Thursday, February 26, 2009

Day 49 - You Down With ROP?

It's been a busy week here at Beth Israel, Room 976. First, our little chica got a well-needed bath from mom and nurse Colleen on Sunday. Five days later? She's back to her original stinky self, I must admit...but it's a cute baby stinkiness if there is such a thing. It could just be that her monumental cuteness supersedes any malicious odors. It's worth pondering...perhaps.

Then came Tuesday where it was CPAP vs. Brooklyn in Vegas (or an imaginary BostonVegas)! It has been a fight for the ages. The first two rounds went to CPAP (this is the part where you boo), but in round three Brooklyn is ready for the KO. After 2.5 days sporting the beer helmet, little miss B is doing quite well. She is on lower CPAP oxygen settings than she was while intubated on the ventilator! Girl's got breathing skillz. It looks as if Brooklyn is off the vent for good (hopefully) and will continue to reduce her CPAP settings over the next few weeks.

On to Wednesday. The optometrist from Children's Hospital came across the street to check for retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) in Brooklyn's eyes. This is a common concern with micro preemies where the retinal blood vessels tend to grow all wrong - possibly due to high oxygen levels required by such wee ones. It's a serious issue (in fact, the nurse practitioner just told me this is why Stevie Wonder, born a preemie, went blind) that can often be fixed by laser surgery if necessary. Anyway, they had to dilate Brooklyn's eyes and she was NOT happy. It was so hard to watch her be unhappy for the rest of the day with swollen eyelids. Poor thing. Thankfully we were told that Brooklyn has "excellent eyes" for being born so young. Her vessels have grown perfectly so far, but Children's will need to perform another exam in two weeks. 90% of kids her age develop at least mild ROP, most requiring no surgery, so be praying little B's eyes continue to develop well.

That brings us to today. Kelly held Brooklyn for over 3 HOURS this morning! Also, she weighs 2 pounds 14 ounces which means it's almost time for Brooklyn to be swaddled. If she does well with maintaining her temperature while swaddled in the isolette, then she'll move on to a crib!!! Our little girl's all growns up and growns up.

Kelly and I feel as if things have kicked into high gear this past week with all the new changes, and upcoming changes, occurring so quickly now. It's both a blessing and a curse. We are continually amazed at Brooklyn's progress, but now that there is a light at the end of the tunnel it's become harder to stay patient for 7-9 more weeks. Ha. Anyway, we know all your thoughts, prayers, and visits are essential to Brooklyn's continued health and we thank you for it. God bless.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Tubby Time!!!

Brooklyn got her first bath on Sunday night. She's so cute it hurts. Seriously. My favorite part is when Kelly washes Brooklyn's hair about 3 minutes in.

Tubby Time: Memoirs of a Stinky Girl from Sean Lorenz on Vimeo.

Day 47 - CPAP Strikes Again

Brooklyn woke up this morning, confronted by her old nemesis -- CPAP! The doctor and nurses decided to let Brooklyn try for a third time to show CPAP who's boss. This time little B is not so little and she's taking no CPAP prisoners. She told mom today (via bright eyes and smiles) that third time's a charm! Be sure to root for the cute little red-head in the left corner with the lethal baby kick.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Day 41 - Rockin' the meds!

Just a quick update to let you know Brooklyn is starting to feel better now that she's hopped up on lots of drugs. They gave her two antibiotics and lasix to clear out the fluid in her lungs. That seemed to do the trick because soon after her meds were given through an IV, Brooklyn's O2 settings began to decrease back to normal. By 5pm yesterday she was laughing and kicking again as mom tickled her!

B had a good night's rest and was looking cute as ever this morning. She had another x-ray at 5am where they saw the pneumonia bacteria had reduced but was still there. Brooklyn's not out of the woods yet, but is feeling much better already. Thank you for all the prayers.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Day 40 - A rollercoaster day

So we have some good news and some not so fun news. The good news is that Brooklyn gained 39 grams last night, which put her over the kilo mark at 1035 grams! That's 2 pounds 4.5 ounces. She's looking so big these days. In fact, Brooklyn was a mere 510 grams at her lowest weight so she has more than doubled her size in about four weeks time! Also, Brooklyn hit the big 30-week gestational age today and is almost 6 weeks old. CRAZY!

The bad news is that we walked in this morning to a bright room full of nurses hovering over little B. Her oxygen levels were WAY up above her normally low settings, so they took an x-ray to investigate. Turns out that Brooklyn may have the beginnings of pneumonia in her lungs and needs antibiotics for the next 7-10 days. Mini preemies are almost guaranteed to get an infection while in the NICU,but we're hopeful our feisty gal will beat the bacteria down quickly. Prayers for a quick recovery are definitely appreciated by Brooklyn! She's not a big fan of this whole sick thing. :)

Monday, February 16, 2009


Our favorite moments with Brooklyn are always the 4-hour-interval care times where Kelly and I get to change B's diaper and take her temperature. By the way, she HATES when you have to pin her arm down while taking an armpit temp! Feisty much? That's our girl.

Anyway, over the past week our new favorite time with Brooklyn has become the 10 minutes after her care time -- especially at 5pm. This is when little miss B likes to play. She has become so much fun in the afternoons, looking around and interacting with us while we peek into her isolette. Brooklyn's most peaceful moments are when mom hums her to sleep; our wee one trys oh so hard to stay awake so she can keep looking at us.

