Tuesday, September 29, 2009

09-27-09 The baby shower


When I picked up my rental car, they were out of full size cars, so they gave me a Dodge Journey SUV. Good thing because the back end is loaded with gifts. I dropped Kelly off at Kelly Walkers home and headed to Costco and Albertsons to get the food for the shower.

Let the party begin. We had lime sherbet punch, sandwiches, pizza, chips, dips, snacks, M&M’s, and Nikki made cupcakes with baby faces. There were about 15-16 at the shower, some of the girls had to work and couldn’t attend.

Nikki and Kim had games for everyone to play with the favorites, trying to find a safety pin in the bowl of rice (it’s not as easy as it sounds…no one won) and the all time favorite was trying to figure out which melted, smooshed up, candy bars was in each of the 6 diapers. Everyone laughed, joked, and Kelly wound up guessing all of them correctly.

Baby Kyler wound up getting just about everything he could possibly need. A stroller/car seat combination, pack and play (sort of like a cradle/playpen), diapers, clothes, bibs, diaper genie, more clothes. It took a little arranging to get everything in my SUV when we headed home.

Kelly asked Kyle to help me unload a few things when we got home. Needless to say he was a little overwhelmed when he saw what was inside the vehicle. The living room looks like they are just moving in with all the boxes and bags. Kelly showed Kyle everything they received at the shower. They were truly blessed today with kind and caring friends and family.

A short rest and we head off the hospital to see baby Kyler. He is now 4 pounds 2 ounces. The boy is on a growth spurt! Kyler is sleeping and Kelly is exhausted so we only stay about an hour at the hospital and then head home.

Kyler 9-26-09


I woke with a sinus headache on Saturday morning and couldn’t sleep in. 7:45 AM and I am wide awake. Vitamins, Tylenol, sinus medication, and Starbucks coffee in a bottle, I should be feeling better soon.

Kyle went to the gym and Kelly and I are going to go garage sale shopping today and see if we can find some fun things for Kyler. After a trip to Babies-R-Us and sticker shock, we need to find some bargains, and we did. A glider rocker for $25.00 and not $300.00. Kelly said Kyle would come through the door, see the rocker and that would be as far as he went. Good thing I didn’t bet with her, I would have lost.

Kelly and I drove to the airport to pick up Marissa’s husband Brian because she had to work and Brian was returning from a training mission.

Nap time.

4 pounds. Wow. How amazing. The doctor said Kyler is on his last bag of vitamins, fats, and nutrients and when it is gone they will see how well he does off of it. If he is okay, they remove his PICC line in about a week. They will then take Kyler off caffeine and see how he reacts. There was very little residual left from his previous feeding.

Kyler had his eyes open when we arrived, lying on his tummy. He really responds very quickly to Kelly and Kyle talking to him. He ties to lift his head and move around as he listens to them and feels them touch him.

I brought a new Golden Treasury book with about 10-12 stories so Kyle would have something new to read to Kyler. Kyle was excited to read a story to his son (The Seven Little Postmen) rhymed and made sense.

It was Saturday afternoon in Vegas so we used city streets to get to and from the hospital. Kyle had dinner out with a friend and Kelly and I made a quick trip to the mall to find something cute for her to wear to the baby shower tomorrow. Other than the fire alarm going off in the mall, starting to evacuate, sort of, she found a cute tank top and cardigan sweater.

We stopped for tacos on the way home and early to bed. Tomorrow is a big day.

Kyler 9-25-09


We slept in a little and made a stop at Starbucks on the way to the hospital. A full shot of caffeine for me, a pumpkin mocha for Kelly with less caffeine, and a no shot, caffeine free strawberry-banana smoothie for Kyle. A few short blocks away Kyler had already had his morning shot of caffeine.

Baby Kyler is sleeping on his side and begins to stir in his bassinet as mom and dad talk to him and touch him. Kyle reads “Oh The Places You’ll Go”, not his favorite book, but reading to his son is a priority. As I look at my son-in-law, I am thankful he loves my daughter and grandson as much as he does. I am also thankful to have Kyle as part of our family.

I cupped Kyler’s head in my hand as Kyle continues reading, then placed a kiss on my finger tips and touched the top of his head. Kyle gave Kyler his pacifier and he seem to do really well with it.

The nurse got Kyler for Kelly to hold him, kangaroo style (skin to skin). I left the new parents alone with their son to have some quiet family time.

Please continue to pray for all the babies in the NICU unit. So many of them were born younger than Kyler have had so many more problems, even some of the ones born closer to term, are not doing as well as he his.

Nap time for the adults so we headed home. Kelly and I ran a few errands later in the day while Kyle went to the gym. Kyle was home when we returned but had a nasty looking bruise on his left side and was pretty sore. We decided to stay home and watch a movie. We'll go tomorow when mom and dad both can go. 

Kelly and Kyle called the hospital to check on Kyler and track his progress. All is well with Kyler and it’s time for bed.

Kyler 9-24-09

9-24-09 Thursday

I’ve had my red bag packed for a week…well almost; I keep adding little things to it. The red bag is filled with baby shower gifts. Scout the talking-singing dog from Leap Frog that is pre-programmed to say Kyler’s name. Bath towels to match the colors in Kyler’s room, books, toys, clothes, gifts from Norma and Patty Karcher. There’s a scrapbook with a special page for Kyler already made and enough supplies to keep Kelly busy for a long time. And photo paper for the computer to fill up those scrapbook pages. The rental car is booked and I’m checked in online for my flight.

