Sunday, September 19, 2010

Casey's First Bath-Approaching 34 Weeks

Thanks to everyone for their continued support and encouragement. This past week, our good friend, Ted, had a family emergency. His father actually suffered three separate heart attacks and was medevac'd from the Big Island to Kaiser Hospital. Now our visits to Casey are double-fold as we now can spend time with Ted. And it was the first night that we found out about Ted's dad, we met Ted in the waiting room. Our other good friend, John-John, was already there and we just sat with Ted. I watched Ted and the emotions on his face, and I was moved to tears. I felt his pain and it also stirred up the pain I carry around with me daily. I contemplated how much time we had spent in the halls of this hospital this past year. Weekly visits to the our specialist, Dr. O, or the cardiologist for Rory, Dr. S. Spending the last 50 something days in the NICU. And these two good friends, Ted and John-John, have sat in this waiting room for us, have walked these halls with us, have prayed and cried with us in these rooms. Now, we sat here with Ted and it struck me that I am just done with this hospital.

Casey is getting stronger. Praises. Every doctor, nurse, ward clerk...everyone has been amazing. By nature of time, I talk to them more than I talk to anyone else in my life. Love love love this staff. But I'm so eager to be done with this leg in our journey. I want to never have to visit this hospital again. And as we sat with Ted, Scott told me later "We are also here for Ted's dad, but, we're really here for Ted." And you all, thank you for reading and praying for Casey, but you're really the support for Scott and me.

As the week closes, I have, I have great news to report. Ted's dad sailed through surgery and is doing amazing. He's such a chipper, spright man. Well, we are talking about a man, who in his sixties, with his amazing wife, are building their own house additions and dug their own pool. Not kidding.

And here we have this adorable little girl who keeps chugging along continually getting stronger and healthier, even when I'm a personal mess. Casey has been like that from before birth. Our hour-long ultrasounds were always detailed analysis of the concerns and risks for the twins. Dr. O. would go over Gizmo's heart and Astro's small stature. And then, at the end, almost like an afterthought he would say "And Slugger is just hanging out up there at the top, just doing her own thing." She always kind of sailed in her strong, steady way seemingly unaffected by the craziness around her. She's so independant, I don't think she needs us really. Not like how we need her.

7 weeks 4 days
34 weeks gestation (8.5 months pregnant equivalent)
4 lb. (birth weight was 2 lb. 4 oz)
16.5" (birth length 14")
53 days spent in the hospital

Casey is still on her CPAP (a.k.a. dry land snorkel) but spends six hours a day on the nasal cannula. Both feed her additional oxygen to aid blood oxygenation and also supply air pressure to aid her lungs. During her stint on the nasal cannula, one of her meals will be done by bottle once a day. "nippling." Still can't get used to that term. The nurses are patiently trying to teach us how to feed Casey by bottle. I think they're going to hook up monitors to me instead of the baby because I think I have forget to breathe and will possibly pass out. I'm proud to say that yesterday, I did much better. So did Casey, I guess I should focus on her since this is her blog. Sorry. Maybe that will be Wednesday's blog.

Thursday night was Casey's first bath, a real bath. And it was the most documented bath I have ever seen (not that I witness baths often or anything). We were in between rounds of visitors when Casey's nurse, Gina, told me that she wanted to take off the second skin that covers Casey's forehead and nose for protection. Oh, cool. We were stoked to think we'd get a glimpse of Casey's face without that dark gum on half of her face. We were a little confused when we saw Gina wheeling a table with a bin of water over. It still didn't sink in until we saw a suddenly naked Casey being carried from her isolette to the bin.

Oh, she's getting a bath!!

Oh boy, suddenly 4 or 5 cameras/cell phone cameras were waving around as we got to be there for Casey's first real bath. We had good friends visiting, plus Auntie Kacie (maternity session post and newborn session post) just happened to be the ward clerk that day and was working late so she was there. And then our new friend, Mike, the RT (respiratory therapist) was also in the mix as he held Casey's oxygen mask. I think we created a new joke "How many people does it take to give Casey a bath?"

It was crazy to see our once fragile girl who dropped below 2 lb, who we weren't allowed to touch and could only whisper around, now basking in a warm, tepid bath having her hair washed and combed. She loved it, she was looking around to try to see where all the different voices were coming from. And she's a grunter, grunts anytime she's unhappy, but I heard her cry for the first time. The adhesive tape on her forehead was melded to her hair and pulled a little when removed.
[Nurse Gina checks Casey's nasal cannula. I love this outfit..thanks Auntie Chanelle]

[Casey getting her hair washed]

[The bathtime paparazzi]

[This is one of my favorite new pics]

[Scott officially a helper as he got to pour the water]

[Scott and mini-Scott-lyn]

[Here's a candidate for our 2010 Christmas Card Picture. Introducing the 'ohana, Scott, Casey, Keao...and umm, our friendly RT, Mike. All in the fam.]

So, as a 26 weeker at 36 weeks gestation in summary:
-no longer on caffeine or fluconisol
-receiving iron
-CPAP pressure 5 with 24-26% O for most of the day
-nasal cannula/vapotherm for 6 hours of the day with 3 L
-Attempting to bottle feed once a day
-36 mL of milk a day at 25 cal
-wearing clothes but still in heated isolette


  1. Love love love the photos. She is looking so big now. She is so expressive, must take after her pretty Mom. We are so very HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY for you.

  2. thanks for the new photos!! it's so god to see MOVING! and moving things forward for you all! i just love her. so precious. praying for you three daily.

  3. thank you, casey for letting us walk with you on your journey, I am always so blessed. Keao, i agree on your new fave photo..awesome!
    go slugger!

  4. Hmm, I wonder how we're going to get Mike over every time we give her a bath once we get home.

  5. As I read this excerpt and see these photos, the one thing so evident is the joy of the Lord. It's so contagious that it's got me smiling for ear to ear with "Pure Joy." I am reminded of the scripture where He turns our mourning into dancing....That's how I see Casey girl! Thanks so much for sharing her with us. I may not have seen her our you folks since the birth of the girls, but I've followed and have connected in Spirit through all your postings. That's the power of your testimony! Stay blessed!