Here's a LONG video (which anyone other than Kelly and I will probably find extremely boring) of yesterday's 5pm post-diaper change where Brooklyn tries her hardest to stay awake. Oh, and Hanneke Cassel - fiddler extraordinaire - wrote Brooklyn the beautiful song being played here.

5pm from Sean Lorenz on Vimeo.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Friday, February 13, 2009

Random picture time

There are a few pictures I have been wanting to post recently, so here they are. By the way, Brooklyn continues to put on weight (she's up to 925 grams now - 2lbs 1oz) and is doing well! No big news other than gettin' B all chunky.

First, there's the new home! Brooklyn is becoming more stable and keeping her temperature better these days. The reward? A downgrade in isolette. She no longer requires the more extreme Giraffe isolette needed before. The main difference with her new home is that Brooklyn gets weighed outside her isolette now. They basically stick her on something that looks like you're about to weigh a turkey at the grocery store.

Next, there is Brooklyn having a bad day. Two days ago, she tried to pull her tube out AGAIN! She was not happy with the whole process and looks a bit frazzled after the experience. I entitle this next photo: "Billy Idol called. He wants his haircut back."

Lastly, Kelly got an extra Brooklyn kangaroo care time this morning! Our nurse gave Brooklyn this hilarious little hat. B is now officially in her Rasta stage. Ya, mon.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

One Roof Africa

This is a non-Brooklyn-related post, but it involves something very important to Kelly and I. The Best Man from our wedding, Adam Palmer, moved his wife, Michelle, and four kids from Tulsa, Oklahoma to Jinja, Uganda yesterday. Yeah, AFRICA! Why? From their blog:

"We are a family originally from Tulsa, Oklahoma, that is moving to Jinja, Uganda so that we can be united with our son over there. Francis is currently an orphan, and we've done all we can over the last three years to adopt him and bring him to America. It's a long story, but many things have prevented bringing Francis here, so we're going to him so we can get our entire family under one roof."

The Palmers are a wonderful family that have been a huge support for us, so we want to spread the word! They have a blog where you can get updates as well as support them with prayer or donations as well:

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Day 31 - One Month!

HAPPY ONE MONTH BIRTHDAY, BROOKLYN!!! It's hard to believe that our little girl was born a month ago. It feels like an eternity and a surreal, flashing moment all at the same time. Kelly and I looked at the obscene amount of pictures we have taken over this past month and are amazed at how different she looks in only 31 days. We know Brooklyn has a long road ahead, yet we are filled with hope and peace that God knows what to do.

Having a micro preemie in the NICU is, as the nurses constantly remind us, a daily (sometimes hourly) up and down journey. Example? Yesterday! We called early Saturday morning, per usual, to see how Brooklyn was doing in CPAP Adventure II - only to find out that she'd been re-intubated. DAG! B lasted 36 hours this time, which is 20 hours longer than her first go at CPAP. The alveoli of her lungs were shriveled up from all that work of breathing on her own, however, Brooklyn's lungs looked much better than CPAP Adventure I, and her recovery was faster now that she has a bit of meat on her bones.

Obviously we were a tad bummed that Brooklyn now has to face CPAP Adventure III, but it's a blessing in disguise. Brooklyn lost almost two ounces while on CPAP since it takes more energy to do all that solo breathing. With just one day back on the vent, B has already gained 35 grams for a total of 840 grams...only 60 more until two pounds! The goal now? Fatten up our tiny red head. She's in Rocky-style training for CPAP Adventure III where she battles a Russian or something. And by "Russian" I mean two prongs stuck up her cute little nose.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Day 28 - Smiley CPAP Video Time

Here are the before and after videos from today's CPAP shenanigans. See the previous post for the story....

Smile For the Camera from Sean Lorenz on Vimeo.

CPAP? Yes, Please! from Sean Lorenz on Vimeo.

Day 28 - Four Weeks and Sassy!

This morning started off like any other morning: get up early, get to Brooklyn's care time at 9am, stare through glass at Brooklyn until 9:20am, wait for next care time in four hours...lather, rinse, repeat. Little Miss B had other four week birthday celebration plans.

First of all, Brooklyn treated us to a show this morning! She was more attentive and aware of the two of us than she's been thus far. It even looked as if she smiles (see video and let the gas/smile debate begin). After a good sharing and caring time with the little chica, I left for class to study brains n' stuff.

About two hours into class, I get a call from Kelly: "Brooklyn extubated herself! They're putting her on CPAP, so you may want to get over here." Uh, YEAH! As exciting as linear analysis of fMRI data can be I decided to run over to the hospital, where I found our little girl chillin' with her CPAP get-up. Rock. Star. By the way, "excabating" just means that she ripped her little tube out from her mouth. Now that Brooklyn is growing so quickly, the tube down her throat is too small and leaking air. It may be B's way of telling the nurses "ENOUGH!" We'll have to pray and hope she can stay on CPAP safely.

Naturally, we had to document in pictures and video the BEFORE and AFTER of today's momentous event. Here are some to follow in a separate post.


Well, good morning and happy 4-week birthday!


Whoa, people! What's with the hat!??!

Brooklyn may or may not look like she's wearing one of those beer can helmets. I'm just saying....


or gas? you decide.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Day 24 - daddy daughter day

sean got to hold his little baby for the first time today! what an amazing thing to see my daughter and my husband together.