UAB Newborn Follow Up Clinic

posted Apr 2, 2011, 5:07 PM by Grady Smith   [ updated Apr 2, 2011, 5:53 PM ]
April 2, 2011
-  On April 1, we made our way back to UAB for their "newborn follow up clinic."  It is a clinic where they bring back their low birth weight and high risk babies for an evaluation.  For UAB, it helps them improve their ability to care for premature and high-risk babies.  When this clinic began in 1976, only 20% of babies born under 1000 grams survived (remember, Grady Jeremiah was only 880 grams at birth!).  Today, that survival rate is at 75% percent.  However, the same percent of premature babies still have developmental delays, so they continue the clinic to continue to look for ways to improve care.  For us, it gave us an opportunity to have a number of specialists look at Grady Jeremiah and provide resource to help us.  It was a great visit and we had great reports...

 * Our first visit was with a dietician.  She was so pleased with Grady Jeremiah's eating and weight gain.  In fact, she said he had "a good little fat pad," which for babies is a good thing... for us, well, that would be a different story :-)  Growth wise, his weight is good and his length is ahead of most premature babies at this stage!  She also was amazed that Grady Jeremiah is still eating exclusively breast milk.  She told us that only 2% of the moms they see are still able to supply milk for their babies by this point.  It was another reminder for us of God's grace and kindness to us during this journey.  Most of our visit with her was learning about his feeding plan for the year ahead, how to know when to begin to add other foods into his breast milk diet, and how to do so.  It was a tremendous wealth of resources for us.

 * Our second visit was with a physical therapist who did a developmental exam on Grady Jeremiah.  If you use his corrected age (i.e. 7 weeks old from his due date), he is in the 90th percentile in his development!  The physical therapist had no concerns and was pleased with his progress.  She provided us great tips on "tummy time" and how to use it to help him continue to develop muscle strength and to learn how to crawl. 

 * Our third and four visits were with two doctors.  The head doctor of this clinic, who has been overseeing the newborn clinic for 34 years, spent a good bit of time with us.  From their physical examination of him, both doctors think that Grady Jeremiah is doing well!  They provided us with great insight on his quarantine timeline.  They also referred us to see a pediatric endocrinologist in the months ahead.  Since Grady Jeremiah is missing the septum in his brain, they want to take a closer look at issues related to the pituitary gland since it can be a related issue and could impact growth.  They also encouraged us to go ahead with our plan for an eye exam follow up and cardiology follow up this summer.  We appreciate their counsel as they have years of experience working with babies like Grady Jeremiah. 

 * Our fifth visit was actually not part of the newborn follow up clinic but was with the head neonatologist at UAB.  He was such a blessing to us and so instrumental in Grady Jeremiah's care while we were in the hospital.  He was pleased with how well Grady Jeremiah is progressing!  While at the UAB Women and Infant center, we were able to see several of the nurses who cared for Grady Jeremiah during our 82 days there.  We wish you could have seen their faces when they saw how big he had become!  In the picture to the left you see Becky, one of his regular night nurses in the Continuing Care Nursery, holding her "sweet angel boy" as she liked to call him :-)   Seeing some of the staff again was like a reunion for us.


We are so thankful for the good reports from the many specialists and doctors.  We appreciate the insights and resources provided to us. 
So, it was a great trip and a great day for us!  Grady Jeremiah even got to enjoy his first nap while visiting the home of his Nana and Papa (i.e. Grady's parents) while we were in Birmingham :-)

So what's next?  First, it looks like we will have a four week reprieve from visiting any doctors :-)  
Then in late April through August our anticipated medical visits include:
  • Developmental research study follow up at UAB with developmental specialists
  • Six month check-up and immunizations at local pediatrician
  • Eye exam follow up at Children's Hospital 
  • Cardiologist follow up at UAB to make sure his heart murmur is gone
  • Endocrinologist assessment at UAB to make sure there are no growth delays
  • Another research study follow up at UAB
  • Then back for another newborn follow up clinic in mid-August!
Thank you for your continued prayers for us!  We continue to be amazed at how well Grady Jeremiah is doing and appreciate your involvement in this journey with us!

Grady, Julia, & Grady Jeremiah

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