We are now at 5 liters per minute of O2 support.

9/12, Jon

He’s doing great actually, gaining weight like crazy (he’s up into the mid 30’s percentile! He used to be 0th!), and is pleasant, joyful, and massive. Breen is now 12 lbs 9 oz!

He is well loved at the NICU, incredible nurses and therapists play with him all day. This was especially heartwarming to us while we were getting over the preschool bug.

Erin has been feeling grand for a couple days now, I feel quite good with a nagging cough. …

11lbs 15oz! We almost gotta 12 pounder! What a chunker. Dr. O likes to call him chub chub.

9/7, Jon

Nora brought a flu bug home from preschool, and the whole family got knocked flat. Sore throats, fevers, nausea. Nora seems to have kicked it, but the adults are still working through it. Took covid tests, negative. Just a preschool bug.

Aside from feeling rotten, the big drag is that neither Erin nor I have felt comfortable visiting Breen in the hospital. We haven’t seen him since Friday, four days now. It’s unbearable.

The nurses at PMC are incredible. They’ve…

9/03/21, erin

Wind whips some blue back into our sometimes smoky sky.

Nora thrives. Jon drops her at school, and she doesn’t cry. She befriends the two quiet ones, and the gal who plays with everyone.

“Breen is thriving.” He has been breathing 4 liters of high flow. We tried him at 3.5 on Wednesday, but he started needing more than his normal 30% O2. Especially when sleeping. So we went back to 4 that night.

This guy. Plays hard with nurses and therapists in the morning, naps hard afterward. Breen sleeps, and grows, and grows.

The closer discharge feels, the more…

8/28/21, crickets, couch, erin

We are all well. We are so grateful that Grandpa Armstrong is bopping in every day to wrastle and joke with Nora. Meals appear, dishes disappear. Jon and the ISU semester jump together with the force of a tsunami.

Cardboard boxes magically become a room of her own. Thanks, Grandpa.

(Fear not, she and Breeny have 4 other bookshelves that will migrate up here.)

8/21/21, erin, living room

My favorite moments of being a human happen

when my mind is flipped and my polar magnets reverse.

There’s immense power in this group of cirrus people

who beam love at my family

from twenty-thousand feet.

Day by day, Day by day,

Oh, Dear Lord,

Three things I pray:

To see Thee more clearly

Love Thee more dearly

Follow Thee more nearly

Day by Day.

There are people like wisps of cloud of above the Armstrongs, watching, praying across the blue. These wisps are people who love, they can only promise change. The individuals are cloud-streaks, they…

10 lbs!

8/21, Jon

Our wee boy is 10lbs 3oz! We slowly work our way out of newborn weight! He would now be a rather large newborn! Quite the achievement for our Breen.

He is such a happy boy, very playful, very social. The nurses recently gave him a sock with a bell on it, and it is Breen’s most prized treasure.

As I said in the last blog, they want to wean him down on his O2 support once a week, after testing his blood gas on Mondays.

They tested his CO2 levels this past Monday, and his was…

The Armstrongs Gestate in Salt Lake City for Six Months, Cared for by Angels

8/15, Jon

First an Update:

Today we celebrate Breen’s 200th day of life. My goodness. 200 days.

Even with our latest blip, his last 100 days have been so much less eventful (read: less terrifying) than his first 100. The stakes are somehow lower and yet so much higher these days. Somehow so much easier, but much, much more difficult.

Breen has stabilized since our “intestinal setback” last week. Since Thursday, he’s had healthy looking stool, much less pain/discomfort, and he’s had some weight gain. He lost 80g during the setback, but he’s now back up to 4414g (about 9lb 11oz) which…

“A hole in the water, into which one throws money” — Phil Breen

8/12, Jon

We got to Pocatello last Tuesday, and in that time, Breen has put on roughly a pound! He’s now sitting at a robust 9.5 lbs! What a chunker!

He’s smiling more and more as he interacts with people. The nurses have told us that on several occasions they’ll hear him squeak and beep in his room and when they come in to check in on him, he starts smiling and dancing. Like as if to say: “Hey! What’s up!? What do you wanna talk about?!”

His eyes are bright. They are grey-ish blue. They take in the world…

8/10/21, part two, dining room, lunch

There has been no change with Breeny! He is small, but he is growing.

The dietician was the woman waiting behind the pulmonologist — she was dropping off his special amino acids so I could fly with them (Portneuf was overnighting them).

I’ve been meaning to blog about the day we flew. A lot happened that day.

8/10/21 erin, porch, home, cont.

Nora is tracing some excellent letters with a pink marker. You should’ve seen those P’s!! She also proclaims words that start with the letter she’s workin’ on. (“P, P, Perfect!”) Oh MAN, an actual S!!! We are sitting in the shade on the porch with Finn. For the first time this season, she wears slippers, I wear socks.

There are thistle puffs in the breeze. For this, I blame myself. I apologize to the neighborhood. We have been away, but we are back. Aunty shampoos another carpet. Jon is up with Breeny.

Breeny’s recent growth is encouraging. Thrilling even. He is still in the “0th” percentile. His growth curve is curving, but on Thursday, we learned the medical term for his growth is “failure to thrive”. ZING. Ouch, guys. Really? His only symptom of this condition is the pace at which he’s gaining weight, length, and head circumference. (For numerous identifiable reasons.) But he is alert, playful, curious, and very strong!

Today is Tuesday.

YEEPS. A hummingbird just flew up to my face and startled me. Large creature makes a buzz noise. Fight or flight? Oh. Neither. Ha! PHEW. (Yeeps.)

Tuesday. Was that the day a week ago right now the phone rang? Yeeps. Yes, it was. Amidst the joy, the shock, the love and tears surrounding, a…

Jon and erin! Armstrong

Parents of Breen and Nora.

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