Tuesday evening our new Harley trike arrived at H-D Bellingham. We picked it up on get grab my leathers and we would go for a short ride before I left for the airport. It’s a little different riding and not seeing over the top of Larry’s helmet will probably be my biggest adjustment. The fact that Larry has had the trike less than 24 hours and wants to ride it everywhere is a major plus for changing bikes. This will take the stress off his bad knee. We didn’t have the new communication system figured out so we had to just talk loud with our helmets bumped up against each others heads. Larry will have all these little details figured out by the time I return.

Larry dropped me at the airport and left after I got my bag checked in and a boarding pass in hand. I always get a little nervous flying alone. Did I forget something? This time I need to get my rental care and drive from the south end of Las Vegas to Nellis Air Force Base, and do it at night in a construction zone. Getting the car back to the rental return will be the hardest task.

This is such a different trip today than 2 weeks ago. Instead of worrying about an emergency surgery and emergency transport teams, this visit is all about visiting and celebrations. I am so excited to see baby Kyler. I know at 3 pounds 10 ounces he is still tiny, but he is almost a pound more than the last time I saw him, 2 weeks ago.

I used my 30 day base pass and arrived at Kelly and Kyle’s house about 9:30 PM. I unloaded my bags and we headed to the hospital. The nurse fills us in on Kyler’s progress since the day before. He is now 3 pounds 14 ounces and he fills out his little body. Kelly thinks he would have been between 7 and 8 pounds if he had been full term. Kyler tried hard to keep his eyes open as mom and dad talked to him. Kelly held Kyler during his feeding. When it was Kyle’s turn to hold the baby, Kyler spit up on him.

Even if Kyler were not my grandbaby, he would still be a really cute baby. I like the way he scrunches up his forehead and makes little faces. Wonder what he dreams about? Kelly said he doesn’t really cry any more when he gets a blood test but take his temperature, change his diaper, or give him a bath and he can cry and let you know he’s mad. The little guy is tired and we are too. Sweet dreams Kyler.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Monday, September 21, 2009

Lungs...Ihave lungs...I can cry!

September 20, 2009

Kyler is now 3 pounds 6 ounces and gaining. They are soon going to increase his milk to 2 ounces and deliver it by a pump over half an hour. Kelly said he knows something is up when they start taking his temperature, changing his diaper, and getting him ready for his feeding. Now they use a syringe and do a gravity flow to feed him. Kyler still is receiving air, not oxygen. He also receives his caffeine twice a day.

Kyler has discovered he has lungs. He can cry and make himself known to everyone in the nursery. Not the little squeaky cry in the beginning, three weeks ago, but a full cry. Kelly said she thinks he cries just to hear himself cry. I told her this is just another step in Kyler taking control of her life and Kyle’s and they lost the battle the day they first set eyes on him.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Kyle and Kyler...father and son bonding

September 18th, 2009

Baby Kyler is doing well. They have increased the amount of milk they are feeding him and he is digesting it well. He weighs over three pounds now and after his feedings he usually wants to take a long nap. His nurses all think Kyler is really cute and they take good care of him. The nurses are also really good at answering questions for Kelly and Kyle and giving them updates when they come to visit. Kyler really likes it when his mom and dad hold him and does not like to be put back in his bassinet.

The baby shower is a week from Sunday so grandma is flying back down for a week. I have a suitcase full of presents, some practical and some fun. I even have a new book for Kyle to read to Kyler. Can’t wait to see baby Kyler and how much he has grown since I left. I hope he remembers grandma’s voice.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Kyler...September 13th

Kelly called about 9:30 PM to give me a grandma update on baby Kyler. They have given Kyler some medicine to help him digest the milk. He’s little and his system is still trying to make everything work correctly. They did another x-ray to make sure there was nothing wrong with his digestive system and it is good. The lights will probably come off in a couple of days and they have reduced his air to 1 liter.

Dirty diapers, wet diapers, it’s all a good thing.

Kelly and Kyle visited with Kyler Sunday morning and then went to Kim and Tony’s for dinner. Kim’s daughter is visiting and she is pregnant and due in December. Kelly Walker was there with her children. It was a full house for dinner.

Kelly and Kyle went back to the hospital in the evening. They each held Kyler for an hour and he did really well holding his body temperature. Kelly said Kyler pretty much slept through them holding him with just an occasional open eye and back to sleep. Kelly said that Kyler started crying when he had to be put back in the bassinet, spitting and throwing a fit. Guess Kyler knows where he feels safe and secure…his parent’s arms, as it should be.

Kelly read to Kyler earlier today and Kyle read “Good Night Moon” to him before they left.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Day 12 - September 12, 2009

Kyler was sleepy this morning. They have started his feedings again at 3 milliliters every 3 hours. They think they may be able to take the lights off in a couple of days. Everything else looks good and he is back on track.

Kelly got her haircut today. A short A-line style to make it easier being a new mom and getting ready fast. Kyle and Kelly ran a few errands and then it was back to the hospital in the evening.

