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October 2005 articles

October 30, 2005

Preemie Daisy graduates from caffiene

[Ed. Note: Yet another installment from my blog on the March of Dimes web site. I wrote this post on Aug. 17 and it details Daisy's discontinuation of caffiene (used to remind her to breath) inconjunction with lowering of her 02 - again. Here feeding growth is also detailed.]

Yesterday when we got to the hospital her nurse Judy (my favorite nurse in the NICU) told us that they had made one big change in orders that morning. NO MORE CAFFIENE! They are not only weaning her from her O2 (30 cc's now) but the caffeine as well - whoohoo! So now we have a decaffeinated baby. Only parents of preemies would think that's funny ya know.

Daddy got to nipple her yesterday, and she took 15 cc's with him after having taken 20 cc's during her "second breakfast." It's so much better to feed her with a bottle than push the plunger on the syringe. She let her daddy hold her, and for the first 15 minutes or so, each time he tried to take the bottle away she'd suck like crazy. After a bit we could tell she just wanted to sleep, so Judy put the rest of her grub in the syringe. I'm just so happy that she took as much as she did.

I'm going to give the hospital a jingle shortly to check on her blood gasses - they have been really good, even without the extra O2, so hopefully she will continue that trend.

Daisy also got some new neighbors yesterday - the twins we were originally with went home and now, we have new twins! They were both due on Daisy's original due date, born at 34 weeks though. IT was exciting to see that Daisy is really keeping pace with them, weighing only 2 ounces less than the smaller one. Oh, speaking of weight, even with her poopies yesterday (four of them!) she still gained another 1/2 ounce, so she's almost 4 pounds 13 ounces today.

Well, I am off to start my day and perhaps head to the hospital a little earlier than usual. Hope you're all well.

Posted by sam at 08:23 AM in Daisy rant


October 26, 2005

Preemie princess and her puppy

Since Harmon, our Parson Rusell Terrier, came home he has proven to be quite the little helper with Miss Daisy. When he wiggled his little tail in the door last Sunday we were happy to see that he was well behaved, little did we know that he would soon prove to be the "mother dog." He tends to Daisy quite a bit, guarding her, sleeping next to her, even giving her sweet puppy kisses. If he could change diapers and make bottles he could be our nanny! Daisy seems fascinated with him, especially his nose because we have to cotinually stop her from sucking on it. What a treat for our "Little D," to find a best friend this early in life.

Posted by paul at 08:36 PM in Daisy rant + Photos


October 25, 2005

In Nana's arms

[Ed. Note: Yet another installment from my blog on the March of Dimes web site. I wrote this about three weeks before they sent our little girl home. Connie and Jenna came out to visit and to offer their support and I felt that I had to blog about it. Hope you enjoy.]

What a great time we've had with "Nana" and Aunt Jenna. I think they've both held her for at least two hours each, and she really relaxes in granny's arms. The spoiling has already begun, I swear, this little girl has more clothes than I do!

Exciting news... today when we showed up for our afternoon visit I noticed right away that the oxygen saturation line on the monitor was gone. I looked at Judy and she said, "Wow, you sure noticed that fast. Yup, they've stopped watching her saturations." I swear, I jumped and danced around that room for a good minute. WHOOHOO!!! Our biggest worry, our biggest concern, finally I can stop staring at that blasted blue line!

Her blood pressure was really good this evening too. I don't want to get too excited, but Judy said something that got me to thinking it could be soon. A few weeks ago they did Daisy's hearing test, one ear passed right away, and the other said to retest. Well, all along they've been telling me they'll wait until right before she comes home to retest her other ear, to give it plenty of time to drain after the O2 was off. Judy says to me "This week she has her eye test and her hearing test, plus the physical therapist will probably see her as well." Now, I know I shouldn't make too much of this, but well, they SAID they wouldn't test her until right before she comes home AND the PT just said she'd want to see her once more before she comes home. Could it be that they are thinking she might come home next week?!?! I'm scared to ask, and I'm scared to hope... but that would be so wonderful.

Out of her last 8 feedings, she has taken 5 by bottle - we're getting there! Oh, sometimes she takes more than her "prescribed" 45 cc's - even taking 50 cc's here and there. She's a little feeder and grower. I think she'll hit 5 and a half pounds tonight.

