"Begin today and write in it your goings and comings, your deepest thoughts, your achievements and your failures, your associations and your triumphs, your impressions and your testimonies. I promise you that if you will keep your journals and records, they will indeed be a source of great inspiration to you, each other, your children, your grand-children and others throughout the generations. Remember, the Savior chastised those who failed to record important events." --President Spencer W. Kimball

October 25, 2011


Wow how this week has flown right by, and so much has happened.  Baby Katea is doing awesome!  She's simply amazing.......they been pumping 5 different types of antibiotics in her body for the past 10 days (some of them 14 days) and today was the last dose.  The antibiotics seem to be working, which we are so greatful for!  All the bloodwork has come back negative, and the cultures they took haven't grown anything!  It's funny because my mom said with all the antibiotics they're giving her, it should kill every single bad thing in her body....I'm glad they covered their bases and I hope and pray that the bacteria and infections don't come back because the nurses said it's pretty common for preemies born that early to have several spells of infections throughout their stay in the NICU.  I'm praying that won't happen to my baby girl!

She hasn't had to have a blood transfusion since the last time I blogged, which is super good!  The platelet transfusion worked so good that her platelet count went from 50 to 190 with just that one transfusion...and it's been staying in a good range since then!  Since she's been born she's been under the bili-light quite a bit.  It kinda seems like they put her under it every other day.....a couple days last week they had her under the light for two days in a row.  They said she didn't really need it on the second day, but they were hoping that by putting her under it for two days straight, it would solve her bili count and she wouldn't have to be under it again.  It worked!!  :)

That reminds me of a horrible experience we had this week.  It was one of the days she was under the bili-light.  Ova and I walked into the room for our daily visit and we walked straight up to her incubator and immediately gasped.  Her little cheeks were so swollen like they were going to pop.  The stupid nurse put the bili-glasses on her head WAY TOO TIGHT and it was squeezing the heck out of her poor little head.  Immediately Ova reached in and loosend the velcro that was holding the glasses on.....and just as he was doing that, the nurse walked in.  She was a new nurse, one that we'd never seen or worked with before.  Her name was Julie....I'll never forget that!  She came up to the bed and I said "her glasses are on way too tight"....Julie said, "I don't think so"  then she puts her hands into baby Katea's incubator and takes off the glasses.  I started crying at what I saw.  Her poor little head was so deformed.  She's still super tiny and her head still soft....the glasses had been on her head for over 2 hours and it changed her face so much that she looked like a completely different baby.  I should have taken a picture of it, but I was so upset that I didn't even think about it.  Her poor eyes were sunken in and there was a definite dent in her head where the top of the glasses were and above her little cheeks at the bottom of the glasses.  Julie said "let's just leave them off for a minute" then she left the room.  She knew we were both pissed off and I was crying so she was probably uncomfortable.  I stood there and stared at my little girl....she didn't look the same.....it made me wonder if she was in pain because the glasses were squeezing the heck out of her head.  Her head was deformed.  It looked like when you have a balloon and you squeeze the middle and the top and bottem get big...that's what her little head looked like.  I was worried it wouldn't go back to normal....or that all the head pressure caused brain bleeds, which she was clear of so far.  I was livid.  Ova stood on one side of the incubator and I was on the other.  We were both just looking at her, in shock at what we were seeing with her little head.  Then I look at her legs.  One leg was hanging over the blanket and the other leg was bent and all I could see was her knee.  Her leg was a little twisted, she looked uncomfortable and I couldn't see her little foot.  I asked Ova where her foot was.  He grabbed her knee trying to straighten her leg out and you'll never believe where her foot was at........it was INSIDE her diaper!  Julie freakin' put her diaper on 2 hours earlier during her cares and when she put her diaper on, she closed her foot in it.....who does that??  Ova pulled her little foot out and she stretched her leg out......my poor baby girl.  I was so mad.  Julie came back into the room and I told her that her foot was closed inside her diaper....she said "are you sure it wasn't just tucked in the blanket?"  I said, "no, my husband just pulled it out of her diaper"....she said "well I don't know how that happened" and then she left the room again.  I pulled the chair up to her bedside and just stared at her, crying.  Every single nurse we've had has been extremely nice, professional and kind.....Julie was the first bad experience.  She pretty much stayed out of the room the whole day....usually the nurses sit and tell us all the updates and changes that have happened that day, but she didn't talk to us at all.  I know she knew we were mad at her.  I went up and found the charge nurse and told her what happened and asked if they would please never assign Julie to be Katea's nurse ever again.  The charge nurse was very kind and assured us that she won't ever be her nurse again.  The sad thing is that several of the nurses were telling us that she's done that a lot.....so why the heck is she still working in the NICU???  Uggghhh!  It wasn't even a personality conflict because we never talked to her, she didn't do her job very well and I don't feel like my daughter is safe with her.  That happened on Monday and Ova and I were only planning on being at the hospital with her for a couple hours so we could come home for FHE....but we stayed all night just because we didn't want to leave our baby alone with Julie.  :(

