After what seemed like forever at the hospital, Karrie delivered Brady Craig at 11:03pm on Tuesday, April 3, 2007; he weighed 9lbs 1oz and was 21.25 inches long. Brady is doing well but is being kept in the NICU and being given IV antibiotics to fight an apparent infection.
Karrie and I are absolutely exhausted. The journey from the onset of labor to delivery was much longer than either of us expected. We called the doctor at about 10:30pm Monday when Karrie's contractions took an upward swing in severity and they told us to head to the hospital. We arrived at around 12:30am Tuesday and were admitted, at which point Karrie's food supply was cut off, her last meal having been at 7:00pm Monday. This really wore on her as the day grew longer and longer and her energy level waned. Pushing began at around 8pm and baby boy popped out at 11:03. We are looking forward to going over to the NICU after Karrie rests a bit and being able to hold him; I'll snap some pictures and post them in the gallery at that time and I'll post a link to them in this article. I'll also update this article as the day goes on so check here for more details later.
Update 4/4/07, 5:45pm - Pics are located here. We have been informed that Brady will have to stay in the NICU for 3-7 days to run a course of antibiotics. Needless to say we are pretty bummed out about this, but we are able to go there 24 hours a day and hold him. Once they start allowing him to have food, Karrie will be able to breast feed. We are very excited, even if our excitement is being stifled a bit by him being confined to NICU. Thanks for everyone's kind words and support.
Update 4/6/07, 9:45am - More pictures have been added. Sorry for the delay in updates, but for some reason the hospital was blocking access to this website from time to time and so I had to wait until I got home. Speaking of home, that is where Karrie and I have been since about 11pm last night. Unfortunately, Brady remains in the NICU; it was very difficult for us to leave the hospital without him. On a positive note, he is doing MUCH better. His respiration has improved greatly and as a result they have removed the tube from his nose which was there to provide room air pressure to help keep his lungs inflated and work the fluid out. His 24 hour culture came back negative for any growth but his blood levels indicating infection continue to be slightly elevated; as a result they are keeping him on antibiotics. They had been feeding him through a tube since his respiration was above 70 breaths per minute, but last night when we visited him for his 9pm feeding they fed him with a bottle. Apparently he continued to have a respiration rate below 70 and did well on the bottle feeding overnight because they have removed the dextrose IV and doubled his food intake. Both Karrie and I, as well as her parents, have had the opportunity to hold Brady. They have allowed Karrie to let him latch onto her a couple of times and he's done well at that. The kid has monster hands and loves to grab and hold onto anything you put in them. He looks really, really healthy and we hope he can come home soon. The earliest they would release him is Saturday, but they could keep him for up to seven days.
Karrie is still healing from the delivery, which was vaginal, but is improving each day. Its hard for us to believe Brady is only 60 hours old; it seems like forever ago. We plan on visiting Brady today at around noon for his feeding and to give him a bath. We should get the results of his 48 hour culture then and I'll post updates later.
Update 4/6/07, 10:00pm - Even more pictures have been added. Today we went to visit with Brady and to get an update on his status. The doctor informed us that his lungs are clean in the most recent x-rays but that he is still having some irregular breathing. His 48 hour culture was negative for any growth and they hadn't done another blood test yet to see what his blood levels (white blood cells and CRP) were; we expect to get new blood results and the 72 hour (and final) results from the culture. All hoses and tape were off of Brady's face when we arrived today, which is a good sign that he is making progress. He looked so much better without all that crap on his face. Karrie breastfed him at his 12pm feeding and then her brother Jon and his wife Kathleen came to visit with him. Just before his 3pm feeding we gave him a bath which really made him sleepy. As a result, he wasn't too interested in working for his food and we ended up bottle feeding him. Overall he looks to be doing much better and its looking good for him to come home soon.
Karrie is still feeling quite a bit of discomfort from the delivery. She is also having a lot of swelling in her feet and legs. Everything she does seems to be a 15-20 minute task, from using the bathroom to pumping breast milk every 2-3 hours. As a result, she doesn't get to rest very much even though I help her out as much as I can and that is no doubt contributing to her swelling and slow healing. According to the doctor she can expect it to be 2-3 weeks before she starts to feel more comfortable. Until then, I am trying to get her to rest as often as she can.
Update 4/7/07, 3:30pm - No new pictures today. We went and visited with Brady today for a little while. When we were about 5 minutes away from the hospital his nurse called us and said they were closing the NICU down for a procedure that was being performed on another baby. As a result, when we got to the hospital we had to sit and wait until the procedure was completed before we could visit with Brady. Once we got in, we immediately went into the family room so that we could spend some time with him. They removed all of his monitor wires while we visited; it was nice to hold him without him being hooked up to a machine. We were given an update by the nurse practitioner while we were there. The 72 hour culture was negative and Brady's blood levels are back to normal. He still has spells of high respiration, but they are getting farther and fewer between. We were told that the most likely scenario is that they will run a full 7 days of antibiotics through him before he can go home. That means it will likely be Tuesday before we can finally bring our little man home. We plan on going back tonight and spending more time with him after our monthly family dinner at Karrie's parents house. We really had wished he could be there but we also really want him to be healthy before he comes home. He's looking better every time we see him.
Karrie is still pretty exhausted but I guess that is to be expected since she's been getting up every 3 hours to pump. We are hoping life will get a little bit easier for her once Brady is actually home and she can just breast feed rather than having to pump and clean all the parts involved with that.
Update 4/8/07, 6:30pm - Happy Easter to everyone. We went and visited Brady for his first Easter today. Last night at the Shumake monthly dinner, Karrie's parents gave all the new grandkids a "My First Easter" stuffed bunny. Karrie put in the bed between us last night so that it would soak up our scent and we planned on bringing it with us today to put in Brady's crib. Unfortunately as we were showering (yes, we do that together!) Tyson decided that the bunny was for him and proceeded to slober all over it. We got some good news when we arrived at the hospital: the doctor has put in the order for Brady's circumcision which means everything from his blood work to his breathing is looking great. They don't like to keep the babies for more than 24 hours after that procedure so if they could have gotten a doc to do it today Brady would definitely have come home tomorrow. Unfortunately, being Easter Sunday there wasn't much of a chance of getting someone in there to do it. There is still a chance Brady can come home tomorrow (Monday) if they can get a doctor to do the procedure relatively early in the day, so we have our fingers crossed.
Karrie is still tender, but once Brady gets home she'll have more opportunity to rest and recover.