We March for Owen!

**We’ve met our goal!!!  Thank you SO much for all of your donations!  Even though we’ve hit the $500 mark, there is still time to donate…the more money we raise, the more babies we can help!** 

Owen 

Owen was born February 13, 2007, just one minute after his sister.  He weighed 3 lbs. 15 oz. and was 17 1/2 inches long.  It’s amazing how an extra inch and a half in length made Owen look so much skinnier than Emmy!  As is typical for premature boys, Owen struggled more than Emmy did.  He lasted a bit longer breathing on his own right after his birth, but he was also intubated and put on a vent.  His little body was a bit weaker and had trouble expelling CO2, so at two days old he was put on a high frequency vent for a short time, which helped keep his lungs a bit more expanded.  He was kept sedated for several days to give his body a chance to rest, which just enhanced his mellow demeanor.  He surprised us by becoming strong enough to come off the vent at 3 days old.

Owen was spared any infections or heart problems.  He spent some time under the phototherapy lights for jaundice, which cleared up quickly.  One of his biggest obstacles was his little digestive system–it just wasn’t ready to get into gear.  Each day a little bit of milk was introduced, and each day his bowels became distended.  They finally cut it out completely to give him a bit more time to develop.  While this isn’t an uncommon problem for preemies, there was some concern that the problem could be necrotizing enterocolitis, or NEC, which is a serious gastrointestinal condition that causes parts of the bowel tissue to die due to infection and inflammation.  Antibiotics were started as a precaution and blood work and x-rays were done to rule out or verify NEC.  Thankfully, everything came back fine.  He was given a few more days to rest before introducing milk again, and then it was given to him on a slower schedule.  He was given a larger feeding tube, in hopes that any air he was swallowing would come back up easier.  After about a week, things had improved a lot and he was on a regular feeding schedule.  

As the baby who struggled more, Owen was much slower to grow.  Two of the requirements to be moved out of the isolettes is that a baby must be 4 lbs and free of any IV’s.  Emmy hit this milestone first and spent some time in her open crib alone, waiting for her brother to catch up.  Because of Owen’s extended need for nutrition through his IV, he stayed in the isolette longer.  At two weeks old, Owen was finally able to join her, and boy did they look cute snuggled up together!!

After overcoming his digestive struggles, Owen moved into the category of being a “feeder and grower”.  He was fairly quick to pick up on nursing and was a good eater most of the time.  We were grateful that he was able to catch up so that he could come home on the same day as his sister.  He was still a little weaker in the breathing department, and he remained on his oxygen and monitors at home longer than Emmy did.  He has also lagged behind her a bit in development through this first year, but his little personality has begun to emerge and he’s let us know that he’s not really the mellow little guy he used to be!  While there are days that he makes me want to pull my hair out, I can’t imagine life without him!  On Saturday, we march for Owen!

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2 Responses to “We March for Owen!”

  1. Beth Says:

    Hooray! I’m glad you made the goal; that’s awesome!

    Thanks for supporting this cause. Though my niece Emmy (good name, huh?) wasn’t technically premature, she did spend two weeks in the NICU after she was born. I have twin nephews on the way, too, and my sister-in-law has been on bedrest since the beginning of January (and in the HOSPITAL on bedrest since the beginning of February!!). I’m thankful she’s made it to 33 weeks now and the twins will likely grow to be healthy boys, even if they do have to spend time in the NICU (though hopefully they’ll stay put another month more!). We’ve been waiting for the twins for years now (my brother- and sister-in-law have been trying to have kids four years, and on their second IVF, they got pregnant!)

    So while you march for Ryan, Emmy, and Owen, I’ll be thinking of them and my little niece and nephews, too! Way to go!

  2. Natalie Says:

    Wow- I see you’ve had quite a bit of NICU experience too! I have seen Ann here… she & I are NICU buddies. 🙂 It has been an emotional rollercoaster, but things are going well & we will hopefully be able to bring Carson home this next week. He just needs to learn to suck, swallow & breathe together.

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