Age: 9 months (5 months adjusted)
Weight: 17lbs even
Height: will have to wait on 9-month check up for that one
This past month, Pierce has really started to let his personality shine. He laughs, coos and babbles all day long and really is such an easy-going baby most of the time. He added to his skills the ability to get himself on his side (from his back), sit assisted pretty well and he has even gone a few (quick) seconds of sitting unassisted. He's spent a lot of time strengthening his shoulders/arms and looks as if he's really close to rolling from tummy to back as well.
Physical therapy is going well- we've only had 2 sessions in the past month (Pierce receives PT 2x/month). As of now, Pierce shows little signs of his prematurity. He does tend to favor his right hand over his left so we will be keeping a close watch on that and making sure we offer him lots of opportunities to use that left arm (this could be a result of his grade 4 brain bleed on the right side of his brain). Right now, we're working on helping him gain more strength in his arms (to help with rolling over) and giving him more opportunities to practice sitting. He's such a trooper and does so well with this (although he does have a tendency to freak when we "make" him do something he doesn't want to, but what baby doesn't?!).
Showing off his tummy time skills. He really showed off for his neurosurgeon on Thursday and almost rolled off the table!
Here's a funny video I captured at dinner time the other night. As you can see, he gets kind of emotional when I tell him it's over and we have to clean his face.
Oxygen weaning is going well. Pierce is down to .25L at naps/nights (when he sleeps). Most of the time I also put his o2 on for bottles since he takes 8 oz at time (big bottles) and a little boost seems to help him tremendously. But overall he's really done SO well coming off the oxygen and it's so nice to have the freedom to carry him around the house without a cord attached! He is currently getting .25mg Pulmicort 1x/day. Originally the dr placed him on .5mg 2x/day, but that turned my sweet little baby into a monster (not eating, sleeping, miserable) or as my friend Gina put it, "he had 'roid rage'." So, our home health nurse suggested we lower his dosage and that seems to have done the trick. Speaking of our home health nurse, it has been SO nice to have her come out each month to weigh Pierce and give him his Synagsis shot (the one that helps prevent severe RSV). It's nice not to have to drag him to the germ-infested pediatrician office every month :)
On Thursday, we went to see Pierce's neurosurgeon. He was so impressed with how well Pierce looks and thinks the shunt is working well. We didn't have a scan this time (nice to have a break!), but are on the books for a MRI in April to check on the shunt.
Other than that, nothing new. He continues to sleep well through the night (yeah!) and is down to taking 2 naps a day. Isolation has not been quite as bad as I imagined, probably due to Skype and the incredibly mild temperatures we've had lately.
Last weekend it was nearly 70 degrees, so we took advantage of the nice weather and headed for a walk around the neighborhood
We also had a very special visitor yesterday- Pierce's primary nurse, Lindsay. We love Lindsay and it was so good to catch up. Pierce LOVES him some Lindsay :)
How you can pray for us:
1. Pray that Pierce will start to use his left arm more and that physical therapy and play time will pay off. Pray also for wisdom as we consider taking Pierce back to Asheville for more ABM therapy.
2. Please pray that God continues to heal Pierce's brain and that he will suffer no lasting effects from his brain bleed.
3. Pray for continued health and protection throughout the winter (RSV season).
4. Pray that Pierce will gain the strength to become mobile soon.
Thank you for walking this journey with us!