Progress Report: Wednesday, August 23rd
Weight: 1lb, 5.5 ounces
It's been a rough couple of days visiting Truman. He continues to be stable, his blood gasses continue to look good, and he continues to be able to stay on only about 30% oxygen. But, his blood pressure and oxygen seem to require constant tweaking now, so there are a lot more monitors going off when we are with them. Also, now that his umbilical stump has fallen off (he now has a belly button), the replacement lines in both arms and one leg mean that he has three limbs that are immobilized. He has little splints on his arms, and the line in his leg, although not splinted, seems to keep him from moving it much. It's not that these lines are a bad thing for him, it's just hard to see him where he can't move as much because we've discovered that it's his nature to do a lot of wiggling. And, with both of us back at work now, we're more tired for that last evening visit, which makes it harder as well.
We also had a brief scare on Tuesday because the first line that went in his leg didn't really work adequately to get him the nutrition that he needed, so Dr. Redfield said he would need a surgically implanted line into his chest. The surgery was supposed to be last night or this morning. But, they tried one more time in the other leg to get a regular line in. They were successful, so no more surgery for now.
Truman has also been stuck in a catch-22 with regard to feedings. In order to get off his blood pressure medication, he needs to get bigger. In order to get bigger, he needs to eat. In order to eat, it would be very helpful to be off the blood pressure medication which constricts his blood vessels (see the catch-22). A feeding was attempted on Monday, but he didn't process any of it, so they discontinued them again. Another problem he's having is that he has not stooled since birth, so they think he's a bit plugged up with some the meconium that formed in utero plus the first three days of successful feeding. However, he made some progress in that arena yesterday, but the nurses think there is still more that needs to pass. He's getting daily enemas until he can get everything moved out. At that point, he'll start feeds again. The goal for micro-preemies is to be back at their birth weight by two weeks. You may notice the weight gain above, but at least some of the weight gain is due to the splints on his arms. Dr. Redfield is concerned about his nutrition issues, so let's keep our fingers crossed that our little boy can start back on breast milk soon and start growing.
For some happy news, another miletone -- Truman has opened his eyes. Of course the next question is, "What color are they?" He's not able to open them very wide or very long, so all we can really see is that they are dark. However, considering that he is an Anglo baby with two blue-eyed parents, I'm putting my money that those baby blues are going to lighten as time goes on. His eyelashes are white-blond like his hair.
He does respond to sounds and voices by looking toward them now. Last night whenever Ben would talk to him, he would turn his eyes toward Ben. He also gets more active when Ben talks to him. When I talk to him, he tends to close his eyes and fall asleep. I guess we know which parent he finds more interesting and which one he finds more soothing.
Truman is also finished with his light therapy for jaundice. Not only is that a second milestone down this week, it means he doesn't have to wear his eye shades anymore, so he's much more interesting to look at and more interactive.