Sunday, July 15, 2012

Benjamin's first check-up (July 9)

Our big plans for Monday involved venturing out of the house with Benjamin. But only to go to the doctor. We slept in fairly grandly and then I showered with Benjamin (because bathing babies is a drag) and we dressed him in a cute outfit from Auntie Katharine. His shirt says "Captain Adorable."

Benjamin's doctor appointment went well. We really like our doctor, who was the on-call doctor when Benjamin was born. He's a great pediatrician and had two preemie sons himself so he can relate to our situation. Before we were discharged from the NICU we talked with our neonatologist about the dietician's recommendation to give Benjamin two bottles of fortified milk per day. Benjamin was praised by our occupational therapist as being the best little nurser she's ever seen—and she's been working in NICUs for decades. Our neonatologist said to give it a two-week trial and if Benjamin was gaining sufficient weight we could safely continue to ignore the dietician but to discuss Benjamin's nutritional needs with his pediatrician. It was the first thing I brought up.

I couldn't help but be a little panicky about whether or not he was growing—I had grown dependent on and a little obsessive about test weights in the hospital and now that crutch was gone and the only clue I had that our little one was getting enough food was to count his stools. He poops all the time so he was good on that front but I was still nervous.

Benjamin weighed 6 lbs. 4 oz. when he was discharged and when he was weighed at the doctor's office he weighed 6 lbs. 7 oz., which our pediatrician said was beautiful weight gain.

Probably dreaming about milk
We also asked a lot of questions about oxygen. We're moving in about a month. I'm supposed to be flying out with Benjamin but airlines are rather picky when it comes to flying with oxygen. They are even more picky if you are a minor flying with oxygen. It would cost hundreds of dollars extra to get Benjamin on the plane with oxygen, if he was allowed on the flight at all. We thought about driving but things were just as complicated driving as they were flying since we're renting our equipment from Utah-based companies who don't exactly want their equipment taken across the country. It was looking like I'd be stuck in Utah until Benjamin was off of oxygen and that was making me a little nervous because my friend Krystal's baby was on oxygen for more than a year (and he's not the only case of that happening that I heard of). I was thinking we'd be a couple of months at least.

"It looks like he's doing great!" our pediatrician said. "Let's turn him down from a quarter of a liter to an eighth of a liter and I'll grab a pulse oximeter and if his saturation levels are good we'll keep him on an eighth of a liter at home."

Benjamin stayed saturated the whole time we were there so we went home on an eighth of a liter and hopefully we'll do a room air trial next Monday after we meet with the doctor again. The doctor doesn't think we'll have to delay moving at all and thinks Benjamin will do fine on the flight.

Utah babies are pretty tough. Here in Utah Valley we're sitting at around 4000 feet above sea level. Airplane cabins are pressurized at 8000 feet, which our doctor said was like taking a drive up the canyon. He had no fear about a Utah baby desaturating on a plane, though if we had been trying to move the other direction (from North Carolina (sea level) to Utah) he'd have some concerns.

It was reassuring to hear that we should be off of equipment in a couple of weeks rather than a couple of months. Now we just have to figure out all the other logistics of packing and moving...

When we got home we idled away some time in the living room. Grandma came in to hold Benjamin for the first time.

Grandma also took some family pictures for us. Our first family pictures with Benjamin. Miriam was fairly miserable but Rachel managed to smile. I frankly can't remember when we decided she was sick (before or after this) but here she is, smiling in our picture. Miriam attempted a smile for the first shot.

But really she was feeling more like pouting:

I think we quarantined the girls to Grandma and Grandpa's room to watch a movie/nap after this. I took a nap with Benjamin and then Andrew got some cuddle time in with our little man.

Thanks to my meltdown on the phone with the Compassionate Service Leader the Relief Society still brought in a couple of meals to us this week so we didn't have to make dinner or anything. It was nice to have the girls off resting so that we could bond with Benjamin a little.

1 comment:

  1. Benjamin looks so tiny in those pictures with you guys as a family. What a beautiful boy. :) I'm so glad the Relief Society brought meals. Sometimes their services are a lifesaver. We've been blessed many times because of them. I hope Rachel feels better soon. It's hard to have sick kids. :(