Thursday, July 1, 2010

Kaylin Ann Brock

Born June 30, 10:32PM
5 lbs 2.3 oz

University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics
Iowa City, Iowa

Kaylin's Photo Gallery

Kaylin Ann Brock is named after Hannah's Aunt Kay Flanders, my Mother Linda Brock, and Hannah's Mother Ann Stensland.  She bears the proud and honorable surname Brock, given to her by her Grand-Father James Harrison Brock, who adopted me when I was only three years of age.

At 38 1/2 weeks, Kaylin was born a little underweight, and some initial blood work showed that her blood count was a bit high, which could make the blood "sludgy" inside her little body. In addition, her glucose levels were low.  Due to these two issues, she was placed into NICU with an I.V. Hannah was in recovery for nearly a day and was unable to see Kaylin, so they placed a small tube into Kaylin's stomach (through the nose) to feed her. 

* UPDATE 7/3/2010 *
Hannah has been discharged from the hospital! She is feeling so much better!!! Kaylin is still in NICU, but has been moved to a private room that is larger and more accommodating for parents, complete with recliner, couch and a bathroom with a shower in it. Very nice, since Kaylin will be here at least 1 more night, if not more.

Kaylin had been on a 3 hour feeding schedule, with I.V. fluids. She has now been taken off that schedule, so she is allowed to eat anytime she wants. Her I.V. fluids have been reduced to half of what she was getting. They want to make sure that she's getting enough to eat from Hannah, and that her glucose and blood levels have stabilized before they give her the all clear.
The charge nurse last night said that if she thought we wouldn't miss Kaylin, she'd put her in her pocket and take her home! She is very cute (a non-biased opinion as I'm sure you'd agree), and we can't wait to take her home!

* UPDATE 7/4/2010 *
Independence Day. That is exactly what today is; independence from I.V. fluids.  After Kaylin's labs came back this morning and looked good, the NICU team decided to turn off the I.V.  We are 1 step closer to going home!  Her bilirubin count is creeping up, which could lead to jaundice, but the staff doesn't seem worried or even concerned about it.  Kaylin is getting the hang of nursing, so we are excited about that.  It is so gratifying to have successful feedings after having several very challenging ones.

Mom and Dad have homework to do in order to get out of here.  The hospital requires that we watch several videos, including one on CPR that comes with an infant CPR doll that is about a time and a half the size of Kaylin!  We are going to have the nurse walk us through some "how to" things for when we get home so that we feel prepared once they discharge us.

* UPDATE 7/5/2010 *
Last night, Kaylin had a couple of "episodes" where her oxygen saturation levels dropped in conjunction with a drop in heart beats per minute.  Besides sounding every alarm in the room, which Hannah and I found very discomforting, the NICU team seemed a bit concerned as well.  She didn't appear to be in any distress though, so we are hopeful that this is not indicative of a larger issue.

After talking with the staff doctor this morning, the plan going forward is that she will be here for a couple more days for continued monitoring and evaluation.  The doctor said that with her being small, and a couple weeks early, the parts of her brain that control some of those systems might just not be quite developed yet, and these episodes may go away on their own.  So, they want to see if she has any more of these episodes, and if/when she does, we are not to intervene by changing her position or talking to her or anything like that.  They want to simulate her being at home off of the monitors and what would happen in that situation.  Of course, if her saturation and heart rate don't improve on their own, they will take steps to pull her out of it.

As for Hannah and I, we are averaging somewhere between 4 and 5 hours of sleep per night.  In a somewhat selfish way, I am glad for the extended stay at the hospital, as it has allowed us to talk to the nursing staff and get hints, tips, pointers, and how-tos that we probably would have missed out on had we done the baby-express option.  The staff has been so wonderful with Kaylin's care, and it's been really nice to have an extra person around to change the occasional diaper for us, or just to keep an eye on Kaylin while we go to the cafeteria for bite to eat.

