did he get his own bed, you ask? By being a lil’ piggy – Toby’s broken the four pound mark (by an ounce or two)!

He’s got a couple blankets along with the colorful quilt you see and is dressed in a fairly warm sleeper, since he’s still working at getting the whole steady temperature concept down. And since he’s working extra hard to keep that temp steady, he did quite a bit of sleeping today. So, Mom’s attempts at feeding him were more akin to sleep-nuzzled-in-mom’s-arms sessions. Not that that’s a bad thing! 🙂

p(images). !/images/tobycrib1_sm.jpg(Relaxing in the New Home)!:/images/tobycrib1_lg.jpg

p(images). !/images/tobycrib2_sm.jpg(Relaxing in the New Home)!:/images/tobycrib2_lg.jpg

p(images). !/images/tobycrib3_sm.jpg(Relaxing in the New Home)!:/images/tobycrib3_lg.jpg