The Week that Was / “It’s Just Genetics”

21 May

Ok, Ok — I’m sorry. It’s been far too long since I posted anything about our crazy family dynamic. To my credit though I am between jobs (more on that later) and absolutely LOVING my time home with Baby Nolan and Josie. Also to my credit I have written three drafts that just got blocked out and not finished. So….. Soooo……

In any case it is past time for an update. Nolan has been rocking it lately though that really isn’t a surprise. For being 8 weeks premature he is developing a little too fast for his mom and dad. Last weekend he actually rolled over from tummy to back. HE ROLLED OVER! Mrs. Pickle cried. I was shocked. At 2 months actual age (only one week old adjusted to his due date) he rolled. In other developments he is already 9 and a half pounds. We have one word for that — Chunk. So development and Nolan go well together.

Some people look at him and say, “Oh, he is so tiny!” and we just look at each other. If they had seen him in the NICU at 3 lbs 13 oz… they would realize why we call him a chunk. I have said it many times but we have defined a completely new normal since March 15, 2013!

Last week was the week of doctor visits for the baby and he passed through with flying colors. On Monday we went and visited a pediatric neurosurgeon. Sounds kind of doom and gloom, yeah? No worries really… Baby Nolan was born with such a cone head that his neo-natalogist was concerned the skull wouldn’t shape out correctly, as most babies do. So there we sat in a nice little room, me holding Noles while Josie filled out the necessary paperwork. In walks the doc and she takes Nolan. She explains very thoroughly how each plate moves, and what would be red flag signs, all the while looking at me with the corner of her eye. Finally she looks at me and says, “Take off your hat”. Ok, I thought, this is interesting — BOOM then she lays down the truth on us.
“Oh, this is just genetics, there is nothing your baby can do about it. He has your head!”.
I am pretty sure I haven’t seen the Mrs laugh that hard in months. In fact, I thought she might pee her pants. But, at least that is settled. Nolan has his dad’s head. Sorry bud, but at least you grow into it! Plus I can teach you many great things about this noggin. For starters, don’t buy Cooperstown Franchise 47 baseball caps. They don’t really fit.

The second visit of the week was to the eye doctor. With premature babies come premature eyes and retinas. Apparently what can happen to preemies is that the blood vessels in the eye stop developing short of supplying blood to the retina.. which if not caught and fixed can lead to blindness. This was our third test for ROP (as the docs call it) and it still leaves my stomach queasy.  Basically they dilate the pupils, throw in some numbing gel and then stick a probe down the tear ducts while looking into the eye. Nolan screams bloody murder (at least we know he has a voice?) and neither I or Jos can bear to watch it. As soon as it is finished I scoop that boy up off the table, practically pushing the nurse aside. Sorry but quick tormenting my kid! Luckily the third time was a charm, and Nolan’s eyes are completely mature. No more danger of having ROP, no more intrusive eye tests. We are two-for-two!

The last visit was to the regular pediatrician. We really like our Ped so far, he is on top of things. Plus he dogged on me for being an engineer the first day because I asked how much we should be feeding him, 50 ml or 80 ml per bottle. He said “Yes.”. And then proceeded to say, “Look, babies are babies. Some times they eat more, sometimes less, just like you. As long as he eats I am fine with it. Don’t over analyze. The simpler you make it, the better.”
Gee, thanks Dr… Uh… I’ll work on that. My brain just doesn’t do simple. I want him to eat 100 ml every single time because I can calculate how many calories that is and how much weight he should be gaining. Don’t believe me? We set him on the scale (this was last Friday) and I said “9 lbs 3 oz”… he was 9 lbs 2.5 oz. Ain’t math neat?? But I will learn to let it go, and just let him be a normal baby. Maybe. Probably not. But I am trying!
At the end of the appointment the doc set us up to do a room air challenge to test if the Nolanator needs to still be on oxygen. Nolan has had to deal with a canula in his nose his entire life. I can’t imagine how much of a pain that must be.. especially when he rips off the ultra sticky tender-grips off his cheeks. This is kind of a preemie deal, and kind of an altitude deal. A lot of babies that are born at altitude need oxygen — think about it, even professional athletes (and all Oakland Raiders) need oxygen on the sidelines after getting worked over by the Broncos at Mile High. The preemie part more comes into play because Noles is a WWB (Wimpy White Boy) and just couldn’t keep his oxygen saturations quite high enough. I don’t want to get into how incredibly frustrating it was to get this test set up, but last night we finally completed the 12-hour test. After my very thorough and conclusion analysis I definitely think he should be off oxygen. Every time I checked on him, his sats were ~95%.
PERFECT.

I am now headed off to drop the machine back off for analyzation by a “professional”. I might have made that word (analyzation) up but it is not getting kicked out by my editor so it must be a keeper. Hopefully we will hear soon if we can get rid of that nasal canula and canisters… if not then that’s fine too. Whatever he needs we are more than happy to give him. We are out of this world thankful that all these doctor visits went so well. But then again, I am not too surprised: it’s just genetics!

I know you are all dying for a picture of the cute guy…
IMG_0971

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