Chronological Age: 3 weeks
Gestational Age: 31.5 weeks
Current Weight: 3 lbs, 13.7 ounces
Elliott continues to do far better than he should for his gestational age. His feeds have increased 1.15 ounces per feed. The time per feeding has decreased to 1.5 hours. (His milk is fed via tube over a pump.). In the biggest news, we started "lick and cuddle" sessions on Monday. These are designed to give the baby some skin-to-skin time with Mama and get familiar with the breast, the smell of Mom's milk, and the physical position of breastfeeding. Instead of just cuddling, Elliott latched on for 45 minutes on the first try. Because he's not yet old enough to coordinate sucking, swallowing, and breathing at the same time, we do this after I've pumped beforehand so that if he does latch, he gets small amounts rather than being overwhelmed. Every day since, we have tried again, and Elliott continues to latch on. I wouldn't really call it nursing, but it's a good sign for when we do start learning to actually nurse, and he is getting some milk in the process. He had a repeat head sonogram yesterday, and the grade I brain bleed has not worsened, nor have any others appeared. So, we appear to be in the clear on brain damage for Elliott!!!!!
In not so good news, Elliott's brady episodes seem to be increasing, or at least not improving. While he will eventually outgrow them, bradys are the sort of thing that cause some kids' NICU stays to drag on. Let's hope that's not the case with Elliott.
He is fully maintaining his own temperature now. He's still in an isolette, but he is wearing clothes, and they've turned the air control off. Because he can maintain his own temperature, he was given a bath this morning, and we can now confirm that he does have reddish hair. We can't exactly decide whether it's strawberry blonde or a light auburn.
Today is Truman's last day of the Preschool Program for Children with Disabilities. After today, he is a fully mainstreamed, unmedicated, unassisted kindergartener. Yes, he will still be in the special ed system since he will be pulled out for speech therapy twice a week, and he does require more redirection than most kids, and his teacher is already considering adaptations to help with writing and fine motor delays, but all that is so small compared to what we expected the end game would be when he entered into the PPCD program three years ago. A permanent transfer to the school where he attended PPCD Kindergarten was approved, so he will spend the next seven years at Moss Haven Elementary. We love the campus and its staff and are very excited to have Truman there for the long haul (and hopefully Elliott, too, in either 5 or 6 years).
Truman has an exciting summer lined up with day camps at the Arboretum, Museum of Science and Nature, and Dallas Children's Aquarium, as well as Bible School, tee ball, swim lessons, and a trip to East Texas to spend a week with the grandparents and attend Bible School there as well. Oh, and sometime this summer, he'll have a baby brother at home. He is already loving the fact that our swimming pool is open for the season and has asked to swim every day this week. I've enrolled him in the Mayor's Summer Reading Program and have been trying to get him excited about spending more time having Daddy read to him during the day and earning prizes for listening to books. We hope maybe by the end of the summer, he'll be doing a little reading himself. We've also got learning to tie his shoes on the agenda for this summer, too, and in other growing up, Truman slept for the first time last night without a bed rail. Having a newborn and kindergartener at the same time really does highlight how fast kids really do grow up.