So it’s been one week since Mr. Toby decided to make a theatrical entry into the world. Been a tad busy to post (and when not, more than a tad tired!), so we’ll try to cram a week’s worth of info into one fairly brief post. Today we’re having a bit of a late snowstorm, so it looks like we won’t be seeing Toby today, but it seems pretty dumb to risk our lives to watch him sleep (but really really tempted to go anyway). I know he’s being taken care of admirably, but I’d still love to just gaze at him for a few hours.
First off, everything seems to be going well with everyone concerned so far. Dad’s fine, if a bit frazzled. Mom’s getting better every day – still pretty sore occassionally, but I’d be shocked if she wasn’t. A c-section looks like a hellacious surgery to go through, even from my vantage point next to her!
And little Tobias? So far, so good. He’s had his share of activities this week:
- A touch of jaundice, caused by an excess of bilirubin Apparently, newborns (especially premature ones) have extra red blood cells, and the breakdown of those extras create bilirubin, which the liver has a hard time dealing with. Thus, jaundice. For reasons beyond my comprehension, it’s generally treated with UV lights, which is what he’s been under for most of the week. Good news though – today, the lights went away!
- Since he was so early, his lungs aren’t quite up to the task of maintaining him on their own, so he’s needing a little help. Most of the week, he was on a ventilator – an ugly tube down his throat doing most of the breathing for him. Slowly but surely the oxygen level supplied to him has been going down, and Thursday he was breathing room oxygen (21%, for those interested). But still on the vent. Yesterday, the vent went away, replaced by a CPAP(Continuous Positive Airway Pressure), which is basically a tube attached to his nose making sure he takes deep enough breaths. No guarantee that he won’t be back on the vent (common occurence – he just may not be ready to go without for now), but it’s been over 30 hours and counting without it.
- Yesterday, he had his first taste of mother’s milk. Lynn’s been pumping since the day after she gave birth, so he’s got quite a bit ready to go for him. They gave him a few CCs worth yesterday while we were visiting, and today they said he was getting an essentially constant supply. Have to get that little tummy working!
- Various drugs have started and stopped and replaced. For instance, at first he was on some morphine so that he’d relax and stop fighting the vent – he’s been off that for many days. Or some dopamine, helped keep his blood pressure up; again, been off that for several days – blood pressure has been steady right around where it’s supposed to be. Nothing too interesting, all fairly common apparently.
- Saturday we finally got to see him with his eyes open. While under the UV for his jaundice, they keep a sleeping mask on him. When we would come in, the nurses often would turn off the lights and take off the mask so we could see him fully. Usually we just see a sleeping baby – imagine our surprise when we saw him looking back! Too damn cute – color me thrilled! (just some dad rambling, ‘scuse me!)
- He also got to experience some clumsy temperature checking / diaper changing by his parents. Amazing how exciting something that mundane is to someone who has been waiting for it! 🙂
- Oh, and much picture taking has been done. I’d post them now, but they’re still at insane sizes. And I’d like to try to color correct them a bit – that blue tint from the UVs isn’t exactly flattering!
I’m sure there are other happenings that have slipped my mind, but that’s about all I can think of off the top of my head. More to come later, I’m sure!