NICU Day 16: Not a Manic Monday

Today was a pretty good day at the NICU. We made lots of progress and had a nice long (5 hour) visit.

Here’s a quick run through of the updates:
– Sol passed his hearing screen. His vision test will likely be tomorrow. These are just a part of regular tests that all newborns go through, but I’m so happy that his hearing was not impacted by the stroke.
– Encouraged by his progress over the past couple of days, the neurologist has decided to decrease Sol’s dose of Phenobarb by another third. This will happen tomorrow morning, so we’ll see the impact towards the end of the week (it takes three days for this drug to completely leave the body). Given how active Sol has already become by the initial dose reduction, I’m really anxious to the effects of this next decrease.
– The doctors are continuing to keep him on light oxygen support. This isn’t a huge deal, but it would be nice to take him off of it altogether. Hopefully, he’ll breathe a little deeper as they continue to wean him off of the Phenobarb.

Mom (Nana) and I got to the NICU this morning to find a sleeping baby, so I got him out of his bed and rocked him until Michelle came by for Occupational Therapy. I woke him up just a few minutes before she arrived and she was thrilled to see how much more alert and responsive he was compared to Friday. After we went through his exercises, she examined his head and decided that because he tends to roll his head to the left quite often, he needs to temporarily wear a tortle to help keep his head from becoming flat on one side. Basically, other than being a fun word to say, a tortle is just a soft cap with extra padding on one side to discourage movement to that side. He’ll wear it for a couple of hours a day.

Later in the afternoon, Melissa stopped by to work with Sol on feeding. She offered him a small bottle and was encouraged by how quickly he latched and started sucking. He’s still working on coordinating swallowing and breathing, so he only had about 3ml from the bottle before she stopped him. This was an improvement from his last bottle feeding! Melissa will stop by each day this week to continue to work on feeding and, in the meantime, we’ll keep working with the pacifier, which he has grown to love.

The rest of the day was filled with snuggles, rocking with Nana, and giggles over some silly faces that Sol made. It was a great way to start the week.

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