Today we got our first glimpse at Calvin’s new scar.
It’s not as bad as I thought – our neurosurgeon seems to be super conservative with haircuts, which is pretty rare for neurosurgeons – they usually do a number on kids’ hair!
For his shunt, she cut just a tiny patch of hair – she even saved it for us in a specimen bottle labeled
“Calvin’s first haircut.”
(It’s embarrassing how much I cried before the surgery when I thought about how much hair she would have to cut off. Man, other kids’ pictures I saw were BAD. There is even a onesie that says “my neurosurgeon did it” for babies with shunts.)
She didn’t cut ANY of Calvin’s hair for this one!
One more thing to be grateful for!
New battle wound.
Another thing we’ve been battling is anemia.
It’s normal for babies Calvin’s age to be a little anemic, but with everything going on –
not eating for several days, losing blood from draws and surgeries, etc –
Calvin is really anemic, almost dangerously so.
Being anemic also means it will take much longer to heal from his surgery, and possibly not have enough energy to breathe on his own when we try to wean him off the vent.
(I have been watching his blood levels drop for the past week, and noticing how very pale he was.
A few days ago I told Nate I wouldn’t be terribly disappointed if Calvin got a transfusion –
at least he would pink back up!
(I’ve seen it work like magic in the ER!)
Nate joked with the nurses that I wanted a cosmetic transfusion for him.)
Calvin’s blood is A+, just like his daddy.
I’m O-, so either of us could give blood to him.
Unfortunately, we need about 3 weeks in advance to do that, so Calvin got a stranger’s blood.
(It was O+, for those interested…I know I was!)
(If you look closely you can see the blood going into his left foot.)
Nate and I have a long history with blood donations.
At BYU we were program directors at the Center for Service and Learning, and we were in charge of all the blood drives at BYU.
We both infuse blood regularly at work – Nate in the OR, me in the ER.
Since moving to Las Vegas I’ve donated blood pretty much every 6 weeks.
(I was so proud to finally reach Gold Donor status and get my gold card, before getting pregnant.)
I have O- and CMV- blood.
It’s what they call “baby blood”.
Universal donor, plus cytomegalovirus negative – the blood they give to tiny babies or patients who are currently receiving chemotherapy.
I always used to think about the little babies who needed my blood, and donated as much as possible.
Now it’s my own baby who needed that blood.
I’m grateful to the stranger who donated so Calvin can start to properly heal.
Thank you to all the blood donors!!!