Sunday, March 29, 2009

Max at night

Because of various scheduling issues, I didn't get to HSC until around 8:00 PM, which meant, in turn, that I didn't leave until after 10:00 PM. Neither one of us has ever stayed at HSC past 7:00 PM or so at the very latest. (We often try to leave earlier so we can maximize the amount of time spent parked on I-395.) The HSC at night is not quite what I had imagined. For one thing, it's a little louder and busier than I expected, with nurses, techs, etc bustling around. For another, there are far more parents than I'd ever seen before. Although Carolyn and I find the commute to and from HSC vexing, I think that we have it very easy compared to many families.

According to nurse D., Max had had a very big day. He took a record amount by bottle: 40 ccs at 9:00 AM, 30 ccs at noon and 25 ccs at 3:00 PM, without vomiting any of it back up. D. said that Max was awake the entire day, and that he didn't want to go to sleep in the evening. She put Max into his stroller and took him on a little tour of the HSC ward to help settle him down, and he finally dropped off to sleep minutes before I arrived.

I was a little worried about waking Max after such a big day. And, indeed, he was squirming in his sleep, suggesting he was only lightly asleep (Carolyn and I refer to this sleep state in children as "chasing bunnies in their sleep"). When I took pictures, I made sure to have the flash off (which resulted in some interesting blurring because Max was twitching in his sleep). But around 9:00 PM, D. told me it was time to change his diaper and give him some medications. I watched (and took some pictures) as she changed his diaper, applied diaper cream and put some medicine down his feeding tube. Max clearly resented the intrusion and kept his eyes firmly shut throughout. He was clearly dedicated to staying asleep no matter who committed what outrages against him. His months in the NICU have hardened him to even more chaotic environments, and more painful and invasive midnight procedures. Max has learnt to sleep like a Marine. In the end, even the presence of his father was insufficient to rouse him again after his big day.