I just want to hold her and hold her and then hold her some more - she's the most amazing, beautiful wonderful thing I have ever done, I am so proud of her.

I hope you're all having a nice weekend - I'll keep you posted.

Posted by sam at 10:12 PM in Daisy rant


October 23, 2005

Spring cleaning in October

If you haven't already noticed I did some sprucing up of the site over the weekend - lord knows it desperately needed some TLC. Not only did I add the archives by category section, which I already mentioned, I also replaced the header graphic, cleaned up the primary navigation, added the My Yahoo feed link in the right nav and am now diving into making the javascript pop-ups more accessible. whew!

And all of this was done to ensure you the reader, has a better experience.

Posted by paul at 03:08 PM in Paul rant


October 22, 2005

Happy one month adjusted b-day

Yesterday, Oct. 21, Daisy celebrated her one month age adjusted birthday as her original due date was Sept. 21. Daisy spent this momentous occasion by eating, sleeping, crying and farting - basically, doing all the things a full term baby is expected to do. Her only connection to her preemie start that day was she received her first synagis shot. Boy was she excited. Honestly, I think it was harder on mom then little 'ol Daisy :) Happy ONE MONTH Daisy and enjoy the pics!

Posted by paul at 01:28 PM in Daisy rant + Photos


October 19, 2005

View rants by category now available

Just wanted to let visitors know that I've now added the ability to view rants by category to Janney Family. This allows you to view all posts in a particular category without having to hunt and peck for them across the site. For example, if you want to see only posts about Daisy you can now do that here or at the bottom of a new post like this one. Lastly, you can find the full category listing in the right-hand nav for added convenience. I'll be tweaking this feature over the coming weeks including the look and feel of the category pages themselves. enjoy :)

Posted by paul at 01:43 PM in Paul rant


October 18, 2005

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

[Ed. Note: Yet another installment from my blog on the March of Dimes web site. I wrote this about a month and a half before they sent our little girl home. Often times the NICU experience is compared to a roller coaster ride, with good reason.]

Well, I was a little concerned about her blood pressure and the need for them to increase her O2 overnight, so I called the doc. He said those dreaded words right away, "I'm glad you called because I was going to call you." MY HEART DROPPED. You never want them to call you, ya know?

Turns out that Daisy has a mild case of Chronic Lung Disease - he said that he had hoped that she would grow out of it by now, and that it wasn't anything to be overly worried about and that they would just be monitoring her. First of all I didn't know she EVEN HAD IT to grow out of?!?!

He also said that the higher blood pressure readings could go hand-in-hand with the chronic lung disease, but they would be doing more tests to make sure that everything else in her body is doing what it's supposed to. He assured me that she is doing very well and that she will grow out of all of this, he mentioned that at this age babies only really have about 5% of their lung tissue and that it will improve as she grows. I just feel so scared now - funny, last night I started getting excited about her not having any spells for 48 hours and now I can't seem to stop crying.

Do most babies born before 30 wks get chronic lung disease? Will her heart be okay??? She is on the nasal canula at 2 litres, O2 between 26-30% - is that a lot??? I just wish someone could tell me if she's going to be okay - the doc said they weren't overly concerned, that it's very mild and she'll outgrow it but still.. so scared. I swear, if I hear the words, "Well, she's little" or "She'll outgrow it" one more time I may pull all of the hair OUT of my head.

Awww well, back on this dreaded roller coaster again.

Posted by sam at 03:05 PM in Daisy rant


October 15, 2005

Baby Daisy's video debut

If you were ever curious as to what happens to parents who are homebound with a newborn preemie, check out the following movie of Daisy (4.6mb) hanging out with mom.

Posted by paul at 04:13 PM in Daisy rant


October 14, 2005

NICU Up's and Down's

[Ed. note: This was taken from my 'blog' on the March of Dimes Web site from August 2 of this year. It gives a small glimpse into the mind and heart of a parent of a baby in the NICU]

Daisy is doing very well today - I had a rough night but she did awesome. I found out about 9:30 last night that the nurse who was with her last time she bottomed out (16 spells in a day) was there overnight again. Now, logically I know it's not the nurse's fault that Daisy had more spells than usual, but somehow inside I was convinced that this woman was the cause.