On a lighter note, she's growing so well and she's gaining weight!!  Yay!  After stopping her feedings for the transfusions she got last week, they started her feedings again slowly.  First they started with 2ml every 6 hours, then it went up to 3ml every 3 hours.....she handled the food so well and her bowels were working like they should so they up'd her feedings a little bit more everyday.  From the 3ml they went to 5ml every 3 hours, then 6ml....then 7ml, then 10.....then 13ml....15ml.....17ml and today she was all the way up to 19ml every 3 hours!!  That's a huge accomplishment!  19ml sounds like a lot, but really it's not considering that 15ml is only a half a ounce.....but it's a full feeding for a baby her size!  We were a little worried about her bowels when she was first born because she didn't have a stool for the first 12 days of life.  They actually had to give her a enema to help her move things along....it helped and now she's doing it on her own!  I think we're even past the meconium stuff and getting to the real poop because it's turning from black to green.

We weigh her every night to see how much she's gained, or if she's lost.....and they measure her length and head circumfrance once a week on Sunday.....she's grown quite a bit since she's been born....here's her stats:

Born 9/26/11
Weight:  1 lb. 12 oz.
(They didn't take her length the day she was born because they didn't want to put too much stress on her little body)

Length:  12 1/2 inches

Weight:  1 lb. 10 oz.
Length:  13 inches

Weight:  1 lb. 10 1/2 oz.
Length:  13 inches

Weight:  2 lb. 1 1/2 oz.
Length:  13 3/4 inches

Weight:  2 lb. 5 1/2 oz.
Length:  14 1/2 inches

We were so excited that she hit 2 lbs.  And just from last Sunday to this Sunday she gained 4 ounces and grew a little less than an inch in length.....she sure had a huge growth spurt, and she totally impressed the nurses and doctors.....we are so happy!  Who would have ever thought that a 2 lb. baby would have a chubby face....but she does!  They said the first place babies gain weight in in their face....and we can totally see it in baby Katea's face!  She's so cute!

This is when she was a week old...
This picture was taken just 2 weeks after the one above.....huge difference isn't it!! 

One thing we've been struggling with is her breathing.  We're very blessed that her head is good, her heart is good....but her lungs are struggling :(  They're just not as strong as they need to be.  She's been on the ventilator for almost a month.  They keep trying to wein her down to hopefully get her off, but it's not working too great.  She's grown a lot since she was born, and her throat has grown and is bigger then the tube, which causes a leak.  What that means is that some of the breaths she's getting from the machine is escaping and not getting to her.  Her oxygen saturation is all over the place and they're now calling her the yo-yo baby because she's so all over the place.  She'll high sat up in the high 90's and immediately drop down to the 60's.......it's hard to measure how much oxygen she's really getting because of the leak, and if she moves a certain way and the tube in her throat moves, it makes the oxygen concentration in her blood drop.  She is taking a lot of breaths on her own, but there are also times where she stops breathing and just "rides the vent".  This week their goal was to wein her breaths down slowly, in hopes it would force her to do more work on her own.  She started out with the machine giving her 40 breaths a minute....the first day they went down 4 breaths, and everyday since then they've been going down 2 more breaths.  She was actually doing really well....until she got down to the machine giving her 26 breaths, then they stopped because they noticed that even though she was getting less breaths from the machine, she was needing more oxygen.  Today they ended up turning it up a little, so she's getting 30 breaths again.  I guess we'll have to accept the 2 steps forward and 1 step back!  Slowly but surely she'll get it!  My birthday is on Friday and I told her all I wanted was for her to get off the ventilator.....hahaha, nothing wrong with aiming high, right?  :)

I've gotten to hold her 4 times now.....I look forward to every chance I get to hold her!  She seems to do so much better with her oxygen levels and taking more breaths on her own when I'm holding her....I wish I could hold her more often and for longer periods of time, but they say she's still too little and a lot of movement is too much stress on her little body.....so I'll take the once a week for now!

