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Nearly half a million babies (1 in 10) are born premature in the US each year which is higher than that of most other developed nations. This is the journeys of our first born son, Finnegan, who was born 14 weeks early and weighed only 1 pound 15 ounces at birth. Of our daugher, Korrigan, who was born a healthy 7 pounds, 7 ounces at 37 weeks. And of our second son, MacKeegan, who was also born at 37 weeks at a whopping 8 pounds, 13 ounces. Our continued adventures reminds us daily how good God is.

Sunday, July 20

Mac's First Day(s)

Mac had an interesting first couple of days. After birth, they checked his blood sugar levels as is procedure for the size he was. They were borderline at 41, and have to be above 41 to be considered normal. So that means he was pricked every one to two hours for the next 24-36 hours to continue testing his levels. They ranged between 50 and 32 over the next day and until he had three in a row above 41, they continued. It was really tough because he was not bleeding very much and who wants their newborn to be not only pricked that often, but in clear pain when they squeezed and pinched for more blood.

Finally, they were not happy with the progress he was making, so they asked me to supplement his feedings with formula. As you can imagine based on my past history with feeding my babies, I just lost it...sobbing uncontrollably. They started with having me self-express, which is painful but did produce a little colostrum, and having Jim give him formula after each feeding as well. My nurse was amazing and offered me lavender aroma therapy and massaged my neck, shoulders, legs and feet. She wanted me to relax so I could sleep, which I finally did.

After a few self-expression sessions, they agreed that I could just start pumping after feeding Mac to make sure we were getting as much as possible out of each side and to get more to give to him after. Finally, my milk came in yesterday, Saturday, so we were able to slowly ween the formula and just give him the extra pumped milk! Yay.

Also, in the first day he lost 5% of his body weight. While losing weight is normal, losing this much in one day is much higher than "normal." But with the extra food he was getting, they weren't overly concerned. And this morning, he'd only lost another 1% so they were happy to see that. He should start gaining weight again after about a week. He latches on so well and now that my milk is in (and that he has reserve weight!), I don't think we have much to worry about with that.

Friday, the rounding pediatrician noticed that Mac was a little yellow, even though it was hard to tell with how red he was, and told us to have the natural sun shine in on him as much as possible. Then Saturday morning, as is normal procedure, I think, they checked his bilirubin levels which came back as high risk. The extra food he was getting would help his body get rid of the extra levels but he needed to be under the light therapy and would NOT be going home Saturday. This was very disappointing for us as Finn and Korri were REALLY ready for the three of us to come home AND because I was discharged Saturday just after noon. But the really nice thing about our hospital is they have a "rooming in" policy where if your baby has to stay longer than mom, you just stay in your room until baby comes home! SO NICE. One of the nurses did comment that it was nice we were pretty calm with all the changes and needing stay longer. Ha, this is nothing!

He was under the lights all day yesterday and all last night. The really hard part about him being under the lights is that we can't hold him when he cries (he could only be out when he ate)! Eventually we realized we could position him on his side or tummy because he HATED being on his back and not swaddled. That helped. They had him in the nursery over night because since we would be sleeping, we wouldn't be able to make sure his goggles stayed on (and I would get more sleep!). This morning, they rechecked his levels and they dropped slightly, which was enough to let him come home as long as he is rechecked tomorrow for his levels! AWESOME. So excited to go home, which should be by late morning! He just had his circumcision and he NOT happy. Hopefully he feels better soon, poor guy!!

Overall, he is doing great and LOVES to snuggle and be held. I think his big sister is going to LOVE that as all she has talked about is holding the baby for forever, even if she really wanted a baby sister instead of another brother! Thank you to everybody for the kind words and support over the last couple of days and over the trying months of this pregnancy. We'd love visitors so just get in touch with Jim or myself if you have some free time or want to meet Mac!

Mac snuggling on mommy's lap early this morning while I was pumping.

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