Also, she had "forgotten" Daisy was off the CPAP for almost a half hour more than she was supposed to be. Daisy did great, which should make me happy, but it scared me because what if she forgot to put her back on later in the night? Or forgot something else?!?

I was very good and didn't call her during the night, but I did call about 5:30 this morning. She hadn't had one spell all night!! Not one!! Okay, so I owe this woman karmically for doubting her abilities, she had no idea I doubted her so I can't apologize to her openly. PLUS, I just called to check on her (10:00 am CST) and still, no spells!!! This means it's been over 24 hours since her last spell - yesterday she had a total of 4. Today, zero, zilch, nada - NOT ONE!!! That's the longest she's ever gone without a spell, I can't believe it.

When I found out I was in a hallway at work and I swear, I almost danced back to my seat. Her daddy is in a meeting right now so I can't give him the good news, and it's DRIVING ME CRAZY because I want him to know how good a job his daughter is doing. I am so proud of her - I hope she knows this.

We are heading to the NICU this afternoon, hopefully she can come out of her Isolette for her "elevensies" - yes, my daughter eats like a hobbit. She has already had her second breakfast for the day...

Thank God for days like this, they really balance out the harder ones. These are the days when I tell myself we are going to get through this.

Posted by sam at 09:22 PM in Daisy rant


October 12, 2005

Rising to the top on Google the SEO way

First off, if you're looking for news on little Miss Daisy Janney you've come to the wrong post. This rant is completely dedicated to everyone's favorite topic - SEO. What is SEO you ask? Search Engine Optimiazation is what that be, or at least stand for. While the topic itself isn't all that interesting, the end results can be.

I think I've addressed this geek issue before on past posts - PD (pre Daisy), but I figured it was high time to revist and see where things stand. The reason SEO is important for a web site is that in applying some basic mark-up techniques, you can increase your ranking on Google. The latest example of this applied technique can be found when you do a search for "janney family" on Google. On the first page of results you'll notice janneyfamily.com comes up in the first few records (first or second), which is exactly what you when executing SEO for your own site. Most published studies show that users very rarely venture past the first page or two of results on Google, so you want to try and hit as close to #1 as possible. There is an alternative to SEO and capturing top-page billing and that is by paying for advertising space.

SEO Tips:

- Buy a targeted domain name (ex. sports.com for sports).*
- Name directories and files relevant to the page content (/sports/)
- Use page titles that are relevant to the page content (Sports)
- Create a relevant meta description
- Craft and create content that is relevant to the topic being discussed
- When creating content use rich keywords that people would search on
- Cross-link content on your site (site map anyone?)
- Keep content in visible page area. i.e. Don't suppress under pulldowns
- Use clean, standardized mark-up
- Utilize heading tags for what they were intended for <h1><h2><h3>
- Keep your content fresh and up to date. No one likes a stale site
- Check/track the amount of spidering Google has done to your site
- Get listed in the open source dmoz.org search index
- Have quality referral links coming into your site

*Of course finding, and even affording, a quality domain name is hard to come by these days - especially in the dotCOM space. An alternative would be to see if .net or .tv is available as these are usually cheaper and easier to obtain.

Lastly, there are also a number of do nots as well, but that discussion is better suited for a future post.

Hope this helps! btw, Daisy is over 8lbs now :)

Posted by paul at 07:29 PM in Paul rant


October 03, 2005

Three Months Ago Today

Three months ago today she came into this world weighing 2 pounds 8 ounces and at a length of 15 1/4 in. Today she is over 8 pounds and 21 inches long.

Three months ago today she had all sorts of tubes and wires attached to her little body. Today she is sleeping in a lambie nightgown, wireless and tubeless.

Three months ago today her entire body was covered with fine white hair. Today she has a head full of honey blond hair.

Three months ago today she was on a ventilator to help her breath. Today she is breathing on her own, sometimes a bit fast or deeply, but on her own nonetheless.

Three months ago today she was eating through an IV. Today she chugs down at least two ounces every three hours - most of the time even more!

Three months ago today she was having A's and B's and was on caffiene to keep her going. Today you can't stop her.

Three months ago my life changed from everything I had ever known, black became white, up became down - it was no longer about me.

Three months ago I learned what a true miracle is.

