Monday, December 8, 2008

Evening Update (Monday 12/8)

Warning: Tonight's update is highly disorganized and mentions poop several times.

After Carolyn left the NICU to come home and take care of Felix, I commuted to the NICU for the early evening scene. I walked in to find the head nurse giving Max a little stir. She commented only that Max had desatted and required a little stim to get him back up. (Did everyone get that? Max's measured tissue-oxygen levels had fallen unacceptably low, and Nurse L. was rubbing his chest or otherwise stimulating him in order to remind him to breathe. We now return you to your jargon-laden update.) Nurse L. didn't give me any more information on the episode and I didn't ask.

Max was just starting his 6:00 PM feed when I arrived. I had just missed changing his diaper because of an unavoidable situation where I had to sit in the car in the parking lot and listen to the end of a Doobie Brothers song that was on the radio. It's too bad because Max had dropped a small load into his diaper, which the nurses had to change without my help. Perhaps I can change his diaper tomorrow. (Before you judge me, changing the diaper on a wired-up baby in an isolette is back-breaking labor; last time I did it I got poop all over some of the little astronaut's IVs and monitor lines. Plus I just found out how much this is all costing even after insurance; at these prices, the nurses can change a few diapers.)

Carolyn reports that the head phrenologist himself, Dr. M, dropped by. He said all they care about is the head circumference and "stable is good". Also, he said that Max's fontelle still felt full, which indicates that his hydrocephalus hasn't resolved itself. But Dr. M. said that as long as the sutures were still open there was little danger of overpressure. There's another head ultrasound scheduled for sometime this week. While the phrenologists will look at the HUS they really just care about the head circumference. So, keep an eye open for the results of the HUS.

Physical therapist Jess dropped by around noon, but Max was pooped because he'd spent the morning playing with Cj. Jess reports that "centering", i.e. babies' habit of pulling their hands and arms inward, is a good sign because the alternative is that they flail their limbs uncontrollably. I think Max can center. After his morning bout of activity, Max was tired and lazy for the rest of the day. But of course that's what babies are supposed to do.

I held Max from about 6:15 PM to 7:30 PM. He was extremely peaceful and slept most of the time. He was also getting a feeding through his nose tube, and tolerated it well. Unlike the last time I held Max, he maintained his sats in the 90s. He had maybe two very brief desats. Max was very cute, although pretty sleepy. The NICU gets pretty spooky around 7:00 PM because it's the shift change and all parents are supposed to be gone during the shift change. I'll have to describe what the NICU is like in more detail so you can appreciate how eerie it was to be alone among the babies and their monitors, even if only for a few minutes.

Carolyn just called the NICU to get the evening update from Nurse K. Nurse K. reports that at his 9:00 PM diaper change, Max blew stool all over her. It was runny and sunny! Hooray! Carolyn apologized to Nurse K. for getting poop all over, to which Nurse K. responded that "we get really excited about poop around here!" His belly was nice and soft. Max was awake while she changed his diaper ("he was so sweet"!) but he is now back to sleep. Max will get a bath tonight at midnight; maybe he needs it, and maybe it's nurses' revenge.

Nurse K. hadn't measured Max's skull when Carolyn called so the updated head circumference will have to wait until tomorrow's a.m. update.