Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Chronicles of Jack

It's been a month now since we brought Jack home, and in some ways it seems like a year. So much happened in these past four weeks, but I will just cut to the chase and give you the good and the bad.

Jack spent a grand total of three days out of the hospital before he had to return and stay briefly in the pediatrics ward in Missoula. All the excitement of being home must have jolted him a bit because he decided he didn't want to eat anymore. No matter how much we tried to explain to him about the necessity of calories, he was committed to his new crash diet. At the hospital, we were trained how to put a feeding tube down his nose for those times when he was starving himself. We've been using that for back up (big stress reliever) up until yesterday when we decided to permanently(?) yank the tube. So far so good with the feedings, but Jack is always full of surprises.

We have been back to Missoula two other times to monitor his brain ventricles and shunt. At this moment, there are still some big unanswered questions - especially about his right ventricle which looks like it's growing again. It could be a lot of things: nothing, a blod clot that will resolve, or something more dangerous that would require more surgery. We hope it's one of the first two, and we should get some more answers this week.

Despite his early yo-yo dieting days, Jack has been putting on some pounds. That's right, I can actually categorize his weight gain in pounds, not ounces. He has put on more than two lbs since he first left the hospital, which puts him right around where an average newborn would be: 7 pounds, 12 ounces. When he was less than a month old, I likened him to a 12 inch burrito. By month two, he surpassed the weight of the largest steak I have ever eaten. Now, Jack just might reach the same size as the turkey we will roast for Thanksgiving dinner in November.

Our dog, Daisy, is still very unsure about Jack. She is well aware of her new place on the lowest level of the Bennion caste system. She sneeks in a lick of Jack's little toes, and is intrigued by all of the sounds and odors our new addition produces, but she also bolts whenever he cries. I think she's just trying to shirk her duties as big sister and also doesn't want to be blamed as the cause of the baby's wailing.

One of the best things about being home with Jack is that it finally feels like he's actually our boy. I can't quite describe the feeling of having a baby born four months early and spending months in the hospital as you watch other people take care of most of his needs. In many ways, it seemed like he was a ward of the hospital, and we were just providing charitable visits. Now I can lay back on the couch, as I'm doing right now, with a nice warm bundle of baby sleeping on my chest. But not just any baby - our baby. It's a good feeling.

I've attached a few fun pictures from the past month. We took one the other night after we had taken out his feeding tube and temporarily removed his oxygen cannula when we switched it out. It's kind of fun to see him tubeless.


P.S. Jack gives a shout out to his newest cousin, Mason, who was born two months early and is doing time in the Billings NICU. Being a baby these days is rough.
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Julie said...

I LOVE the photo of him smiling. What a doll! Or stud, I guess I should say...either way, he's adorable! It was good to get another email update...I enjoy reading them.

I'll let you know on the shoes. It is on my list of things to look for in Portland. :)

coderedblue said...

We so enjoy the pictures and stories of Jack. He is soooo cute and handsome. We hope you continue sharing.

Lorna & Grandson Jack