Monday, February 21, 2011

Our First Family Day

Good Afternoon!

We’re celebrating our first Family day as 3 instead of just two. We’re also celebrating being one step closer to taking Grayson home. 

The doctor has decided to stop the caffeine that Gray was on today, and see how he does without it. We’ve been waiting for this day, and we can start the countdown to possibly bringing Grayson home. Gray has to be off the caffeine and not have any breathing episodes for 7 days before we can start thinking of going home. So now we wait and see how he is. 

He has been doing a lot better feeding. He is up to the full amount that the doctors need him to be eating every 3 hours, and hasn’t had an issue with intolerance since he was taking off his feeds last week. We’ve also been given the go ahead to start teaching him how to nurse again. It’s going slowly but we’re sure that he’ll get there soon.

We are hopeful that we’ll be home for the first Sunday in March. That we’ll be celebrating his first Sunday at church and celebrating Koinonia’s 27th anniversary on the same day.

Thank you for your continued prayer and support. The last 15 weeks have been a journey and we’re excited for what the next weeks and years will bring.


Jacqueline and Brian
And Grayson too.


Monday, February 07, 2011

One Week Old

So yesterday Grayson was a week old! It’s hard to believe – the time seems to have flown by. 


He has been doing really well. He had a few off days this week. On Thursday he forgot to breathe for a bit, and kept having episodes, so the Paediatrician on call that night decided to put him on a ventilator for a bit to see if we could get things under control. They did a full work up of blood work and a lumbar puncture, to see if they could find out what was going on.  They also started him on some antibiotics. By Friday morning he was doing much better. They had administered some caffeine as they thought the culprit might be Apnea of prematurity. 


Just like Apnea in adults, you stop breathing for a bit, however the reason for this is that Gray’s brain hasn’t fully developed, so he forgets to breathe – literally. The caffeine keeps his mind alert and reminds him to breathe. Since Friday he hasn’t had an episode and has been doing really well.

Gray had quite a bit of jaundice, but the photo-therapy has been doing it’s job. He is still under the lights for a bit – his levels went up a bit today, but that’s not unexpected at all. Most preemies have jaundice because they’re body just isn’t ready to handle everything at once. 

Gray was feeding really well, but after his episode the doctors decided to back off the feeds and keep the IV nutrients going. Because of this I have a bit more freedom to leave the hospital. 


The staff here in Brampton have been amazing. They communicate really well with us, and making sure that we know everything they’re doing. The Paediatrician Dr Gupta is fantastic – he’s keeping a really good eye on things. He’s making sure that they’re not giving him too much medication. 

I am doing great after a pretty stressful delivery. I’m almost back to the usual me. Brian has gotten a hotel room about 15 minutes away, so I have been staying there the last few nights getting some good sleep. Once he’s feeding 100% on milk and up to nursing full time, I’ll be at the hospital nursing every 3 to 4 hours. So I’m taking this opportunity to get out and get some good sleep.

As Brian has said it feels a bit surreal since we’re not his primary caregivers right now. We get to leave, and we’re not having to get up at 3am with a screaming baby. Once we’re home it will sink it a lot more. 

We’re unsure how long we’ll be in Brampton, or if the blips he’s had this week mean that we’re not able to be transferred to GrandRiver. Hopefully in the next few days the doctors will be able to readjust the plan. 

Thanks for all your thoughts and prayers. Feel free to email us anytime. We’re here. 

Blessings - love you lots, 

Jacqueline, Brian and Grayson.

Saturday, February 05, 2011


You would not believe the number of time my family doctor reminded me that caffeine was not allowed during my pregnancy. Not one cup a day, not just an ounce; None!. I was pretty good at following his rules and read up on the studies he was talking about. And I do understand why he said it. 

Now that we’re on the other side of things I understand that caffeine can affect G to now that he’s getting 100% mommy juice. Can you say exhausted Jac!

But now I’m throwing caution to the wind and having my daily coffee. After all G is getting straight caffeine put into his IV once a day. The same amount if not more than what is in a large Tim Horton’s coffee. They’re giving my 5 day old preemie caffeine. I think the amount he gets from my milks is negligible now, considering the small amount that actually passes through. 

Who would have thought giving baby caffeine would be humane. Oh well, coffee here I come. 

