Sunday, January 30, 2011

8 pounds and Counting

Quick update. Joshua is doing great! He is sleeping longer through the night, we are up to 4 hours now...woo hoo! He is still having his reflux, so we are still on the medication. In time, hopefully he will grow out of this. This next week we have our final eye doctor appt, pediatrician appt for some more immunizations, and the developmental clinic for a weight check and evaluation of developmental progress. We should have some great news by the end of this week hopefully, so we will be sure to update again then. In the meantime, here are some photos of Joshua! I put him on the scale with me this morning, and he is approximately 8 pounds! We should have an exact weight by this week =)  Enjoy. Much love from Team Altman.

Those big blue eyes melt my heart

Chubby and Happy...what more could you ask for?!

Joshua loved Daddy's finger from the first day they met

Truly an angel from God

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Visit from Nana and Pops

Resting Up

Bath Time is fun!

Does this hat make my head look small?

First cowboy hat from Pops

Joshua sporting his matching hat like Daddy...Thanks Stiffler Family!

Joshua showing off his chubby cheeks

Joshua was upset they had to leave
This weekend we got some visitors...Nana and Pops (Jerri and Bud)....Josh's parents. We had a great time visiting and enjoying watching our healthy little boy. Joshua is the first grandchild on my side and the first grandson on Josh's side, so you bet this little boy is going to be spoiled. Josh and I feel so blessed to have been brought up in such loving families, and we are excited to share that with the start of our own family.

Joshua was weighed a little over a week ago, so we decided to weigh him at home this weekend. I'm sure there was some room for error, but according to our scale, he weighs about 7 pounds now!  It is amazing to think he was a little over 2 lbs when he was born, and now he has more than tripled in weight! God is great.

Joshua's reflux seems to be doing better, we increased his Prevacid to twice a day instead of once, and that seems to have made a significant improvement. Our main concern right now is that his reflux will soon start to fade, then we can remove the monitor. The fear of the doctors is he will have reflux and choke in his sleep without us knowing, therefore the monitor is still necessary. His feeds are going good, this boy can eat...I think he will fit right in the family! We have been trying to give him more so he will sleep longer at night, but he is moving at his own pace, so only time will tell. For now, we are still on the three hour feeding schedule.

Almost asleep, then five minutes later....

Asleep =)
We will have more updates soon. We have several doctors appointments in the next several weeks, so we ask that you continue to keep Joshua's development in your thoughts and prayers. He is doing great thus far, and we hope he will continue to grow strong every day. Thank you everyone. Much love from Team Altman.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Enjoying the good life at home

We have been enjoying our time at home so much, I have been a little lazy with updating this blog =) are some updates. As of today, Joshua weighed in at 6 pounds 9 ounces, he is quite the little chubby baby now. He is eating about 2 ounces every three hours. I used to call him my little taquito because when he was swaddled in a blanket he looked so long and skinny. Now he is more like a burrito!

Joshua still has the monitor, but today the doctor said it should only be a couple of weeks until its gone! Woo hoo! I have to say though, it has been comforting for us when we are asleep knowing he is safely sleeping as well. As soon as he starts eating more, we should be able to extend the time in between feeds.

We have been keeping Joshua pretty low key. The only time we take him out of the house is for his doctors appointments. It's hard because we want to show him off and have people over to see him, but we know the risks during flu and RSV season and we simply don't want to take that chance. RSV can be potentially fatal to a preemie, so we are doing all we can to keep him home with us until at least March. He gets a shot every month that won't prevent infection but will help him fight it if he were to get RSV.

Joshua is just now starting to lift his head, which is seen around 2 months of age. He is almost smiling, we have seen some smirks and it is obvious when he is happy, but no smile as of yet. He is still having a lot of reflux and unfortunately this is very common in preemies. He is on medication, but it doesn't seem to be working very well. He has trouble sleeping at night because it burns his throat, so after we feed him we try to keep him elevated for at least thirty minutes. In the last couple of days it seems to have gotten even worse, so we are praying this problem will resolve itself soon. I should be posting again by Friday with some great photos our wedding photographer took of Joshua last week! Much love from Team Altman. 

Monday, January 10, 2011

Joshua is 2 months old!

Lounging at home
As of yesterday, Joshua is now two months old! He is loving being home with mommy and daddy. We have been spoiling him with lots of attention and tummy time. Today Joshua got his 2 month immunizations =(  We have never really heard Joshua let out a big cry, today we broke that silence. Poor little guy let out the biggest scream and he has been pretty fussy all day. The doctors said he would probably feel not so great for a couple days. The monitor went off today, but only because Joshua was fussing so much so his heart rate was way high.

 Even though Joshua is 2 months old, for the first two years of life he will actually go by his gestational age, so as of today he is 2 days old. Developmentally, doctors don't expect him to be acting like a 2 month old because he wasn't supposed to arrive until today. By the time Joshua is two years old, he should be caught up developmentally. If he is not, then that is a time for doctors to have some concerns. Hopefully he will do just fine, he is already good at focusing on our faces when we talk to him and recognizing sounds and voices. He makes lots and lots of baby noises and grunts all night long.

