Saturday, March 5, 2011

A New Journey - All about the Little Guy

 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
I Corinthians 13:4-7

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In the beginning - I was huge!

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But the Little Dude was a nice normal 7lbs 14oz - if a little early - five weeks early to be exact.

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Then came his stay (30 days) in the NICU. His long stay was prompted by the fact he wasn't a good eater. It takes a special baby to look cute with a nasal canula - but I think he pulls it off. He was finally sent home with the feeding tube. I had to learn how to replace it and had to do it twice before he *finally* warmed to the bottle.

We had a lovely three months at home doing all the great stuff one gets to do with little babies: changing, feeding, burping, sleeping. The Little Dude was, and still is one of the most laid back people I have ever met in my life. He takes everything in stride, happy just to be where he is at in the moment. The only time he cries is when he needs something.
I did not have an easy pregnancy, and as a result I had a gazillion ultra sounds - no really, I have more pictures of The Little Dude before he was born than I have of the daughter for her whole first year. At my routine 30 week office visit the doctor says to me, "Well, lets do one more ultrasound just to be sure everything is still going ok." The next week I am in for my usual appointment the doctor says "Holly, there is a something in your baby's head. I don't know what it is so I am sending you to the specialist." In case you were wondering - yes I did think every possible bad thing that could be thought at that moment. I saw the specialist and he said "Yep there is definitely a something in your baby's head, I don't really know what it is, but the baby will be born and will thrive. We will take a better look with an MRI after he is born - it is really hard to tell a fetus to not move while you are taking the MRI."
After one failed attempt at an MRI right after The Little Dude got out of the NICU - the anesthesiologist really did not want to put him under.
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Four months old - getting the MRI. The Little Dude has really tiny veins - that like to hide, this makes drawing blood or putting in IVs really challenging . This photo is when we were taking a break in trying to get the IV in saga. (It is hard to tell little babies not to move while taking the MRI so they have to sedate them.)  The results of the MRI were this: Liam had a crainopharyngioma - this is a benign tumor in his pituitary gland. (Interestingly they don't usually find this kind of tumor until children are much older, because it is slow growing there are no symptoms until it grows into something of importance - either the optic nerves or the brain.) They admitted him and the next Tuesday he had surgery.
 The incision went across the top of his head about an inch behind his hairline - they did not have to shave his head as he really didn't have that much hair to speak of. I didn't count the stitches, there were two layers, plus his skull under his forehead was sutured back in place. Overall I want to say there was maybe 40 altogether. There was also a drainage tube and a monitor from inside his brain.
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Did I mention that The Little Dude is one of the happiest people I have ever met in my life? This was about 4 days after the surgery. He recovered just fine. He has to take hormones morning, noon and night,

The only lingering result of the surgery is the fact that Liam is little. When he was born he was the biggest baby in the NICU. But after the surgery his growth, well, it fell off the curve. Babies 3 months his junior look like they could squash him. This is due to the fact that he does not have a pituitary gland so he cannot produce the human growth hormone. Medicine really does not know how much growth hormone actually plays in the the first growth, but the doctors did tell us that Liam would have to start taking it after his first birthday.
So life goes on, right.
Nine Months

First Birthday
20 months
22 months

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