Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Evening Update (Tuesday 1/13)

More than 10 years ago, back when we were living in Chicago, a friend of ours had a kid who had to spend a couple of nights in the NICU. He described how many of the other babies in the NICU had parents who didn't seem to be around very much. These babies were not starved for human company however; the hospital had organized a team of volunteers to hold them, sing to them, and so on. So it was inevitable that, when Carolyn walked into the NICU this morning, Max was being held by a kindly volunteer. That wasn't the worst of it: Carolyn and I also had to hear all day long about what a great singer the volunteer was. It's possible that the NICU team were hinting to me that they could do without another rendition of "Snake Baked a Hoecake". They haven't heard me sing "This Ain't No Picnic".

Dr. B. cemented her position as our favorite NICU attending by saying that Max had had a great day. True, he did pull his NG tube out twice during the day, but he tolerated the tubes' reinsertion without complaint. (A few weeks ago, Max reacted to having a feeding tube inserted with a severe desat and associated brady; today he didn't bat an eye as far as we could tell.) Indeed, Max had the fewest desats in any 12 hour period that we can recall. He did gain 180 grams overnight, which is an unusual amount and might signal some fluid retention. However, he didn't look puffy and his lungs certainly weren't in distress. Dr. B. suggested that it was just normal growth, putting her in the running for our award for favorite doctor of all time.

Max didn't have a scheduled physical therapy session, but Carolyn worked out with him (something I didn't see any of the volunteers doing, no matter how great their singing voices). Carolyn reports that Max wants to do head lifts even when they've moved on a different exercise. Max bicycled his own legs, and otherwise did extremely well. Indeed, at one point Max was crying lustily enough to attract the attention of physical therapist A., who was there working with another baby. A. rushed over and exclaimed on how much healthier Max looked to her.

At one point, Max was crying for a few minutes while Carolyn tried to console him. She noticed something strange in his eyes. She called over nurse R., who diagnosed the leakage as tears. Babies, of course, don't cry real tears until a few weeks after birth.