Sunday, June 26, 2011

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Enjoying a chocolate ice cream cone

Eating muffins with Maeve

Caleb had his occupational therapy appointment last week. He did a good job showing off his skills. He crawled, he drooled, he stood propped against the couch. He needs to work some on his form, but overall, he is doing great! Since Tuesday, he has already started using his knees more and is showing some interest in pulling himself up.

I realized that there are some little things that I probably have not included yet. So here are some things you should know about Caleb:

- He is 10 months old now.
- He still has no teeth.
- We have not found a food he will not eat.
- He eats all the time.
- He still has not made it onto the charts for weight. He would need to be about 1.5 pounds heavier to hit the 1 percentile weight. His constant motion and success at crawling are not helping the weight gain. Bring on more chocolate ice cream!
- His vision and his hearing seem to be just fine.
- He is on two medications per day. Three doses of his heart medicine (Captopril) to help his heart function better and one half of a baby aspirin to thin his blood. He usually takes them without too much wrestling. We think he actually likes Captopril.
- Only a portion of his blood actually flows through his lungs. The rest goes into his right atrium, then across a hole into his left atrium, through his mitral valve into his left ventricle, across a hole into his right ventricle and out through his aorta. For those of you trying to picture this, some of his blood comes into his heart, goes around in a circle passing through more abnormal holes than valves and goes out without being oxygenated.
- Because only a portion of Caleb's blood goes through his lungs, his oxygen saturations are lower than normal. Normal blood is considered around 100% oxygenated. Caleb's runs around 80 to 85% oxygenated.
- Caleb has one more scheduled surgery. This surgery will re-plumb his circulation so all of his blood will pass through his lungs. His oxygen saturations should then climb into the 90%+ range. This surgery is usually performed between 18 months and 5 years of age. We are thinking that unless it is recommended otherwise, we will lean more toward the younger side of things. Of course, there are pros and cons to doing it early, but our hope is that he won't remember anything if we do it while he is still young (and in diapers with pacifiers for comfort and unable to ask why he needs to have surgery).

Monday, June 20, 2011

Sunday, June 19, 2011

On the trampoline at Uncle Chris and Aunt Hallie's

Getting some love from Audraya

Caleb had his pediatrician's appointment this week. He got three shots and is now caught up with his six month vaccines. He was pretty sore and crabby Thursday night and tired on Friday, but by Friday night, he was back to normal.

His weight was 14 pounds, 15 ounces. I guess I should have left the wet diaper on him, then we would have made 15 pounds. The pediatrician said that because Caleb is active and acting normally, he is not worried. We are going to keep feeding him as much as he will eat and will call it good. Luckily, Caleb is not a picky eater. So far, we have not found any foods that he does not like.

Caleb has learned a new trick this week. He can move from his hands and knees and push himself up into a seated position. Now, if we could just teach him to crawl on his hands and knees, not his belly, we would be making some serious progress. He is getting pretty fast on his belly though.

Yesterday morning, I put Caleb in our bed to wake up Phil and Sam (who both had fallen back asleep after the 7:15 am Father's Day festivities). He was trying to crawl up between them, so I picked him up, laid him on the pillow between them, and pulled the blankets up over him. As soon as I got him all tucked in, he pulled the blanket up and started playing peek-a-boo. Phil and I were both surprised that he remembered the game, it has been a while since we have played it with him.

I don't know if it is possible to explain how lucky we are. Caleb is nearly caught up with his development and is very healthy. As far as we can tell, he has suffered no ill effects of being low on oxygen for an entire week or being on and off the ventilator so many times. We have seen no evidence of a stroke (a very common occurrence with these babies). He eats well and has no strange aversions as a result of his surgeries and hospital stays. He is wonderfully happy and lights up when he sees any member of his family. He is the most attentive (to the point of being downright nosy) baby I have ever seen. If Mom or Dad are holding him, he is nearly always happy unless he is hungry or tired. We are so blessed to be where we are right now!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Sunday, June 12, 2011

I have to make a correction from one of my previous posts. Caleb has only started army crawling in the past week. Before that, he was moving more like a paralyzed seal. Now we are getting coordinated arm and leg movement, not just arms dragging the legs along. Even though he does not yet crawl on his hands and knees, he is getting quite good at moving around now and can effectively terrorize his brother and sisters. I don't think destroying your siblings stuff is one of the developmental milestones the therapists use in their assessments, but I think it should be!

Caleb is still doing great. He has a doctor's appointment with his pediatrician Thursday for a weight check and his six month vaccines. We are going to try to stuff him with food so we can make 15 pounds.

Caleb is now making more sounds. We have not heard anything resembling Mama or Dada, but he is making vowel and consonant sounds. He does most of his talking with food or toys in his mouth. As far as I can tell, that is the only time he shuts his mouth. The rest of the time, he just leaves it open so the drool can run right out.

Even though this blog is pretty much the same each week right now, I am going to keep writing (even if it is a few days late some weeks!). Because Caleb is our fourth child, there is no way he will get a baby book. Some day, I will print the blog entries out and he will have an epic novel.

The other reason that the blog will continue for a while is that my greatest hope is that there are other heart families that will stumble upon it and find that some babies can thrive after surgery, even if things didn't start out well. I still get excited to see pictures of older heart kids looking healthy and enjoying life. Life can get to a very normal spot and it is great!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Sunday, June 12, 2011

I am running behind (again). I will add a new post tonight.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Sunday, June 5, 2011

This was Caleb's first piece of U of M clothing. He got it before he was born and it says "I arrived a Wolverines fan!". Pretty fitting!

This week was just as boring as last week. Caleb's fondness for real food is helping him to close in on 15 pounds. We are not there quite yet, but we are close.

Caleb is tipping over more when he sits up. Of course, my first reaction was "Is something going wrong?", but I think that he is just getting cocky. Instead of focusing on staying upright, he is busy looking around and trying to decide where he is going to scoot to next. You can no longer count on him to stay in the same spot for very long. He is officially army crawling, but still has not figured out the knees yet. He is capable of using his legs, so I think it is just a matter of time.

This weekend, Phil took the Big 3 to Illinois for a family get together with his Dougherty aunts, uncles and cousins. I think Caleb really missed his brother and sisters. When they got home today, he was very excited. I think he has got the family thing figured out!