Saturday, July 30, 2011

Pale Blue Eyes

I know, I know, 3 posts, in less than a few hours, on a Saturday night? I forgot to announce that Elijah has blue eyes. Of course that is subject to change.

Velvets, Pale Blue Eyes

The Birth Story

Sunday night, July 10, 2011, was like any other night. Adam was over. We grilled out. Drank beer. Heineken, I believe. I crashed relatively early with three trials scheduled the next day all of which had the potential of going.

Rachael woke me up at about 11:30 and told me she was going in to the hospital because "something didn't feel right."

During the first pregnancy Rachael went into the hospital about 6 or 7 times before she actually gave birth to Jack and Riley. This must have had an impact on me. About five minutes after our discussion I was fast asleep.

Rachael tells me she went in to Fairview. Told them she wasn't feeling Elijah move around. They put that band around her stomach and could hear the heartbeat but it would fluctuate. They decided to keep her overnight.

Rachael called me about 1:00 a.m. to tell me they were keeping her. Whatevs...zzzzzzz

At about 3:30 the doctor came to speak with her. She told him her symptoms. He said they would check her in the morning and he left. Rachael then went to the bathroom. When she came out of the bathroom the doctor had an ultrasound machine in the room and said "on second thought, I think I'm going to take a look, just in case..."

The doctor performed the ultrasound. Rachael/Elijah scored about 2/10 on whatever scale they use. This wasn't good. He told her they needed to deliver the baby right away. Rachael asked if there was time for the baby to get the steroid shot (a steroid that helps the lungs of a premature baby) The doctor said no. Rachael asked if there was time for her husband to come. No.


Jack woke up at about 4:00 that morning. I decided to go get him some juice downstairs. As I came downstairs I noticed my phone had a missed call. I saw it was from Rachael. As soon as I noticed it was from Rachael another call came through. It was Rachael:

"They're taking me in for an emergency c-section right now..."
"They're taking me in right now. You have to call my parents and have someone come up here. The doctor said that he couldn't see a stomach on the ultrasound..."
"yeah, I don't know, (panic) he said he doesn't have a stomach!"
"But you had a million ultrasounds during this pregnancy, of course he has a stomach."
"I don't know..."
"okay, I will call your parents and get there as soon as I can."

At this point it was a lot of I love you/good luck etc...

So I call her poor parents in the middle of the night.

Who wants that call?

No answer.

Call again.

Harry: "Hello"
Me: Bumbling idiot

Eventually I was able to convey to Rachael's dad that Rachael was going into labor and that they needed to come up.

So yeah, at that point Riley and Jack were both up and I called Adam about 10 times without any luck (phone on vibrate, air conditioning, not by his bedside)It's cool man.

Eventually I called Ryan and Danielle. They are friends of ours down the street. First ring unsuccessful. Received text. "did you mean to call me?" Or something like that...Sent text back...yeah, rc going into labor, blah blah blah. Got call back from Danielle. Awesome. She was rad enough to come over at 4:30 in the morning.

Danielle Rules!

So at this point I barely rushed to the hospital cause I figured birth had already happened. I mean, I went fast and all, but thought that I was too late. When I got there, they told me she was in the delivery room. I got my scrubs on and was escorted in, mid-cut.

As soon as I got in there I could hear the doctor tell the nurses that he didn't think Elijah had a stomach. More of this shit? Really guy? Bummer.

What do you do if your little boy doesn't have a stomach? Didn't have time to Google it.

I was able to hold Rachael's hand behind the screen. Thank you again Danielle.

About 2 minutes after I arrived they pulled out little E. He was 4 lbs 11oz? Something like that...

Apparently Elijah had the umbilical chord wrapped around his neck and shoulder. It was wrapped so tight that he umbilical chord appeared narrow during the birth. This is why he wasn't moving.

Obviously time was a major factor in this delivery. Thank God for Rachael's intuition and the doctor's decision to do the ultrasound.

