Baby Braden Petska

Monday, October 30, 2006

Happy Halloween

Here are some recent photos of Braden. He gets cuter everyday :-) He's smiling a lot, eating well, gaining good weight (11.5 lbs) and enjoying life at home. Tomorrow, we get to spend Halloween visiting doctors. We're going to see the pediatrician first thing in the morning for his 2 month check-up, and then we're off to Children's for an echocardiogram and a visit to a special HLHS clinic. With him having the echo tomorrow, they may be able to give us a better idea of the time frame for his second surgery....we shall see. In these pics we're sending, Braden is posing with our experimental pumpkins we grew this summer. The yellow pumpkin was cut short of its growth due to the early frost.

Happy Halloween,
Steph, Rich, and Braden

Monday, October 23, 2006

10/23 Update

Hello everyone,

Things went well today for our 2 week check up. No major issues or concerns. Everyone seemed a little surprised that we were approaching the mystical 5 kg (11+ lbs) mark already. This is usually the weight that they start talking about surgery two, which we have been told is going to fall in Dec. It is a waiting game though, two things are factors when the surgery can happen, weight and when his oxygen levels start to drop in his blood. I am willing to bet that we are in for his surgery around T-giving. I don't think he will make it to mid-Dec. without leveling out first. Whatever happens, happens though.

Thanks for checking in,


Saturday, October 21, 2006

10/21 Update

Hey everybody,

Things continue to improve around here with the little man. Birth to 3 stopped in on Thurs. and they determined that everything looked good with the exception of neck strength. This is not surprising like we mentioned before due to his lack of belly time.

We have been trying to do more of it. It is kinda funny though when we put him on his tummy, he roots around like a little pig. He holds his head up for a little bit at a time then goes back to rooting around.

We will just have to keep working on it with him. We have an appt. with Dr. Cava on Monday for a two week check up. We are expecting everything to go smoothly that day just a routine checkup is all.

Thanks for checking in.


Snickers the attack cat. He protects Braden from the paparazzi (or the grandma-arazzi)

Still has his blue eyes. From what we have read babies eyes don't settle on a color until around the six month mark. I guess we will find out.

Have a good weekend!!

Monday, October 16, 2006

New Pics and Update

Things are still going very well. Grandpa and Grandma LaCombe were down for the weekend to visit. Braden was happy to see them.

Our birth to 3 evaluation has been moved to Thurs. this week. When we know what they have to say we will let you all know.

We have a 2 week check up on the 23rd and a clinic on the 31st to go to also.

Thanks for checking in.


Working on his curveball.

Come on G'pa change my diaper.....

Thursday, October 12, 2006

8 Weeks Old

Today Braden is 8 weeks old....hard to believe. This week he's been more awake, alert, smiling, and cooing...he's our constant source of entertainment :-)
He's been a little inconsistent with his eating again. The culprit this time seems to be the "pooping" issue. He's not releasing as much as he has been, so volume intake seems to be a little lower at times. He's still meeting hydration requirements, so the doctors and nurse practitioners don't seem too concerned. We, of course, get a little stressed out when behaviors like this change. It seems to be our only focus at times.

On Monday we went and saw Dr. Cava, our Cardiologist, at Children's. It was a scheduled clinical check-up for Braden. It was a mighty long day....leaving here at 10:30am and not getting home until 6:00pm. It's looking more and more like he'll be having surgery 2 (the bi-directional Glenn) in early December. He'll be a healthy weight (a bigger "Glenn" baby according to the doctors) at this time. The next clinic visit will be in two weeks and then we'll also be attending an HLHS clinic on Halloween day....looks like trick or treating will have to be on hold this year.

This weekend, Grandpa Greg and Grandma Patsy will be making the trip down to see Braden. Hopefully the blizzard-like conditions will have sub-sided :-) It will be nice having them down here with us.

Rich and I want to continue to thank everyone for being so supportive during this trying time in our lives. Everyday we are more amazed at the generosity of family, friends, and even strangers who have lent a helping hand. Over the weekend, Braden was a recipient of some holy water that was blessed by the late Pope, John Paul II. We felt very honored and privileged to receive such a special gift. We would also like to thank everyone who contributed money, gifts, prizes, diapers, and their time in dedicating a special fundraiser at Edtoberfest this year in honor of Braden. Our deepest appreciation and thanks goes out to all of you.

Well, it's feeding time.....
Thanks again for your continued love, support, and prayers.
Steph, Rich, and Braden

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Weekend Update

Things are still going very well here at the Petska Homestead.

Being that it is a Saturday and I am home, Mommy is getting a much needed day off, and was able to leave the house and get some things done today.

Braden has been behaving, but a little lazy with his eating. It is definitely nothing to worry about at this time though. He has been very awake and alert when he is usually asleep during the day. He has started cooing a little and doing more smiling too.

On Tues. the people from the county's 0-3 development program are coming over to evaluate him and see if he needs any additional help to get him caught up to where a 2 month old should be. We know and expect him to be behind in some areas, especially neck strength, seems he has had literally zero belly time due to his incision. So we are looking forward to this, to see where he stands, so we can get to work on getting him up to speed with other 2 month olds.

In addition to an update I would like to acknowledge and thank all of my students, colleagues, members of Multimedia Journalism classes, and the HEA for their fundraising efforts and donations.

We would also like to thank the Richmond-Burton NHS, students, and staff at RBCHS who generousley contributed a donation in Braden's honor. We were overwhelmed with emotion when the check was presented to us last night. This will definitely help us out with Braden's medical expenses.

And finally...(this is a long blog today) we keep taking steps towards organizing our charity. Steph's cousin Terri is helping us with this process. We are going to call the charity "The Heart of Gold Charity" or something close to that. Our main focus of this will be to provide help for families in our same situation that may not have the same resources or support that we have received. We will also use the money to pay for Braden's medical bills and make donations to organizations that have helped us (Herma Heart Center, Ronald McDonald House, etc). Down the road, we would also like to set up scholarships for students that plan to go on to college to become nurses or doctors. We know that many of you have generously offered to lend a helping hand with our situation. Some of you have already helped us, and we thank you. The charity will be set up, so that anyone who is interested in contributing to the above causes can do so.

Thanks for checking in,

Rich and Steph

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

New Pictures and update

Things are going as good as to be expected since being released from the hospital Monday afternoon. His feed totals are going up and he is sleeping for longer periods at night which is great, let me tell you...

Thanks for checking in.


Monday, October 02, 2006

We're Home....AGAIN!!!

Braden and I just got home about an hour ago from the hospital. We were unsure if the doctors were going to release today or it is :-) It looks like the stomach bug that got him last week is now gone - he's eating great, no temp, and no more diarrhea. Thanks for all of your prayers and positive thoughts during this unexpected bump in the road. We're so thankful that it was only a virus afterall and nothing major that involved surgery, etc.

Steph, Rich, and Braden

PS...we'll continue to blog while we are at home, so check in every now and again if you'd like :-)

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Sunday Morning Update

Braden continues to pick his eating back up. He took 80 by bottle this morning and 5 through his feeding tube. Afterwards they pulled the tube out and it is time for him to eat again right now.

The doctors are really leaning towards he had a stomach virus that got everything upset and irritated. That is why he wasn't interested in eating and may explain the different colored poop.

The plan for today is to start to fortify the milk with formula and go back up to 24 calories per serving. Tomorrow then we will up it to 27 calorie and see how he does. Hopefully he tolerates it without his stomach getting irritated again and he can come home soon (Tues/Weds).

Thanks for checking in.