Tuesday, November 19, 2013

splish splash

Even though we’ve been comfortable with checking his temperature, changing diapers and handling his oxygen for quite some time, the NICU nurses have to be sure we can handle all aspects of Calder’s care before they let us whisk him away.

Saturday night we had the privilege of giving Calder his bath. It’s almost surprising that we hadn’t done this yet, but the nurses tend to take care of it in the morning, when we’re not yet usually in. Although we’d been told he relishes his bath, he was very vocal in letting us know that was not in the mood. He’d just received his polio vaccine, and even though I’d managed to calm him down immediately after he was stuck, the jab must have snuck back up on him, and he made sure to tell us about it. (And lucky for us, he’s getting another vaccination every day until we’re outta here.) I’d heard repeatedly from friends about how scary the first bath is, and while I admit to feeling relatively clueless about the process, no matter how simple you think it may be, I’m sure having a nurse standing beside me helped make it a success. We were told that kids with a G-tube can do everything a kid without one can do, including being fully submerged in water (although we’re still at sponge stage ourselves); you just have to make sure it’s plugged before you get started.

He could be enjoying this more.

But he was pretty happy with
the subsequent cuddle session.

Sunday night we were asked to take charge of his feed. This was the first time he’d be fully fed on a gravity feed, the way we will also be doing it as home. This means that we let gravity do the work as opposed to a pump; you just fill the big syringe and hold it up until it empties into his stomach instead of programming the pump to dispense the milk over a certain period of time. The higher or lower you hold the syringe controls the speed of the flow – that and his tendency to bear down, in which case the flow doesn’t go very fast and may actually reverse (watch out for milk!) We went a bit quick, and the milk was a bit cool, but what probably did us in was the fact that we had Calder on his back throughout the feed. When Kraemer picked him up once we’d finished, he wound up the recipient of some very milky spit up. May be the first time, but I’m sure it won’t be the last.

Before we left, we situated Calder in his car seat in his crib in preparation for the Car Seat Challenge. He passed with flying colors! This means that we can take him home in the infant car seat we purchased, as opposed to a car bed, which would allow him to remain flat. Quite frankly I’m not sure whether there is a huge safety disparity between the two in the event of a collision, but it is nice to know that he can sit in his seat – or his swing or his bouncy chair – without experiencing a brady or apnea.

Being an angel for mommy
... or plotting mischief
On Monday, Drew was the first one to wish me a happy birthday on the actual day itself, when I called him at 4 am to check on our little guy. And as soon as we walked in that night, Megan greeted me with a “happy birthday” wish. How'd we luck out with such great nurses? In fact, Calder (read: day shift nurses) had made me the sweetest birthday card, complete with his latest footprints … which are considerably bigger than the ones we took when we was about a month and a half old. On Monday night we brought in his prescription for his nebulizer treatments so that we could learn to administer it ourselves. There isn’t a whole heck of a lot to it, and this time, Calder was as calm as he could be in my arms, just like they said he usually is when given this treatment.

As far as we know, we are still on track for a Thursday homecoming. Today was my last day of work, as starting around lunchtime tomorrow, Kraemer and I will be in various trainings and meeting with multiple specialists regarding his follow up care probably until the day shift wraps up at 6:30 pm. (Between you and me, when I first decided I’d take the day off prior to his homecoming, my plan was to use it to sleep! So much for that plan.) His eye exam today revealed that he still has some degree of ROP; it really hasn’t gotten any better or any worse than where he was two weeks ago. That’s not fantastic but not ideal either, so we’re already scheduled for another consult in three weeks. Tomorrow we’ll meet with the pulmonologist, the occupational therapist, and the nutritionist; take a two-hour CPR class; take a course on his monitor,; talk with the companies who will be providing our durable medical equipment for his oxygen-related supplies and G-tube supplies, and probably more. Whether we’ll be feeling up to the cocktail hour the end of the day I’ve been hankering for is anyone’s guess!


  1. Who says angels don't live amongst us?

    The close-up picture of Calder and Taryn is priceless! And the comparison between the photo from the July 19th post of Taryn holding Calder for the 1st time, with the one above is amazing; symbolizing this unbelievable journey!

    love, Mom/Grandma A.

  2. I was going to say, I love the close-up of you two! Beautiful! You should frame it! :) Good luck with the last new NICU days! :)

  3. I almost never comment, as I can't seem to get my IPhone to let me. But wanted to say I am following his journey and sending warm, loving, healthy thoughts. Congrats to the whole family.

    1. Clare, thank you! So nice to know that we are cared for. :) Loved your recent post about Little Elephant on the airplane. Wish that gentleman had listened! Hope y'all had a great trip.