Monday, March 31, 2014

I AM Serious, but don't call me Shirley

This might possibly be the worst April Fools' Day joke ever.

Today around 2:00pm Alisha and I found out that Roscoe will not be able to come home with us tomorrow, due to a paperwork error. Apparently the medicine (Bosentan) that Roscoe is taking is so new that the cardiologists at Kaiser were unfamiliar with administering it to outpatients. UCSF has been controlling Roscoe's treatments through Kaiser, with Kaiser being the administrator of the treatments. When Kaiser called today to inform UCSF that Roscoe was heading home tomorrow, UCSF responded and said that a special license is required to get the drug delivered to anyone who is not a hospital resident. The bad news: that license process typically takes 3 weeks.

Roscoe can't go home until the outpatient pharmacy can dispense the medication, either directly or by shipping it to our home. We've been told that Kaiser asked for "priority" in the licensing process, but I don't know how much that "priority" checkbox can grease the wheels of bureaucracy. Until then, Roscoe will be stuck at Kaiser in Roseville.

For those who know my past, I want to be clear that this is not a joke. For those who know me well, I also want to be clear that I was very cordial to the doctor and cardiologist I've spoken to about this :). I was straightforward in asking who made the mistake (it was a combination of Kaiser and UCSF), but there was no yelling, name-calling, or other harsh statements. We are understandably frustrated, but that frustration won't cause things to be resolved any faster if it's vented out uncontrollably.

Please continue to pray for Roscoe. God must have something special in mind for this kid.

Overnight Stay

Last night, Alisha, Roscoe and I got to spend all night in the same room as a family. The last time we did that was on October 5th before he was born. The night went fairly well. We went out to our last sit down dinner for a while and then got to the hospital around 8:30pm. Several factors like the bed not being ready, a shift change coming up, and Roscoe being sleep kept him in the ICU until around 11:00pm. We moved him into our room just across the hall from the ICU, fed him, and put him down to sleep.

A co-worker told me to never wake up in the morning and say "Wow, I can't believe the baby slept all night!" because that means that it was just me who slept, and saying such a thing would dig me an early grave. With that in mind, I'll say that the only times I knew of when he woke up was around 4am for a middle-of-the-night feeding, since they don't let him go any longer than 4-5 hours without eating (his weight is back down to 7lb 3oz).

The next time he woke up was at 7am, and what a rude awakening it was. He woke up softly and sweetly, but then the nurses had scheduled a head ultrasound (which wasn't bad) and arterial blood sample before his morning feeding. The blood sample from his arteries didn't go well. It took me and 3 nurses to hold him down, but he was still squirming enough that it took 30 minutes to draw enough blood (they tried one arm, then the other). Unfortunately, the sample they did get had a problem in the machine, so they'll have to do another sample later today.

That remaining blood sample is the only thing that could hold Roscoe back from coming home. The doctor told us last night that his sample last week showed somewhat high CO2 numbers. If the numbers don't improve in today's sample, then Roscoe's exit from the NICU might be delayed. Keep praying!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Exit Plans

A few days ago we took this video while we were comparing Roscoe to a pencil. After we took those videos, Roscoe started sucking on his hand so we recorded it. It's just another little step in his development journey.

Alisha and I will be spending the night at the hospital tonight to prepare us (and Roscoe) for coming home on Tuesday. Once Roscoe is home with us, we've been told not to bring him out into public enclosed spaces because he's still very susceptible to airborne diseases. A nurse told us that since he's still fairly skinny for a baby, that means he has little reserve energy to withstand a sickness.

A nurse told us not to even bring him to church, but considering all of the prayers that God has answered so far in his life I think it would be hypocritical to say that God wouldn't protect him from church. On the other hand, God gives us wisdom and reason with the intent that we'll use it. Many times we find ourselves at the crossroads between wisdom and faith. We ask ourselves questions like "Am I showing a lack of faith by using the wisdom that God has given me?", "Should my faith be more like blind trust?", or "Did God give me this wisdom so that I'd use it in this instance?". If we rely too much on our own insight/wisdom, then are we walking by "sight" and not by faith? If we walk without regard to the reasoning that God has given us, are we being a faithful steward of his blessings?

