Last Saturday we celebrated (well you could say we forgot, but are NOW celebrating) Pierce's 7 month birthday!!
Age: 7 months actual (3 months adjusted)
Weight: 14lbs 8 oz
Length: 22 1/2 inches
Pierce has been doing so great. He really has! He is babbling non-stop now. He is close to rolling from his back to his tummy. He's doing that whole "grab your feet and sway" move (will try to catch this on camera later), but hasn't quite figured out that if he just goes a little farther, he will roll. He will get there. Soon.
As a parent of a micro preemie, I find myself torn. Some days I wish so desperately to see him achieve another milestone. To see progress, check another thing off "the list" and know that he is doing well. Other days, I find myself wanting to slow down time and savor every second of his "baby" stage. I know it will be gone far too soon.
We took Pierce for his first CT scan last week. The results weren't as great as we had hoped, but they weren't bad either. It appears Pierce's ventricles are still enlarged, but the general consensus is that they have gone down some. So for now, we are going to continue to wait and see what happens. The neurosurgeon can adjust the rate at which his shunt flows, but for now, he wants to wait and see how fast they're draining on their own (basically give Pierce more time to correct the issue without changing the shunt settings). It appears the shunt is working, just not as fast as we had expected. The CT scan was very interesting. They didn't need to sedate Pierce, and it was pretty quick. And they even asked Mommy to ride with Pierce. Interesting, huh?!
Pierce also saw his pulmonologist last week who gave us the "ok" to take Pierce off oxygen during his awake times. We will be keeping a close eye on his breathing patterns (how hard he is working to breathe), feeding patterns and oxygen saturations to monitor how well he is doing off. Oxygen weaning is not something that you can/want to do quickly, but at least this is one step closer to having him off for good! It has been so nice to have a little bit of freedom from all of the tubes and wires we generally lug around.
Pierce will have his first Physical Therapy evaluation on Tuesday. This will give us a good "baseline" to work off of as Pierce enters therapy. As of now, the reports we have been given from those involved in his care (pediatrician, early interventionist, neurosurgeon) are that Pierce is right on track with his adjusted age (3 months) so it will be interesting to hear how the Physical Therapist rates him. Many of you may be wondering why, if Pierce is showing now signs of delay, are we starting physical therapy? That's because Pierce is at such a high risk for a whole slew of different things given the fact that he was born so early and that he had a grade 4 brain bleed. The thinking is that early intervention is necessary and extremely helpful in helping these little ones to overcome their brain injuries. You have probably heard that the brain has an amazing ability to rewire itself overcome damaged parts (Did any of see Gabby Giffords tv interview last week? This was a great example of that!). Well, in little ones, their brains are not even fully developed. So, the goal of physical therapy will be to work on helping Pierce to overcome any deficit caused by his brain bleed. And while he may not be symptomatic now, many of the effects may not be seen until he's a little older. So for now, we will continue to work, work, work at meeting those developmental milestones.
Please continue to pray for continued health through the RSV season. Also pray that Pierce's ventricles will begin to significantly decrease in size and that no damage would be caused to his brain while we are in the "wait and see" stage.
Thank you for sharing in our journey!
Nik, Lindsay and Pierce