Wednesday, April 25, 2007

One more day

We're in the last day before Woody's surgery now. Tomorrow morning at nine he's going under the knife to repair his inguinal hernia, which is his last (we hope) big trauma directly relating to his premature birth. He was about six weeks old when it started appearing; nurse J* mentioned it as an offhand remark during one of the last days when we were in Room 13 at the NICU (we moved to the better room in July, so I know it was before then). By the time he was done with the hospital his hernia had grown to the size referred to by the technical term "bodacious," but we were told that we should wait until after flu and RSV season to bring him back to get it fixed. Well, we made it through the winter-- our freakishly obsessive sanitization and hermitization techniques worked, and he didn't get sick at all.

I'm not concerned with the actual surgery. It's the single most common surgical procedure for young children, especially boys, and our doctor** has performed something like a billion of them. The problem for me is in the idea that Woody will be waiting before the surgery and won't see me or Mag and will get scared, or will otherwise be in pain and without us to comfort him, and it just makes me a little bit crazy, if not verklempt. But he should be in and out of the OR in an hour, and the hospital in a day or less, so the trauma should be short.

By the way, we've been having a lot of doctor and other appointments with him recently. He had his six month followup for the NICU last Friday, and he got several gold stars. They measured him on his development for weight and length and neurological issues, and he is at or above his adjusted age in everything. He's even started to show up on the un-adjusted growth charts comparing him to other eleven month old "normal" babies, although he's of course on the low end of those. But he's well ahead of the game for fine motor control, and he's exceeding all expectations for his health and intelligence, so we couldn't be happier. One of the most common things we hear from doctors and nurses is that he's at the top of the curve for preemies, and some of the doctors go well beyond that. I've heard from at least three health professionals that he is the very best 23-weeker they've ever worked with, and quite literally all of them say that they'd never even know he was a preemie if they didn't already know it. We are proud as punch.

I will do some short updates from the hospital throughout the day tomorrow.

*Nurse J just had her first kid, an adorable little girl, in March. She figured out she was pregnant just days after one of the NPs at the Unnamed Hospital performed some sort of odd pagan ritual and determined that she would be childless. Take that, pagan rituals!

**The surgeon has been described as "the most attractive man I've ever seen in person" by Maggie. When she told this to Nurse S, the response was "oh yes, Dr. Way Hot." What is this, Grey's Anatomy?


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