Later updates Aaron update 140
The NICU Experience
Later Updates
Subject: Aaron update 140
Date: Friday, February 20, 2004 11:04 AM
From: Kevin Quick
To: Aaron Update List

He's eating! He's gaining some weight! Hallelujah!

Summary of the past 6 months:

From August 25 to November 28 (3 months) last year, Aaron gained 1 pound, or approximately 1/3 pound per month. Then, from November 28 to January 30 (9 weeks), he gained nothing, or zero pounds per month. Two weeks ago, Aaron weighed in again at 12.25 pounds, the same as he'd been for the previous 9 weeks. Last week however, he weighed in at 12.5 pounds, finally gaining 1/4 pound. This week, he's 12.75 pounds, having gained another 1/4 pound. So, for the past two weeks, he's been growing at a rate of about 1 pound per month, although since we only have 2 weeks of weight gain so far, we're being just a little cautious in our longer-term projections.

His weight gain is following the scientific formula that he needs 100 calories per kg of body weight per day in order to maintain his weight, and 120 calories per kg per day in order to grow. Here are his monthly averages since August:

Aug: 97
Sep: 87
Oct: 94
Nov: 99
Dec: 88
Jan: 102
Feb: 114 (first 2 weeks in Feb)

So, we see an increase in Aaron's calorie intake in January, bringing him up into the "maintaining" range, and another increase beginning two weeks ago, bringing him into the "growing" range. Kathleen and I especially noticed an increase in Aaron's appetite two weeks ago, right after Robin came home. (Kathleen jokes that Aaron is eating now because he figures that if he doesn't, we may bring home another Robin.) He actually asks and cries for food when he's hungry now, and opens up like a baby bird to be fed. This is entirely new behavior for him! He's especially interested in solid foods now, like baby cereal, some baby vegetables, Zwieback toast, Graham crackers and french fries! (Kathleen's mom was here for a week last week, and we all went out to Konocti Harbor Resort for lunch on Saturday, Valentine's day. You can see from the attached photo how eagerly Aaron chowed down on french fries!) His throw-ups have lessened quite a bit, too, from daily to once every three or four days. We're cautiously optimistic that we may have turned that corner that we've been praying for and looking forward to for the past six months. We'll see how things go long-term, but the past two weeks have been looking very good.

Aaron has still been burning as many calories as he possibly can; he is a very active little boy. His latest thing is to climb up onto the couch by himself (if there's a pillow on the floor next to the couch that he can stand on), then turn around and slide back down onto the floor head first. He enjoys challenges, and is constantly pushing his limits. He gets bored easily, and is eager for his sister to grow up so he'll have someone his size to play with. So far, we've seen no signs of jealousy from Aaron. Instead, he's just fascinated by his little sister, and enjoys touching her and imitating her cries. He does get a little bit offended, though, when we tell him to "be gentle!".

Baby Robin is doing just fine. She eats, she sleeps, she cries just a little bit when she's hungry, and she keeps Kathleen pretty busy at night (Kathleen has the feeding equipment), with two or three nighttime feedings. She's a sweet, cuddly, relatively trouble-free little girl, and is just a joy to us. Her full-term gestation and birth has given Kathleen and me a lot of closure even on Aaron's arrival. Prior to Robin, Kathleen and I had had an almost constant sense of "something is out of whack," and "we've missed something; we don't feel as though we've had a birth; where did Aaron come from?" But now, we feel more settled. We've had our full-term pregnancy and birth, and we now have a whole family, complete with a little boy and a baby girl.

Let's keep praying that Aaron's appetite keeps up, and continues to increase, and that he continues to grow. At the same time, I hope you'll rejoice with us in the progress that we've seen these past couple of weeks.

OK, since you've twisted my arm, I'll attach a picture of Robin, too. :)

Love, Kevin, Kathleen, Aaron and Robin