Our little contrarian

Jordan:  “Sylvia’s being a contrarian.”

Sylvia:  “No, you’re a contrarian.”

Maybe when she turns four we’ll teach her what the word means.

Ian is still in the hospital, and we expect him to be released tomorrow morning.  He’s been in the hospital for two weeks.  There’s no particular reason why he’s been in the hospital three days longer than expected;  the doctors are just being extra careful.  For example, he hasn’t been feeding well from a bottle.  This could be a sign of trouble, but in his case he only takes a bottle when he’s really hungry, and they are too cautious to let him get really hungry.  So last night and tonight Jordan has been staying at the hospital to breast-feed him.  He’s gaining weight, and the doctor says that if he continues to gain weight overnight, he’ll be discharged in the morning.  (Am I the only one who wishes hospitals used a more antiseptic term than “discharge?”)  Sylvia and I visited them tonight, and he appears to be perfectly normal, except for being slightly hoarse and having a scar on his throat.

Success

Ian is recovering from surgery now. The operation went smoothly, and the doctor thinks he’ll breathe normally from now on. He’ll be recovering for about a week. They will keep him unconscious until Friday; active babies and fresh neck incisions aren’t a good combination. Then he’ll be in the hospital until about Monday or Tuesday.

Hospital

Ian is in the hospital. It turns out he was born with a growth in his windpipe which has only recently gotten big enough to be a problem. He had been breathing through a pinhole, yet somehow he’s been able to get enough oxygen so far. On Thursday he had a tracheotomy, and he’ll be breathing through a hole in his neck until Monday, when the growth will be surgically removed. The surgeon says that although this is a rare condition (they see about one a year) the procedure is relatively simple and safe. He’s at Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis, which my dad says is one of the five best pediatric hospitals in the country.

Jordan spent the day with Ian, although he was asleep most of the time. I took care of Sylvia most of the day until my mom took her. Not long after I got to the hospital, Ian woke up crying silently. (The tube is below his vocal chords.) He was hungry. With a nurse helping to untangle the tubes and wires, Jordan was able to breast-feed him. He has a ventilating mask placed loosely over his neck to keep the air warm and moist, so she didn’t have to worry about suffocating him. I watched the computer screen with the heart rate, breathing rate, and blood oxygen levels. Afterward, Ian was all smiles.

After Monday’s surgery, he will be in the hospital for several days to recover. He might be home in time for Thanksgiving (which we were already planning on celebrating on Saturday instead of Thursday.)

If anyone asks on Thanksgiving what I’m thankful for, I’ll know what to say. I’m thankful I am surrounded by the best hospitals in the world, and I’m thankful I have health insurance. (Ian has a nurse assigned to him 24 hours a day for at least five days. I don’t want to know how much that costs.) I’m thankful I have parents in town who can help out. I’m thankful I have a job where I can take several days off to be with my family. And I’m thankful that we got a proper diagnosis in time.

…Time permitting…

It turns out that parenting two kids is more work than one. I’ve had dozens of blog posts in my head, but haven’t had a chance to post one.

Ian is now over two months old. He smiles frequently and is built like a body builder. He can support his own weight. In the past few weeks he’s started getting much more involved in the world: trying to grab things, or shifting around in his saucer seat. Until recently, he wasn’t happy unless he was physically touching somebody. (He still doesn’t like cars– which is unusual for babies.) He still has a hard time sleeping unless he’s on or leaning against someone.

Sylvia, meanwhile, just turned three on Sunday. She claims to have voted on Tuesday for Condoleezza Rice.

Ian's First Smile This is Ian’s first smile. I didn’t get to see smiles for several days after Jordan took this picture.