Kyler is digesting his food but still is tired. It’s not easy being so little and having a bad day like yesterday. Sort of wears a little guy out. He is still getting his caffeine twice a day. Kyler was still a sleepy head tonight but was moving in his sleep quite a bit. I told Kelly that even though he may have been too tired to open his eyes, he found a way to let her know he was aware of her beside his bassinet.

Kyle and Kelly both left the hospital more upbeat tonight and in better spirits.
Please continue to pray for Kyler and all the babies in the NICU unit at Sunrise Hospital.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Friday September 11th

Well today baby Kyler had a setback. They began giving him 8 mil of milk and he was not digesting it. They did an x-ray and determined he is fine except for some gas in his stomach and he is not passing it. They have put him on an IV and taken blood for test so his little hand is bruised. He had several episode last night of sleep apnea so they have put his air tube back in his nose. They have also placed one of the lights back over his bassinet. What else? He lost a little weight because he didn’t digest the milk.

It is very hard on Kelly and Kyle today visiting their son. Kyler is so tired from the procedures that he slept the whole time they visited with him earlier in the day.

They think that Kyler was given to much milk and could not digest it. They removed the gas from his stomach but his body functions are not back to normal. He is on an IV drip for several days and will have another x-ray tomorrow to make sure nothing else is causing a problem. His protective eye band was placed back on him because the lights been turned on again.

The little guy was still pretty tired and slept with his parent watching over him during their evening visit.

Please continue your prayers for baby Kyler and his parents.

Thursday September 10th, 2009

It’s 8:30 AM and time to get ready to go to the hospital and then the airport. My ticket is purchased but I need to check my suitcase when I arrive at the airport. The drive from the hospital to the airport should only be about 15/20 minutes but it will be noon time in Las Vegas with the weekend crowd beginning to arrive in town.
Baby Kyler is asleep on his tummy. They just finished feeding him and he is content. We keep looking at him trying to figure out what is different today. Kyle realizes the air tube has been removed.

In his sleep Kyler grabs at his feeding tube and Kelly pries his little fingers loose. The nurse said she has seen babies pull it out. Kelly asks about Kyler’s weight and he has gained another ounce and is now 2 pounds 14 ounces. Almost back to his birth weight. He is doing really well on the breat milk and will be at 4 ½ pound in no time at all.

Kyler’s nurse is pregnant and due a week after Kyler’s real due date. She looks at Kyler and rubs her tummy and baby girl. Looks like Kyler has won over another nurse. Before she moves on to check the other babies, she comments on how cute he is. We all agree.

Kyler tried opening an eye but sleep won out. I had one more chance to read to Kyler and Kyle laughed because “Good Night Moon” seems to make him move around, and it did. We are satisfied to just site and watch this sleeping baby that we love so much.

Almost time to leave for the airport. I cupped my hand around Kyler’s head and he tried to open his eyes. His little body is squirming as I ever so gently touch his head and soft hair with my thumb. His eyes open and he sort of rolls his eyes backwards to where I am standing over the bassinet. Kyle said he was trying to look at grandma. I kissed my finger tips and placed them on the top of his head. I closed the bassient door and moved to the other side to look at Kyler’s face one more time before I left. Kelly said I would cry and I had to fight back the tears. Sweet dreams baby. Don’t forget my voice and I’ll be back in a couple of weeks.

Kelly asked if I minded being called grandma. No! I’m loving every minute of this and proud to have a grandson, my first grandbaby. When Kyler is big enough I take him for special trips to get hamburgers and play at the playground.

I promised Kyle I wouldn’t spoil Kyler with too many toys. Clothes, books, and lots of hugs, kisses, and love.

Traffic was light on the way to the airport. Check in was quick. The security line was really long. Two good-byes in one day is almost more than I could take. I kissed my son (son-in-law is just not enough to describe Kyle) good-bye, knowing he is taking care of my daughter and grandbaby. This is comforting because I know how much he loves them both.

Kissing my daughter Kelly good-bye was really, really hard. I know she is in good hand, but the mom in me wants to stay and take care of her. Ten days ago she had an emergency c-section and I remember how hard it is to be dependent on someone else to drive you places and do things for you. I had my mom and I feel like am abandoning her. I’m not; I know that mentally, my heart says something different.

I found a Starbucks and had the first cup of coffee in 10 days other than bottled Starbucks. Grandma needed a caffeine shot like Kyler. The plane is boarding early and I try to sleep the first half hour. It’s a long flight home and home seems like a million miles away from Las Vegas, even though it is only 2 hours and 40 minutes on this direct flight. Not as long as the flight I took on the day Kyler was born.

I made Kelly promise to give me daily updates and pictures. Maybe it will help the next two weeks go by quicker. I doubt it. Next visit is the baby shower.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

9-9-09 Wednesday

Wednesday 9-9-09

Kelly and Kyle spent the morning taking care of paperwork on base, making sure baby Kyler has medical coverage and a pediatrician when he is released from the hospital (this is one of the requirements for his release when he is ready).

Kelly didn’t get a lot of sleep so she napped in the afternoon after lunch. I fell asleep in the chair and when the phone rang I woke up to find Kyle had come home and was curled on the sofa with Kelly.

We left for the hospital about 4:00 PM. We arrived just in time to see Kyler getting his diaper changed and he peed on the nurse. So while the nurse changed Kyler’s bedding she needed Kelly or Kyle to hold him. She picked him up as an experienced nurse but to new parents it looks a little scary and Kyle reached right out to hold his son. When she found out the first time he had held Kyler, she moved Kyler around a little so he was snuggled up closer to dad.