For a funny way of looking at this, there's a joke that goes:

A religious man is on top of a roof during a great flood. A man comes by in a boat and says "get in, get in!" The religous man replies, " no I have faith in God, he will grant me a miracle."

Later the water is up to his waist and another boat comes by and the guy tells him to get in again. He responds that he has faith in god and god will give him a miracle. With the water at about chest high, another boat comes to rescue him, but he turns down the offer again cause "God will grant him a miracle."

With the water at chin high, a helicopter throws down a ladder and they tell him to get in, mumbling with the water in his mouth, he again turns down the request for help for the faith of God. The man dies.

He arrives at the gates of heaven with broken faith and says to Peter, I thought God would grand me a miracle and I have been let down." Peter chuckles and responds, "I don't know what you're complaining about, we sent you three boats and a helicopter."

Alisha and I have decided that we'll sit in the back corner of the building to be away from errant coughs and sneezes, but to still be a part of the assembly of Christians. After the assembly concludes, we'll take him outside where the doctor said he'll be safer. We usually stay around all day for fellowship and the afternoon assembly, but until Roscoe builds up his strength either Alisha or I will take him home shortly after the morning assembly.

I bring this up for the benefit of those who we go to church with, for those who visit us, or for those who had hoped to visit him in our home. You'll be able to see Roscoe live and in person, but right now it will be from a safe distance. :)

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Oxygen Tanks

On Thursday night, the health care company delivered oxygen tanks to our house in preparation for Roscoe's homecoming on Tuesday. The large one is a 125lb tank that will be his main oxygen supply. The green hose attached to the top is 25ft long and will let him roam from our bedroom to his room. 
When we want to take him into another room, downstairs, on a walk, or elsewhere we can use one of the 12 the smaller portable tanks. The big tank will last about a month and the small ones will last about 16 hours each. We'll call the health care company to get them refilled/replaced once the tanks start running low.

On each tank that's actively being used, there's a valve like this one below:
The valve shows how much pressure is left in the tank on the white dial. The black knob on the left side allows us to adjust the volume of oxygen that will be delivered through the hose. They asked us to set Roscoe at 1/8th of a liter (125mL) per hour, even though he was stable at 80-100mL at the hospital. By comparison, the delivery guy said that most elderly folks who need oxygen start at 2,000mL/hour and go up to 10,000mL/hour.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Homecoming Date

The doctors spoke with Alisha yesterday about the plans for Roscoe coming home. The doctor said that barring any problems which might arise, we will be bringing Roscoe home this coming Tuesday.

Alisha and I will spend the night at the hospital in a room on the ICU floor by ourselves with Roscoe. There won't be any nurses or doctors coming by. The point of spending the night is so that it's a graceful transition for us from the hospital to our home, and so that if any unexpected things happen with Roscoe they can be properly handled (or we can ask how to handle them).

We've been told to expect a very rough night because not only will we be dealing with a baby overnight for the first time, but also a nurse told us that the bedding and sheets are not the most comfortable. At this point Alisha and I are just happy to have a date and are ready to get Roscoe home!

