Can’t beat that. A good report x2, that is.
We had a follow-up visit with Luke’s pediatrician yesterday. He’s gained a little more weight (about 2oz.). While this Mom had hoped it would be more, we’re happy he’s gaining, not losing. Our goal is to get him as chubby as possible before his next surgery, likely in 2-3 weeks. He beamed at Scott on Tuesday – so not fair. And, he’s been tracking objects and responding to our voices. We think we even heard a coo the other day. If you’re wondering why I’m obsessing about all this…it’s a sign that, neurologically, he’s on track for development. Since he has those two brain cysts, we are thrilled he’s reached some normal baby milestones. Luke is teaching us that each baby step should be celebrated. We’ve learned not to take anything for granted. And in, um, private part news (I am so on the hot seat for this when he’s 16) both of his testicles can be felt by the doctor and should descend on their own by six months. Layman’s terms? That’s another surgery we will likely avoid!
Dr. Johnson, his cardiologist (who we really dig, by the way) had some pretty good news for us today, as well. His PDA is definitely closed (that’s the valve that typically closes at birth, his just took six weeks to do it on its own). The VSD (the hole between the lower two ventricles) is still there, but it’s not causing major issues for him right now. So, we will head back to see Dr. J in two months and see how it’s progressing. He’s optimistic that the hole will get smaller or close on its own with time. The most important news he delivered today was that he doesn’t see open heart surgery to correct the VSD in Luke’s future. Excellente.
Next up? The gut, the brain and the spinal cord. I’ll have updates on all those next week.
My mom brain doesn’t remember much these days. Gee, wonder why. At any rate, I left a bag of pumped breastmilk at the NICU. Dell has been calling to remind me to pick it up and we finally swung by today. Walking back through those sliding glass doors, hearing the ‘bong – bong – bong’ of the ball art in the lobby, stepping back into that elevator and hitting “4”…it was very, very strange. We’ve done that same drill so many times, yet it seems like such a long time ago that it was our reality. Day in. Day out. And here I was, walking that infamous hallway to the NICU.
I picked up the phone and the same clinical assistant answered. When I spoke, I nearly caught myself saying my last name and password, and then I paused. “Um, this is Luke Whitaker’s mom…I need to…” And I hear a, “Oh, hold on a second, we have your milk!” A minute later, she appeared with the bag of milk and immediately asked where Luke was. You know, because I’m totally chopped liver. He’s definitely the rockstar. I told her I’d bring him by next week when we’re there for some doctor visits. In an instant, she disappeared back into the NICU and I just stood there, feeling like a duck out of water, holding a bag of frozen breastmilk.
Totally weird. And sad.
You see, when you visit the NICU at Dell, you can see one of the private rooms, Room 6. Remember that one? It was the one that held such joy for Evangeline, a baby that was discharged a few weeks before us. It was the one that was the site of emergency surgery for a 23-weeker that died within hours. And, it was the same room that housed yet another very, very sick baby, admitted just before we were just discharged. My instinct tells me that an empty room for such a sick baby means that another baby didn’t leave the NICU. A family left with empty arms. A mom recuperated from a birth without a baby to love. A doctor had to do the hardest part of his job.
And, me? It made me thankful that we got to leave. With Luke safely in our arms. If I can ask a favor, offer up prayers for a family who will leave the NICU without their precious baby, the Lichty family in particular. No matter what brings you to the NICU or how you leave, every family deserves prayers. And, I know we have enough to go around and then some. Let’s share the wealth, shall we?
May your Friday be grand, we have some fantastic quotes to share!