Tuesday, October 13, 2009
"Like watching grass grow..."
A while back, James' surgeon said, "At some point we'll get to the stage where things will be about as exciting as watching grass grow" and that's just the way we like it!! When you're a preemie in the NICU who's already had 2 surgeries within 6 weeks of life, you beg for the days when everything is just same-old-same-old with no drama to be found! :-)
James continues to do really well and is growing like a weed...probably closing in on 6 pounds by now. He had a little trouble last week absorbing the breastmilk he's getting through his feeding tube, so they stopped feeding for 12 hours to give his stomach/bowels a rest and then started up again at a lower dose and he's been handling that like a champ for the last 5 days or so. Keith and I are also getting to feed him with a bottle once a day and James thinks that's the greatest! He's still learning to coordinate breathing/sucking/swallowing and while I was feeding him today he forgot to breathe for a few seconds, but that's pretty common with preemies.
I've also been working with the occupational therapist for the last two days, learning Infant Massage. It's been really fun to be able to be so hands-on with James! Massage is very beneficial to many systems of the body and it also helps keep him flexible and building strength, since he doesn't get as much movement and holding time as a regular newborn. Yesterday we massaged his legs and feet and today we did his arms and hands, which are much more tense. You can see in his pictures that his favorite sleeping position is with both hands up by his face/ears, so getting him to stretch out was a challenge!
He's also been somewhat conditioned (by being in the NICU and having so much physical trauma) to associate physical touch with pain and discomfort, so doing massage will help teach him that physical touch can be positive and relaxing. By the end of the massage session, after being rubbed with lotion and laying on a pillow under a heating lamp, he's pretty darn relaxed and happy--just like a day at the spa! (Now when's MY turn?) :-)
On Friday afternoon we'll be having another meeting with the surgeons/doctors/home care specialist to talk about plans for moving forward. We're hoping they'll move up the timeline for when he can come home (by Christmas would be awesome!!), so I'll keep you updated!