Saturday, August 16, 2014


first attempt on rocking horse. not so sure.
This week our main event was seeing Ginny, our GI nurse practitioner. Kraemer has been taking him to his last few doctor appointments, catching up to the number of trips to the docs I accrued while I was on leave. By now, my turn has swung back around.

However, going this time meant I got the privilege of hearing what Kraemer has been hearing for weeks now, that Calder is the wonder child. It’s really important for me to step back and comprehend the magnitude of the change, the huge strides Calder has made in such a short amount of time. It’s okay for the doctors to say it, but somehow it’s not okay for me because it still feels too early to fully believe that he escaped prematurity with so few major issues. Long term? We’ll have to see about that. He could still have some developmental issues. He still isn’t the world’s best eater, we’re just a little slow to come around. But these are nitpicky small things. Big picture, this boy is AMAZING. He is ROCKING IT. Ginny worked in the NICU for five years many, many years ago, and although she’s far removed at this point, she still sees in her line of work many of the children that leave it. She tells her colleagues (who also left the NICU long ago) that they would just not believe the progress she has seen. She said they used to kiss the 23 and 24 weekers before they rolled them out of the room, knowing they wouldn’t return. So for her to see Calder here, so alert, so healthy, so alive, that’s a bigger deal than sometimes even I can fathom.

on-sock wonder,
saying hello to the Justices
Oh, annnnd she said he looked like Kraemer. I expressed surprise (because very few people say that, but perhaps only to me, maybe they say it more to Kraemer). I think she took my surprise as offense, so she hurriedly pointed out that that was a good thing, that Kraemer was a good looking man. I laughed. Obviously, I said, I think so too.

Calder still has the tube. He’s 18.5 lbs, which, as I’ve said before, even though Kraemer and I felt like he’d really stagnated, she said is fantastic. He’s still way on the low end of the scale, but he’s caught up in height and therefore is pretty much right smack dab where he’s supposed to be in terms of weight to height ratio. She told us to quit fortifying the breastmilk we are giving him, which we’d been doing to 24 calories (breastmilk averages about 20 calories per ounce), and see how his growth progresses without that additional push. We are to come in in one month for a weight check, and if he’s still on track, out comes the tube. Interestingly, as long as the stoma still looks as good as it does now (no granulation tissue, no leaking, no infection, a pretty pink color) we’ll just take it out ourselves (two hours after the last meal before bed) and slap a Band-Aid on. We will need to send her a photo right before we do it just so she can double-check that everything is copacetic. She suggested we do it on a Monday so that we have all week to call in if we have issues. If all goes well, it’ll be mostly closed by morning; if not, we’ll need to keep a close eye on it for leakage, and perhaps take him in for surgery.

In other news, we’re moving this weekend. Not far, really - about 10 blocks, and from G St to E St. Even so, as we get all packed up our small rowhouse has become a maze of cardboard boxes. Disaster zone.

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