Next was Kyler’s feeding and then his shot of caffeine. He didn’t have any episodes of forgetting to breathe today. Good job Kyler! Kelly said he needs to have 7 days in a row before it is safe to remove the tube that supplies air.

The nurse left the bassinet top off so we could spend more time with Kyler. Kyle read to him and I just admired my new grandson. I gave hugs to a couple of the nurses who were on duty the day Kyler arrived. The staff has been wonderful about answering questions, giving helpful suggestions, taking the time to just talk with Kelly and Kyle to make them more relaxed. The nurses all seem to love our baby Kyler.

Nikki came to visit to I went to the family room to wait while she had a chance to see the baby. Before Nikki left she came to say good-bye to me and let me know she is getting married in Oct. She will be a beautiful bride.

We left right before 7:00 PM to have dinner at BJ’s, across the street from Red Rock Casino. This is one of Kelly and Kyle’s favorite restaurants and Larry and I took them there when we were in Vegas in April.

Kyler was on his tummy when we returned with his legs pulled up under him. He tried to open his eyes but he had just been fed about an hour before and his tummy was full and he was tired. I read “Good Night Moon” to Kyler for the last time this visit. Next visit, grandma will have to bring more books.

Kyler raised his head up and turned it to the other side. The nurse said he was strong baby. She moved his head back to the other side and wrapped him a little tighter. We said our goodnights but Kyler wasn’t letting go of Kelly’s finer. She gently loosened his fingers and I whispered sweet dreams to him. Kelly kissed her fingers and placed them on his cheek and Kyle told his son he loved him.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

1 Week...

1 Week – September 8th, 2009

Kyler is one week old today. On the way to the hospital the kids were singing along to the music. When Elton John’s “Tiny Dancer” came on they said that this was Kyler’s song and sang along.

When we arrived at the hospital they had removed his lights and a blanket was over the top of the bassinet to block out some of the noise and keep the heat in. He has gained an ounce and now weighs in at 2 pounds almost 13 ounces. He is digesting his milk well and they fed him while we were there. If he keeps progressing this well then they will increase the amount they feed him in several days.

Kyle decided if he was going to read to his son, he would pick the book. He has been reading The Ultimate Athlete, so he started reading to Kyler where he left off from the last time he read from the book.

Kelly changed Kyler’s diaper and then the nurse got him swaddled up so Kelly could hold him. Because the nurses were all busy with another baby, Kelly got to hold Kyler about twice as long as she normally does. She can start kangaroo holding tomorrow (skin to skin). Because Kyler is a preemie, they only like to have him out of his bassinet once a day so he does not get over stimulated. The nurses teased Kyle that he had to change a diaper before Kyler could go home.

If Kyler’s progress continues well, they will remove his air tube in a few days. They have it on the lowest setting now and it is air flow only, not oxygen. His preemie hats we bought for him are still way too big but he needs to wear one when he is out of the bassinet. I think Kyler is doing so well because we visit as much as possible, talking to him, touching him, and reading to him. We have been in and out of the hospital at different times and we haven’t seen other parents spending the amount of time that we do with Kyler.

Before we left, I got to kiss baby Kyler. Such a sweet baby and cute and handsome, and beautiful. Can you tell I’m a grandmother and really really love this baby boy?

Kelly is thinking ahead, knowing I will be going home in a few days. She asked if I could make some casseroles and put them in the refrigerator so they can just warm up food and not worry about cooking for a few days. Then she decided that since I was cooking, could I make special breakfast for her. Special breakfast is an egg, bread, sausage, cheese casserole that my mother made years ago for a holiday breakfast and it became my kid’s favorite breakfast at every major holiday.

We got home from the hospital and I left Kelly and Kyle to rest and I went shopping for food. Kelly requested chicken enchilada casserole, wild rice and chicken casserole, and a ham, broccoli, and rice casserole. I cooked and told the kids to go to the hospital to see their son together.

By the time they had returned I was finishing up putting the last casserole in the refrigerator and the special breakfast was coming out of the oven. The kids decided to eat breakfast for dinner. Somehow I knew Kelly wouldn’t wait till morning.
Kelly and Kyle said that Kyler slept the whole time so they didn’t stay quite as long and will go back tomorrow afternoon.

Day 7 part II

I awoke about 8:30 Am and thought Kelly was up and getting ready without waking me. No, it was Kyle starting breakfast and trying to let me sleep in. I sent him back to bed, finished fixing breakfast, served Kelly and Kyle breakfast in bed, and then we all went back to sleep after calling the hospital to check in on Kyler. It’s been a long week.

Kyle had to load the passengers on the plane and load their luggage before he could board the plane. He then had to unload the passengers, unload their luggage at the next stop. He did this all the way home, over and over again. He didn’t care; he was coming home to his family.

Kim and Tony met us at the hospital for their first NICU visit with Kyler. Only three people are allowed at the bassinet at a time so I waited in the lounge with Tony and later Kelly stepped out with me so Tony could go in. They think our baby Kyler is pretty amazing and they should since they are the Vegas grandparents.

