Saturday, December 27, 2008

Evening update (Saturday 12/27)

(Late night update: Head circumference at 36.0 cm, weight is 3175 grams, Nurse M. reports Max loved his bath tonight and no ill effects from the vaccines or any other problems.)

Carolyn spent the afternoon at the NICU and was almost giddy when she came home. This morning, speech therapist A. got Max to swallow all 5 ccs he was offered from a bottle. Carolyn (not a professional speech therapist) was able to get 3 ccs down him by mouth. She reports that Max seemed "strong"--his sats were stable in the mid 90s (albeit with support from the cannula), he sucked enthusiastically on his pacifier and he was bright-eyed and alert. Of course, we're not trained neurosurgeons, but Carolyn thought his fontanel felt quite soft today. Max got two immunizations today while she was holding him and, other than a few brief squawks of protest, Max took it well. Carolyn, on the other hand, has come down with a bit of a cold and had to wear a mask and gown while holding Max today.

Carolyn also reminded me of some very good news that I had forgotten about. A bi-weekly ritual at the NICU is the visit from the ophthalmologist, who is looking for retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) and other eye problems. At his visit last Thursday (Christmas Day!), the ophthalmologist declared Max free of ROP. This means his eyes don't need to be examined until his six-month appointment. (For a useful article on ROP, click here.)

Max continues to "play possum": that is, pretend to be asleep. He will crack open a single eyelid (a trick I've never seen anyone else manage) to survey his surroundings before deciding whether to open both eyes. It's a really endearing habit--nothing's cuter than a baby feigning sleep. I'm very curious to see whether this is a habit that will stay with him as he grows up or whether, once he's out of the relatively chaotic NICU environment and home with his parents and brother, he'll overcome his trepidation when approaching the world.