Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Thanks, and a belated update. Photos!

Thank you for the cards and gifts in response to our birth announcement! It was Christmas / baby shower / birthday all over again! Loki now has even more beautiful outfits, an angel for his crib, books and stuffed animals. That was quite a wonderful surprise and we are very grateful!

We are still settling into our new apartment, and apologize for the lack of posts.

Loki weighs 11 pounds and 7.6 ounces (5.24 kg). This is still on the small side, even for a former 24 week preemie. But he is gaining weight, slowly but surely.

Loki is also slowly getting a bit easier to manage. He is eating by spoon, breast, a bit by bottle, and sometimes a strange bottle / cup / spoon combination. The food is a mix of breast milk, rice cereal, baby food (prunes, pears, avocados, or peas), and canola oil. Going to sleep is a bit easier, especially now that Loki has rediscovered the pacifier. And it is a bit easier to take him out of the house for a couple hours.

With Opa Ruud:

Monday, June 22, 2009

8 months (and a few days...)

We did not write an update on Loki's 8Th month birthday June 18Th. Life is busy, as usual of course. Lots of fun and lots of work. Opa Ruud has been with us for 1.5 week. He left a few minutes ago to travel around the area for a week in our Volkswagen Camper Van. Hope he'll see lots of seals and squirrles, I think that will make his day(s). Especially since there is not much wild life here in downtown Oakland. Although things do get wild here of course. Hey, we live in the big city now. Uhm? People in San Francisco may dispute that. Anyway, we're liking our new place and have fun walking around the lake, checking out downtown and nearby hortus botanicus (botanical garden) with an amazing collection of palm tress, and of course we have explored our gym, pool and hot tub, not in that order by the way.

About father's day..... I wish I could say I had arranged an amazing day for dad and Opa, but the fact is that Loki's lack of sleep and eating over the past days took up most of my time. We did have a very wonderful brunch at one of our favorite restaurants, took a walk in the hortus botanicus and of course there were lots of cuddles from Loki, card with foot prints and a gift for each. Oh, and dad got to sleep in a little. The morning hours were unfortunately canceled out by a late night due to a fun party dad attended. However, I do feel dad made mother's day really special and somehow the energy on my part was missing in action a tiny bit. Maybe next year when all of us have more sleep father's day will be more spectacular. I'll try, because it goes without saying that he really, REALLY deserves lots of honoring for his amazing new role as papa of Loki. He has been incredibly supportive and devoted from the moment I ended up on bed rest. There has, and still is, a lot of slack he picks up without any complaints and seeing him with Loki is so wonderful. I always wanted children, but never had a very clear idea about what kind of a father my husband/partner would be. I am very touched about how sweet, relaxed, calm and fun of a dad my better half is. I am sure Loki will grow up feeling the same support and love that I feel!!

Of course, it was also very fun to celebrate father's day with my own dad around. That has not happened in many, many years. It was especially fun to give my own dad a gift and card from Loki. When it comes down to it, I am just very cheesy.

Opa Ruud has helped a lot with the unpacking of boxes and hanging up of decorations and such. The house is slowly looking like we actually live here, and that feels good. Loki is adjusting, although he has had another spell of sleepless eatless episodes, the little stinker. He obviously does not want us to get too comfortable with whatever state he is in. He'll make sure we keep on our toes. Guess we asked for that by naming him Loki. What's in the name?

We saw his GI Dr. at UCSF on Thursday the 18th. Nothing major came up although it was very helpful. He is gaining weight, yet very slowly. When his wonderful new Dr. saw him she was actually surprised to see how good and healthy he looks. Based on his weight she was expecting a skinny little fella, but he looks pretty chunky for his size. Nevertheless, he is very small and not gaining weight as rapid as preferred. So a new diet is part of the approach, in addition to an extra ml a day of his reflux meds. His diet includes a tea spoon of organic canola oil with every spoon fed meal. We are now allowed to give avocado as well. Some days Loki eats all his tasty oil/breast milk/prune/cereal etc. mixes as if it is the best thing ever. Other days, like the past three, he fusses, spits out the food and takes up to an hour to eat a decent size meal. Pretty much behaving like an actual baby I guess. Unfortunately he just does not have that extra fat to play with. For now no extra tests as the Dr. did not think it would change her approach, and she did not want Loki to develop more aversions in and around his mouth. We will see her again in two months, unless Loki refuses to gain the minimal amount of approximately 11 ounces in 6 weeks. We'll see.....

Good news though, he can take his pacifier again without gagging. This is a major accomplishment and helps us a great deal getting and keeping our little prince asleep. Which, unfortunately, has not been easy over the past days either. Although I have to give him credit for the fact that he just fell asleep when I put him on our bed to get set up for our sleep routine. I turn around to get the big ball we use to rock him to sleep, and when I came back he was sucking away on his pacifier eyes shut. Wow, that has not happened in approximately three months! Of course I should have taken the opportunity to get some sleep in myself, but I really felt obligated to finally write this update. It has been too long already.