It was Rachael's constant awareness of Elijah that made a potentially disastrous situation a successful birth.

Now anybody who has ever been a part of the whole birthing process knows that once they pull out the baby there is an absolute deafening silence. Luckily for us this silence did not extend beyond any normal time frame.

We heard Eli crying, he had very little intervention, like maybe a few puffs on the CPAP, and he was all good. F yeah!

But the poor guy has no stomach. Bummer.

We get to see him for a little bit. Looks good.

Rachael and I go to a waiting room. We kind of chill out. Trip out a little bit about the whole thing. No stomach? 33 wks? Rachael nods in and out on her morphine pump.

Some well meaning, but misguided, nurse tells Rachael that he looked good, but his stomach seemed sunk in. Really?

After an hour we go back to the NICU and see Eli with the doctor. It is at this time they tell us that they did an x-ray and Elijah does have a stomach. Bonus. We hung out with the Dr. for about 10 minutes, got his evaluation, and hung out with Elijah for a bit. All in all a good day.

Real Life, Send Me an Angel

The Hold Steady

Elijah pretty much held steady today. Not too much to report. They fed him more regularly today (all feeds) and I think it wiped him out. Not sure if he is ready for that yet. He averaged about 25cc a feed. 25 short as needed. Not a race. He was doing a little bit of dipping after the last feed so he needs his rest today. Up in weight. Something like 5 lbs 11 oz? Not sure really. Give me a break, I have three kids to keep track of.

Sorry no photos. The first time around I was obsessed with taking photos. Now, I'm not as much of a fan. Third baby syndrome? I guess we never really look back on the NICU photos anyways. So what's the point? If he does something super cool I will be sure to capture it.

Now you would think I would post a video here by The Hold Steady, but I'm not that big of a fan really, so I'll go random on this one. How about some Dad Rock?

Ryan Adams, Goodnight Rose

Friday, July 29, 2011

Baby Snakes!

Status quo for the littlest one. He does about 25-30cc on the reg, and is beginning to minimize his dips/spells. Doing well. Not too much to say about it really.

In other news, I went to lunch this morning at some taco place in Lakewood. When we walked in there was a snake on the floor. Then a female we were with went into the ladies bathroom and discovered about 10 baby snakes on the floor. Disgusting. I ate there anyways, but totally have the creeps now.

Baby Snakes, FZ

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Take a Bottle, Take it Down (Redux)

I'm totally out of new material from the first go around. So I was left with no choice but to go with the throwback post this morning to announce the exciting news that Elijah took his whole bottle last night. That's 50cc. He is still working on the breathing while eating thing, but the fact that he has the muscle strength in his mouth to do this is another indication of how little he was impacted by the mg. Only 2.5 wks into his life and he appears to be mg free. Rachael's treatments throughout this pregnancy made a tremendous difference.

I will keep my estimated departure time the same. Sometime in the middle of August. He still has to take his bottle during all feeds and do it while breathing. Once he does that, he will be good to go. Also, only one "spell" in the last 24 hours and those are self-correcting anyways.

Crazy Mary, Pearl Jam

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

More Improvement

ELijah had another good day today. He gained 70 grams. He drank 25cc with less oxygen dips. He is getting stronger. Very happy with his progress.

Lotus Flower

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

A Few Grams

Elijah continued to do well today. Gained a few grams, drank a few ccs from the bottle, chilled out in his house. He drank about 15 cc today. He could have drank more, but it takes a toll on him. The problem he is having is remembering to breathe when he drinks from the bottle. He will learn. This isn't at all uncommon. His suck is there which is cool. My current estimate of his departure (subject to much change) is somewhere around the middle of August. We will see if I'm right.

Gram Parsons

Monday, July 25, 2011

Night Nurse

E-man is still of the CPAP. Will bottle feed about 3x a day now. This will likely be his biggest hurdle preventing him from coming home. For Riley it was her only issue and it kept her there for about 90 days. I don't have any reason to believe Big E will have the same problems, but if he does, he does.

