David Christopher was born on August 3rd, 2005, at only 26 weeks and 6 days gestation.

He weighed in at 1 lb, 4oz, and was 12.5 inches long.

Here's his story.

Saturday, December 31, 2005

December 2005



Update on David
David is feeling better today, he's had two really good bowel movements since last night, and his tummy is less swollen than it was yesterday. They still aren't feeding him, though. They've taken his repogul tube out of his mouth, and are just letting him rest today, they'll resume feeding him tommorrow.

I guess it was the rice, afterall. All the bloodwork came back negative for infection, and they are going to give him some more xrays to make sure the loops are gone before they start feeding again.

Poor kid. Thanks for the prayers!!!!


David's blood work came back positive for staph infection, so that sucks, but they've started feeding him again, which is good because he was so cranky earlier today!!!! Poor kid was so hungry!!! Anyways, here are the latest pictures:
In his swing:

In the outfit that Weston picked out for him:

Artsy fartsy haha

Bonding with Daddy:

Bonding with Aunt Amy:

Here are all the wonderful things that Leora sent me this week (thank you so much, Leora!)

And, they've decorated the NICU, which is making me realize just HOW long he's been in there:


OK let's see what's new. David is on 1.5 liters of pressure on his vapotherm. He will go onto a regular oxygen nasal canula when he gets down to .5 liters. His feedings are going slow, he wears out quickly. They are trying to find the right combination with the nipples, because if it comes out too fast it will make his heartrate drop, but if it comes out too slow he will tire out. They tried an Avent nipple today & he did pretty good. We'll see what happens. Once these two things are accomplished I get to bring my baby home!!! (Still have my fingers crossed for Christmas!!!)

We're moving to the apartment across the hall. Five years of smoking & cat hair in here have taken it's toll. This apartment has nice, clean carpet, fresh paint, and new appliances (except for the stove & air conditioner)...the only thing I don't like about it is there isn't a ceiling fan in the bedroom...but we won't need one for a while anyways. I think we will be happy there! By Monday my new apartment number will be 303!!!!!

I had to give away my kitty today...I miss him already. Thank you so much to Cole & Amy for taking care of my baby!!!!

Javier installed a new program called Picasa....it's similar to photoshop I think. I've been messing with some pictures, I think they've come out pretty nice:

Amy & David:

Daddy & David:

Mommy & David:

Just David:

Me & Javier:

David is now down to 1 liter on the vapotherm. They also took out his feeding tube. YAY!!! Here are the latest pictures!!!

What a funny face!!!!

Isn't he handsome without his feeding tube??? :)

Look how big his poor belly button has gotten :( Poor kid!!!

David weighs 6lbs, 14oz tonight!!!

And just because it was pretty, I took this picture:


Why is it fair that some women can carry children all the way to term and have healthy, happy babies, and I can't?

David had a head ultrasound and turns out he has extensive brain damage from when he got real sick back in August. He's displaying all the symptoms of cerebal palsy.

For those of you who know me...I'm not ready to talk about this yet. I just need alot of prayers today. Thanks.


So Meme was able to talk to the doctors about David's brain damage, and he told her that based on the area of his brain that was damaged, the thing he is most worried about was his gait. He said there was no mental retardation visible. From what I've read about it, the condition does not get better, nor does it get worse. Based on that, and what I watch him do with his legs, I can't imagine that he will have major problems, like the need for a wheelchair or anything like that. (Another thing he said that was interesting is that the reason he's always sticking out his tongue is because babies with chronic lung disease have enlarged tongues, so basically his tongue is too big for his mouth, but he will grow into it....weird huh?)

I've also done tons of research on what a full term baby does at certain ages, like milestones & such. Based on THIS webpage, David is doing everything that a one month old (his adjusted age) SHOULD be doing, such as lifting his head, responding to sounds, and stares at faces. He also follows objects & smiles (every once in a while). I'm probably in total denial but I just don't believe that he'll have any debilitating effects from this.

Here are the latest pictures of David:

Isn't he HANDSOME????? I just love him..he's the best baby in the WORLD...and I wouldn't trade him for anything.