Photos will follow soon!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Opa, prunes and walks around the block

Loki's Opa Ruud (my dad) arrived last Wednesday from the Netherlands. This is the first time Loki and opa Ruud met. Loki is very impressed with his opa. When Opa smiles and laughs, Loki answers with a brought grin and cute giggle. When Opa tells Loki he needs to eat and sleep, Loki looks very serious, opens his eyes wide, frowns and seems a little intimidated. In order to deal with the situation, he smiles, figuring that everyone eventually is charmed by a smiling baby. Of course Loki is right. Our little charmer knows exactly how to wrap people around his little chubby fingers. Smart one, he is!

In the mean while it is great having Opa around. He helps unpack, hang up decorations, and keeps Mom and Loki company on some of our walks. We have been venturing out a little more. Although Loki is very interested in what there is to discover in our new environment, it does interrupt his sleep. We are constantly balancing going for a walk to the farmers market or to the lake, and getting Loki to eat and sleep. But it is great spending a little more time outside our home.

We also had a special guest today. Cheryl, faithful blog commenter and moral supporter extraordinaire. It was great seeing her, and after the initial "Hey I do not know you, but oh my are you interesting" look from Loki, he of course charmed also Cheryl with his smiles and shoulder shrugs. Seriously, the little guy tilts his head, lifts his shoulder and smiles with a big drooling smile. Wonder how long the drooling is considered cute?

More exciting news is the arrival of our new high chair. Donated by his little big friend Finn and "auntie" Emma. WE LOVE THE CHAIR!! Loki is still a tiny guy, but he does not seem to care. He behaves like a big boy. He sits down during dinner time, sometimes bobbing his head when tired, but screaming when taken out to sit with Mom. When we put him back in the chair he quiets down and smiles, completely satisfied with his accomplishment. Although we do not know if Loki has gained weight over the past week and a half, he does enjoy eating baby foods. And yes indeed, we found prunes without any additional ingredients (For Wyatt's mommy: we found Gerber prunes at Target). However, they are not organic. For now they will do though. That said, we loved the ideas given in the comment section, and when life calms down a bit, I will be making our own baby foods.

So far, Loki has tasted banana, pear, prunes and peas, in addition to the rice cereal with breast milk he has already eaten. Especially prunes with cereal and peas straight from the jar are a great success. When he is awake and hungry he pulls my hand with spoon and all straight to his mouth chomping away eagerly. It is such an amazing relief to see him enjoy food. We do not know yet if it is enough for him to gain weight but at least he has fun with it. Of course he still drinks from the breast eight times a day as well. All this big baby eating helps him with the reflux, which has gotten significantly better as well. Less drama, more smiles altogether. Let's hope his weight indeed goes in the right direction. He still fits some of his newborn clothes, but they are starting to look a bit tighter.

Finally, Loki found his feet and happily waves them in the air while pulling with his hands. Cute little guy is mesmerized by the extremities that will take him places in the future. I can't believe he's been around for eight months this week. Time does fly. Whether we have fun, lack of sleep or both!

Thanks for tuning in!

*photo by Opa

Eating like a champ:

Nom nom nom*

My spoon:


Happy in the stroller*

Loki's first time in a restaurant. Low price Indian food!*


Loki loves bathtime:

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

We are still here! Just not where we used to be.

The absence of blog posts for almost two weeks is because we moved to a new apartment. We'll resume posting soon. For now, I'll say that Loki handled the move well, and we enjoy our new place.

On the advice of the nutritionist, he is now getting a couple types of baby food, mixed with milk. Loki has put on a few ounces, and is now above 11 pounds! (He has been in the ten pound zone for two months.) He is still at the tenth percentile in weight for 24-week-preemies.

We are searching for a pure prune baby food to help his digestion. Most are mixed with apples or similar, but we want to add only one new food at a time to his diet. Any recommendations?

About Loki Sky

Loki Sky is a special little man. He was a very early micropreemie, weighing only 610 grams (1 lb, 5 oz) after 24 weeks, 3 days gestation, born to an American Father and a Dutch Mother in Berkeley, California on October 18, 2008.

On January 11, 2009, while still in the hospital NICU, his one kidney stopped working. It was repaired after three surgeries. After spending time in three hospitals in three cities, Loki came home on February 17. He struggled with eating, and then stopped in July, leading to 8 days in the hospital, a failure-to-thrive diagnosis, and a NG feeding tube. On October 10, a minor surgery installed a G feeding tube. Another procedure replaced it with a new one, and then again with a Mic-Key button in Jan. 2010.

In August 2010, he and his parents moved to the Netherlands.

Read about his first name.
Read & hear about his middle name.
See photos.
See videos.

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Loki's Holiday Gift Drive

Please consider donating to Loki's Holiday Gift Drive for the Alta Bates Summit Medical Center NICU. You can donate by Paypal or credit card here:

Click here for more information, including how to pay by check. For all posts on the Gift Drive, click here.