Thursday, August 8, 2013


Surgery prep. Notice blue cap!
Last night, after a midnight rendezvous with my pump (and why not: it's World Breastfeeding Week!), I couldn't get back to sleep. I lay awake thinking about Calder, wondering how he was doing, what he was doing, who he was with (were the nurses being watchful?) and when he'd be home, thinking about just how nerve-wracking this having a child business was, realizing then that I'd probably still be asking the same questions sometime near the middle of the night when this guy is 16. At least for now I can be certain about where he is. :)

His recovery from the surgery has been slow, but we'd been forewarned he would fall "ill" after the operation. As the doctors predicted, on Monday night his blood pressure dropped, his ventilator support requirements increased and his body responded to the surgery by retaining lots of liquid, making him appear puffy and swollen. But Calder is making plenty of great progress, and I shouldn't shortchange him just because I'm impatient! He was off his blood pressure medication, dopamine, entirely by this afternoon. They've been able to wean him back down to 1mc/kg/hour on the fentanyl from 2.5, so back down to the level he has been on essentially since birth. He has received at least two blood transfusions since the surgery -- the first because his hematocrit was low (too few red blood cells) and the second because he was acidosic (too little expulsion of carbon dioxide) -- and both times the transfusions achieved their intended effects. While he was slow to wet his diaper, by today he was peeing and pooing up a storm, which we like. His ventilator pressures remain the same after having gone up on them during and immediately following the surgery, but his Os (oxygen) have come down from a high of 75 after the surgery to only 44. (Room air is  21, so he still has a bit of a ways to go, and he was in the 30s pre-surgery, but 44 is great progress.) They were able to remove the tube into his stomach that was removing extra air and bile since there was so little of it. And he's been very alert, eyeing us with interest and swinging his arms and legs around like he's on the dance floor.
Hospital break

He now weighs 1130 grams, a whopping 2.5 lbs!!

Also, just prior to surgery they reintubated him with a size 3 tube rather than a size 2, so no more of the sad little squeaking that always made me cringe knowing the tube wasn't fitting quite right.

Feeling puffy
I was also reminded that we really need to leave a camera at his isolette so that the nurses can capture the little moments we miss. When we showed up today the nurse exclaimed at his cuteness (admittedly, they probably do that to everyone) and then went on to describe how her efforts to adjust his feeding tube were delayed by his constantly licking her fingers. Sounds cute to me.

All in all, he's doing well for the time being, and we probably have a few more days until I can legitimately worry about his progress.

In this time, everyone has been so wonderfully, incredibly supportive. I know I've said it before here, and I'm not very good at being sentimental, but I truly cannot put into words how touched Kraemer and I are by what I have to consider an outpouring of support from friends and family. I cannot imagine how much more difficult this journey would be without you. As Kraemer said recently, it's so reassuring to know we've brought Calder into a world full of such warm, caring folks. I wish I could hug every one of you!

1 comment:

  1. We would hug you back, T! It's great seeing some happy pics of you and Calder together...I'll bet he'll enjoy seeing those when he's older. And he broke 2lbs! That's great! Just imagine a world where everyone is surrounding you trying to make you feel as pain-free and comfy-cozy as possible while you do your best to pee, poo, and gain weight! :) As it's been said before, Calder is pretty lucky to have parents like you. :)