Night Nurse


5 lbs 6 oz now. No problems last night. Still CPAP free.

Sunday, July 24, 2011


Elijah had a good day so far. I was able to get some video footage of him today. Not too exciting, but at least you can see how he is doing. Doctor will consider starting him back on the bottle tomorrow if he does okay throughout the rest of the day. 5 lbs 4 oz. Big dude.

Elijah 7/24/11 (35 wks today)


Sunday Morning

Still going strong without CPAP. 5 lbs 4 oz. He is getting big. Had two heart dips last night. One self-stim, one moderate-stim. We shall see...

Sunday Morning, Velvet Underground

Saturday, July 23, 2011


Elijah is not on CPAP as of 10:30 this morning. He is 5 lbs 2 oz and getting good color. We weren't expecting for him to come off CPAP today, but of course, he might go back. So far he has had some minor issues off the CPAP, but doing good. We will see how the night goes.

And for the bad news of the bad.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Birthday Photos

A Few Photos of Elijah

Here are a few photos from when Elijah was about a day or two old. Unfortunately he has the CPAP on now and new photos are hard to come by.

Birthday! The Big Three

Jack and Riley turn 3 years old today! Crazy. I will get some photos up here soon, I promise.

Elijah is doing good. Took off the CPAP yesterday, had problems with it off, so they put it back on within about an hour. Not sure how long they will keep him on it. As long as he needs it I guess. He is doing good in every other department. Will get some photos of him up here soon as well, though photos of him with a CPAP kind of suck.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Day 9

Elijah is still doing good on the CPAP. Some spells/dips here and there (like one or two minor ones a day) and still digesting his food well. Gets the CPAP off tomorrow to see how he does. If he crashes then they put it back on, if not, good, and he moves on to feeding and trying to get home. We will see.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Monday Night

Last night was okay, no "spells." Had some spit ups, but still good on the residuals. Hopefully not a sign of things to come.

Monday, July 18, 2011

1 Weeker

Elijah continues to do good on the CPAP. I think he had one spell last night but it was self correcting. Other than that he has been good. Rachael got to hold him today for about an hour and a half. He did great the whole time. He is gaining weight and digesting his food properly. Looks a little less oompa loompa today and starting to get his regular skin tone.

Riley's a Dance Machine...

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Jack and Riley Sing Happy Birthday

Jack and Riley made a little video today celebrating the birth of their brother this week.

Day 6

Elijah did good throught the night, no "spells." Doc will keep the cpap on until Thursday or Friday. He seems to be doing better with the assistance. Doc thinks it helps keep his airway open in his throat. Only lack of muscle tone is in the neck/trunk area, otherwise elijah is doing great. He is digesting his food well and gaining weight. These things take time and nobody is rushing him.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

CPAP Continued...

So, yeah, Elijah has joined the ranks of the CPAP. He did good with it today and as of 7:36 pm, it has significantly reduced his "dips." It is like Jack all over, but now it seems to be a product of prematurity, not so much mg. That's a good thing. Dr. said that if he wasn't told about the mg history he wouldn't have suspected anything. Though his muscle tone isn't great, he is acting very normal for a baby his age. Once he gets this straightened out i expect him to have a good road. Not much news, but that's all i got.

Bon Iver, Calgary


Elijah is going through a bad spell all of a sudden and has been placed on CPAP as of late last night. Sucks, but not entirely unusual considering his 33 wk status. Keep you posted.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Elijah Video

New Addition (Elijah James Content)

We have a new addition to the family as of 5:38 am on July 11, 2011. Elijah James Kraft, 4 lbs 13 oz, 18.5 inches. Elijah came a little earlier than expected (33 wks). He also came under death defying circumstances (umbilical chord wrapped around his neck) by emergency c-section. Quite an entrance.

Elijah is doing awesome and has completely exceeded our expectations so far. We can't believe how well he is doing. Many more updates ahead.

So far all i have is this photo below. I will have a ton more in the days to come.