Kyler does not have an infection. The problem with his leg was either a reaction to the tape or something they used to clean his leg. His skin is very sensitive right now. They have decided to put a new PICC line in because it can last up to 30 days and an IV can be a matter of days. At first they were going to leave the IV line in as a backup, but then decided to remove it completely. Baby Kyler didn’t fuss too much when they put the PICC line in. It runs from his ankle up his leg and into his chest. Scary! He has gained an ounce and seems to be digesting the milk without to many problems. He is now on a three hour schedule for feedings.

Mary the charge nurse who helped get Kyler set up when he arrived last week was on duty today. She checked his progress when he came in and told me that he was doing just fine. All the nurses say he is spunky, feisty, lively, active, a mind of his own.

We left around 3:00 PM and went to Tagashi House for lunch. Then it was home and nap time before the evening visit. Kelly wanted to fix Kyle’s favorite dinner, onion burgers, and her grandmother’s recipe.

Off to the hospital. Kyler is resting with his legs out of the roller blanket they try to keep him snuggled into. Exerting his power and control. We each take turns reading books to Kyler. Kelly read Who’s My Mom, Kyle read Hop On Pop, and I read Good Night Moon.

Kyler has had a big day changing out his IV and PICC lines and everything looks good this evening. He is sort of worn out and sleeping with an occasional leg that kicks straight up into the air. He recognizes his mom and dad’s voices and he takes hold of their fingers as they touch him and talk to him.

His nurse check in with Kelly and Kyle and give them his updates since we were there in the afternoon. She calls Kyler the “little man”.

I kissed my finger tips and placed them on Kyler’s cheek then said goodnight. I left Kelly and Kyle alone with their son and went down to the family lounge to wait.

I’m not sure how I am going to leave this baby and go home. Maybe we could move?

We stopped at Dave’s favorite store on the way home, “Wally World” better known as Wal-Mart to pick up a few things. It’s only two blocks from the main entrance to the base so it is convenient. We watched a movie after we got home and just sort of kicked back and relaxed. Three visits in one day. Whoopee!

Monday, September 07, 2009

Day 6 and the early morning hours of day 7

Day 6 and part on of day 7

Sunday September 6th, 2009

Kelly and I had planned to get up and go to church with her friends Marissa and Brian. We didn’t wake up until 11:30 AM. I think the sleep did us both good. I fixed Kelly breakfast and we stopped to buy books for Kyler and then drove to the hospital.

The nurses don’t think Kyler has an infection. All his test are coming back negative and it was probably an allergic reaction to the tape. His leg looks better today and this is good news.

Kyler is on his tummy and looks like he is trying to do push-ups. He picks his head almost off the bed and it drops back down exhausted, and goes back to sleep. I read his grandma book to him “Good Night Moon,” and he settled into a deeper slumber.

Today there is only one light left on to give Kyler is Las Vegas tan. We are looking forward to the day when they turn the last light off. Kyler begins to wiggle his butt and stretch. The nurse said Kyler like to keep at least one leg stretched out but sometimes when she checks him, he will have his legs crossed. The first time the nurse brought Kelly to me after she was born and I took the blanket off to check out her fingers and toes, she had her legs crossed. Like mother, like son.

Kelly put her hand into the bassinet and Kyler wrapped his hand around her finger and held on. He reacts to her voice and touch; he knows who his mommy is. Kelly said the hospital treats over 700 babies in the NICU unit every year. This is the only NICU unit in Nevada.

Kyler is finally resting quietly so Kelly and I quietly slip out after she gives him a kiss on the top of his head and one on his cheek, before going home so Kelly can rest and take a nap. We will return in the evening.

I fixed pasta salad for Kelly’s dinner and we were watching TV when the doorbell rang. 10:49 PM and Kyle has arrived home. Not on emergency leave, he is back to stay and will be redeployed in about 6-8 months. For now he is where he needs to be, with his wife and baby. The first tears I have seen Kelly cry since Kyler was born streamed down her face as she wrapped her arms around her husband and gave him a kiss.

Kyle has been up for about 60 hours but wants to see his son. He worked a shift, caught a flight out to Romania, Ireland, Maine, and then Las Vegas. I don’t know if we will ever know who made the final decision to let Kyle return home, but I thank God they understood and let him come home. I am so happy for Kyle, Kelly, and Kyler.

Kyle gave me a hug and a kiss and when he found out we had pasta salad asked if I could just stay and not go home. I told him I didn’t think Larry would let me stay. He showered to get the desert sand off and then we headed off the hospital. Kyle bought gifts in Ireland for Kyler when he had a layover. He is going to be such a good dad. I am lucky to have a son-in-law who loves my daughter and grandson as much as he does.

Monday September 7th

We arrived at the hospital and got our security passes. It is approximately 12:45 AM when Kyle and Kelly scrubbed in and entered the NICU nursery at the hospital. Kyle had the most incredible look on his face as he said hello to his son for the very first time. Kelly had asked me scrub in first so I could already be in the room and take pictures. Seeing Kelly and Kyle standing over the bassinet, both of their hands touching their son, was a prayer answered.

Kyle was overwhelmed seeing his son for the first time, as we all were the first time we saw baby Kyler. Kyler is so perfect, just tiny, that after a few minutes you look past the tubes and only see the baby. Kyler reacted immediately upon hearing his dad voice. He began to squirm around, lift his head and before I left the new parents alone with their son, Kyler opened his eyes.