We had accepted the fact that we were going to miss out on all the 4th of July activities and spectacles, but at about 9:00 PM last night, we started hearing "popping" sounds outside.  We looked out our window and were delighted at our good luck - we had a front row box seat to a fabulous fireworks display!  Viewing the show from Kaylin's hospital room, I couldn't help but think that somehow, these fireworks were just for us; that the sole purpose for this grand display of light and sound was to celebrate Kaylin's arrival into our world.  Maybe they weren't really, but in my heart and future's memories, those fireworks spelled out Kaylin's name across the Iowa night sky.

* UPDATE 7/6/2010 *

Kaylin had a great day yesterday and last night, with no further "episodes". Her labs looked good enough yesterday that she was able to get her IV removed (she was no longer receiving fluids from it). She passed her car seat test with FLYING colors! A sweet lady gently placed headphones over her ears, and sensors on the back of her neck, her cheek and her forehead. The small device held in the woman's hand analyzing Kaylin's brain waves as clicking sounds played through the headphones, looking for the electrical activity in her brain that would prove she could hear properly. Pattern found! Kaylin can hear!

This mornings labs showed that her bilirubin count had dropped substantially, her blood counts were coming down (no more sludgy blood), and that her glucose levels were staying within normal limits. Several small victories added together earned her her walking papers!

The drive home couldn't have gone better. Mom at her side in the back seat, Kaylin was peacefully asleep the whole way home - a 45 minute drive.

Upon arriving home, we were greeted by Grannie Annie and her friend Brad, and Auntie Kay. Grannie made scrumptious sandwiches for lunch. The cats took wide-eyed turns smelling Kaylin in her car seat. One of the cats, April, saw Kaylin's little fingers sticking out of her onesie, and rubbed her head up against Kaylin's hand, happy to have one more human to pet her. No problem - the cats all know she's part of the family, and all seem happy to have her here sharing their space.

We introduced Kaylin to her new bedroom, conspicuously devoid of monitors and alarms, wires and tubes, bright lights and lab techs with sharp sticks, and the cries from other babies anxious for more comfortable surroundings. She fed in peace, serene and beautiful.

Our Family Is Home.

Thank you all for your well wishes and congratulations! :-)
I am continuing to post new photos here.


  1. WOW! FANTASTIC WAY to keep us all updated. GREAT JOB, BRIAN! We're all praying for all of you and you are right about the fireworks spelling out Kaylin's name across the Iowa night sky in celebration of Kaylin's arrival! God has great plans for this Little One!


  2. Whoo-hoo!! Thanks for keeping us current. We're so happy that you've now been able to check out of the hospital and bring that adorable little girl home and to her new room. Congratulations to you both!

    We're so very thrilled that we had the chance to see you all while passing through Iowa City. What an incredible part of our journey. And once you're all settled in and adjusted, we'll make that journey to Muscatine (missed it by THAT much) to see all of you.

    Many hugs...

    Mike, Anita and Su

  3. Congratulations guys!!! I was sooo excited to walk into work tonight and not see her name on the board! I must admit that I was a little sad that I no longer get to take care of her but I am so happy that you guys are enjoying your family time at home!!!! Hopefully Kaylin sleeps well in her nursery now that she is not surrounded by the lovely beeps that seem to be constantly sounding here in the NICU. I look forward to more pictures and getting to watch her grow!


  4. There is nothing quite as wonderful as walking into your home with your new baby! I remember the days of NICU and how I longed to sit in my own rocking chair, in my own house nursing my baby. I thank God that Kaylin passed her tests with flying colors and was released to come home!!!! I love the pictures and reading about her days. What a precious blessing she is! Congratulations on your blessing!

  5. Iowa native, huh? No wonder she's so good lookin'...AN IOWEGIAN! So now its complete...(OR - Oregon for Brian, IA - Iowa for Kaylin, and CO - Colorado for Hannah...ORIACO) What a perfect combination!
    God bless you guys! He's definitely with you!


  6. Congratulations!!

    She is BEAUTIFUL.

    Jan :)