6month check-up – Micah weighs 13lbs 3oz and is 24” long. This puts him on the “normal” weight chart for the first time in the 1st percentile and bumps him up to the 26th percentile on the Down syndrome chart. He’s a couple of check-ups behind on his shots, but we’ll get him caught up by one year.
Heart stuff – Micah saw his cardiologist last week. She doesn’t want to see him for FOUR MONTHS. Wow. And he’s now off all of his heart meds except one. His blood pressure is good, his oxygenation is 100%, and his respiratory rate is good. He’s still retracting with his breathing, but that should tone down a bit over time as his body realizes it doesn’t have to use so many muscles to breathe. At his next appt he will have an echocardiogram to assess how well his new valves are working (in a nutshell, his surgery was to patch two holes and create two valves from one big hole).
Eating – Micah doesn’t eat anything by mouth. Yes, that’s really hard. It’s hard enough for a woman who wants to nurse her baby to find out that she can’t (for whatever reason). But tack onto that the inability to feed your baby with a bottle, and it just, well, stinks.
Gastrointestinal – This appears to be Micah’s biggest hurdle at this point. We’ve been told to “reset” our expectations regarding Micah’s feeding tube (per his GI doctor: “I’m fairly confident that Micah will be able to get rid of his feeding tube someday… I just don’t know whether than will be when he’s 1 ½, 2, 3 or 4 years old.”). Ouch. That really hurt. And that’s basically why I haven’t updated the blog on Micah’s health lately. We have to draw gas out of his stomach (through the g-port) because it gets distended and causes him to urp. He still has reflux, but he’s on a high dose of Prilosec to limit the level of acid so that it doesn’t harm his esophagus.
Duodenum – Still not sure if it’s working. His j-tube feeds him into his jejunum, which means that the majority of his digestion is done after the duodenum. The GI doctor told us to start trying an ounce a day into his g-tube to see if he’s able to cope with food going through there, then we up to two ounces, and then three ounces. If he tolerates that, then we might be able to start solids soon. There might be an issue with a high volume going through his g-tube because of the j-tube sort of blocking the path downward. I guess we’ll find out. But he’s been able to digest all of his saliva and stomach juices, so he thinks this should work.
Feeding tube – I have a love/hate relationship with this thing. Logically, it needs to be skewed more toward “love,” because without it, I’m not sure whether our little guy would be growing or even living. But he has to be connected to a feeding pump for about 21 hours/day and he has a multi-port tube sticking out from his clothing. A friend of mine’s daughter asked about it at church a few weeks ago, and I told her that, “He needs it because he doesn’t know how to eat.” This little girl’s sweet brother, Will, chimed in and said, “Yet.” I almost cried.
* That Micah would tolerate the feedings through his g-tube so that he can start solids
* That Micah would not develop an oral aversion to solids like he has with liquids
* That Micah would get more comfortable and able to deal with the pressure in his belly
* That Micah’s neck strength would increase and he would use his arms more
* But most importantly, that we would truly rest on God’s strength: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”