Three months ago I was given a tremendous gift and challenge, looking back I would have it no other way.

Happy 3 months Daisy Lou.

Posted by sam at 11:13 AM in Daisy rant


October 01, 2005

Our Summer on the Roller Coaster

[Ed. note: This was taken from my 'blog' on the March of Dimes Web site from August 1 of this year - hopefully it will give you an idea of how things started with our Yankee Doodle Daisy.]

I think I'll start at the very beginning. All of my life I have been a bigger girl, chubby, husky (I hate this word), plus size, etc. Last year I decided, along with Paul, that it was time to start taking care of myself and get healthy. We started in February, Paul dieting along with me, and by the end of the year I had lost 80 pounds and Paul had lost 55 - I was in the best shape of my life! I was working out regularly, eating right, and in the midst of all this, my "cycle" became regular.

Well, long story short, since I was more regular we both decided it was time to try and have a lil one. We had been married over five years, felt very stable in our lives and really wanted to share it with a child. For a few months we really tried, me counting days, and taking temps, but nada, nothing. It started to take the fun out of getting pregnant in the first place if you know what I mean, so I decided it was time to just let things take their course. Last Christmas we went to Vegas, and bada bing bada boom, I was pregnant.

My pregnancy couldn't have been more textbook, and trust me, I read EVERY book out there. I had terrible morning sickness, gained the right amount of weight for each check up, worked out the right way, anything I could do to stay healthy and keep our bundle healthy as well.

Well, around the 26th week of prenancy, actually the night of my 32nd birthday, Paul and I were at a hotel - he was taking me to Milwaukee for a 4D ultrasound, it was my birthday gift. Around 5am on June 18 I woke up covered in fluid, just drenched. Me, the hotel bed, everything. I got up, praying for a bladder infection - heck, that my bladder had exploded, anything but what I knew in my heart it was. I went to the bathroom and fluid trickled down my legs - I left a little trail to the bathroom. I called the hospital and they told me to get to the ER. It was one of the longest rides of my life.

When we got there the docs checked me and my cervix was still completely closed. They monitored me for 6 hours on an NST, and the baby appeared not to be in any distress, an ultrasound showed that she had enough fluid inside to be okay and was doing just fine. They told me at this point I would spend the rest of my pregnancy in bed there at the hospital.

It was very hard for me to accept that I wouldn't be able to do all of the things I had been doing - I don't know that it really dawned on me that there was a bigger danger in all of this. I cried a lot on bed rest, I was lonely, I was scared and looking back, I was really frustrated. What did I do wrong? I did everything right!!!

The docs kept telling us that I needed to make it to week 28, that they were pretty sure if she came out at 26 she'd be "ok." I was allowed to shower and use the rest room on my own, and they also let me take 20 minute wheel chair rides. I was able to keep from going into labor for 2 weeks exactly, then on July 3, 2005, Daisy Eileen made her grand entrance into the world.

She weighed 2.8 pounds, was 15 1/4 inches long, squeaked, cried and pee'd on the doctor right away. I saw her for a few seconds before she was whisked away to the NICU. For some strange reason, after giving birth, I felt so great. I was so positive that she would be okay, and I was proud of myself for delivering her vaginally with no drugs. I was excited, the fear really didn't creep in until two days later.

That night we were able to see her, she was on the vent (she only needed the vent for about 18 hours) - she was laying on the warming bed, resting, and she took my breath away. She was lovely and pink, covered in white/blond hair and had huge eyes.

This Wednesday (August 3) she will be one month old, and I can't believe what all has taken place. She is now 3.14 pounds, 16 inches long and they are working on getting her off of the supplemental 02. I hate the word "spells" and never thought the letter's A or B would bring such dread. She is the poopy queen of the NICU, leaving as the nurses call them "the mother of all poops" throughout the day. I love her so much, I never thought my heart could feel so full and be afraid at the same time. Each day brings news blessings, whether it's a little blink of those giant blue eyes or a session of five sneezes... God is good to us.

I have gone on and on long enough for now, but I wanted to finish on one note. When I first came to the MOD site and was so scared and feeling alone, another member said something that has resonated with me since then. She said, "God picks the parents of preemies out very carefully."

Posted by sam at 04:57 PM in Daisy rant