He’s Not Sick, Just Premature

One of David’s nurses, Jackie, encouraged me two days ago to remember that David’s not sick, he’s just premature. Everything in him is small and new and working overtime. He needs assistance. This is something I tell myself to try to remember.

We had a hard day yesterday. When we got to the hospital for morning rounds we found out that David had struggled with his breathing through the night. He experienced a higher than normal number of what they call “As and Bs.” The A stands for Apnea, which is an interruption in his breathing for longer than 15 seconds, and B stands for Bradycardia, which is a slow heart rate. I think this is the only time in our life when we can encourage David to get fewer “As and Bs” and not be judged for poor parenting.

He looked tired, a little pale and seemed much more unresponsive than the day before. The nurses say the first week is always the honeymoon week and then we enter a period of ups and downs. Yesterday was his first week birthday, so we’re right on track. He was put back on the respirator to treat his PPHN (persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn), so he is no longer breathing on his own. This, again, is common for his early birth age, and not something to fear. Because his stomach was so distended (little baby buddha belly) they ordered an x-ray to rule out potential pathological issues. Turns out he was just bloated and needed a good toot session. They turned him on his belly and let him sleep until this morning. A quick roll over and the air started bursting out both ends!

Graham and I felt much better after our visit with him this morning. His plan for today: shut his mouth. He sleeps with his mouth open so the air from the respirator is escaping and not working to its full effect. We left this job to the nurses. I have a hard time telling him to “shut his mouth” when I look so forward to a time when I can really hear from him.                                                                             “What? What’s wrong with sleeping with my mouth open?”

In other news, we have a full-time milking parlor in our home. I’m pumping until David is big enough to breastfeed. To give you a sense of the production in our parlor, we milk an average of 8 times per day, filling two 80mL containers per milking, which amounts to 16 containers per day, 112 containers per week. If we milk until 35 weeks, which is considered full-term in the ICN, and possibly when he can start breastfeeding, that amounts to 896 containers of milk in our freezer. Here is a picture of our freezer. There are roughly 60 containers in this picture. Good thing Grandma Ruth stores her freezer in our basement. She also stores cookies in her freezer in our basement. Cookies and milk party in her freezer in our basement!


In other, other news related to putting up a good fight, the Hanover High Girls’ soccer team lost a tough game in OT against Souhegan in the NH Division II State Championships last night. I have been with this team for two years now and this season was a particularly great one, not just in terms of results. The whole energy of the team and the effort these girls put out all season was incredible. I’m sad not to be with them on a daily basis anymore.


Let’s hope for more “up” days for David. We’ll check in again soon.

J & G & D


8 thoughts on “He’s Not Sick, Just Premature

  1. Jane,

    I think you can donate breast milk to other babies who aren’t so lucky. You should ask your neonatal nurse. Keep the news coming because we are all saying prayers for him.


  2. Hi Jane,
    Jason and I have a chest freezer we aren’t currently using. Let me know if you’d like us to bring it over.
    Lots of love, Crystal

  3. Hi Jane and Graham,

    I loved the picture with David’s hand in the air—-“like what gives around here.” I will pray that there will be ONLY UP DAYS from now on for all of you!!. I thought Jennifer had alot of breast milk stored when she was nursing the twins but boy these pics make hers look like a weekend supply. So glad that you are able to store the milk for David. My prayers continue for all of you and the medical team!!! I lit a candle for David at church yesterday.
    Thanks for the update.

  4. David, it was really exciting to meet you today. I think you’re awesome. In fact, on a scale of 1 to 10, you’re an 11. Keep up the good work, buddy.
    I hope you and your mommy and daddy have a good week.
    love, mtt

  5. Thinking of you guys all day today. ‘Fond’ memories of the milking parlor at DHMC. It’s like the women’s locker room from college sometimes!

    The day WILL come when you’re wondering if he’ll ever stop talking or if he’s even taking a breath between statements.

    Hang in there – you are doing great.

  6. J and G

    David is one month old–out in the open–but lets all remember he will be of age January 29 and so his development should be counted from that day. I am thinking of him as if he is still in the womb and all the tubes etc are his placenta. I know that is silly but it helps me. I have already bonded with him. He is such a special little boy. I can’t wait to meet him. Enjoy the week end with your mother.
    Love you both.


  7. J and G

    I went back and looked at David’s pictures. I fear he has the Hanna nose–how did that happen? Don’t worry it can be fixed.


  8. Hi Graham, Jamie and Hannah and I are sending you and Jane…and David!…all of our very best wishes. We will follow his progress, and keep you in our thoughts.

    Nancy, Jamie, and Hannah (Sachs)

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