Tuesday, February 23

Not Good News, But Not Bad News

A couple of weeks ago when we were in the hospital with Bryce the doctors did several tests to check that Bryce's shunt wasn't contributing to his illness. It was a hard realization that day that my poor baby would never have a routine sick visit. No doctor is ever going to want to be the doctor that missed a shunt malfunction. There's just too much at risk. Unfortunately for our poor baby Bryce this means never a reprieve from a shunt xray imaging series, a head CT scan and quite likely a spinal tap.

Like I said, not an easy realization to come to.

But today it may have paid off. The doctors at the hospital let us bring Bryce home only with the understanding that we would follow up with neurosurgery today. And so despite a ridiculous snow storm that went on for hours and hours we ventured out to hear what neuro had to say.

Bryce's head circumference has jumped up 2.5 cm and his spinal tap showed excess amounts of protein in his CSF (cerebral spinal fluid, the fluid of which excess is shunted via his shunt into his stomach cavity to be reabsorbed into his body). The problem with this is that his increased head size could be due to enlarged ventricles. And the extra protein, though not alarmingly high, could be a sign that his shunt will clog again soon.

But neuro couldn't help but see that Bryce looks amazing. There's no denying that sideways grin, the ever moving legs and the constant babbling. This is by no means a cranky baby, which is always the first clue something is truly wrong.

So they decided to review the CT scans from the hospital and compare them to theirs which were taken on our last visit back in December. There was a change noted that is of concern. I suppose that if Bryce were showing signs of not feeling well they would be more worried but since he's obviously happy they have taken the modest road. Which I am ever so grateful for.

So tomorrow Caleb will take Bryce in for a fast acquisition MRI. He had one done at the hospital as part of his discharge orders from neuro so they'll have something to compare it to. And then they said they'd call us in the next few days to let us know what they find.

I simply can't imagine another surgery right now, especially a shunt revision. These procedures may be a definite part of Bryce's life, wether we like it or not, but that doesn't mean I have to attempt to deal with it any sooner than the last possible moment.

So for now I'll simply relish in the joy of a happy baby bath in an unimaginable snow storm in Austin:

Sunday, February 21

Weekend Update

So much to tell! First of all, Bryce slept last night from 10 p.m. to this morning at 6 a.m.!!!! Holy, wonderful sleep filled night!!

Again, it has to be because he ate, ate and ate some more yesterday. Ending the eating fest with a huge bottle with rice cereal in it too.

And then this morning he had some more rice cereal:

And then this afternoon he had some sweet potato - his first real food:

As you can see, Bryce thoroughly enjoys eating. We are unusually grateful for this because we know from our experience in the NICU that many, if not most, preemies who spend months intubated have feeding issues well beyond the poor sucking muscles. Many have oral aversions, they don't like anything in or near their mouths - which makes eating, even from a bottle, a huge undertaking for them and their amazing parents. And the problem only gets worse as the varied textures of food are introduced.

So we are so proud of our baby Bryce - we may not know what the future holds for our precious boy, but we can certainly relish in the present!

And don't forget to sign up to walk with us in the March for Babies!