So we've been moving...just across the hall but it has been a PAIN IN THE NECK! Jeez...I had no idea it would take this long or be this much work. I'm happy here, though, I think. Here's a few pictures of the move:

All our CRAP:

The old apartment, all clean (almost!):

And our NEW couches!! (Ok..they're only temporary!) We HAD to get rid of the old yucky couch before we moved over here & got David home. So, we decided to temporarily rent some couches from Rent-a-center. I LOVE them! They are brown leather, and they are SO comfortable!!!

And finally, since we were moving out of the old apartment, I had to share the one of the sweetest things Javier did for me...I had to take pictures of it, because I can't exactly take it with me. What he did, was he got underneath one of the cabinets in the bathroom and wrote "I love you Sam" in such a way that when you put a mirror under it, you could read it through the mirror! All at once now: "AWWWWWWWW!!" haha:


They're talking about sending David home THIS WEEK.

He has to have his hernia surgery, and then I have to room in for a couple of nights. Depending on the surgeons schedule, he could either have the surgery later this week or early next week.

I've got so many thoughts running through my head. Excitement, nervousness, denial...I never thought this day would come. Please keep me in your prayers.

On another note, my inlaws are here for the week. Fun fun. I met my father in law for the first time. Lots of embarassing moments. It's especially entertaining because they don't speak English. But they're super nice, and the best part is, they'll be buying us lots of STUFF! Whoo hoo!


Update on David
Well, I met my pediatrition today, and he is wonderful. I think I'm going to love him. He specializes in micropreemies AND children with brain/developmental issues! Couldn't have found a better fit.
However, he did tell me today that he does not want to give David his hernia surgery right now because he's worried that if they do it right now he will have problems coming off the vent. He said it will probably be 7-10 more days before he feels comfortable having the surgery done.
When I went into the NICU today David's Neonatal Doctor pulled me aside and told me that he really does not forsee David having problems in the future based on the way David is acting (I'm refering to the brain damage issue)...he said that he follows people with his eyes, and he can eat, and he raises his head...he really made me feel better about that. This is the same doctor who told me that he will likely have cerebral palsy.
SO....I did in fact jinx myself the other day when I said he would be coming home soon. That sucks....but at least I know that it won't be toooooo much longer. Thanks for all the prayers...my Christmas miracle will be a little late, but no less of a miracle.


3 or 4 more weeks
I don't know how I'm going to manage this...

The ped said today he's not discharging David for three or four more weeks. He said he's trying to give him as many calories as possible so he can rebuild lung tissue.

I feel like David's infanthood is being stolen from me. I really feel jipped. This sucks major ass.

If I didn't love him so much I'd give up. But I really don't know how much more of this I can take.

David will probably be over SIX MONTHS old before I get to take him home.

When will I get my baby????


A cause true to my heart....
As anyone who has ever read my blog knows, I have been directly affected by prematurity...not just once but twice. Nearly 500,000 babies will be born prematurely this year.

I have a very dear friend who also gave birth to a premature baby boy this year. She is participating in the March of Dimes walk in April. I've asked her permission to post the link for her sponsor page. Her goal is to raise $1000.00 for the cause. Remember you can also claim it on your 2005 taxes if you get it in by the end of the year!!!!

If you are able and willing, here is the link to her sponsor page: The Truliant Angels.


I've found some more information about prematurity on the March of Dimes website. I know it's alot to read...but as I'm sure you can tell the cause is very important.

What We Know and What We Don’t

Today more than 1,300 babies in the U.S. will be born prematurely. Many will be too small and too sick to go home. Instead, they face weeks or even months in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), with their frightened parents looking on helplessly. These babies face an increased risk of death and serious medical complications; however, most, eventually, will go home.

But what does the future hold for these babies? Many survivors grow up healthy; others aren’t so lucky. Even the best of care cannot always spare a premature baby from lasting disabilities such as cerebral palsy, mental retardation and learning problems, chronic lung disease, and vision and hearing problems. Half of all neurological disabilities in children are related to premature birth.