I went down to the family waiting area and thought as I was sitting there how much I will miss my daily visits with Kyler, watching his progress and growth. I know there is email, photos, and phone calls. How soon will they let me come visit? Wait I’ll be back at the end of the month for the baby shower.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

9-5-09 Day 6...Part I and II

9-5-09 Saturday

Part I

I met Kelly at the hospital in the afternoon. I gave her a kiss and did a quick check on baby Kyler. The paddle is on his right hand now and he has an IV inserted. His right leg looks sort of blistered and red. They found an infection on his PICC line and had to remove it. They are giving him antibiotics and antibiotic cream on his leg. They are running blood test and the first one is negative for anything serious. They will continue to run blood test for several days and cell count for check his white cell count and protein levels.

Baby Kyler continues his two shots a day of caffeine. He is taking breast milk every six hours by a tube. He is still getting his Las Vegas tan and doing. The night before Kyler only had on episode of shallow breathing but he self corrected quickly without the nurses needing to give him a little massage.

Kelly and I both read to Kyler today. We need to find him some more books or he is going to have this one memorize and when he starts talking it will starting quoting the book.

Kelly was getting tried and hungry so we left for the afternoon and will return later tonight. We stopped for a quick bit to eat, sort of on the run and then a stop at Target to get a few things she needed. We took a short cut down the strip (I know this doesn’t sound right but she does know how to get around this town) and over to the other side of town to the fight shop. She wants to buy miniature boxing gloves, the size you find on a keychain and have Nikki make her a mobile for Kyler’s room.

Kelly showed me how to enter the base from a side entrance and saw the fighter jets mounted on large cement post with their noses pointed in the air. This is a historical reference of the older aircraft and an amazing art and photographic shot. Pictures another day.

Nap time and then back to the hospital sometime after 8:00 PM.

Part II

I dropped Kelly off, parked the car and scrubbed in. By the time I arrived Kelly was holding Kyler. She said he sometimes looks like an old man when he scrunches up his face when he gets made. He can look anyway he wants…he’s the boss and she knows it. We notice last night he has chapped lips and today they have started putting something on them to help them heal up. I told them last night I wanted to put my chap stick with SP45 on his lips so maybe thought I was serious and beat me to it. Kyler’s foot and leg looks much better tonight.

Kyler seems to get the hiccups every night about the same time. Kelly said he did when she was carrying him also.
When they put Kyler back in his bassinet they took his temperature and he held it while Kelly was holding him. That is a really good sign that he can maintain his body temp. I read to him again and he slipped into a deeper sleep.

Right before we left Kelly got to change his diaper. This is progress. They do weigh his diaper afterwards to check his intake of fluids and what comes out.

It is almost midnight and we are going home to get some sleep then start our routine all over again tomorrow.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Day 4

Day 4 – Sept. 4th, 2009

Kelly had visited baby Kyler earlier in the day. The nurses said Kyler had a bath and did not want to be placed on his side or his back. He wanted to lie on his tummy and when he did he pulled his little legs up under him which pushed his ohhh so tiny butt in the air.

8:30 PM Kelly and I left for the hospital. There was a warm wind blowing and a light mist covering the windshield of the car as we drive to the hospital. As we look out across the valley we can see lightening strikes in the distant hills. This is the first night since I arrived in Las Vegas that I have driven Kelly to the hospital at night. Looking at the lights on the strip seems so foreign from previous trips visiting here were you sort of seem mesmerized by the glitz and glamour. This time the lights are shinning on a little star at Sunrise Hospital.

I dropped Kelly off at the front door to the hospital and went to park the car near the emergency room entrance. After 10:00 PM the only entrance to the hospital is at the emergency room, in or out and after 10:00 PM you must leave your ID at the desk until you leave. I like this security system.

I scrubbed in and as I walked around the corner of the curtain to Kyler’s bassinet, Kelly was sitting in a chair on the other side holding Kyler in her arms. She had a smile on her face like the Cheshire cat or the cat that ate the canary. She was waiting for me and laughed at the look on my face. She asked if I was going to cry. No! Get tears on my baby? No way.

Kyler was snuggled up in a receiving blanket cradled close to Kelly where she rocked him gently in her arms and cooed softly to him. I’m not sure how long she held him, but didn’t give him up until the nurse said he needed to have the lights put back on him.

The nurse said he is feisty and has a mind of his own and up to mischief. He has pulled his heart monitor off twice, his protective head gear off once, move his wiring and he puts up a fuss. The nurse said he has taken control.

I read Kyler his Dr. Seuss book and he quieted down and went to sleep for a short time. When the nurse put his vitamins into his IV bag he began to cry. Kelly gave him his pacifier and because he can’t quite hold it in, she held it in place and Kyler again settled down. Next it was the hiccups. I know they are normal but watching his tiny chest contract over and over again was sort of scary. He didn’t seem upset by them and after several minutes they stopped.

We spent about 3 hours at the hospital but it is so hard to walk away and say goodnight even for a few hours when we will return.

Kelly is doing amazingly well. She is upbeat, what little tummy she had is disappearing, and she is eating well and drinking lots of liquids. She and Kyler both would do much better if Kyle could come home for a short visit but it doesn’t appear that the military is going to let him come home. Kelly said it was almost like Kyler was looking for his dad and if he arrived early, dad would be there for him. Just get big and strong Kyler, your daddy loves you and will be home soon.

