Theo definitely has a cold. I said in the previous post that I thought that's what it was at first and then changed my mind, but following that post, he began sneezing a lot and producing tons of snot. He ran a fever on Saturday of 101.7 and threw up several times. When I called the doctor, he told us that babies frequently throw up when they have colds due to swallowing excess mucus. The fever came down after giving tylenol and he slept most of the day and night all weekend. He still has some problems with coughing and gagging with lots of snot, but he is definitely feeling better. Jamie caught Theo's cold and is wearing a mask around the house and in general feels crappy. I have been taking Zicam and that Airborne stuff to fend it off and I think I have been pretty successful, no signs of any cold.
Jamie met with the guy who is putting together the DVD for us and I think it is going to turn out really well. We spent all weekend going through every one of the video tapes we have made of Theo since his birth and all the photographs, picking out the best ones for the DVD. It was really hard to watch the videos of Theo, especially the clips where he is trying so hard to imitate our facial expressions and to talk. Just before all this happened, he had just begun clearly studying our faces and trying to imitate our facial expressions and sounds. There are couple of clips where he is making his "oh, oh, oh" sounds and they just broke my heart. There is one where I am sticking my tongue out at him, rolling it. You know how some people can roll their tongues up? I remember learning in high school how that's a genetic thing. In the video, I am holding Theo on my knees and he is looking up at me while I roll my tongue at him asking him whether he can do it and you can see him thinking so hard and studying my face, working his little mouth and me sticking my tongue out at him over and over and then-- I don't know if it was coincidence or not, I don't think so--but he sticks out his tongue smiling and it is so cute!
Watching him on video evoked the strangest mixtures of feelings, first feeling the happiness, remembering, almost reliving, the feelings of the moment, laughing and happy, proud of his progress and his effort, and then being struck by this incredible sadness and longing for those times with my baby, regreting that they were so short and fleeting, wishing for it all back. Feeling the shaky, anxious flutterings in my belly, the clenching feeling around my heart, pressure in my chest, tears stinging my eyes. Knowing that I will never see him do these things again, that all that is gone. All this while holding my baby Theo in my arms. I looked down at him and it struck me so poignantly how drastically he and we have changed. It is like having a completely different baby. It's as if the baby in the videos has already gone. We have a different Theo and new relationships with our new Theo. And the heartbreak of knowing that the Theo we have now will only be with us for such a short time and then we will have to say goodbye to him too. He is so sweet and soft and warm, every second we have with him is spent holding and caring for him and loving him. Smelling his head, kissing his sweet face, his feet, his chubby little legs.
We go in on Friday at 6:00 a.m. for the g-tube placement. We are both feeling a little nervous about it. He will probably be in the hospital for 2 or 3 days. We just hope that all will go well and that this will provide some comfort for Theo and for us. But first he has to get through the surgery and then the healing. I will post after surgery on Friday afternoon to let everyone know how he is. After surgery he will be in what they call a "step-down" unit. Our home nurse Donna, who used to work in the MCV PICU, told us that a lot of the PICU nurses also work in the step down unit, so maybe he will have some of his PICU nurses who love him so much. That would be a huge relief to us. We'll just have to wait and see.
Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers.