Jack is Back!

After a couple rough days with some terrible GERD symptoms and lack of sleep, Jack is back. Yesterday, Jack had a MRI and ECHO at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital to make sure all was well after his adventures on ECMO. His appointment started at 9am, so we had an early start to the day. It can take me a good amount of time to get out of the house by myself, so putting myself together as well as Jack and all of his accessories is quite the undertaking.

Once at the hospital, he was taken back pretty quickly to get all his vitals taken which was nice since there was very little waiting (we all know how great I am with patience). I was really looking forward to his vitals check since he had lost some weight after being discharged from the NICU on March 21, 2012. And to my surprise and joy, Jack had gained back all the weight that he lost. He was back to 6.9 kilograms or a little over 15 pounds. That explains the little double chin action that he has been working on. You gotta love rolls on a baby!

After the vitals check, we were asked the usual questions about his tolerance with anesthesia, progress with development and all known allergies and was then presented with a baby hospital gown. Holy Cow! What an adorable little garment! I couldn’t wait to get this miniature indecency-cape on my son. I know that sounds crazy but we are so used to handing him over naked that I was entertained by his costume change. And of course I had to take this chance to take some pictures so my loyal readers could share in the cuteness.

Look at those fat cheeks and that full diaper. More on that later, here’s another handsome face.

Looking back at the pictures, I am pretty confident that I was much more tickled about the gown than Jack was.

We gave him our best “We Love You, Now Knock ‘Em Dead” kisses and they placed him on the MRI table to be anesthetized. Matt and I were going to be heading to the cafeteria to eat some lunch. Now, a little side note about the cafeteria: the salad bar is not a cost conscious option, but is delicious and sometimes well worth it. So, of course I start building my $8.00 salad and am starting to write this blog post in my head. I was ready to report some good news and then it hit me. We had been in this position so many times and this was the first time that I handed my son over to be ‘put under’ and I felt pretty okay with it. I wasn’t worried about the outcome, I wasn’t on the verge of losing my self control and crying in the middle of the hospital concourse. I was confident that with all Jack had been through, this was just going to be another test to prove to everyone that he could beat the odds. And this wasn’t going to be one of those tests that showed that he is strong because the odds were stacked up against him and he came out fighting…this was a test that would give quantifiable proof that he is a warrior. The doctors will look at these MRI and ECHO results and be able to classify Jack under “CDH Ass Kicker”.

To fast forward through lunch and all it’s riveting details (my salad was delicious and we had good conversation), we headed back to the radiology waiting room after four hours of our arrival. We only waited about 10 minutes before they called us back to recovery to claim our little scrapper. He was already awake and waiting our arrival which he welcomed with a classic Jack smile. The recovery nurse handed him over to me and Jack took this opportunity to show off his developmental skills. With one seamless movement, he reached down, grabbed a handful of ostomy bag and pulled it clean off his abdomen. And by clean, I mean not clean. There was poop everywhere! If you are aware of the consistency that comes from an ileostomy bag, you know that it’s before the colon which reabsorbs all the water back into your body. Enough said. Again, I will fast forward through ostomy care and all it’s riveting details (the nurses had a pile of hospital linens that were needing permanent disposal) we got Jack clean, changed and fed and made our move the the NICU to show Jack off to the nurses and staff (Jack’s results won’t be available until Wednesday). Now you know that they were all happy to see Jack, but Barb was by far the happiest. She held Jack for the entire visit which will require us to visit again next week so another nurse gets a turn.

After an excitement filled day at the hospital, we headed back home where Jack spent most of the evening and all of the night sleeping off the rest of his anesthesia. He would wake up on Tuesday to be the same happy, smiling, playing baby that he was last week before the acid reflux. I missed him so much! It’s always great to hold your healthy baby in your arms and kiss their fuzzy, little head but it’s so much sweeter when you kiss their head and they respond with a smile.

Jack, you fill my days with so much love!

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