Today Samuel weighs 8lbs 13 oz! I can hardly believe he is almost a 9lb baby.
We've been taking Samuel off the oxygen during the day for a few hours (depending on how well he tolerates it.) I wish I could say that he doesn't seem to need it at all - but I think its going to be a process. His monitor shows us what his oxygen level is. With the oxygen in his nose he stays somewhere between 96 to 100 percent. When the oxygen is off he is allowed to drop as low as 93 but nothing beneath that. Some days he can be off the oxygen and be fine for hours. Other days he begins dropping into the upper 80s a few minutes after I take him off. One of these days we will be rid of it.
Samuel's plumbing is STILL stopped up. Not only does it make him miserable, but it also keeps him from eating as much.....and therefore keeps him from gaining weight. The doctor at Children's has put him on a pear juice regimen. A half ounce twice a day. The poor kid. It's not his fault. After all, he has an immature intestinal system to begin with, we are thickening his milk (what comes in thickened must go out thickened....), and now he is on formula.
We got the official results back from Samuel's ENT scope. It said that the left vocal cord is paralyzed. We were hoping that it was just weak. The doctor told us that if it was weak, he may outgrow it. If it's paralyzed he won't. I'm not sure which report to believe right now. The first scope they did said it was weak...and now they say it's paralyzed. Surely one of them has to be wrong because it wouldn't get worse. If it is paralyzed, then the right vocal cord can overcompensate and come over to touch the left one without the left one having to do anything. Samuel can cry (granted, it's hoarse sounding) so I'm assuming that they are touching somehow. He also makes cooing noises...makes the yawning sound when he yawns....yells at his toys....and 'wahhhs' when he's fussy. All of these things are good signs. I guess we will just wait to see what they say when they do another scope in two months. Worse case scenario, he has to continue on with thickened feeds until they can go in and fix the problem when he is two or three. He still may have a 'breathy' voice but we can live with that. I'm STILL praying that the recent scope wasn't a good view though.
On a different note, I'm not holding his pacifier in any longer! YAY! The hospital pacifiers called 'soothies' were just too heavy for him to keep in his mouth. I gave in and bought a NUK pacifier and the difference is huge! He can keep it in by himself - not to mention he looks super cute sucking away on it. I guess I wouldn't have fully appreciated the adorable sucking motion without having gone through the trouble of holding his pacifier in for a month. The hospital did encourage the 'most like mother' pacifiers (which the NUK is not) but the nurses aren't the ones having to hold it in his mouth 24/7!
We keep seeing red in Samuel's hair. I wonder what the chances are of him ending up with auburn hair. I don't know where he is getting these rogue traits. The blue eyes are also a mystery. Michael and I both have greenish eyes.
Toys are no longer the enemy - just so long as he discovers them on his terms. (He's like his mommy....can't be pushed into something.....haha.) I found that if I put them just to the side of his field of vision that he will eventually find them and look at them. To my amazement, he has even smiled at a few of them!
Samuel has a lot going on during the day - medications, bottles to mix and thicken, reflux to prevent, oxygen to ween, diapers to change, crying to console, naps to avoid (or at least, he thinks so), and exercise to get in. I'm doing my best to squeeze in as much tummy time as I can. I know he is a little behind in gross motor skills because of the 4 months he spent in the hospital so I feel compelled to work with him every moment. I still haven't found a happy balance of 'me-time' and 'Samuel-time.' Or maybe it's all supposed to be Samuel-time right now? Maybe I'm not supposed to do much else? I can't wait for the day when I can take him for a run (without oxygen to worry about), carry him around the house without dragging cords and rolling machines behind me, take him outside of the house without worry of him catching some kind of virus....public places are completely off limits the first year. I know he will outgrow all of this but I have to tell you, it's kind of like sitting on a porch watching grass grow. Very intensive...very time consuming....very adorable....grass. But then, I don't want to wish away his life either. I enjoy so much about him now and I'll never get this time back.