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+ 0 - 0 | § Cute Baby Pics!!

I don't think I mentioned it yesterday, but Alex managed to pull out the last remaining tube that was taped to his face.  So now we have pictures of an unadulterated baby face!

(more)

+ 0 - 1 | § The amazing Mr. Norton!

Dan and I had to go to work today, so we weren't able to get to the hospital until about 5PM.  When we got there, there were two nurses at his bed, both of which started gushing as soon as I walked in about how Alex had started cooing.  Apparently, he was all smiles and had started to make little baby noises, attracting about four nurses' attention.  He sure knows how to melt the girls' hearts!  In any case, he was all sleepy by the time we got there, so we missed most of it.  It's exciting though, because most of the babies that spend this much time in the NICU end up being delayed developmentally by a couple of months, and Alex is right on time with his developments so far.  His motor skills may still be a little delayed because he doesn't get much tummy time, but mentally, he's doing really well.  We are also finding that his voice is returning.  Since his surgery, he's been pretty hoarse...but his cry is now very loud, especially in the quiet of the NICU.  He makes his mommy and daddy proud (even when he's fussing)!

+ 0 - 0 | § All is okay I guess.

They got his chest tube back in, though it wasn't a pleasant experience for the baby.  The good news is that they (his nurse and the surgeon) figured out that the chest tube didn't need to be attached to suction, and therefore didn't need to be attached to the heavy tubing that it had been attached to.  This tubing was such that it probably contributed to the tube falling out so many times.  I wish they had figured this out earlier, but I guess it's better late than never.  Perhaps this will be the last time they have to put the tube back in.  I really hope so...I hate the thought of Alex having to go through the insertion.  It sucks.

Since he was available, they also took the chance to weigh him.  The last time he was weighed was last week (11/24) and he was 7 lbs. 11 oz.  Tonight, he was 8 lbs. 1oz.  Yeah, fortified breast milk!

+ 0 - 0 | § One more time...

So, he still has a leak.  They said that it has gotten significantly smaller since the last test though, so the news isn't all bad.  Dan and I got to go into the testing room with Alex this time.  The test was pretty cool.  They put Alex on a table that is part of a real-time x-ray machine.  When they put the x-ray arm over him, the screen shows Alex's x-ray, and you can see him move and breathe.  Then they feed him some liquid that has barium in it, which shows up as black on the x-ray...when the liquid goes down, you can see it on the screen.  During this test, the liquid actually got to his stomach...in the last one, it just went out the leak and into his chest tube.  So, we'll wait another week, but if he continues to heal like he has in the past 7 days, we might actually get a good result next time.

So, we just got a call from the NICU (as I was writing the previous paragraph).  Alex's chest tube apparently fell out again.  Unfortunately, the leak isn't small enough yet that they can leave it out, so they have to put it back in again.  Grrr....I hate that he has to go through all of this.  They will have to start an IV again so that they can sedate him for the insertion.  I can't wait until all of this is over with.

+ 0 - 0 | § What a good baby!

I called the NICU early this morning to check up on Alex, and his nurse was very nice.  She kept telling me how good a baby Alex is...he sleeps most of the night, and when he gets fussy, all they need to do is talk to him and he settles down and goes back to sleep.  He's still smiling too...after all that he's been through, he's still a happy, normal little baby.  I can't wait to spoil him properly!

Another thing that has been happening lately is that the doctors are consulting me more when they want to do something.  For example, they were talking back and forth yesterday amongst their ranks about whether or not to remove Alex's IV line.  He's not getting anything by IV now, but the nurse practitioners (who put the line in) wanted to keep the line in for easy access in case it is needed.  The docs wanted to remove it because it poses an infection risk and they don't think he'll need it in the near future.  Before they made a decision, they asked me if I had strong feelings either way.  I didn't, but it was nice to be included.  They only do this for minor things, but it's still nice.  My goal for today is to get a plan from Alex's surgeons for the time period after his leak heals.  I keep getting little snippets of information, and they don't really fit together well yet.  Depending on who you talk to, you can get entirely different pictures of when Alex can come home after he is healed.

+ 0 - 0 | § The cool kid...

Since the smiley pictures last week, Alex has continued to show his personality.  I hear from everyone in the NICU (nurses, docs, other parents) that Alex has been the social butterfly lately.  When he's awake and people walk over to talk to him, he starts smiling and listens intently like what you're saying is the most interesting thing he's ever heard.  It's really helping him though...now everyone comes over to talk to him and he's probably not as bored.  Medically, he's doing pretty much the same.  The chest tube is still in, and they are planning to do the next leak study on Thursday.  They were planning on doing the study on 12/13, but I asked them to do it sooner and the doc didn't have any reason not to.  He may still have a leak, but at least I'll know and won't have to spend the next 2 weeks wondering.  As usual, I'll post the results when I know them.