It makes me remember all of the little weird things that Samuel did/didn't do or have in his early days.
I remember when his ears had absolutely no cartilage in them. The nurse would roll him over and find that the ear he was sleeping on was stuck folded over and completely flat against his head. It would take hours for it to return to its original non-squished position.
For months, he would cry without tears. I remember the first time I saw his eyes fill up and I thought, "I forgot that's normal."
He also lacked his 'startle' reflex. Sure, he would wave his arms and legs around CONTINUOUSLY but he did not startle. It was only a month or so before we went home that he showed that particular reflex.
He's finally lost all of his lanugo. The hair that covers the baby's body in utero. He was the hairiest little baby for a while....
Sometimes these weird little tid-bits come to mind and I think about how I knew Samuel.....but knew him as something to be protected. It wasn't that I didn't love him - but there is something about holding your child when no ones watching - when no one is there to tell you how to do something or to watch you while you cuddle them. I remember vividly a few days after we had been home, Samuel fell asleep on my shoulder. He let his cheek rest against mine and as he relaxed, his arm grazed my shoulder until it fell at his side. I don't think my heart could have swelled any larger - I thought I couldn't love him any more than I did then. I was mistaken.
On a less sentimental note.....our life continues with a more frequently happy-Samuel.
- his toys
- his bottle (he gets excited when he sees it now.)
- his NUK pacifier
- laying on his back on the floor
- practice sitting unsupported (he can sit on his own for about half a minute...)
- playing 'spaceship' with daddy
- making sounds (gurgling, 'gee', 'ah' 'wah' and an occasional 'goo')
- looking at mommy when she's been away for a few minutes
- kicking his feet
- standing on daddy's lap
- (....as gross as this sounds) sitting in a poopy diaper
- making spit bubbles
- variety in places and people
Samuel does have a few dislikes though....
- TUMMY TIME!!!!
- having his back rubbed
- being restrained
- having his cannula (or cannula 'dots') messed with
- being stationary too long
- Grammie's (or Mommy's) singing
We've been fairly unsuccessful at weening the oxygen. Hopefully his doctor will have some suggestions for us when we go back to Children's this Friday. I've been told that most preemies are referred to a pulmonologist (lung doctor) if they are on oxygen. Last time I was at Children's they said that they didn't want to refer him yet. I guess we will see if they have changed their minds.
I'm still praying for Samuel's arm. He just doesn't use his right arm as frequently as his left one. We've been working with it and it seems to have regained some strength and movement....
As cold and flu season quickly approaches, I feel myself preparing for 'battle'......this is the worst time of year for preemies. I've gotten out the Clorox wipes and have psyched myself up for the months of cabin fever that lay ahead. Visitors are limited even further and trips out will strictly be for doctors visits. Michael and I both need to get flu shots sometime soon....
After a few weeks of being home, Samuel lost all of the hair on the top of his head. Thankfully it grew back in a few weeks......but just as he had regained the hair on top, he lost all of the rest of his hair. I'm impatient for hair growth.....
In recent days, I've grown to loathe two questions.....one from professionals and one from the general public.
I'll start with the one from professionals, which goes something like this:
"So what made you go into preterm labor?"
"We aren't sure."
"You don't have any idea at all? Were you doing drugs? Smoking? Drinking? An eating disorder? Anything going on in your marriage" (I've actually been asked all of those questions...)
"I had cancer when I was younger. One theory is that the radiation weakened my cervix. Another theory is that because my ovaries were radiated, I didn't have the hormones to support the pregnancy."
The professional looks at me with some skepticism and writes down a few notes.
I understand that probably 95% of mothers with micropreemies are uneducated, unwed mothers from lower socioeconomic backgrounds (I'm not being rude......you have to remember that I lived in a NICU for four months and saw a lot.) I hate it when someone implies that I wasn't taking care of myself or the baby to the best of my ability. I automatically get defensive every time a new nurse or social worker comes onto the scene and I brace myself for the disbelieving looks.
The other question is from people who know of Samuel's early birth or have learned about it through conversation with me. This question comes in various forms.....some more polished than others. The worst wording goes..... "So what's going to be wrong with him?" The best wording.... "What is the long term prognosis?" I can understand the curiosity of these unknowing offenders but the question is awful no matter the way its asked. I always answer, "He is perfect." It isn't that I'm trying to be naive....right now and forever, Samuel is perfect to me. I continue to pray, as any mother, that he will be a healthy, intellegent, beautiful child. I don't have another answer for them.....after all, do they know how their children will turn out?
We've been home 74 days. The days at home go by so much faster!
Please pray for our check-up at Childrens....