While doctors have made tremendous advances in caring for babies born too small and too soon, we need to find out how to prevent these tragedies from happening in the first place. Despite decades of research, scientists have not yet developed effective ways to help prevent premature delivery. In fact, the rate of premature birth increased almost 31 percent between 1981 and 2003 (9.4 to 12.3 percent).

Why Do Women Deliver Early?

In nearly half of premature births, the cause is unknown. However, researchers have made some progress in learning the causes of prematurity. Studies suggest that there may be four main routes leading to premature labor.

1. Maternal or fetal stress. Chronic psychosocial stress in the mother or physical stress (such as insufficient blood flow from the placenta) in the fetus appears to result in production of a stress-related hormone called corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH). CRH may stimulate production of a cascade of other hormones that trigger uterine contractions and premature delivery.
2. Infections. Studies suggest that premature labor is often triggered by the body’s natural immune response to certain bacterial infections, such as those involving the genital and urinary tracts and fetal membranes. Even infections far away from the reproductive organs, such as periodontal disease, may contribute to premature delivery.
3. Bleeding. The uterus may bleed, due to problems such as placental abruption (when the placenta peels away, partially or almost completely, from the uterine wall prior to delivery). Bleeding triggers the release of various proteins involved in blood clotting, which also appear to stimulate uterine contractions.
4. Stretching. The uterus may become overstretched by the presence of two or more babies, excessive amounts of amniotic fluid, or uterine or placental abnormalities, leading to release of chemicals that stimulate uterine contractions.

The finding that there are several routes that can result in premature delivery may help explain why prematurity is so difficult to prevent. Now that scientists have a better handle on possible pathways to prematurity, they may be able to develop more effective interventions that can halt the various chemical cascades that lead to it. But first they must identify the women who need these treatments.

Complications of Premature Birth

Two most serious complications of premature birth:

* Respiratory distress syndrome is a serious breathing problem that affects mainly babies born before 34 weeks of pregnancy.
* Bleeding in the brain. This condition is most common in babies born before 34 weeks of pregnancy. Bleeding in the brain is called intraventricular hemmorhage (IVH), and can cause pressure in the brain and brain damage.

We have made progress in learning about the routes that lead to preterm delivery. But we have a long way to go in developing treatments to prevent it. Researchers agree that we need to develop better screening tests to identify women destined to deliver early, and treatments that can be used early on to interrupt the cascade of events leading to prematurity.

The Big Picture: Hospital Costs

In 2003, hospital charges for newborns without complications averaged $1,700. In contrast, hospital costs for infants born too soon or too small averaged a startling $77,000.

In 2003, hospital charges for all infants totaled $36.7 billion. Nearly half of that—$18.1 billion—was for babies with a diagnosis of prematurity or low birthweight. This means that nearly half of the total charges for infant hospital stays in 2003 were for babies who were born too soon or too small.

Longer Hospital Stays
Since premature babies can be born with a range of health problems, they may spend much longer in the hospital than full-term babies. Consider these statistics on the average length of hospital stays:


2.0 days for newborns without complications

13.6 days for infants with any diagnosis of prematurity or low birthweight

24.2 days for infants with a principal diagnosis of prematurity or low birthweight

Who Pays the Bill?
You do. All health care payers—public and private—share the cost of caring for premature babies. Employers and other private health plans are responsible for half the total hospital bill for prematurity. The federal/state Medicaid program also bears a large share of the cost.

And the Costs Mount
The costs of prematurity often don't stop when babies leave the hospital. About 25 percent of the youngest and smallest babies who “graduate” from NICU care live with long-term health problems, including cerebral palsy, blindness and other chronic conditions. A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2002 found that children born prematurely were at greater risk for lower cognitive test scores and for behavioral problems when compared to full-term children.


OK I realize this post is getting longer and longer...but I wanted to keep the above information on this page...AND show the pictures that we took this last week!! Here's my handsome little man!!

This little doll says a prayer (I think it's "Now I lay me down to sleep" in Spanish. It's cute!

This is the picture I used for the Christmas cards (except in color)

Here are my inlaws:

Funny faces:

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