He is now eating much better and putting on weight, which pleases us all no end. Here’s a more posed photo of Peter, fully recovered from his hospital adventure, just over three weeks old.
It may be awhile yet before I write about his trip to the hospital, because it reinforced some old lessons for us about the current state of health care, it taught us some new ones as well, and I’m still awaiting detailed information (e.g. an itemized breakdown of the $13,000 bill we received in the mail today). The good news is that the quality of care we received was excellent, administered by folks who were kind and concerned and knowledgeable. The bad news is that just about none of it was helpful, except probably the glucose/saline IV they gave him when he first arrived. But more on that later.
It isn’t obvious from the picture, but Peter has Down’s Syndrome. At first we weren’t sure—the eyes suggested it, but from day one he exhibited almost none of the other physical characteristics that are common to DS babies, such as lack of muscle tone. So two weeks ago (the day before the trip to the hospital) Debbie took him to a medical lab and had blood drawn for the necessary genetic test. That came back a few days ago, and he tested positive for the most common (95% of cases) type of DS.
The good news is that so far he hasn’t demonstrated most of the common symptoms or behaviors that lead to developmental problems, at least in a major way. And the better news is that we are finding lots of sources of good information, books and videos and area support groups, which are teaching us some of the more subtle things to watch for and correct in the early stages (typical difficulties with nursing, for example). Best news of all, maybe, is that they ran an echocardiogram on Peter while in the hospital and found that he has no heart problems, something that affects 50% of DS babies.
Meanwhile the routine around here is returning to normal—and by that I mean normal for just after a new baby has arrived. Debbie is dead tired from frequent night feedings, and the kids are doing a bit more than usual to keep the house organized and food on the table, just as with new babies of the past. And we’re at least as happy as we’ve ever been when a new baby arrived, maybe more so since mom and especially dad are well into the years where it is ever more a (pleasant) surprise to learn that God has blessed us again.