2007 – The last eve of the year!

I was just thinking to my self this morning that it has been almost a year (Jan 2nd) since Will Power was technically conceived.  I won’t say anymore on that subject, but I can’t believe it.  I also can’t believe how far we have come since then.

A long 10 month pregnancy

Birth (oh boy), and yes, it was a boy

Caring for a fragile newborn

Spending a milestone 2 month old birthday in the hospital

Having an infant in surgery

And last but not least, Will Power has his first respiratory infection.

So on this last eve of this year, I am praying and hoping that not only is our family safe and free of hospitals, but that everyone has a safe and wonderful New Year!  We love you all and thank you for all of your love and support.

Will 0.3

Today, Will is Version 0.3 – 0 years and 3 months.

We’re hanging out at the moment, and he’s watching Baby Einstein – Baby Beethoven.  We’re going to head out in an hour or so to get Mom for lunch, and then maybe Willpower will spend the afternoon helping her at work.

He’s starting to play with toys, which is a lot of fun.  He’s actually starting to play quite a bit.

On the medical front, everything is OK – the new PICC line is working great.  Our next doctor’s appointment is still January 2.  We don’t know when we can stop the antibiotics.  January 3 would be six weeks from the day we left Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital, but Carle Home Health has orders through January 10.

Will Sprung A Leak

Another holiday, another trip to the Emergency Room!

So you don’t panic: everything is fine, and Will is OK.

Last night, after we came home from Troy, we had changed into our delightful red Christmas pajamas, and were getting Willpower ready for bed.  He needed his medications at 11 PM, but as we started to flush his PICC line with saline, the solution started spraying everywhere, and his blood started moving back up and out of the line.  He had sprung a leak!  The PICC line had cracked open, just before the endcap/port.

We panicked, of course, and called the Home Health Care emergency number.  Our favorite nurse, Heather, called us back immediately (even on Christmas Eve) and tried to walk us through how to change out everything on the line from the point at which it entered his body upward, using the spare parts we’d been accumulating from all our in-home nursing visits.

After pulling back all the Tagederm and tape and exposing all the tubing and ports, the final parts wouldn’t separate, and we didn’t have the right replacement parts anyway.  Heather recommended we head to the E.R. to have them look at it.

At the Hospital, the Emergency Room doctors scared the crap out of us by talking about giving Will an entirely new PICC line at a different site, which would mean another round of sedation.  These doctors inspired no confidence whatsoever, and so Pam and I were ready to head down to St. Louis to Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital to hopefully find someone who had dealt with infant PICC lines and sedation.  Instead, this less-than-reassuring doctor called down the Neonatal Nurse Practitioner, and she reassured us that PICC lines on babies were a normal part of her routine.  After talking with her about the situation, Pam and I both calmed down, and the nurse decided to try to replace the exterior portion of the line rather than install an entirely new one.

Fifteen minutes later, we were done.  The nurse was magnificent, Pam was her helper, Willpower was a trooper (again!), and the installation of the new exterior parts went smoothly enough that we could give him a dose of antibiotics (his 11 PM dose at about 1:30 AM).  Everything was working properly, so we went home and collapsed.

We slept in a bit this morning, rising at about 8 AM and letting Will sleep until 10 AM.  After a nice breakfast of chocolate chip pancakes, Pam and Will are back sleeping on the couch as I write this.  We still haven’t showered or opened any presents, but we’re both pretty happy even without the gifts, knowing that things could have been much worse last night.

We’re going to spend the rest of the day at home, relaxing and just enjoying each other.  Pam works tomorrow, but I’m working at home all week.  Grandma Lois may come up for an overnight visit later this week, and hopefully, next week, Will’s antibiotics regimen will be over, his PICC line removed, and life can return to normal.

Merry Christmas!   Let’s hope that we can get past New Year’s without any more trips to the Hospital…

Message from the Hulten Family

We would like to take this time to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and to thank all of you for your countless blessings, thoughts and prayers for our family. It is truly our Christmas miracle this year to have Will in our lives. As we reflect back, it seems like it took a miracle to get him here, when he arrived was another miracle, and last but not least our Will Power made it through his infection (definitely a miracle). Merry Christmas to all – love The Hulten Family.

Two-Month Checkup

Will o.2 had his two-month “Well Baby” (whatever that means) checkup with his regular pediatrician this morning. Dr. Neena Tripathy was up-to-date on the latest in Will’s Great E. Coli Adventure, as Pam’s been maintaining a vicious phone circle between her office, the home health care folks, the insurance company and the pediatric orthopedists, infectious disease specialists and immunologists at Cardinal Glennon in St. Louis. We briefly recapped the entire experience for her before she echoed everything that the other doctors have been telling us: there’s really no way of knowing how or why Will caught this infection, or where it started.

Will got three of shots today, and had to drink something – his normal batch of two-month immunizations. We need to watch him closely over the next few days, and on January 2, her goes back to Cardinal Glennon so that the immunologists can test his immune system and make sure its reacting properly to everything that he got today.

Dr. Tripathy didn’t see any reason to change the antibiotics regimen, so we’ll continue that until January 10 or so.

He’s 12 pounds, 3 ounces, and 24 inches long – both very healthy. He’s showing no ill-effects from the infection or hip surgery, and is using both legs very well. His teachers at school (I hate calling it day-care) really enjoy him, and keep telling us how happy he is. He’s sleeping OK, eating OK, and loves to play and squeal and thrash about.

Basically, he’s a perfectly happy, healthy baby, and except for the IV line hanging off his right arm, you’d never know that he’d been sick. It’s quite a relief.

Will’s First Day

Pam just called me, bawling like crazy, after dropping off Will 0.2 at Little Hearts & Hands for the first time.  She’s headed to work, and I’m back at work, so we’re starting to get a little more normal around here.

We picked up our Christmas tree last night ($45!) and it’s been drying out in the garage all night.  Tonight we’ll bring it into the house and get it decorated, and hopefully the cats won’t destroy it the first night.  We’ve had so much ice and rain here that I doubt I’ll be able to do my orange-and-blue Christmas lights on the outside of the house this year.  Normally, I put them up Thanksgiving weekend, but this year we ran into a scheduling conflict.

Our plan this year is to spend a few days in Troy with the Adomite/Lenny side of the family, and then head home Christmas Eve so that Will can have Christmas morning at home.

We’re trying to find good presents for a three-month-old.  He seems to be craving more stimulation, but we’re having a hard time finding toys that entertain him without overwhelming him.  I’m wondering about a LeapPad, but I need to do more research.

Give Pam a call today or tonight to see how she’s doing.  She really was a wreck this morning after dropping off Willpower.