Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Newborn steps

View of Mt. Washington from Callums room

NICU, Day 4 (Tuesday)

This morning Kevin and I walked into Callums room, it was bright and sunny. The windows were open and there out the window was one of the most perfect views of Mount Washington I have ever seen - especially from here in Portland. I was hoping the brightness of the day would impact the type of day Callum would have...and I think it has. His night nurse made a special footprint card for us and three sets of footprints for his sisters. We are so thankful for these great nurses, respiratory therapists and docs who truly care about Callum and his entire family.
Callums little feet

Yesterday, Callum had progress, tiny progress, but it was progress, and that is all I ask of my little prince. When I left yesterday around 530pm, he had been stuck at around 70% oxygen for several hours and not really tolerating any more weaning. I didn't really mess with him yesterday - meaning minimal touching, stimulation and just letting him rest. He was really calm yesterday and didn't need any medication for the agitation, so, I let him have a day to rest. It was hard to keep myself from caressing his head, or letting him taste some of my milk on my finger or holding his hand, but I knew the more he rested, the better off he would be.

Last night our neighbor came over after we put the girls to bed and we left for a short visit with Callum. His night nurse was great and told us he was doing fabulous. By the time we left, he was down to 45% oxygen and really doing well. It was a great note to end the night on.

Today has been more of the same. He has been tolerating weaning of his ventilator and nitric oxide  with no problem at all. He is taking it like a champ today. I hate to say it, but maybe he is on that upswing! He has been super fiesty, and not in an agitation sort of fiesty, but a normal newborn feistiness.  He is arching his back, moving all over, trying to take the breathing tube out of his mouth - all the things we expect him to do when he is not sedated! He's enjoyed trying to suck the milk off of my finger that I give him. He is still pretty jaundice today, so they started him under some bili lights. When the doc told us what they were doing, I was unphased - "what's one more thing??? Plus, jaundice? Hell...that's a normal newborn thing!" I certainly can handle bili lights!
Under the lights
During rounds (when Callums team, including parents meet and discuss his care) this morning we spoke with the doctor about his prognosis and recovery. Is his progress average? below average? above average" Is he following a normal course for what he has gone through? All questions that I have been wondering - the internet can scare you, and I've read a lot, and I mean a lot of scary things about Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension. The doc made me feel a lot better when he said he was progressing at above average - meaning after what he went through on Saturday, he is doing exceptionally well. His doc also said that he does not expect Callum to suffer any long term effects from this pulmonary hypertension, and we are so very lucky that the doctors here knew exactly what was going on and treated it immediately - so fast that his cardiac echo (heart ultrasound) on Sunday showed normal heart function with no pulmonary hypertension - meaning, they were treating the PH perfectly.
His bruising is finally gone a bit! 
My milk has also come in at full force today. Holy boobs batman. I have achieved what I like to call "porn star status".  I know Callum will not have a lack of milk for when he is ready! I just cannot wait until I can hold him and nurse him like any other newborn. It will be the best.
The beginning of my milk stash
Our girls pediatrician came to visit us today and when she asked how I was doing I told her "Better...today was the first day I haven't cried". And it's true. I look at Callum today and I see his fiesty newborn personality peeking through. I see him kicking his legs in the air, waving his arms all around and pissed off because he has goggles on his face and two tubes stuck down his throat. The progress he has made today is awesome and I couldn't have asked for a better day. I try not to get too excited though - he could easily take a few steps backwards, but everyone here says they don't expect him to with the way he has been acting today. I hope they are right.


  1. He looks great in the picture Steph!!!! You all are constantly on my mind and praying for Callum (and for his wonderful parents).

  2. Keeping all of you in my prayers and sending good energy your way.

  3. So glad to hear that your sweet little guy is (hopefully!!!) taking a turn for the better. With strong parents and sisters like he has, I'm not surprised to hear that he's a spunky dude with plenty of will to get better. He certainly looks SOOOO much better in these photos. What a cutie! We're continuing to hold you all in our thoughts & prayers and can't wait to hear that he's safely home with you.

  4. You all are in our thoughts...and soo glad to hear the better news today.

  5. Steph, I'm hoping that the fact that you haven't posted anything in the last couple days means that Callum is better and nursing so much that so you just don't have time for anything else! My heart was breaking when I read the initial accounts of his time in the NICU. I know you were terrified, but, you're strong, Girl. You have so many people praying for you all, me included.
    Fingers, toes, legs....all crossed!!! xoxo Miss you! Kelley Cav


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