Nurse and Mom MELANIE PRESTON from Knoxville, Tennessee writes about her first month with baby ELLIOTT PRESTON. Melanie has agreed to regularly update the We Are Daytrippers media project as Elliott was born with down syndrome.
Here is their story:
What a crazy month! It’s hard to believe I had this baby laying on my chest nearly a month ago in my car. Did that really happen?! It seems like a lifetime ago already.
I remember my mom telling me when I was young that I was growing up too fast and I thought she was crazy because I was never even going to be a teenager at the rate the years seemed to slowly drag on and on. Then I had my first child who is now a teenager himself and somehow all of a sudden my 20 year high school reunion approaches next year as well. It’s like I blinked and all of a sudden the years passed.
Maybe my Mom was right.
Perhaps it was the ten days in the NICU which helped this month pass by so quickly … or the multiple doctors and therapy appointments we have had since being home. I can’t even begin to count!
I won’t lie, while some people loathe the doctor I secretly love them so much. It’s fascinating to learn about different medical diagnosis and I love medical tests and analyzing the results. My husband on the other hand seems to be the more typical person and he finds appointments and mostly the waiting room his LEAST favorite place. His appointment enthusiasm is not on par with my own.
Now about Elliott: What we have found from all of these constant appointments is that he is doing really well. All of his doctors and therapists have been really impressed. Why you may ask? Well, let me tell you! Yes, his tone is low, which is typical for children with Down Syndrome and it is making him the most flexible, yet wiggly baby ever. He is able to track with his eyes on par with most 1 month old babies although getting him to open his eyes is a challenge in itself as it is rare for him to be awake. He passed the newborn hearing test and his heart defects are so mild he won’t be seeing a lot of our fabulous cardiologist. The pulmonary hypertension has resolved and he is off oxygen during the days now!
We have a follow up appointment next month and then he has to undergo a sleep study. If he passes the study he can then be oxygen free. Just being off of oxygen during the day is such a feeling of freedom. Imagine being tied all day long to a very, very, very long cord: not convenient.
As of last week, Elliott weighed in at nearly 9lbs (4.08 kilos) with his only feeding issue being a case of mild reflux. All my kids have had reflux in some capacity so this was not really a shock at all (it was more expected actually). Elliott is a great baby, pretty laid back most of the time unless he is hungry and then he can get pretty vocal but otherwise he is sleeping or hanging out. Overall it’s been a great sleep-deprived month just as I expected.
Who knows what the rest of 2014 will bring … or the next 10 years for that matter. I’ll be sure to update We Are Daytrippers about Elliott’s progress in the next few months. I hope as a family we can take the time to enjoy these newborn days and live in the moment because as I know all too well; one day I’m going to turn around and Elliott won’t be the baby on my chest but he will be the teenager rummaging through the kitchen cabinets eating us out of house and home.
Cheers to 1 month! xoxo The Prestons
Stay connected with Melanie and Elliott: @augustinmarch #amazingelliott