I know it's been a while since I've updated everyone about Joshua, so here's an update:
He is one month old today!
He is doing so great in so many ways, but still has a long way to go before he can come home from the hospital. He is gaining weight really well (possibly too well). He weighed in today at 5 lbs 3 oz. (that's a total weight gain of 1 lb and 11 oz. since birth). He measured in this week at 17 inches (that's a total growth of 2 inches since birth). Momma's milk is doing its job and doing it well! Joshua, however, still needs to learn to eat. He is still mostly fed via a feeding tube through his nose. He knows how to bottle feed and even nurse, and he has had several successful sessions of both, but most of the time he gets too tired to finish a bottle or to get anything out of nursing. His OT says he is just lazy and needs some motivation to stay awake and alert enough to finish a bottle/feeding. So, his doctors have decided to put him on oxygen, but only when feeding, so as to give him the extra alertness he needs to eat well. With the extra "help" from the oxygen, he is now drinking almost 2 whole bottles a day... 6 more to go. After he starts drinking all his meals for 2 or 3 days straight, they will take his feeding tube out. Then they will try and feed him based on his cues for a while, making sure he can still gain weight that way. If he still gains weight on cue feeding, then we can talk about bringing him home. But for now, I have no idea when that will be.
I have also learned that his murmur is practically gone, which makes us suspect that his PDA and VSD have healed/closed on their own, as we had anticipated. He will have another echocardiogram done in a few more weeks to make sure, though.
We are all very anxious for Joshua to come home, but for now, we are very grateful for the very capable hands that have been taking great care of him thus far.
Brooklyn is also doing very well, and I suspect that she is starting to understand what/who Joshua is... although, there are times that I think she believes he is a lollipop himself (I always come home from the hospital with a lollipop for Brooklyn from Joshua). Her Grandma dressed one of her dolls in one of Joshua's preemie outfits, and Brooklyn now carries it around gently and motherly-like, and she even calls it Joshua. She might be a little confused when the real Joshua comes home, but for now, that's the closest she can get to her little brother.
Thank you all for the many thoughts and prayers... they have done wonders!
Have you ever seen a fat preemie! Can you believe he is only 5 lbs???