Julian's eighth week (he's better)

Photos taken 1/25 - 1/31

Eyes starting to deflate

There he is!

Shrunk out of his hat

You can still tye it on, though

In his GREAT clothes from Tia Fia

With Tidiane on Friday

Cnked out

Liz says goodbye after visiting

Seti at the hospital


Loving Papa


Grandpa again

Look at those eyes!

Back in the hat

Blue eyed boy

Hat from Cindy, jammies from Sofia

Nana loves him

Tia Mina has him

Girls and Julian

He likes Tidiane

What a round head


Nana and Jules

Healing well


With Mama

Bear bunting


Health Updates:

1/30/08 Update:

Tuesday night I half dozed in the ICU all night, waiting to see when I’d be able to hold him. He had heart monitors, a blood pressure cuff, an IV in his foot, two in his hand, an arterial IV, a catheter and various other tubes and wires connecting him to the bed, so it was nearly impossible for them to hand him to me. Still, I was there with him, and talking seemed to soothe him, especially as his eyes swelled shut. He slept, fitfully, and I worked on reading The Birth House (a gift from my August 2005 Mom’s group) and making Julian a hat for whenever he got discharged.

Pabs and my mom came back in the morning, we had some breakfast, and I went home to shower. Then I had to take the van in to get the hatch fixed (it refused to close AS we were arriving Tuesday morning for the surgery), and I came back to the ICU. He was swollen and puffy, and still a little drugged up. Poor baby. He did finally eat, though, downing his first meal in over 30 hours by sucking down 4oz of pumped milk and still acting a little hungry. That’s my boy. They took the IV out of his foot since he was eating, and that was that.

My cousin, Cindy, drove down from Sacramento to bring Julian and Rory the gifts she’d picked up for them on her recent trip to NYC. She bestowed my son with a monkey and a winter hat, showed Pabs and I pictures of her trip, and then went back to the house with Pablo for dinner and to give Rory her pig. This was the first time Cindy had met Julian in person, though she’s seen lots of pictures, but I’m sure he’ll look much better the next time they meet. As per Pablo and the nurses’ recommendations, I hopped in the car and headed out to Newman Hall (my church) for my weekly meeting. It felt odd to be anywhere without Julian, since he’d been in or on my body for the last 11 months, but the change of scenery and familiar faces did me a world of good. Every week we have a prayer or meditation we’re given, and one of the group leaders had typed up one asking for Julian’s healing and strength for us. It was incredibly sweet, and it was fantastic to know how much Julian was cared for, even by people who’d never met him.

Wednesday night was much the same as Tuesday night…little sleep and lots of reading. They shuffled us around to a different bed space, and tried to “fix” the arterial line in Julian’s arm (they couldn’t get any blood out, and couldn’t detect blood pressure with it). The resident ended up getting showered in blood (arteries are under pressure, apparently), and gave up.

Thursday morning we were moved into the less-intense side of the Intensive Care Unit, where all but two of the kids had been operated on by the same doctor, in the last 2 days, so the whole ward was sporting the same awesome head-wrap of bandages. Julian was finally up to nursing, and that made us both feel much, much better, I can assure you. They’d removed one more of his IVs over the course of the night, and so he was a little bit easier to get in and out of his bed.

He’d only been taking in food for a day or so, but the residents were concerned about his digestive system, and mentioned that if he didn’t “go” soon they were going to have to start talking about suppositories. Bleh. Just the mention of the idea seemed to be enough for him, and my little champ filled the bed-nest they’d made for him. Once that disaster was cleaned up and the sheets were changed, they pulled out his catheter. When he started crying, a nurse (not our regular one) came and began to tease him a little bit. “Aw, that wasn’t so bad, was it?” He then, I kid you not, peed in her face. So, the bed had to be changed again.

The swelling was awful, but the morphine was letting him sleep comfortably, so I went home to sleep on Thursday night for the first time, leaving my mom at Julian’s bedside. I got home to snuggle my daughter, and found I wasn’t even going to have to cook. Kos and Elisa bought us dinner, and Elisa (and their two darling kiddos) delivered it and hung out.

Friday morning we arrived at the hospital, let my daughter snuggle Julian for a bit, and, lo and behold, his eyes were open! He was obviously feeling much better, too, and had taken his last dose of morphine at midnight…and with just Tylenol hadn’t been fussy or cranky at all. They finally took out the last of his IVs (leaving just the lock on his arm for easy injections if necessary) and told us we could take the heart monitor/blood pressure cuffs off for 4 hours at a time. For the first time in 4 days, I was able to hold my son in my arms and not have to worry about snagging some tube or setting off an alarm. It was glorious. We even got to dress him (in the clothes from Pabs' sister Sofia...perfect for the hospital since they could have the monitors on under them). Then Dr. Sun, the surgeon, came by to check on Julian. When he started talking, Julian lifted his head to look for him. “If he can lift that big head, he’s fine,” said Sun, who then popped the bandages and steri-strip off with one hand.

Shortly after they unhooked him, Pablo’s sister, Marina, and Tidiane came to Children’s and got to hold him. Marina is Julian’s Godmom, and we were thrilled she got to come see him in the hospital. After they left, our friend Jen (from Newman) came by, and (after some prodding) we got Liz to come, too. Liz was there when they ran Julian’s first tests back in December, and she watched Rory when we went to Julian’s big cranio appointment, so it was great for us to share the new-and-improved Julian with her.

The 5th floor pediatrician said Julian was he best-looking cranio case he’d ever seen, especially considering the fact that he’d had 4 sutures fixed instead of the usual one or two. That night both Pabs and I crashed at the ICU (we had a window seat and the nurses pretended not to notice the both of us). The next morning Armando and Ines arrived at the hospital, we all had breakfast, and the nurses took out his lock. He was free to go. We headed back to the house, took pictures, and then went to go have dinner with Uncle Bob.

So, Julian is home. He didn’t bruise from all that swelling, has been cleared to sleep however he wants (in bed with us) by his pediatrician, and is taking Tylenol 3-4x a day. That’s it. If you don’t see the incision, you’d never know anything had happened as he’s such a sweet baby, with such a perfectly round head.

Special thanks to my mom, who took off a week of her life to come up and get run ragged by Rory and sleep in uncomfortable ICU bed-chairs so that we could be with our son when he needed us and with our daughter when she missed us. This wouldn’t have been possible without her, and I wish there were more pictures of her and the kids, but she was busy cooking and stocking our freezer and entertaining Rory, and no one thought to document· I love you, Mom!


7th week Photos
9th week Photos
Big Sister Rory's Page