Future Baseball Champ (remastered)

It was 5 months ago that the 2013 World Series was being played out. We took this picture of Roscoe's hand on a baseball for a size comparison. At the time he was 3 weeks old and weighed about 1lb 9oz:

Compare that picture to the one below, which shows his hand against the same baseball at 5 months and 3 weeks old. His current weight is 7lb 4oz, which means he almost grew 5X larger. What a difference 5 months makes!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Baby and a Pencil (remastered)

We thought that it would be a good time to compare Roscoe's growth to when he was first born. Many of you have probably seen the video where we compared Roscoe's size to a pencil (back then he was "Dottie"):

Here's a re-enactment that we did yesterday to show how much he's grown:

I guess he still has quite a bit of growing to do. Here's another video we took, comparing him to that pencil:

... and for Roscoe's aunt Tifany, here's a picture comparing him to a real pencil:

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Surgery Successful

At a little after 5pm last night, the doctor came and explained some of the details of Roscoe's surgery with us. He had some pictures taken of Roscoe's insides (which I will spare you from) showing the before and after state of Roscoe's hernia opening. Thankfully, he was able to do the minimally invasive, modern surgery and didn't have to revert to the standard one. That means a shorter recovery time for Roscoe and smaller scars. He said everything went very smoothly with no issues. We told him that we were praying for him and he thanked us.

Thank you to everyone for your prayers for our little boy!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

New PICC line inserted

Alisha told me that Roscoe went into the operating room at around 2:30pm today. He was wide awake earlier in the day, but then sleepy closer to his surgery time:

For those who come to the blog for all of the gritty details, here's a picture of Roscoe's PICC line insertion point:
As you may remember, the PICC line is a central IV that is long-term and runs through a major vein right up to his heart. Alisha had one (here) and Roscoe has had one previously (here and at UCSF). This one was a little different, because instead of inserting the line into his arm or leg, they put it into his head. Yes, that's right, his HEAD.

(... I will pause for a few seconds to give blog readers a chance to shake off the heebie-jeebies or recover from fainting ...)

They didn't do anything drastic or drill a hole. In fact they use a vein located near his head (outside his skull) because it's the shortest path to his heart and the easiest line to tap. Additionally, since the line is in his head they won't have to worry about his now-fidgety arms and legs moving around and causing problems with it. They also inserted a normal IV (not sure why) which is why there are so many termination points in the picture above. Pleasant dreams!

I'll update the blog later tonight or early tomorrow with the results of Roscoe's surgery. Tonight Alisha and I will be taking an infant CPR class in preparation for Roscoe's homecoming.

Hernia Surgery Today

Today, Roscoe will have his hernia surgery which will be his final major step before coming home. I previously mentioned that Roscoe needed weight gain and this surgery to occur before coming home. Yesterday his weight hit 7lbs 3.2oz and he ate a new record 145mL, so his weight gain issues seem to be resolving as well.

For his procedure today, the surgeon will be putting a scope with a camera on it through Roscoe's belly button to look around his groin where the hernia is. The surgeon will also make two small incisions near Roscoe's hip joints, to allow for surgical instruments to be inserted and used. He didn't say what instruments they will be, but at least we know Roscoe's surgery will not be acappella (a little humor never hurts).

There are two methods of doing the surgery: one of which is the method that's been done since the mid-1900's and another that's come up in the past decade. He said the more recent type is more effective on preemies (and former preemies like Roscoe), but that it only works in certain cases. They won't know until they get "in" whether they'll go with the new-fangled surgery or the traditional surgery. In either case, they are confident that they will be able to fix his hernia.

Please hold our little man in prayer today during the surgery, which is tentatively scheduled for 1:45pm. Pray that God steadies the hands of the surgeons, that he keeps Roscoe comforted in the hours leading up to surgery where he'll be unable to eat, and that he keeps Roscoe's lungs and heart steady during the surgery (so that his pulmonary hypertension doesn't cause complications).

I'll leave you with an unrelated video we took a few days ago when he hit the 7lb mark:

Monday, March 24, 2014

Tummy Time

Nurses will have Roscoe do "tummy time". For a limited amount of time they'll put him on his stomach instead of his back. This activity strengthens Roscoe's neck and back muscles. Also it engages his mind because he is able to see a different view of the world. If they put a mirror in front of him, then he's able to interact with his reflection.