Since the antibiotics are done and she's eating enough now, they were able to get rid of a lot of the wires she was hooked up to.  They were going to leave the PICC line in her arm for another day, just to make sure she tolerated her feedings....but when they went to flush it today it wouldn't flush....there was a blood clot inside it, so they went ahead and pulled it out.  Another less wire hooked to her body.  Hopefully now she'll stay stable and her lungs will start to improve so she can get off the ventilator!  I can't wait for that day, not only because she won't have a tube down her throat.....but I'll get to hear her cry, and we'll get to hold her more often!  Good job baby Katea, we're so proud of you and we love you so much!  Keep fighting, we're all still praying for you everyday!  And HAPPY ONE MONTH BIRTHDAY tomorrow!  Wow, that was fast!  :)


sWeEt said...

Thanks for always sharing Monica!!!! Hugs and kisses for baby Katea!!!


Tina Tuakoi said...

She is such a miracle and a fighter! I check blogger often to see if you've given an update. It's so great to see her doing so well! She is such a beautiful baby, and I love that her cheeks are getting more plump :)

Keep on fighting Katea, we're all cheering for you and continually praying for you and your family. We love you guys!

Latu said...

wow. that story about julie just made me so mad! i'm so sorry poor baby katea had to have that ridiculous nurse. good for you for complaining and that nurse needs a new profession.

on a brighter note, she looks so big! i'm glad she's doing so well!

Aki said...

Yay!! So glad she's doing well!! Keep it up Baby Tea!! Luv you!!

BTW - it was really nice seeing you Sun. Monica!! your such a great example...keep the strength mama!!your doing awesome as well!!

Kassie said...

I love seeing all her updates and hearing about her progress.. She is amazing Mon and I'm sorry you had to deal with a bad nurse. That never makes things easier, but I'm glad that nurse won't be over her care ever again!

Thank you again for taking the time to come to the baby shower on Saturday.. love you to pieces

Mauga Fam said...

Your baby girl is so beautiful! Glad she is progressing each day. What a stupid nurse! Glad she won't be " taking care" of baby Katea ever again!

Kalani said...

I love seeing your updates and hearing about how Katea's health is slowly but surely improving. Her newest picture is just precious...who knew a 2 pounder could have such a cute chubby face!!

shaunita said...

thanks for the update! she certainly is getting bigger. what a miracle!

Melissa said...

Has it really been a month already? She is so stinking adorable Monica! What a precious little girl you have there. I am sure it is so hard to leave her there when you have to go home. She is quite the little fighter. What a miracle baby she is. I love all the updates. Thanks so much! You are an amazing mom! I can just feel the amazing love you have for her and for your family when I read your blog.

So sorry to hear about that terrible nurse that put those glasses on way too tight and her foot stuck in her diaper. I can't believe there are nurses like that in the NICU. Nothing but the best should be in there. Glad you took care of that. Way to hang in there Katea!!!!!

The Lomu Family said...

Baby Katea is getting so big, she is adorable :) I can't wait for her to be home with her big sister Lautala!

I couldn't even finish reading your story about Julie, it was just pissing me off. People like her, shouldn't be nurses.

Happy to see that baby is doing better, we'll keep praying for her..especially for her lungs to get better.

Love you guys always!

Sheena Tuakoi said...

Baby Kate is absolutely Beautiful!! She looks like such a big girl now.. Love hearing how well she's doing! :) I really would love to come visit her sometime.. I get back to Utah, tomorrow morning. So I'll text ya to see when would be a good time.

Praying for Baby Katea and your beautiful little family always. Love you guys! :)