Saturday, June 6, 2009

Day 5 - A new bed for Riley!

Well we made it through our first night away pretty good. I know Pam and I both slept a lot better being in a nice comfortable bed, after being in those horrible hospital beds for so long. Got up early this morning and went to the hospital. When we arrived, had a nice little surprise - they moved Riley to a new bed. She is now inside an incubator bed, instead of the open heating bed. She will still need her temperature regulated for awhile, but doesn't need the heat lamp directly on her anymore, just hot air pumped in. The incubator also helps keep sound out, since she's still very sensitive to outside noises.

Here's Riley in her new bed, with Mom and Grandma watching over...

A close up...still has lots of tubes and wires, but its getting better!

We received another piece of good news today. They did another echo and the PDA duct has closed, so the medicine worked and she won't need the surgery! Since the PDA medicine kept them from being able to give her much food, they can now start injecting milk into her feeding tube about every 2-3 hours, around 5 mL at a time. Oxygen, heart rate, temperature, etc. is all looking really good as well.

One other thing I keep forgetting to of the hospital staff that came and visited us the first day was a social worker (they assign one to all NICU patients). Because of Riley's low birth weight, she qualifies for a bunch of government programs. She will be receiving payouts from Social Security while she is in the hospital (about $30/month), and Medicare will cover all of her hospital bills that our insurance won't cover - which will save us quite a bit of money!! In addition, once we bring Riley home, Rainbows United will be coming to our house on a regular basis during her infancy to check her development, and give her any special care in areas where she may be lacking. We hope this won't be needed, but it is great to know this service will be available if she is behind at all. Her prematurity will be taken into account, and they will always use "adjusted age" to calculate where she should be - meaning since she was 3 months early, they will always assume she should be 3 months behind (i.e. walk at 15 months instead of 1 year). Premature infants are usually caught up within 18-24 months.

Pam's milk is starting to come in. She had barely been getting 1 mL each time before, but just an hour ago she got almost 30 mL! It should start flowing full soon, which will allow us to store up quite a bit of milk for Riley. They will steadily increase the amount they are giving Riley, and hopefully she'll start growing really quickly now with Mama's milk providing all the nutrients and antibodies.


  1. Joey and Pam-

    It is really great to hear that Riley is progressing so well. My thoughts are with you two every day and I appreciate the updates. I check them often and wish I could be there to see her in person. She is a beautiful little girl and I am so happy for you both! Congratulations again!!!

  2. I am so happy to hear that she is moving up - new bed, no PDA surgery necessary, etc. She is a beautiful strong little girl and she has so many prayers helping her through all this!

  3. Melissa KimmerlingJune 8, 2009 at 10:53 AM

    What a little fighter! Can't wait to meet her on the 20th.

  4. Joey and Pam,
    Your reports are both reassuring and interesting to read about...your inside informationa is quite an education in what all is involved with taking care of your wee daughter. Thanks so much for taking the time to share all of it with us.

    love to all of you,
    aunt Marybeth

  5. What caught my eye was the milk! Since I'm no longer nursing, I have to get my kicks from somebody else. Good to hear your milk is in. I have a friend who stored up TWO FREEZERS full of milk for her baby! See if you can beat that! And, yes, the baby did manage to consume nearly all of it! I hope to come up and say hi sometime this week. I have to find someone to keep the boys for me. I love reading all your posts. You are in our prayers.

  6. Take advantage of all the help you can get! Even if you don't feel she needs it, have Rainbows United come anyway. They'll be VERY helpful answering any of your questions. Scott was leary about having someone help us, but it worked out wonderful!