I Kissed an Angel

Thursday 9-3-09

Kelly slept most of the night and she looks rested and relaxed. I fixed her scrambled eggs with bagels and cream cheese for breakfast, and she ate most of it. She showered, fixed her hair, did her make-up, put on a cute little summer dress, and she was ready to go visit her son. Look good, feel good.

Kyler is sleeping under the lights getting his Las Vegas tan. He is finished with his antibiotics today and is being fed every six hours and doing well. Because he is so small, he sometimes forgets things…like breathing. So now baby Kyler is getting shots of caffeine, twice a day. Kelly sits by Kyler’s bedside caressing him, talking sweetly to him, and letting him know his mommy is right there for him.

Marissa, Kelly’s friend went with us to the hospital and she is amazed by how tiny Kyler is and yet so perfect. The comment everyone seems to make when they seem him the first time.

Kyler begins to move around. He likes being stretched out, not bundled up and swaddled. A tiny squeak of a cry turns into a protest of unhappy faces and flailing arms. I asked the nurse if she could do something to help quiet Kyler and relieve Kelly’s anxious nerves. A pacifier! Kyler already had one in his bassinet and he took it right away…no more cry’s and he quickly drifted back to sleep with mom resting a hand on his soft downy head.

We took pictures and videos to send to Kyle and all the relatives and friends. We spent about three hours at the hospital, but it seemed much shorter. I asked the nurse if she could remove the bassinet top so Kelly could kiss Kyler good-bye. Just as we started nurse to walk away the nurse asked if grandma would like to give him a kiss. Kelly laughed and said I was going to cry on Kyler. I didn’t. I waited until after I kissed him to cry. Today I kissed an angel sent by God. The top of his little head was warm and soft and my first thought was I am never going to wash these lips again.

Look out Larry; I think baby Kyler just stole my heart.

I took the girls to lunch at Blueberry Hill, a small restaurant near the base. It had pages and pages of menu items and everything served all day and fifties music played in the background. The girls ordered breakfast and I had lunch. We dropped Marissa off and then it was time to take a nap. Kelly went back to the hospital in the evening and I ran a couple of errands for her. I can actually get off base and find my way back again. I have a 30 days visitor pass so I can come and go without Kelly.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Kyler - day 2

Day 2

Wednesday September 2nd, 2009

Kelly called me around 8:00 AM and said they were going to discharge her from the hospital. Michael and I showered and headed off to the hospital.

Kelly had already been up walking the night before and again this morning. It has been just a little over 24 hours since she had major surgery, a c-section, and although she didn’t get much sleep last night she is talkative, witty, and impatient to see her baby Kyler.

We made a quick stop at Babies R Us for a few things and then we were off to Sunrise Hospital to see Kyler.

Kelly didn’t get to hold Kyler but she sat next to his beside and held him, her hand covering his tiny body and he moved when she touched him and talked to him. He held the tip of her finger with his tiny hand and quieted down as she spoke softly to him and touched his silky head.

Michael had to fly home later that day so Kelly had us bring the Dr. Seuss book “Oh The Places You’ll Go” that she had been reading to Kyler while he was still in the womb. It was sweet to watch and one of my favorite lines is, “Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So…get on your way”.

Kyler is breathing on his own and will start regular feedings tonight. He had his first bowl movement and that is a good sign that he body functions are working. Kyle called the hospital in the early morning hours, he is in Iraq and there is a 10 hour time difference. The nurses are wonderful keeping him update on Kyler’s progress and they put the telephone up to Kyler so he could hear his daddy’s voice.

We took pictures to send to Kyle trying to show him how big his son was. Kelly’s fist is as big as Kyler’s head. Her index finger is as long as Kyler’s forearm. Everyone thinks Kyler looks just like his dad. He’s strong; he’s a fighter, and a survivor.

The charge nurse said the nurses and staff would become Kyler and Kelly’s family and support team to help them and her family all the way through until Kyler is discharged from the hospital and goes home.

A whole floor at Sunrise Hospital is devoted to neonatal care. One of Kyler’s roommates is a little girl born at 24 weeks and she has been there 2 weeks and doing well. Another baby was jus arriving with a full team of nurses and doctors. Doctors are available for questions and the nurses are dedicated to their little charges that arrive in the world sooner than expected.

Kyler’s lights are off, his protective eye gear is off, and he can see mom for the first time!

Before we left for the afternoon Kyler’s nurse was getting him ready to insert an IV. He cried that tiny little squeaky cry, almost like a baby kitten’s mew, protesting being disrupted from his sleep. Kelly spoke softly to him and soothed his cries away.

I asked if Kelly could kiss her son goodbye and the nurse said yes. The nurse held baby Kyler aloft and Kelly placed several soft kiss on the top of his head. The nurse then asked Kelly if she would like to hold him. I don’t think she could have answered yes any faster than she did. The nurse placed Kyler into Kelly’s waiting hands and she held up as close as she could and kissed him several more times. I couldn’t cry, I needed a picture for her to look at later and send to Kyle.

The Red Cross is working to see if Kyle can get a family emergency leave for a couple of weeks to come home and be with his wife and son.