This bib looks ridiculously big lol!
 Joshua is doing really well with his feeds. When he was at the pediatrician today, he weighed 5 pounds 14 ounces and was 18 3/4 inches long. He loves to hold onto his bottle or the hand that is feeding him, I think it makes him feel in control and comfortable. If we swaddle him while he is eating, he can't focus on anything other than trying to get his hands out of his blanket.
Grabbing daddy's finger

Cute little puppy bottom!
Joshua has lots of appointments in the weeks to come. He has another eye appointment, its more of a follow up to make sure his eyes are still developing normally. Joshua has an appointment with a surgery clinic because of a possible hernia that may not have healed itself. Hernias are also very common in preemies, and while they usually clear on their own, Joshua's has not done so yet, so the pediatrician wants us to see a specialist about it. Our third appointment is with a developmental clinic which will go through a series of routine tests to see how Joshua is developing and what, if anything, we need to work on with him. In the NICU, the nurses favor the right side of the crib so Joshua also has a preference for sleeping with his head turned to the right. When we move it to the left, it is very stiff and he doesn't like it so he may need physical therapy to work out that stiffness.

As always, please continue to keep baby Joshua in your prayers. Although he is home now, he still has a long journey ahead of him in terms of development. We pray that God will continue to watch over him and his healthy development and our exciting journey as a new family. God is great! Much love and more updates to come! But for now... a little sleep for the new mom and dad =)

Friday, January 7, 2011

Welcome home Joshua Marshall!

Today was almost as great as the day we welcomed Joshua into this we welcomed him home. It was a little bittersweet, just because we had become so close with all the nurses, and it felt like we were leaving family. All the doctors and nurses took care of Joshua as if he was their own; words cannot express our gratitude for these amazing caregivers.

Josh and I spent the night with Joshua in the NICU in the "rooming -in" room. Basically its a room with a queen size bed, small TV and fridge, a rocking chair, and a private bathroom. They wheel Joshua's crib in there, and we are on our own for the night. They come in every three hours to bring us his bottle, but other than that it is all up to us now. It was our first real night alone with him. He is a great sleeper which is soon as he starts eating more, he will have no problem staying asleep through the night. Fortunately the monitor didn't go off at all, we hope that continues for the time he has it.

Getting ready to go home!

So excited to go home!
We got home around 12:30 this afternoon...the ride home seemed surreal. I was nervous the whole time just staring at the monitor praying that this would not be the time it went off! We made it home safely and welcomed him into his quiet little room. Josh and I have just been enjoying the day watching him sleep and giving him tummy time. We both were up every three hours last night, so tonight we are taking shifts...the extra sleep will be nice for us both. Please keep Joshua in your prayers as he continues to develop and for safe nights with the monitor. Thank you all! Here are some pictures from today....

Joshua is wearing Daddy's outfit that he wore home from the was a little (ok reallly!) big so we had to add the pants!

The nurses playing pass the hot potato with Joshua!

One of Joshua's Favorite Nurses!
Playing in the ocean!

All his hats from the hospital are now too small for his head =(

Relaxing in his swing

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Team Altman is coming home tomorrow!

Its been almost 2 months exactly since we welcomed Joshua into the world and watched him develop and grow strong in the NICU. Now its time for him to come home with mommy and daddy and we are so elated! The last couple days have been very busy with getting things ready for our stay with him at the hospital and preparing the house for our little bundle of joy. Joshua had a bradycardia two nights ago, but the doctors feel he is still ready to come home, so we will be coming home on a small monitor. Josh and I were trained on how to use and read it yesterday. The monitor will sound after 20 seconds of apnea or the second the heart rate drops below 70 bpm. It's dissapointing that he had another one on day 4 of the 5 day mark, but we will sleep better knowing he is safe at home. The doctors predict we will only need it for a couple weeks, because he should be grown out of them by now.
I will update everyone once we get home, but please continue to keep baby Joshua in your prayers. He has been through a lot in his first months of life, and we know the prayers we have received have helped his progression along the way. Thank you everyone! Much love.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

The home stretch!

Baby's First New Year 2011

Thanks Grandma Patti for the outfit!

Give me my binky back!


This year is already starting off fantastic! In my last post, Joshua's feeding tube had fallen out, and they decided to put it back in when he needed it. I am so happy to report that the feeding tube has not gone back in since then! I guess he needed that tube out to really show us he could take all 8 bottles. This is day 2 of taking all 8 bottles and finishing like a champ! As long as Joshua has no bradycardias in the next 5 days, he will be coming home!!!!!! Since the tube has been out, he has not had any bradys and his reflux has been nonexistent, I guess that tube was really causing all the problems.

Josh and I are so excited because we know the day is so close now. The nurses have talked to us about rooming in at the hospital. They recommend that we  stay the night with Joshua at the hospital. They have a room with a queen size bed, a crib, and a private bathroom. Whatever medications he goes home on we are expected to give it to him, and feed him all his bottles. If we have any questions we can ask the nurses, but we are supposed to pretend they aren't there.

Joshua passed his hearing and eye exams recently, and now all he has left is to pass his care seat test. They will put Joshua in his car seat for 2 hours and monitor him to make sure he is breathing normal in the car seat. They only give the babies two chances to pass the test, so hopefully he will pass it! We will keep everyone updated as we get closer to bringing our little peanut home! We cant thank everyone enough for all the prayers and thoughts, they have helped tremendously. God is sooooo great!