Wednesday, August 30, 2006

8-29-06 Cuddled up with Uncle D



Uncle Derek and Burke had some serious bonding time over the weekend...Burke had a great time playing and snuggling with Uncle D! As you can see in the sleepy picture, Burke was out for the count.

Monday, August 28, 2006

8-28-06 Perspective


There is such comfort and rest in the faithfulness of God and his vast love that is beyond all measure! Watch as His glory is revealed through Burke's life. We wait patiently for Him to fulfill his promise to restore us.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

8-21-06 Binky Training 101


Just in case anyone was wondering what "binky training" is here's a picture for ya! In this pic Nate is feeding Burke a small amount of breastmilk through a tube attached to a pacifier. With each suck, Nate slowly & steadily pushes down on the syringe that contains the milk and it flows into the tube and out the end of the binky into Burke's mouth! This teaches Burke what it feels like to suck, swallow and breathe all at the same time! Both my boys are doing great...Nate is so patient with Burke and Burke is so patient with Nate...they make a great team! :)

Burke has been taking 10cc's (30 cc = 1oz) about twice a day and hasn't had any problems with aspirating or choking...we are super proud of him! In the next months, he'll continue to get a larger amount through his binky trainer and when he's ready, he'll graduate to a bottle. I've also started nursing him but we need lots more practice latching on and sucking. I'm very hopeful and know he'll get the hang of it!

Sunday, August 20, 2006

8-20-06 Surviving the Hospital



Well...we're still hanging in here at Children's and trucking along in the right direction (homeward bound). We're still just "talking" about going home so there are no official plans yet but we hope it will be sometime later this week. Burke's official due date is Aug 24th so we hope to be going home around then! In order to get there, Burke must gain weight steadily and have stable breathing. His weight gain has been slow but is on the rise and he weighs 6lbs as of yesterday! He continues to have 1 to 2 episodes of oxygen desaturations during the early morning hours which has been somewhat concerning as the doctors can't quite figure out why they're occuring. Burke hasn't been negatively affected by these episodes and doesn't require extra breathing support/oxygen which means his body is strong enough to recover nicely on his own. An expert plans to visit us tomorrow to help uncover the meaning behind these episodes and we pray she'll be able to tell us they're no big deal and we can go home!!! Burke is also being tested for respiratory viruses just in case these episodes might be related to possible development of a cold or infection. So far, he hasn't shown us any major signs of being sick (this would be a real bummer as it would keep him in the hospital longer).

Nate and I had a great weekend with family and friends who came to help us while we continue to get ready at home for Burke's official arrival! Nate and I had our first date night on Friday thanks to Jeremy & Larissa's babysitting help. The Nelson clan came over Saturday for a visit and to celebrate Grandpa Gary's b-day with baby Burke. We were also able to get some sleep for a few hours at home while Elysia & Kelvie babysat on Sunday! It's been so wonderful to have the support here in the hospital so we can leave for a few hours here and there. We love spending all day with baby Burke but being in a hospital setting can be quite stressful day in and day out. Just getting fresh air and sunshine is a real treat these days.

Please continue to keep us in your prayers as we anticipate another exciting but challenging transition to going home. Nate will also be starting his new job the first week of September so we have lots going on that may cause extra stress in our lives both with time management and finances...we trust that this new chapter will be full of hope, joy and peace as we trust God to provide in all ways (as He already has!)

Love to you all...and thank you for keeping up with the blog...we LOVE getting your encouraging messages!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

8-15-06 Surrounded by friends!



Burke has been doing really well this past week! As you can see, he enjoy's hangin out with his little buddies & sucking on his beloved binky. He's becoming much more interactive now...it's so much fun to watch him experience the world around him. His old roomate and buddy Logan & his mom stopped by to visit. Logan is just 8 months old and has been at Children's for cancer treatment (which is going well). As you can see, Logan really wanted to get into Burke's crib and play....it was sooo cute! Unfortunatley (for Logan) we had to postpone his playdate until Burke gets a bit bigger.

As for Burke's medical progress...he continues to wax & wane with weight gain and is now receiving a high calorie formula (30 K/cals) added to my breast milk to help him along. As of tonight he weighs 5# 12oz which is about where we started last week so he's starting to make up the few ounces he's lost! He is now taking 6ml of breastmilk by mouth during his binky training sessions twice a day and LOVES it! Wow, it's so encouraging to see him actually suck and swallow milk! As soon as he can tolerate 10ml twice a day we plan to try putting him to breast to see how he does...exciting progress :)!

He had his hearing screened today but didn't pass the screening in his right ear. The audiologist thinks the background noise may have interfered with the test so will repeat it next month. She counseled us on the fact that Burke is at higher risk of hearing loss due to his prematurity and the fact that he received certain antibiotics that are ototoxic (cause hearing loss) ...we won't know if this is true until they can re-test him next month. She did reassure us that even though the test wasn't "passed" today it did show that he is able to hear at most frequencies (phew) so can respond to our voices and sounds around him.