It’s almost midnight and Kelly and I are reflecting on our time with baby Kyler. She wants some mother daughter bonding time; she wants to compare c-section scars. If it makes her smile and relax, okay.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Happy Birthday Kyler O'Neal Danger Atkinson 9-1-09

Tuesday September 1st, 2009
Kyler O’Neal Danger Atkinson
2 lbs. 15 oz.
15 inches long

Kicking and punching right up until delivery and then he got quiet. They did chest compression on the little guy for a couple of minutes and then he was breathing on his own. They did give him a shot to strengthen his lungs and when he was stable he was whisked away from the Nellis Air Force Base Hospital to Sunrise Hospital near downtown Las Vegas.

So how did the morning begin for me? I heard the phone ringing and wondered why Larry wasn’t answering it. Just as I was about to wake him, I saw a light in the door way in realized someone was in my bedroom just as Michael spoke to me. He said he had been calling and I needed to get up, that Kelly was on the phone and had been calling me. I grabbed the phone and all I heard was mommy I’m in labor, come now. Michael grabbed my suitcase and I tried to think about what I put in a suitcase.

Larry drove me to the Bellingham airport and the Alaska/Horizon desk person said sorry you are too late to get out on this flight, security is closed. I saw people going through security and begged her, told her about my daughter in surgery and my grandson, and with a stone face she said no it would take 20 minutes to get you a ticket (it takes less than 5 minutes on line). I pleaded before sinking to the floor sobbing. I heard Larry talking with her and then he helped me up and said he would drive me to Seattle as we left.

Michael called and said he was packing a bag and told us he would meet us in town. I don’t remember much about the drive, except lying in the back seat praying that God would watch over my daughter and grandson. We arrived at the airport and Larry pulled out our suitcases and I kissed him good bye and ran for the ticket counter. A kind agent helped us find a ticket counter and a stranger took charge of us and ushered us through security. She said she didn’t work for the airlines but she had to be someone special because we went to the head of the line and right on through. She helped all the way to the N gates where she also happened to be going. The gate was closed and we told that they wouldn’t give us a ticket, the doors to the plane were closed, and again I was too late. We watched and they plane sat there for at least another 20 minutes as we were told we should have never been allowed through security with the pass we were given by the Alaska ticket agent.

We took the train back to concourse D and started again with our story at customer service. This agent looked appalled at what we had been through and told. She put us on the next plane out and upgraded us to first class. Waiting for that plane was a relief but 2 ½ hours seemed like an eternity.

Kelly Walker picked us up at the airport and we went straight to Sunrise Hospital per Kelly’s instructions to check on baby Kyler, or as the doctors were calling him since his birth, baby Danger. The whole second floor is a neonatal intensive care unit or NICU. Kyler is in bed 2022. We were greeted with a nurse who had our names on a list and told how to scrub in. Wash, disinfect three times and if we touched anything after we entered the room we had to use another disinfectant.

Tiny cannot even describe baby Kyler and yet he is perfect in every way. Ten toes, fingers, hair the nurse said most women would dye for because it is platinum, blonde, brown, frosted, all of that combined. He is lying fully stretched out and lying under the lamps to help with jaundice and his skin tone which is pink but the nurse said was a little too red. Michael called this the Las Vegas tan. He is just amazing. Kyler is breathing on his own but with a c-pack machine to give him air in his passages. He is on antibiotics for three days just to be safe. They say he can cry a soft little squeaky voice and he has a temper when made and scrunches up his face. They also said he quiets down quickly when talked to. Danger…MMA fighter…watch out.

We took pictures and when I put my finger next to his tiny hand he held onto me. If had not already stole my heart before, he certainly owned it now.

Next stop was to see Kelly and give her a report on Kyler. She was sleepy and wide awake. We showed her the pictures on the camera and told her all about her baby Kyler. She had only a quick glance before the NICU team took him away after delivery. Then Kelly told us how her morning began.

For two days she had been to the hospital telling them she didn’t feel well and that Kyler wasn’t moving around. They told her she might have a kidney infection but the test result didn’t show anything. She thought her water broke but after the exam they sent her home after placing the fetal monitor higher on her stomach than the baby was positioned. One the third day she woke at 3:00 AM and started calling friend. She drove her self to the hospital where she was admitted and dilated to 5cm. Now it was going to be an emergency c-section.

She said it didn’t feel like she had a baby because she was numb during delivery and she had no baby to hold or look at. She had one thought and that was to walk down the hall and show the nurses she could go home and therefore go to the hospital to see Kyler. Her mind was made up and she was determined that on Wednesday she would go home. We kissed her goodnight and hoped she would get a little sleep.

Praise be to God for watching over Kelly and Kyler. Thanks to my wonderful husband who said go and helped me get to Las Vegas as quickly as possible. Thanks to Michael (now know as uncle Michael) for holding me, holding me together, and getting me to Las Vegas without totally breaking down. To uncle Jim who held vigil waiting for news and praying for Kelly and Kyler. Thank you to family, friends, and complete strangers who added Kelly and Kyler to their prayer chains across the US. To my mom and her amazing church and thier prayer chain. Thanks to my sister Mary who kept family and facebook updated so everyone knew what was going on. Thanks to Kelly's aunts, uncles, and cousins who sent emils, text messages, and phone call to check on her and let her know they were praying for her. Thanks to my small group, my HOG famil, and friends who called and sent emails with well wishes and prayers for Kelly and Kyler to have a safe postive outcome.
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