Three things are different than yesterday in this photo. Can you spot the changes? Give up?
Okay, here they are: his hair is WASHED! His eyes are OPEN! And, most exciting of all, his ventilator is OUT!
Ambrose has had a solid day. First of all, that hair! It was pretty nasty — I don’t think it had been washed since the womb, and on top of that it had a lot of goo in it from the EEG head wrap he had on yesterday. (I didn’t share a picture of that because it was so tragic looking.) Apparently all the nurses had been dying to wash it, but since it was unnecessary and would have required that sedative, we’d declined it up to that point. Last night, though, the nurses had to insert a PICC line, and to do that they had to give our little buddy a bit of sedative. Since they were already giving him the sedative, they decided to wash his hair. Now it’s silky smooth. It seems he got the texture and color from me, and the crazy volume from Dad.
Additionally, he’s been opening his eyes a bit more as he is weaned off the sedatives. Which is a really exciting thing to see. It’s a bit too dark in the NICU to see the color yet, but I trust when people say they’re blue. We’ll see if they change!
The most exciting news is that ventilator removal! Right now we’re still trialling it. If Ambrose has some trouble breathing on his own, they’ll put him back on the ventilator, but right now he seems to be doing okay with it. It’s a step in the right direction — he still needs additional oxygen, but he’s using his lungs to breathe. And that means Mom is one step closer to holding him!*
Other news: he’s been given a drug and is peeing up a storm, which will help with his swelling. (He shouldn’t actually be that puffy, poor kid.) We’re down to a 4 ppm on the nitric oxide, which is a huge improvement from yesterday’s 15. This is the drug he needs to be off before he can get his MRI; apparently the last 5 ppm are the hardest, and particularly the last 1. But if all goes well, we should be getting a peek into his brain within the next couple days.
As for me, I’m feeling a bit more positive. I mean, don’t get me wrong. There’s still a lot of scary stuff going on with Ambrose. But I feel like my mood is normalizing. I still have bad moments, especially when I’m lying down trying to rest and my brain is on overdrive, but the busier I keep, the more I’m able to survive moment by moment. Maybe this is a bad thing? I know I’ll have to come to terms with the fear of the future and the regret of the past soon enough. But I feel like my days have developed a rhythm of visiting bub, pumping, and eating. And family is in town — Grandpa Shantz and Aunt Becca are in for the weekend.
I’m looking forward to seeing how Ambrose improves tomorrow. Me, I’m going to take another morning off to recuperate. Mom’s gotta stay strong for the kid. As hard as that is.
*Yes, it’s official. I’ve turned into one of those mothers who refers to herself in the third person. I wonder why that is?