Calder must have known today was a special day because he's doing great! He had been sitting at a flow of 2.5 liters for a few days while they fooled with compressing his feeds, but they took him down to 2 yesterday and 1.5 today, and he's been at room air most of the day. By yesterday he was down to feeds lasting 1.5 hours every three hours; Soumaya told us that today he got so hungry that while propped up in his Boppy he managed to stand himself up in indignation ... but wound up flopping back down when he couldn't hold himself up. His gas this morning was beautiful, as the nurses like to say, and as they have been for a couple weeks now, with C02 at 57, pH at 7.37 and hematicrit at 39. He is 47 cm long now, his head circumference is 33 cm, and he weighs 2785 g. So after several days of losing weight, he's back up over the six-pound mark. Per usual, he has another eye exam tomorrow.
Though it’s been a long time since we've paid much attention to his heart rate, on Sunday morning Calder had two “spells,” meaning he brady-ed and was simultaneously satting very low, once in the 40s and once in the 50s, I think, which is quite low compared to the 90s we need to be seeing. There was no apparent reason for these spells, especially given that during one of them he was fast asleep. (Earlier in the day he’d brady-ed as well, but that practically doesn't count since it was only after he’d pulled out his feeding tube – ah-gain – and it’s common for the reinsertion of the tube to trigger that reaction.) This isn't necessarily a setback, per se, but a reminder that his lungs still have a ways to go. He's still been generally pretty fussy, and it takes him some time to fall asleep, but when he's out, he is OUT.
The nondairy diet is on hold. This weekend I’d intended to talk more with Dr. D or our primary day nurse about the recommendation to start the diet now that I’d had a chance to think on it, and because I hadn't yet spoken with the doc about it. I wanted to hear the plan for specifically when to start, since our primary nurse had only really asked whether it was something I’d be willing to try, not to try this very second. Or perhaps that's just how I interpreted it. When we were in this weekend, Dr. D was off duty, so I spoke instead to Dr. F … who told me to hold off. It's so difficult to identify the culprit in my diet that they’re bringing him “back to base” on formula and then reintroducing breast milk “soon,” hopefully without changes to my diet. The Dr. went so far as to say it’s not healthy for me to work toward such a diet [without being meticulous about replacing the nutrients I’d be missing.] Stay tuned. I think the attempt on my part is nearly inevitable, and I've now heard from several of you about how you did it too -- and how it is actually good for you, contrary to the doc's perspective...everyone is a food critic.
This weekend Calder rooted for both of his teams (we’ll skip any discussion of how those teams did, only to say that they were close and that there are still some big games coming up!) Although Kraemer and I had sported our own gear on previous occasions, nothing grabbed the nurses’ attention like this onesie and helmet hat. We've now had many a conversation about allegiances and know who in the unit is an Auburn fan, a Sox fan, an LSU fan, who could care less, etc. Turns out our current preemie neighbor is a Bucks fan, too. O-H!
I can't believe how many of you keep up with Calder, still. After 16 weeks! We're so grateful. Sometimes I wonder whether maybe keeping up is too much work, whether 16 weeks is enough, but then someone writes me a quick note letting me know they're thinking of us, and I know you're still reading. Hopefully soon you can meet the protagonist in person!