Julian's seventh week (and Surgery)

Photos taken 1/10 - 1/17


Snowsuit from Portland

Baby burrito

Crib tent

Rory proofing

Loving Nana


Good picture of the horn


Handle With Care

(In Sharpie)

Nana's Bed

In his tiny hospital gown

Smiling at Mama

Staring at Papa

A little dazed

Kisses from Mama

Cute little hat

Rory says "Besos for better"

Mama made him a hat

Starting to swell :(

Lots of IVs

Even more puffy

Little swollen alien baby

Cindy meets him for the first time

Snuggling the monkey from Cindy

Poor little swollen guy

Health Updates:

1/22/08 Update:

So, Monday night was awful. I barely slept, Rory kept waking up, Pablo tossed and turned. Seems like the only one of us who slept well was Julian, sweet oblivious boy. One of our coping mechanisms was to write in Sharpie, on the back of his head: “Handle With Care.” It amused us on an otherwise awful night. We woke up at 5 am to shower and make tea, packed up a change of clothes, some blankets and the camera, and bundled Julian out of the house for his 6am pre-operative anesthesia appointment.

We didn’t get to the docs until almost 7:30 (his scheduled operative time), and then they had a hard time finding a blood-pressure cuff, hospital gown and hospital socks small enough for him.  Then he sat in our laps, and, after accepting that he was going to get no food, began burbling, cooing and smiling at us. We got it on camera. We met the nurses who were going to care for him, signed the official paperwork allowing for his craniectomy (worst word ever!) and had the surgery and his anesthesia explained one more time. Turns out the surgeons had decided to do the surgery not by taking out small strips of bone, but by removing about a half of his skull, shaping it and quartering it outside his head, piecing it back together, and then slipping it back in over his brain. Yeah.

So, the anesthesiologst (who at this ungodly hour was freshly made up and pretty…) came and got him around 8:30, bundled him up in his nice warm blankie, and took him away. Pabs and I sat in the cafeteria and waited. And waited. And waited. Sue, the nurse in the OR, called every hour to update (“They’re cutting now,” or “They’ve removed the piece now”) and Liz came to keep us company. Around 2 or 2:30 they called to let us know he was done, & we met the surgeons again to see how it went. The first surgeon told us it had gone well, and that the only unexpected thing for him had been that Julian had lost a little more blood than they’d expected, but the transfusion had taken care of that.

The second surgeon then came out, and said that he’d been a little surprised by how “snug” Julian’s skull was. They’d thought they were doing this surgery way in advance, but it turns out he was just out of room in there (figured they had 4 more weeks before it would have compressed his brain…turns out they only had about 4 more days). The protective casing between the brain and the skull was stretched to its limit, and had been rubbing against the inside of the skull and had rubbed through in a few places. Pablo and I both sagged against the doorframe on hearing that…but good for Julian that they caught it all in time.

Nurse Sue then told us we’d have to wait a little while before we could see him in Recovery, so she showed us his “after” picture from the OR, complete with incision. His head was perfectly round, and MUCH bigger than it had been. Sue then told us that she’d been allowed to take pictures of the procedure and would be able to give them to us at our post op appointment on 2/07/08. If you’re interested, email me. They’ll be a bit too graphic for the website.

Finally, they told us we could go in and see him, and Pabs and I rushed into the room. Where was my son? Turns out, the one baby in Recovery WAS Julian, even though it only looked a little like him. Some of the change is swelling (which will get MUCH worse than it is now) and some was a change in head shape (his head is round, his scowly-horn is gone and his eyes are farther apart). It’s a little disconcerting.

Anyway, tonight is my night at the ICU. He’s VERY drugged, sore, and, understandably, a little cranky. Thank you for all your thoughts and prayers for him, and I’ll re-update when we find out when he’s going home.

1/24/08 Update:

SO, the swelling is WAY up. He's doing well other than that, nursing like a champ (YAY!) and they've removed all his lines except his IV, heart monitor and catheter. We had over 9 tubes and wires yesterday, so this is a plus!

He's still on morphine a few times a day and tylenol around the clock, but he's comfy and not fussy.

Bandages come off today or tomorrow.


6th week Photos
8th week Photos
Big Sister Rory's Page