Sunday, February 8, 2009

Evening update (Sunday 2/8)

The NICU was chaotic today; like visiting day at a minimum security prison. Just a few days ago the NICU was so empty that all the babies in the step-down unit had been moved back to the high-intensity unit. Today, every available bay had a patient, and I think they may have tucked a couple of babies into corners. In addition, we've noticed that the NICU inmates get more visitors on Sundays. Combined with the big influx of new admissions, it made for a hectic atmosphere.

We brought Felix with us for his second-ever visit to see Max. The nurses cooed appropriately over him, and the doctors wanted to know why his cheeks were red. Felix wasn't sick. The question is, why aren't everyone's cheeks flushed? The NICU felt hot and airless to me.

Max was sleeping when we arrived at his bedside. I took an extremely shaky series of videos (which I've strung together below) to try to give a sense of Max's NICU world without getting any of his neighbors in the shot. Felix stared at the back of Max's head and didn't say much. I took Felix out to the family room while Carolyn stayed with Max and talked to the NICU team. The family room was mysteriously empty. The new fish must not know about it. Felix happily played with the beat-up toys on offer, and we read an extremely bad P. D. Eastman book called Sam and the Firefly. The book did feature a train, which made up for its other sins. Felix and I went outside to look at a firetruck that was loitering near the hospital and otherwise enjoyed being outside on a very nice day.

The nurses report that Max spit up a few times over the past 24 hours, and that he sometimes seems uncomfortable. Nonetheless, he seems to be tolerating his compressed 90 minute feeding schedule without too much difficulty. When we got there, the nurses had let him sleep through a couple of scheduled diaper changes so as not to disturb him. However, he woke up shortly after Felix and I left, so Carolyn changed his diaper and outfit: she reports that he cried just like a normal baby would.

Max has a big day tomorrow, including speech therapy, physical therapy and the introduction of the new attending for the next few weeks, Dr. R. Dr. R. admitted Max way back in October, and her name is on the wristbands we wear.

Before his nap, Felix requested that Carolyn read I'm a Big Brother to him five times.