Family & Friends,
On Saturday, 12/13/14, we welcomed our beautiful baby boy, August William Kearney into this world. August certainly surprised us, arriving 14 weeks early. He weighed 2lbs 3oz and is15 inches long (tall like Dad!) and has an adorable full head of hair. Because Auggie made his debut way before mom was done cooking him, he will be in the Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU) until his due date of March 19. Mom is doing well and was discharged on Monday. Besides being incredibly preterm, the birth was free of any complications and was a very special experience for Mom, Dad, and Auggie.
August is in incredible hands at Mass General. He was initially on a breathing tube that went into his chest as well as a feeding tube in his stomach and a medical tube in his stomach for providing any medicine he may need. In the past 3 days he’s been progressing very well. They have been able to remove the tube from his chest and is breathing on the ventilator through a noninvasive nose tube. He may need the chest tube again, but that’s expected of such a little baby.
The feeding tube will remain into his stomach for quite some time, but he is getting mom’s breastmilk supplemented with additional nutrients to increase the calories of the breastmilk. (They can’t just give him more, his stomach isn’t big enough.) He has also been fed by Meg with a swab to get the taste of the milk in his mouth and have him build the good bacteria in the body.
Today was also a great day for us. When we came in, we were told that we would be able to hold our baby for the first time. We have been able to touch him and Meg changed a diaper yesterday, but we haven’t been able to take him out of the incubator. Today, the doctors felt that he was stable enough to come out. Meg held him for over an hour before letting him rest again. That was a major milestone for us and felt amazing.
We are putting together a blog for updates. For now, it can be found at 18Preston.wordpress.com. It will be a way for us to communicate updates to all of you.
Many people have been asking how they can help and when they can visit.
About visits: Since Auggie is in the NICU, we are going to keeping visitors here to a minimum. Once things progress, that may change, but not for a while. We promise, we’ll pass all your prayers and well wishes along to him when we visit each day.
However, we will not be in the NICU 24/7, (though we can if we want to) so we could use visitors, especially ones bearing gifts of sustenance.
We’ll set up a help calendar soon, but for now just contact us via email to set something up at home.
Sending gifts: our baby won’t be home for a while, and we’ll have a proper coming home celebration closer to March. We please ask you respect our wishes to not gift baby items/clothes while we can’t have him with us.
What we could use is stuff to help us get through this hard time of a lot of travel and time away from home. Gift cards for dinners out near MGH, such as Starbucks, Finagle a Bagel and Whole Foods.
Homemade food that is mobile or easy to heat up when we get home is also great. For example, Muffins, Breakfast breads, Snacks, Fruit, Granola, Cheese and crackers, Trail mix (gorp!), Cheese/Peanut butter crackers sandwiches, Granola bars and in case you weren’t sure, cookies are always welcome.
If you want to do stuff for us, I’ve got a list for that too. Probably nothing much until the New Year and we’re in a routine, but there are a few things we needed to finish before Auggie comes home. If you want to help, let me know and we’ll put a work party together.
We’ll update the blog periodically, so keep checking in.
Thank you for all the prayers and well wishes. We are using every one of them. This is going to be a long road and we are going to need support for all of it. If you can’t see us or talk to us now, don’t worry, we need everyone to pace yourselves like we are, so we can get August home in March.
Matt, Meg & August