On Saturday I came in and Roscoe had gotten sleepy after a few minutes of tummy time. The nurse left him sleeping and even left the mobile and music playing. Each mobile animal would circle down, land on his head, and then take off again. It was funny to watch, but she said that the motion probably gave him comfort since it felt like someone was stroking his head.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Hands and Feet

Yesterday Roscoe had some visitors. Raymond Fox (a wise man whom I respect greatly) asked what changes I had seen in Roscoe in recent weeks that were new. I thought a little about it and responded that lots of his recent developments centered around his interactions with the world around him.

Roscoe's eyes have gained more focus, although he always tends to drift off and stare at a curtain instead of my face. His feet and legs are still stronger. His hands, especially, seem to move with more intent than the random flailing and spasms that he had previously. In the videos below, you'll notice him actively moving and playing with his hands and responding more directly.

In short, he's starting to gain more control over his physical self to make it do what he wants. Now that doesn't mean that he can speak clearly or get up and tap dance (why that is something I assume he wants to do, I don't know). It makes me wonder: we see Roscoe's actions, but what is he intending to do? He is further along the progression of self-control than he was before, but he can't completely control his body yet. That makes me reflect upon myself.

God has given me a body, abilities, opportunities, and interactions. In each of these, do I look like I'm randomly flailing or spasming, or am I controlling myself to do exactly what I intend? Paul wrote a passage (Romans 7:15-25) that discusses the struggle of self-control in spiritual terms.

I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.
And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 
As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 
For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature.
For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 
For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 
Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.

So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 
For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me,
waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. 
What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? 
Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!

The opening phrase "I do not understand what I do" made me relate to Roscoe's situation. We are all grown-up, yet sometimes we are just like him. Hopefully just like Roscoe, each day brings better self-control than the last. When God looks down at us, does he see a baby's arm spasms or does he see a baby tap dancing?

Friday, March 21, 2014

7lbs? Check.

With today's weigh-in, Roscoe officially hit the 7lb mark (7lb .9oz). Here is a video from last night when I was trying to get him to sleep. 
He was resting on my shoulder last night surprisingly well, considering that another baby was screaming its head off just 15 feet away, a third baby was being given an X-ray, and a fourth baby was transferred in (and then very unhappy). I got his eyes closed and his heart rate calmed, so I set him back into bed. The change of venue awoke Roscoe's social spirits, so he stayed awake for another 45 minutes.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Falling asleep reading

Yesterday Roscoe weighed 6lb 15.6oz so we were hoping that today he'd clear the 7lb mark. Unfortunately or fortunately (depending on how you look at it), his weight stayed steady and he's still 6lb 15.6oz. Last night I read him a book while he fell asleep. With all of the books that people got him, I'm sure that story time will be one of his favorite times of day once he comes home.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Hernia Surgery Scheduled for March 25th

Roscoe has been fairly stable recently. His hernia surgery is scheduled for next Tuesday (March 25th). Depending on how he recovers from that surgery, he will tentatively come home a week or two later! Since they'll need to sedate Roscoe for the surgery and put in a breathing tube, sometimes babies have a setback in terms of their breathing. For example, before his pyloric stenosis surgery he was at 21-23% oxygen and afterwards he was around 30%.

We will be praying very hard that he recovers nicely so that he's able to come home and rest. His room right now is shared with up to 5 other babies, their visitors, and 3+ nurses. That leads to lots of noise through the night and lights on. Once he gets home, we're hoping he'll relax and grow better with his own room, constant attention from his mom and dad, and with quiet time when he's sleeping.

Here's a video of our little guy having a blast in his swing:

Yesterday, Roscoe weighed 6lb 15oz so we are hoping that today's weigh-in shows him hitting the 7lb mark!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Roscoe reads a book

Roscoe responds very well to our voices and all of the nurses have commented that he appears to be very social. His eyes widen up and he'll stop what he's doing when we talk to him (or around him). Late this past week we showed him a book and started reading it to him. 
We are hoping that soon he'll connect the audible words he's hearing with the visuals he is seeing. I'm not implying that soon he'll be able to read, but rather than he'll start making the connection that there's a correlation between the sound being processed by his ears and the colors and page-turning being processed by his eyes. Previously I never considered that a baby would have to learn that when they see a mouth moving and they hear words, that the moving mouth was the source of the sound and that the two were related.

