A Good First Week Home

posted Feb 5, 2011, 12:37 PM by Grady Smith   [ updated Feb 5, 2011, 1:38 PM ]
February 5
-  We have been home with Grady Jeremiah for almost 9 days now!  These days have "flown by" and seem like a blur to us.  Is that the way the next 20+ years will feel? :-)  It has been such a blessing for all three of us to be together at home!  It has been a good first week, with only one scary moment.  You will need to keep reading to find out what happened... Let's start with the good news!

Adjusting to being home... 

        Grady Jeremiah seems curious about his surroundings and yet very peaceful here.  He cries when he is hungry, has a dirty diaper, has gas (unfortunately!) or wants to be held.  Otherwise, he really is peaceful.  We often get asked how he sleeps at night.  He wakes up every two or three hours wanting to be fed, but otherwise he sleeps well.  He is an active sleeper with lots of amusing grunts and sounds while he sleeps!  The next two pictures should give you a good idea of how well he is adjusting to being here with us...

Eating, eating ,eating...

    Grady Jeremiah's appetite has increased since being home.  He now eats about 100 cc more each day here than he was at the hospital.  And that increase in eating shows...  he now weighs 6 pounds, 14 ounces, which is almost one pound more than when he left the hospital last week!  He has only had two big "spit up" moments with us so far and only one has soaked through our clothes :-)  He does have some gas pain, but that seems to be better the last few days as we better learn how to burp him.  In addition, he is very picky when it comes to his bottles.  We bought some nice bottles that minimize air that he gets when sucking.  He hated them!  So those nice bottles sit in the cabinet while we continue to use the inexpensive bottles and nipples from the hospital :-)  He is becoming more active with his feedings, even trying to hold the bottle on his own sometimes as you can see in the picture to the right!

Good pediatrician visit...

        On Friday we had our first pediatrician appointment.  Our pediatrician was very pleased with how well he is doing.  Everything looked good!  In addition, we were very pleased with our new pediatrician... She was a resident at UAB and Children's hospital meaning that she has a lot of experience with premature babies and personally knows the doctors who have been caring for Grady Jeremiah the last 2 1/2 months.  In addition, we had the extra blessing of her telling us that when Grady Jeremiah was born she had prayed for him even though she had never met him!  A nurse practitioner at this clinic goes to Lakeview and had told her about our son's birth.  It was so encouraging to realize that our child's doctor is not only one of the most qualified in town, but also that she had prayed for him before we ever met her!  We continue to be amazed at the many blessings from God that we experience.

Okay, so we did have one scare this week...

        The week was a good one as you can already tell, but we did have one scare.  If you remember from previous posts, Grady Jeremiah had some breathing lapses (called apneas) while in the hospital.  Normally if a premature baby goes five days in the hospital with none, they do not have any recurrences.  Apparently Grady Jeremiah missed that protocol!   When we left the hospital, we were told that we did not need any type of apnea monitor for him.  However, for our own peace of mind, we went ahead and bought an Angel Care monitor.  It is a pad you put under the baby's mattress and it can detect the very faint breathing motions of a baby.  If 20 seconds pass with no breathing, it alarms. 

    On Monday evening Grady Jeremiah was resting well while we were working around the house.  Suddenly we heard the alarm.  When we ran into the bedroom it did not appear as though he was breathing at all and he was looking slightly blue!  Thankfully a quick pat to his side stimulated him.  He gasped, caught his breath, and started crying.  We talked with the neonatologist from UAB as well as a nurse at our pediatrician's office.  They counseled us to just keep watching him closely, which we have definitely been doing!  Thankfully there have been no apnea moments since then.  The Angel Care monitor definitely paid for itself that evening :-)

Follow-ups scheduled...

        Now begins the process of lots of follow-up appointments for Grady Jeremiah.  We already have scheduled appointments with his pediatrician, with a pediatric ophthalmologist, with research study follow up at UAB, and with the UAB newborn follow up clinic.  And we are just getting started!  We are still scheduling appointments with early intervention and a pediatric cardiologist.  We are thankful that so many people who specialize in working with premature babies will be following up with Grady Jeremiah's progress in the months ahead.

Thank you for continuing to pray...

        Thank you for continuing to pray for us!  We will try to post here at least once a week, if not more often.  We hope you will check back often for updates and prayer requests, and continue to be part of this journey with us.  As you pray this week, please remember to pray for the following:
  • That Grady Jeremiah will have no additional apnea (breathing lapses) like last Monday
  • That he will continue to grow
  • That he (and us) will continue to stay healthy and free from any sickness or infection
  • That he will continue to adjust well to being home and know that he is loved
  • That we will have great wisdom as parents to know how to best care for and shepherd him
  • That he will put his faith and trust in Christ as his Lord and Savior at an early age.
Thank you again for your prayers and for joining us on this journey!


Grady, Julia, and Grady Jeremiah