Saturday, July 18, 2009

Darth Jack

Over the past week, Jack has had quite the respiratory rollercoaster. After almost a week back on CPAP, the doctors felt like he would do just fine on a nasal cannula last Saturday. The nasal cannual has smaller, less annoying prongs that go into his nose for the simple purpose of delivering supplemental oxygen. All the breathing has to be done on his own. He was doing just fine until Thursday when he seemed to take longer breaks from breathing, also known as "A's and B's" (apnea and bradycardia). So doctors brought back CPAP for a short time, but a new kind of CPAP. Instead of two bothersome prongs, he has a Darth Vader-like mask over his nose that delivers the continuous positive air pressure.

The one word we hear most often to describe Jack is "fighter." This is true - if he didn't have a fighting spirit, he had plenty of opportunities to say, "this whole life out of the womb stuff is too hard." But we learned not to underestimate him in the first two or three weeks when he faced some hefty opponents. Just when his medical providers thought he was out for the count, he came back swinging hard and fierce. His months in a closed environment are probably great training to be a cage fighter some day when his tiny body matches the same strength we've seen in his stalwart spirit.

Many of you also made remarks after last week's update about his arms and how they seemingly have bulging muscles. Perhaps those roids he was on earlier beefed him up, you may ask? His baby aerobics have served him well, but the Popeye-like arms are actually an optical illusion. He has some scar tissue on parts of his arms and legs from the time when his skin was not quite bonefide skin. It was so prone to tearing and breaking open that he is going to have the scars of a cage fighter when he leaves.

Jessi and I also have had a temporary change of venue late last week. Jessi's parents have graciously allowed us to stay at their house over the past two months, but there is no vacancy at the Miller Inn over the next two weeks. Jessi's brother, Bryce, is getting married and the Miller house is filled with the bride-to-be, Kay, her mom and Bryce's friend from China. So, over the next week and a half, Jessi and I are staying at the Ronald McDonald House across the street from the hospital. Aside from my initial disappointment that there were no Chicken McNuggets here waiting on our pillows to welcome us, the house is very nice and cozy. It was built three years ago and matches many of the better hotels we've stayed in. Almost everyone here either has a baby in the NICU or a child that is undergoing major surgery. Some stay for months while waiting for the day they can take their child home. Just in case you have a few bucks left over at the end of the year when doing your taxes, this isn't a bad charity to support.

Jack is nine weeks old today and showing signs that he continues to make gradual micro-preemie baby steps. We have started to ask his medical providers more about what life will be like when he goes home, therapy, check-ups and more. That's still a ways out, but time is definitely going by faster now. It won't be long before we reach the week of his due date (9/6/09). We hope everyone is having a good summer.

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1 comment:

Julie said...

I can't believe how big he's getting! As always, I loved Jon's email. You guys should definitely make a book of all of these when he's out of the hospital!