And here's a picture of Alisha reading Roscoe a book this morning:

The book is called "Little Lion Shares":

Saturday, March 15, 2014

The Hungry Cry

Roscoe has a distinct cry when he is hungry. When he's upset or otherwise unhappy with his state in life, he'll cry and turn different colors. When Roscoe wants food, he'll furrow his brow and look at us with a worried look on his face. He'll also take a pause between cries to see if we're going to respond. It's the first steps of communication with his mom and dad!
I'll look back on this video fondly when I'm in a conversation with someone and Roscoe stands by me, tugging on my pant-leg trying to get my attention with "Dad. Dad. dad. dad. Dad. Daad. DAAD. Dad. Dad!" (repeat).

Friday, March 14, 2014

Watching the Stuffed Animals

Another way that the nurses (or Alisha) keep Roscoe busy and occupy his mind with happy thoughts is to put him into his little motion chair that plays music. The chair rumbles to give him a sense of motion and makes some stuffed animals hanging above him dance around. As you can see below, sometimes it really keeps his attention. I love to see these mental wheels turning.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Off Vapotherm, Plans for Coming Home

Tonight I got back from the hospital and have great news! Roscoe has been taken off of the higher pressure vapotherm and put onto a standard nasal cannula. For comparison, Roscoe started on the vapotherm at 5.0 liters of air per minute at 30% oxygen. Earlier this week he had come down to 2.0 liters of air per minute at 26% oxygen. On the standard nasal cannula, he is receiving 0.1 liters of air per minute at 100% oxygen. The math whizzes in the reading audience will realize that means overall, Roscoe is requiring less oxygen. Here's the calculation below:

   Vapotherm: 2.0 liters air * 26% oxygen = 0.52 liters oxygen (per minute)
   Standard Cannula: 0.1 liters air * 100% oxygen = 0.1 liters oxygen (per minute)

This is a 5X reduction to the oxygen being delivered to Roscoe, plus it's more comfortable to him since it's at a lower pressure. The doctors told us that Roscoe will probably come home on an oxygen tank but that he'll hopefully come home in a few weeks. The only remaining hold-ups before he comes home are:
  1. Weight Gain
    Roscoe is well past the 5lb requirement for coming home, but he's still not gaining weight fast enough to catch up with where he would have been if he was born in December (his gestational age). The doctors are increasing the calories in the milk he's eating to try and get him to gain more. He's currently about 6lb 10oz and 19" long.
  2. Hernia Surgery
    We haven't posted any pictures of it, but Roscoe has a very large hernia just above his groin that was there when he was born and has slowly gotten larger. It is mildly uncomfortable for him, but mostly it's just cosmetically troubling. Each time he squirms or grunts, it pushes his intestines out and puffs up the area. The doctors had planned to wait until a week or two before he goes home to surgically repair it (they said it is a relatively simple surgery). They hope to do the surgery within the next week. If Roscoe doesn't recover normally from the surgery, then it would delay him coming home. He recovered fine from his pyloric stenosis surgery, so we are hoping he'll do the same here.

