Tuesday, December 07, 2004

What a turnaround from last week. Just five days ago we were white-knuckling it through Will's surgery. Today, they were giving us a tour of the intermediate bay of the NICU to which Will will graduate when he's ready to move on. That is still several weeks down the road I would guess, but it's just such a weight lifted to hear them talk so confidently about the future after so much time spent watching his minute-by-minute fluctuations. We were met by Will's doctor tonight as we walked down the hall, and he stopped us to say what a good boy Will had been all day. We both were beaming at the news.

He is a bit fussy these days, something they attribute to his bronchopulmonary dysplasia, which is a common side effect of being on a ventilator for so long. He would be doing great for a while, then start fidgeting and look really uncomfortable before calming himself down (often with the help of a soothing hand on the head or his back) and getting his stats back to normal. Compared to the problems he was having before his surgery, this is very manageable. The nurses tonight said they work hard to find the things that make each baby feel more calm and happy in an attempt to minimize these moments. By the time he moves from the high frequency ventilator to a cannula that provides oxygen through his nose, the fussiness should drop off (at least to that shown by term babies).

As I type this, Will is about 15 minutes past his six-week birthday. In some ways, it's hard to believe it has been that long, in other ways it has seemed like months. Another milestone came today when he received his last head ultrasound (which is done at 1, 7 and 42 days of life). It was clear, as were the other ones. Another good sign.

So, Will just continues to amaze us. He has a long road ahead, and the hurdles still are many. But today was a good day that helped us to look toward the not-so-distant future when we'll get to bring him home.


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