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

The Plan...

Monday, January 11, 2010

Dear Family and Friends,

It has been a great week for our family, full of progress, hope, and a new plan for Everett!  We are tentatively excited and are enjoying every moment of good news and cherished time with our son. 
Everett is weighing in at 4 lb. 8 oz. and is now 17 inches long (he started at just 12.5 inches!).  He’s up to full feedings (11mls an hour) by feeding tube and is tolerating it well.  He no longer requires artificial nutrition and has been weaned off all his sedating medications.  He’s breathing completely on his own and has had no periods of apnea.  He is in a much better mood this week, not crying nearly as much and is giving us lots of smiles.  He loves being held and even spent the night swinging in a baby swing.  He’s wearing clothes and hats and is looking pretty cute.  And today he moved into a crib! All in all, he’s growing up to be a regular newborn…and we love it!
Earlier this week we had a family conference with the head of the NICU to discuss plans for Everett’s discharge home or transfer back to SV.  We were shocked and pleasantly pleased to find out that the plan has drastically changed since his surgery.  In just over a week, Everett will be evaluated by the pediatric surgeons to determine if he’s ready to have his second surgery to reverse his ileostomy and reconnect his intestines.  As you might recall, the surgeons told us previously that he wouldn’t be ready for this surgery for at least four months.  You can imagine how excited we are at the possibility of Everett’s long journey coming to an end.  But we are also trying to be realistic and remember how sick he was and understand that he might need more time to heal.  In this case, the plan would be to send Everett home to Zac and I while he recovers the rest of the way.  But if he is ready, the surgery would be performed sometime the week of the 19th with a two to three week recovery period after.  So, what does all this mean?  Basically, we can say with confidence that Everett will be welcomed home in the next six weeks, if not sooner :-)
Last Monday the eye surgeon examined Everett.  To quote him exactly, he was “shocked” by what he saw.  Not only have Everett’s eyes not gotten worse, they have actually started growing correctly!  He said he’s rarely seen such a turn around.  I told him he obviously doesn’t know my son.  He’s going to examine him again tomorrow.  As long as there are no drastic changes there will likely be no surgery required…ever!
He started occupational therapy on Tuesday to prepare him for taking a bottle.  His sucking reflex is perfect but his swallow reflex is still underdeveloped (this is common for preemies).  He will have therapy five days a week until he’s eating successfully from a bottle.  He also started physical therapy.  Twice a week the therapist does stretching, passive range of motion, and position changes with Everett.  Then he gets a massage at the end.  Both therapists have trained Zac and me in some techniques that we can do when we are visiting with Everett.  It’s fun for us and is beneficial for him too! 
My mom held Everett for the first time on Wednesday.  We also were able to give him a bath for the first time on Friday.  We were nervous and Everett was impatient, but we did it.  One great thing about having a baby in the NICU is personalized training in baby basics from all the nurses.  We are thankful for their compassionate care and patient hearts. 
We continue to be hopeful for steps forward and good news.  We love hearing from you as you share in our joy!

With Hopeful Hearts,

The Bollinger Family

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