Please please continue to pray for Burke's steady weight gain, ability to tolerate taking in milk by mouth directly into his tummy and the subsequent testing (hearing, etc) that are still pending. The battle we fight daily is to not be anxious about the unknown but to just take one day at a time and rejoice in the life and love that we have for that day!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

8-9-06 Growing stronger!

Burke remains in good spirits as he continues to work on growing and gaining weight! :) Over the past few days he's lost about 4 ounces but nothing too alarming or unusual. Because of this, we are now adding more calories to his milk to help "beef him up" a little more! The doctors would like to see him gain weight steadily before he can go home. They've also suggested to us that he likely will go home on tube feedings. How this works is Burke will continuously receive milk through a syringe pump hooked up to his tube. Basically milk drips into his intestines 24/7 which helps prevent the dreaded "reflux" that causes the errosion and stricturing of his delicate esophagus. At this point, Burke doesn't necessarily feel "full" or "hungry" but is satiated. Once he tolerates these feedings (and the reflux) well, he will begin to get milk directly into his tummy through the tube feedings and swallowing it down via breast or bottle feeds. We have no idea what the timeline for this will be...it all depends on how Burke is able to adjust to these new changes. Nate and I have learned how to set up his tube feedings and give his medication...Nate actually taught me how to do it all...he is a pro! All in all, we've made teriffic progress! Just think, a little over one week ago he was on CPAP for respiratory support...this little man amazes us each day...we are so totally proud to be his parents!

Many thanks to those bringing the yummy food to help Nate and I stay strong too...we appreciate you all so much! :)

Monday, August 07, 2006

8-7-06 The Burke BLOW OUT!




Oh yes, what you see is poop on Nate's shirt (at 2am) after a major explosion took place during "daddy's turn" at diaper changing! The nurses all agree that Burke has officially set the hospital record for biggest poop blow out of all time...his excrement shot 72 inches (yes we really measured) from his rear end, through daddy's shirt and over to the bed where I was sleeping! Incredible for such a little squirt! hehe! Fortunatley, I was spared from the mess but Nate had to spend the rest of the night in a hospital gown and pants. Thanks Burke for holding strong to the "Burke" family tradition...you've definitally proven yourself and you're uncles will be so proud :)

8-6-06 A weekend with Uncle Dave & Auntie Shel


We had a great weekend with Dave & Shelly (Chris's brother & sis in law from Redmond, OR)! Burke was very content in their arms...we are convinced that the love surrounding him has a tremendous healing power! Thank you Dave & Shelly for spending the weekend with us!

Saturday, August 05, 2006

8-5-06 We've Moved!

Burke is doing well...so well that the doctors agreed he is stable enough to be on the "big boy" floor with the other big kids! So this means we are no longer in the NICU but residing on the medical/surgical floor (Giraffe 3) in room 3018 bed 1. Burke is up to full feeds on moms milk and is no longer getting supplemental IV fluids! He is tolerating everything well so far...we are one big step closer to home (we pray)! Uncle Dave and Auntie Shelly are here this weekend from Redmond Oregon...they have already been such a help! Burke loves to look at Auntie Shelly...I think he might have a crush! :) We'll post a picture soon. Happy Seafair weekend to all you Seattlelites!

Friday, August 04, 2006

8-3-06 Cuddle bug


Our precious baby just gets cuter everyday! He loves to be cuddled in his blanket and snuggled in our arms! Today he discovered his little hands...aren't they so cute all folded up!

8-3-06 Sweet times with Nelson Grandparents
















It was a great day today! Burke is feeling much better and so are we! Rosie and Gary came to help out and do some holding while mommy went to shopping for baby stuff at target! :) Burke LOVED all of the attention today (needless to say). It was especially wonderful for G-pa & G-ma Nelson to spend time cuddling their first grandchild!

Burke's made terrific progress this week and we expect him to be moving out of the NICU to the regular medical/surgical floor within the next few days. This means he's more medically stable now! He had his first taste of mom's breastmilk during his first "binky training" session. The occupational therapist said he did a great job of sucking and swallowing his first few drops of milk...he earned an A+! He continues to get more milk through his ND tube (nose to duodenum or upper intestine) and is gaining weight well! So, for the next few weeks we'll be working on feeding/swallowing and trying to control the reflux so his esophagus can continue to heal.

Also we'd like to thank all of our friends and co-workers for the fabulous food...you guys are awesome!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

A Dad with Heart

Baby Burke is a lot like is dad already. When Burke was born my brother David nicknamed him 'Lion-Heart' during a prayer service. The character quality of having a great heart has been evident in both baby Burke and his Father Nate. Through out this time a lot of the focus has been on Chris and the Baby (understandably so). However, behind the scenes is a loving, compassionate, and supportive husband. Nate has been a pillar through this struggle for Burke’s life and a true hero. I have seen him love and care for my sister in ways I never thought possible. He has been positive, optimistic, and his faith is leading their marriage and the quest to see their boy restored to full health. I thank God that he gave my sister such a wonderful husband who has risen above the challenge by waiting upon the Lord (Isa. 40:31).

I talked to grandma today and she said the pneumonia is clearing in baby Burke’s lung and he is experiencing progress at this time. Thanks for your continual prayers!

Love

Nate, Chris, Burke, and Family