Thursday, April 18, 2013

Greetings, Dash!

Just over a week ago, I titled a post "Six Week Countdown." Apparently, I was assuming that I'd go the full 40 weeks. A week later, I had a baby. That was three days ago.

This is Dash. Dashiell Jack Lucas Lacy is his full name, born at 35 weeks, weighing 6 lbs 7 oz and measuring 20.5 inches long. He's perfect and beautiful and we love him so incredibly much already.

Because of his early delivery, he'll be camping out in the NICU while he learns to breathe on his own, and then masters the art of eating. We're hoping it won't be too long, but we're encouraging him to grow at his own pace.

We've had a constant request for updates from family and friends (the benefit of having such a wonderful extended support network), so I've decided to use this blog as a way to keep everyone up to date, hopefully daily while he's in the hospital. Tomorrow I hope to get his birth story written out, but apparently life with two small children, one at home and one in the NICU, combined with pumping every 2-3 hours is pretty time consuming.

So, the big questions are "Why is Dash in the hospital?" and "How's he doing?" Here's what's going on. He was born 5 weeks early, and he's a boy (big boy!), and often, for whatever reason, boys take a little longer to develop than girls - especially their lungs. On top of that, apparently his lungs are a  little underdeveloped for 35 weeks. So, he's breathing pretty rapidly (currently around 90 breaths per minute) while his lungs are developing. That being said, he doesn't need any supplemental oxygen support, he just needs pressure to help keep his lungs open. This is our primary concern, and he's already shown a good amount of improvement since his birth (however, it's a slow going process). Upon his birth, he was intubated (had a breathing tube down his throat), but his improvement led him to receive a CPAP instead (little breathing mask apparatus) and last night he was moved to a nasal canula (two pronged device in his nose). The next step is to decrease the help the canula provides, and then wean him off entirely.

He started receiving feeds (my milk) yesterday and their plans are to slowly increase his feeding volumes, while decreasing what he's been receiving from his IV (supplemental nutrition in the form of lipids and an electrolyte combo). This is great news. Once he's done with the oxygen support he'll get to start trying and learning to breastfeed, and once he's mastered that he'll come home. We both got to hold him yesterday for some time, but today we're holding off, as he's developed a good amount of jaundice and must stay under the phototherapy lights until his jaundice levels improve.

This whole process could take some time. We've heard everything from a week or so, to "closer to his due date." Obviously, we'd prefer the first, but whatever it takes to bring him home healthy. This will be an exercise in patience, for sure, but we're so happy with the care he's being provided with, and know that we're super lucky in the large scheme of things. He could be so much sicker, we're so close to the hospital (7 minutes!) and it's one of the best hospitals in the country.

And big sister Eleanor? She's adjusting... sort of. She had the time of her life while we were in the hospital giving birth, but now that we're home, she's showing definite signs of separation anxiety and general fussiness. It's hard - she's too young to understand what's going on, but knows that things are changing. We're going to try to make our time with her as intentional as possible, and extend her as much grace as we can when she melts down (the meltdowns we've seen in the last two days are the worst she's ever had). We'll get there. :)

More to come tomorrow, hopefully!


  1. Great job Dash! I can't believe what great progress he has made in just 3 short days! Good job momma (and daddy), I am sure all of this is not easy at all! Big hugs to Ellie!

  2. Thanks so much for finding time and energy to do this! It helps tremendously to have word about how things go. We are thinking of you constantly and send our best wishes for Dash's steady improvement. Much love to you all.

  3. You don't know me. I am a friend of Debby's. Our first was born very early, and was in the NICU at Children's for a number of weeks. I am praying good health, and blessings on your sweet little one, and your family. Hang in there