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Thursday, February 03, 2011

32 weeks and 3 days

babE Grayson decided that his end goal was 32 weeks. So after a few long days, Grayson David Richard Ernst joined our family at 3:45am on Sunday January 30th weighing 5lbs 10oz, and 19.5 inches long. 

Friday morning I started contracting again, and called Dr. Newell – she sent us to go and get checked out – she wasn’t too worried as the contractions were still more than 25 minutes apart, so we waited until Brian got home from work and headed to Guelph. Well by the time we got there they were about 7 minutes apart. The OB on call checked us out, and started the search for a hospital that would be able to handle both Grayson and I if the preterm labour didn’t stop. Grand River’s L&D was full, as were most of the hospitals in the area. So after 2 hours, and the OB on call calling in a favour with another OB here in Brampton, we were transported to Brampton Civic by ambulance, lights and sirens going most of the way. 

We spent early Saturday morning in the L&D triage waiting for the contractions to stop or do something. This L&D was not as comfortable as others, but at about 9 am we were able to go to the ward and be observed as it looked like everything had calmed down. Just like in Hamilton we thought we would be there for a bit, or maybe a while, but hoping to that we would get a few more weeks. Things were going really well, until 2:15pm when my water broke. Total shock, since I hadn’t had a contraction in about 5 hours. So by 4pm we were in L&D hooked up to monitors and iv’s and talking about oxytocin.  

I wont to into all the details, if you want them read the blog in a few days or a week when I have time to put it all in a nice eloquent tale. But after a few hours of hard labour, an epidural, and a lot of discomfort, Grayson arrived to a room full of doctors and nurses ready to take care of him. 


He cried a beautiful cry letting me know he was okay, and after they cleaned him up a bit and weighed him and got his measurements done, I even got to hold him for a minute before they took him to the NICU. A lot more than Brian and I had expected. We thought we would be looking at our son for the first time as he was wheeled out of the room to the NICU. 

He’s just over 84 hours old now, and doing really well. He’s been off supplemental oxygen for almost 80 hours. He’s learning how to nurse, and taking a bottle really well. We have to wait to see what his blood work comes back with, but right now he’s doing pretty darn great. 

We’re able to hold him, and feed him and snuggle him. And all I can say is thank goodness he’s big, and healthy, and thank you for all your prayer.

We’re starting a new journey now; one of making sure we’re doing what’s best and getting him big and strong. The doctors and nurses here are great, and very good at explaining everything that they are doing and what their hopes are for Gray based on how old he is and how he’s doing. It is a bit deceptive when you look at him because he looks like a tiny full term baby, but he is only 32 weeks gestation. So we are being careful not to stress him too much or ask too much of him. 


Thank you for all of your prayers and support over the last 11 weeks of bedrest. Now we start the weeks of growing Grayson into the strong boy God created him to be. 

I’m so thankful for my faith and all of you who support us. We knew he would be born healthy and whole, we just didn’t know the timing, Well God has perfect timing, and he kept his promise, and delivered us a healthy baby boy. 

We love you all, and can’t wait to see you holding our son.


Jacqueline and Brian
And Grayson too.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Just the Beginning

I feel like I’m often apologizing for not posting as often as I feel I should be. Not sure why I feel I should post more – it’s my blog, so I’m in charge. Oh well. 

We have had a very adventurous 6 days. The very best part being that Grayson arrived in the middle of all of it. 

Grayson David Richard joined our family at 3.45am on January 30th, 2011. He weighed 5lbs, 10oz, and is 19.5 inches long. 

He is more than I could have hoped or dreamed for. He had the perfect first cry, and big eyes looking at me when I held him for the first time. 


I will post our whole adventure soon; as soon as I can get through it without crying at every turn. It’s a bit hard to be eloquent when you’re balling your eyes out and can’t see the screen anymore. 

A friend of my mother in law sent this little message to Grayson when she heard of his arrival. 

May he touch fireflies and stars, dance with puppies and talk to the man in the moon. May he grow up joyful, surrounded in love and gracious hearts.  Welcome to the world, Grayson.  It's been waiting for you! 
Not sure I have anything to add to that, again trying to see through the tears. 

I can’t wait to introduce you all to Grayson over the next weeks and months, and years. Keep reading, this is just the beginning of our adventure with our babEblessing.