You will have significant experiences.
I hope that you will write them down and keep a record of
them, that you will read them from time to time and refresh
your memory of these meaningful and significant things.
Some may be funny. Some may be significant only to you.
Some of them may be sacred and quietly beautiful. Some
may build upon another until they represent a lifetime of
special experiences.
- Gordon B Hinckley

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Everett's First...

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Dear Family and Friends,

The first day of the New Year greeted Zac and I with the sound that we have been waiting 12 weeks to hear…Everett’s first cry.  What was a muffled whimper only a month ago is now a loud, strong, robust, and angry cry…complete with tears and a scrunched up face.  Everett has found his voice and he has a lot to say!  As if he is making up for lost time, he’s taken to crying like it was his new favorite hobby.  His nurses have nicknamed him “crybaby.”  At times he is inconsolable.  Like any new mom, it’s intimidating and sometimes I think “What happened to my mellow son?” but then I remember, “At least today he can cry” and it becomes music to my ears!
Our other big surprise this morning was to walk into his room to find our son staring up at us with big open eyes and no tubes on his face.  Everett is doing so well that he is completely able to breathe on his own…no oxygen, no pressure support required!  For the first time, we were able to see his face unobstructed from forehead to chin.  Let me tell you, it’s a pretty cute face!  He’s put on so much weight (he’s 4 lb. 6 oz.!) that he’s grown chipmunk cheeks, his lips are thin and delicate, his nose is just the right size, his mouth is small like his Daddy’s, and he has one dimple on the right side!  He smiles little half smiles as if to tell us he’s so happy to be doing it all on his own.  We can sit and hold him for hours now…and it seems like just minutes!  We’re getting to know each other all over again and it is a great feeling.
The possibility of laser eye surgery still looms.  Last week the eye surgeon said his chances of needing the surgery were down to 50/50.  Now this week, he’s reverted to saying he will definitely need it.  He examined Everett yesterday and saw no changes.  The greatest probability of having the disease progress is in the first 72 hours after coming off of the ventilator.  Thankfully, this time has come and gone and Everett’s eyes are no worse.  So, we are hoping that the disease has gone as far as it will and that he will develop normally from now on.  He will be examined again tomorrow…here’s hoping for good news.
He remains on antibiotics for his infection.  He is responding well and has almost completely recovered.  His feedings are up to 5mls an hour of breast milk by tube feeding.  The doctors are increasing him at a painfully slow rate to avoid any complications related to his surgery; an increase of 1 ml every one to three days.  Full feedings are 11mls (almost halfway there!).  He is tolerating it well and is putting stool out of his ileostomy. 
Tomorrow he is going to be evaluated for physical and occupational therapy.  This means that the possibility of Everett taking a bottle is coming closer.  He LOVES his pacifier, so we know he has the sucking reflex down, but we just have to make sure he can breathe at the same time.  After he is able to take milk from a bottle we will have a better idea of when he might be able to transfer back to SV or even come home.
It has been a great first week of 2010!  So much progress has been made and Zac and I are happy and smiling for the first time in a long time.  I know we still have a long way to go, but reflecting back on where we’ve been, I can’t believe that the son I hold in my arms now is the same child from 12 weeks ago.  Someday you will all meet him and see for yourself the miracle that he is.  Thank you for all your love, support and prayers.  We know that Everett’s success is due, in part, to each of you!!!
With smiles,
The Bollinger Family
P.S.  Attached is a picture, taken today, of our little Everett.

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