Sunday, December 7, 2008

Christmas Came Early This Year

So a picture is worth a thousand words, right? Here are 4000 words for you.

Kind of a weird angle and it makes his head and face look a trifle odd, but I still think it's a cute picture. I just love his beautiful eyes.

Yesterday after we dropped my sister off at the airport, Justin took the kids into downtown and I spent the afternoon at the hospital. Since he is off his ventilator and has lost so many other tubes this week, I asked his nurse how close I was to being able to hold him. The nurse said I was very very close and asked me when was the last time I held him. "Um... what do you mean exactly?" "When did you hold him last? You know, in your arms?" "Oh, in my ARMS? Never." So they pulled that little peanut out of his greenhouse and let me have an hour of total bliss!!

This was the first time I was able to see him since they took him off the ventilator. He no longer has tubes going down into his lungs between his vocal chords, so for the first time, I was able to hear him cry! He sounds like a wee little mewling kitten! He cried for the first half hour of me holding him. I thought I'd be tiring him out too much, but the nurse assured me he was fine, his vitals were good, and that it might take him time to adjust to this new kind of adventure. Eventually he settled down and fell asleep in my arms. He still can't maintain his body temperature very well, so when he got too cold I had to put him back in his greenhouse (isolette).

Because we made the trek yesterday, we had planned on foregoing another weekend trip today. Alas, while I was getting ready for church, I called the hospital to check on him and the nurse that was there today said that she wondered why we didn't do kangaroo care (skin-to-skin bonding) with him yesterday when I held him and said that if I came up today we could totally do it on her shift. Did someone say Kangaroo Care? Yeah, I tried to continue getting ready for church, but I just couldn't focus and knew it wasn't going to get any better until I got my hands on that baby again. I finally threw on my shoes and raced up to the hospital.

The nurse stuck that naked little baby up against my chest and I was absolutely in heaven. He whined for a few minutes and then settled in for a little nap. He even let me rock the chair a little bit and rub his head a few times. It's really easy to overstimulate these little guys, but he was very tolerant today. In fact, he has been naughty with fully digesting his food for the last day, but holding him flushed absolutely all the residuals out of his belly at last. Cuddling with mommy really seemed to agree with him. And I know it agreed with me!

He is so tiny. Seeing him with all the bumper pads and things makes him look bigger than he is, even to me. I just get so used to staring at him in all of his paraphernalia. I was reminded of what a teeny little thing he is when I was holding him yesterday and today. He is s.m.a.l.l. Two pounds is just not very big. His head is smaller than my closed fist.

So this week he was pulled off the ventilator and moved to a nasal cannula and he lost his Art line. He also had his IV removed and tonight they plan to take out his pick line if he tolerates taking his medication through his food. That means that the only machines he'll be connected to are the monitors for his vital signs and his breathing apparatus!! Well, and his feeding tube too, I suppose. What amazing progress in just a week! I am so grateful and happy that he has had such a good week. We feel so blessed. We're keeping our fingers and our toes crossed that his progress will continue! Also, by tonight, he'll be on "full feeds", meaning that he is getting all of his nutrition from the breast milk; that's why they are able to remove the pick line. He won't need the intravenous artificial nutrition anymore if he keeps doing well with the milk.


Patricia Hodge said...

I continue to be amazed by his progress. He is a little miracle.

Matt & Kim Bradshaw said...

megan!! how exciting! i'm so happy for all of you. that is truely a great christmas present. we will keep praying for Crew that he will continue to progress. we love you guys.

amymom24 said...

Oh Megan, I'm so happy that you got to do kangaroo care! There are few greater feelings in life than *finally* getting to snuggle up with your baby for hours after weeks of only getting to stick your hand through a hole in their isolette.

He looks great, and what a fighter!

Praying for you.