Not much to else to say, but we are very excited! Here's a video of Roscoe squirming around and looking happy:

At the Baby Carnival

Roscoe is pretty active when he's awake, so if the nurse is caring for another baby she needs to keep him occupied. Here's a swing that they put him in. Sorry the picture is dark. We tried to keep the lights low because he was sleeping. With the music playing, it sounded like he was at a little baby carnival, riding a ride after he gave them his ticket.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Roscoe sightings at the Mall

Alisha recently saw Roscoe twice at the mall. The first time, he was at Crate & Barrel. They have a new line of dishes that are apparently named "Roscoe":

The second time, she saw him in a hallway. Walking down the hall, Alisha saw this: 

Then moving in closer, she found a tile that Molly (my cousin) had painted for Roscoe. The day that Roscoe was born, Molly had a tile location reserved at the Galleria Mall. It was a tile that she could paint anything on that would show support for the mall rebuilding effort. If you recall, Roscoe wasn't born as "Roscoe", so that's why the tile footprint is pink and not blue. At the time he was born we hadn't published the name, so Molly didn't have the name "Dottie" to put on the tile:

It's fun to think about all of the people who walk by this tile each day and don't know the story that lies behind it. I wonder how many other stories out there we walk past without realizing their depth, whether they are tiles on a wall or faces in a crowd ...

Monday, March 10, 2014

Roscoe's First Words

The doctors have all told us that Roscoe's mental development will be a little different from the normal track for a baby, but over his first 2-3 years he should be able to catch up to normal. In some ways he'll make progress according to the date when he as born (October 6th). In other ways he'll make progress according to his expected due date (December 24th). In still other ways, he'll be behind both of those due to his extended NICU stay.

In a surprising turn of events this past week, Roscoe broke the pattern by speaking his first words at just over 5 months old! He was a little bit tired at the time, but you can clearly make out the words as his mouth moves:
What a bright young man!

On a serious note, each time I pray I ask God to grant wisdom to Roscoe. It feels weird to pray for a baby to have wisdom, but I am confident that these constant petitions will pay dividends in Roscoe's life down the road. Almost every day since I was ~18 years old I have asked God to give me wisdom. Now it is Roscoe's turn.
If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God,
who gives generously to all without finding fault,
and it will be given to you. - James 1:5

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Flowers for Roscoe

When we found out Alisha was pregnant, I bought her some flowers. They weren't cut flowers, but instead it was some potted flowers that I thought would last longer. We set them outside and watered them regularly, but soon the flowers withered and died off, leaving just an empty plastic pot. I consoled myself by saying "Oh well, at least they lasted a little longer than cut ones".

Over the next several months we discovered that our baby had IUGR and faced the danger of not surviving. We planted other stuff outside and some of it grew fantastically (sunflowers, tomatoes) and others didn't grow so well (wild flowers, strawberries). As things died off and others grew bigger, we mixed potting soil around to give nutrients to the plants that flourished.

One or two months ago, we saw some weeds growing up in the bed where our sunflowers had been. I was going to pull them, but Alisha told me not to because she thought they were her flowers. I had pulled up similar weeds from elsewhere in our backyard, but she was convinced and so I let them grow. They just got bigger and bigger, like any weed would. However, a few weeks ago those weeds grew bulbs on their stalks and then last week those bulbs bloomed:
Just like Roscoe, those flowers hadn't been given a chance of survival. Just like Roscoe, God brought them up and made them healthy again. The resiliency of these little flowers (and my little boy) are a testament to the care and faithfulness of our creator.

Why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! Do not worry then, saying "What will we eat?" or "What will we drink?" or "What will we wear for clothing?" For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will take care of itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
- Matthew 6:28-34

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Cooing and Smiling

Roscoe has been getting much more active lately. As you saw in a previous post, we took a piece of paper and rotated it around to stimulate Roscoe's mind. We uploaded another video of that encounter below. In this one, Roscoe starts cooing at us (and the paper) and flashes his smile!
We are excited to hear what his little voice starts sounding like, so that soon we can lovingly tell him in a few years to "stop talking for just a minute so mommy and daddy can regain their sanity".

Friday, March 7, 2014

Dr. Baby, M.D.

