What a crazy week and wild month to come. After a lot of hand wringing and anxiety, we finally had our doctor's appointment to evaluate Landon for a g-button last Monday. Landon was an incredibly good sport through a very difficult day for him. We have kept a very strict feeding schedule for Landon, feeding him every 4 hours (1,5,9,1,5,9) for the last two months. We are rarely vary from the schedule more than ten minutes one way or the other so when Monday required us to withhold food after his 9 am feeding until after his appointment, we anticipated a very fussy baby. As we expected, at about 1:15 Landon was very fussy, crying for his formula and his delayed feeding. To our surprise though, at around 1:45 he began to calm down and actually fell back asleep.
Shortly after 2, Landon's upper GI series began. A small amount of barium contrast was pushed down his feeding tube and he was strapped to a rotating plank to allow doctors to observe different angles of his stomach and intestines. We were finally able to feed him after the test was completed, at around 3 pm. Even though his feeding had been delayed by two hours, Landon had only fussed for a few minutes and even when they were spinning him in circles to observe his intestines, he stayed calm and just looked around. The results of the test were promising. Landon's gastrointestinal tract (GI) is normal and will accommodate a g-button well. Next, we needed a consultation with a surgeon to evaluate his lifestyle and need for the operation.
Before the consultation, we met with the surgeon's nurses to take some measurements. We found out that Landon has grown to 10 lbs, 1 oz and is 22.75 inches long. His physical development has really been exceptional since coming home from the NICU. Next, we received the best news of the day and it was truly unexpected. Landon's head has grown! His cranial circumference has increased by a full centimeter, to 33.5 cm. This measurement is the best was to evaluate for brain growth, something we were told not to expect. Even though it was only a centimeter, we are ecstatic to see some change in this measurement. For comparison, the average baby of Landon's age has a circumference of 40 cm and even the bottom 5 percent is at 37 cm. In fact, Landon's head is still only the size of a newborn in the 10-12th percentile in size. But you have to start somewhere.
The consultation with Landon's surgeon went well and he is scheduled to have a g-button put in on the 23rd of July. It will be wonderful to have the irritating tape and tube off of his face and out of his nose. The surgery is relatively simple and very common. The surgeon will go in laproscopically and perform a gastropexy (he will suture the stomach to Landon's body wall). Then he will form a port into which he, and eventually can and I, can insert a feeding tube. We have heard from a few people that suck training usually improves after the g-button is in so we are looking forward to that as well.
I worked from 8 to 6 from Tuesday through Friday after we got back from our appointments in Nebraska so Karen had to spend quite a bit of time at home alone with the baby. On Wednesday, she decided to go on a short trip to Topeka to visit our friend Jess and take Landon to the pool for the first time. In Jess' apartment complex, there is a small, shaded pool that Karen and Jess held Landon in so that he could feel the water. He loved it! Karen said that he was wide eyed and happy while he was in the water, which comes as somewhat of a surprise because of how he cries during bathtime.
Goat seems to love everything about being outside, particularly the wind. If he ever gets fussy in the car, all we have to do is roll down the windows and he turns happy as a clam. He really enjoys the bright colors of grass and flowers in sunlight as well. We started taking him out to the back patio when he was fussy earlier this year but we've had to stop in the past week because the mosquitoes are so bad around our house. He got one bug bite on his forehead this week and was, understandably, fussy for the next couple days. We gave him antihistamines but there is only so much you can do. He even ended up scratching himself just below the eye trying to reach the spot on his forehead.
Given how calm he is outside, we switched out the music we play for him at night for nature sounds. Apparently that was a golden moment in our critical thinking and we hit the jackpot with ocean sounds. Our crying at night has been dramatically reduced and when he does cry, he seems to go back to sleep much easier. Apparently we need to move to the beach.
On Friday evening, our little family drove up to Fairbury to visit my Grandpa Meyer. This was Grandpa's first chance to meet and hold Landon. My uncle and aunt Jeff and Beverly came to visit as well, along with my cousin Sara, her husband CJ, and my parents drove down from Elmwood. It was nice to have a chance to catch up with everyone and really wonderful for them to meet and hold the little man. We have been blessed to have such wonderful families that support us in everything we do and it is a treat to have time for them to hold Landon.
Mikaela, Brandon, Sophie, and Mocha (my sister, brother-in-law, niece, and their puppy) drove down from Elmwood on Saturday to spend the night. Mikaela, Karen, and the babies relaxed in the back yard while Brandon and I fished in the pond behind our house. It was really nice to just get away from it all and let the babies spend some time together. It was over the last couple days that Landon's awful diaper rash has finally resolved and this makes diaper changes a less traumatic event. All in all, we have had a truly wonderful week.
Landon has appointments left and right this month but the two biggest are his neurology consultation on the 15th of July in Topeka and his surgery on the 23rd in Omaha. It will be exciting to hear whether or not he has shown any neurologic improvement, particularly with his peripheral neuropathy that prevents him from having very much sensation in his feet and legs. Karen and I have thought we've seen improvement but it's hard to tell and will be nice to have a more objective evaluation. We also have a meeting with a nursing association that might be able to come into our home and care for Landon a few hours a day to let Karen run errands, clean the house, take a nap, or even go back to work if she decided to. We haven't had much opportunity to talk about it yet but it should be an interesting meeting.
"There is nothing that wastes the body like worry, and one who has any faith in God should be ashamed to worry about anything whatsoever." - Mahatma Gandhi