Roscoe got a little doctor's outfit that Alisha was just waiting to see him in. We finally got him into it and here is the result:

Here is Dr. Baby taking a lunch break after a hard day of seeing patients:

We also tried to get him to show off how he can find his hand and then move his hand into his mouth. I guess he was either camera shy or he forgot what he learned in his "How to Find Your Hand and Eat It 101" class that he took for undergraduate study.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

The Magic of Paper

Here is a video that we took a few days ago where we captured Roscoe's attention pretty well:
Near the end of the video you can hear his "I am hungry" cry. It's distinct from his cries where he's upset or uncomfortable, so Alisha and I have learned to distinguish it. It's neat to be able to start communicating with our boy!

If you're wondering what kept his attention so well, it was a printed piece of paper. I downloaded some high-contrast pictures to get his mind stimulated, then combined them on a sheet of paper. I rotated the piece of paper every once in a while to keep things interesting. Here's what it looked like:

3.0 pressure, 24% oxygen

Roscoe has made some great progress on his breathing. Two days ago they dropped the machine's air pressure from 5.0 to 4.0, and just today they dropped it down to 3.0. He is also down to 24% oxygen in the air he's receiving. All of these are positive signs and we thank God for this great progress he's accomplishing in Roscoe.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Big Boy Activities

With his newfound growth, Roscoe has started taking on the activities of an older baby (or a middle-aged man). Watching Roscoe grow and make progress makes me very happy. It also gives me an idea of how God feels when we grow and make progress as he watches us.

We caught these "old man" behaviors on video last night:



Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Fat and Happy

Roscoe had a big weight gain, so he's now up to 6lb 7oz. His breathing has also gotten much better, where yesterday he stayed at 25% oxygen all day. Alisha and I were concerned that even though his breathing is doing better, his blood test might show too much CO2 ... but the results from a test yesterday showed that his numbers got much better there as well. It looks like Roscoe being able to eat his food and rest comfortably is yielding benefits in his health!
Without jinxing ourselves, we're hoping that this is Roscoe making the final turns on his journey home. He still has to get down to 21% and the pressure of that air needs to be lowered (slowly) from 5 to 1 (liters per hour), so we've still got some time before this little guy comes home.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Feeding tube removed

Late last week, Roscoe's feeding tube was removed. He did well on feedings by mouth overnight, twice taking in full feedings of 75mL (or 2.5fl oz). This made the doctor confident enough that he said he'd try removing the feeding tube for a few days to see how Roscoe did.

So far Roscoe is averaging around 60mL per feeding but he is eating more often, so he's meeting his full 75mL intake requirement. This is much higher than the 15-40mL he was eating previously by mouth. On Saturday he set a new personal record by eating 100mL in a single feeding!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

4 Months Ago

It's amazing sometimes to think of the difference that 4 months can make. Time can fly by and make us think that today is just as it's always been. On October 28, 2013 was game 5 of the 2013 World Series. We were scrambling to get a suitable Halloween costume and looking forward to what Thanksgiving would bring after that. Christmas was a distant thought.

Looking back 4 months I went from this on October 28th:

to this on February 28th:

God gives the growth. We just need to show patience and keep planting, watering, and praying. Click here for what my world looked like 5 months ago. God will provide ... and he has:

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Things in Roscoe's Nose

Growing up as a boy, I know that lots of things will be put into Roscoe's nose. Most of them we won't want to be in there. Some of them we'll struggle to get out. This is one time we're happy to see some things put into Roscoe's nose: his new full-time breathing tubes and feeding tube!

On Thursday morning the doctors decided to take Roscoe off of the bubble CPAP (face mask) and put him full-time on the nasal cannula (vapotherm). After letting him stay on that for a while, they ran some tests and he seems to be doing great. This is wonderful because now we get to see his face all the time we're there with less obstructions. It also lets him relax a little more and lets him look around and see more of his environment.

His feeding tube is through his nose as well, so that he'll be able to get better suction on the bottle. We are hoping that this is the beginning of the end of Roscoe's hospital stay. For those who are curious when he'll get to come home, we don't know :). If the doctors haven't mentioned it, then we assume the answer would be "at least a month".