Henry Grayson – 9:20am on 3/14/16, 2lbs 3.3oz.
Oh our little Henry Grayson. Are any of you fans of the show Once Upon a Time? If you are, then you know that the boy in the show, Henry, became the author. (Sorry if that was a spoiler for anyone, but really, that happened like forever ago…) Anyway – when this little guy’s water broke it was like he was writing the story for the triplet’s arrival. So, when Diane and I were looking at their pictures and trying to decide on names, she said “he has to be Henry because he is writing the story”. Well, who was I to disagree? Grayson is derived from a book series by author Anne Bishop. A character goes by the name Gray – and he is a fighter. He comes back from brokenness to be the man he’s meant to be. So, Henry Grayson – writing his own story toward the man he’s meant to be. :sniffle sniffle:
As many of you know, Henry had the roughest start out of all of the triplets. The first night doctors discovered that there was blood in his stool. After testing they determined it was his and not Diane’s. So, the next day he was moved from the hospital where we delivered (St. Mary’s in St. Louis) to Cardinal Glennon. He went through several tests and nothing was conclusive. So, he underwent exploratory surgery to determine the origin of the blood. During that surgery the doctor said that a portion of his small bowel “looked abnormal”. She couldn’t put her finger on exactly what was wrong, but knew that she couldn’t leave it in there. So she removed 10cm of his small bowel. As it was around St. Patrick’s Day, you can see in this picture that she gave him a shamrock shaped bandage. It was just a little something that meant so much to us. His surgeon is in the reserves and like a week later had to go on location for 2 weeks. On her way out, in her fatigues, she stopped in to check on him one more time.
Because of his surgery, they only gave Henry total parenteral nutrition (TPN) though – no breast milk through a feeding tube. It seemed like daily they were doing some x-ray or scan to see what was happening with his intestines. He wasn’t passing any stool and the doctors were concerned. They put him on a medication called mucomyst and started talking about the possibility of him having cystic fibrosis. Also, they were giving the poor boy enemas every day. While the possibility of cystic fibrosis loomed heavy over us, we were more concerned about his immediate condition. The mucomyst made him miserable. He was puffy and didn’t really want to be held or messed with at all. Add to that the side effect of long-term TPN in premature infants is an impact on the liver. So, his direct bilirubin numbers were high and he was looking yellowed. It was heartbreaking to watch his struggle.
I have to say, we have never been more excited about poop than the day Henry finally passed his last meconium plug. That seemed to be the turning point for him. Once his bowels were moving they started tube feeding breast milk and he never looked back. To this day the boy loves to eat! As the food amount increased, everything else started to fall into place. His liver numbers improved. The IVs came out. He passed his hearing and vision exams. It was like he heard the doctors and nurses talking about discharging his brothers and he was not going to be left behind.
Henry came home on May 4th and our family finally felt whole. We celebrated our first Mother’s Day with all of our babies. Henry continues to be our fighter. He is now the largest of the triplets, weighing in a little over 14 pounds. (This was the old bathroom scale trick, so it’s not 100% accurate, but he feels a lot heavier than the other two boys.) He rolls from front to back and smiles with a little twinkle in his eyes. Out of all three boys Henry has been the most vocal since the day we brought him home. He has been making at least 10 different sounds for months now. In the beginning all of his vocalizations sounded angry, even if he wasn’t crying. I think he was releasing all of that pent up NICU angst – I mean, the boy had more enemas in his short few weeks of life than anyone I’ve ever known. That alone would create some anger…lol. Since he has been home, further testing was done and confirmed that he does not have cystic fibrosis. After all of his issues were resolved in the NICU he has had no further problems.
He’s a light in the darkness of the world, a daily inspiration to keep fighting. He’s our Henry, our author, and I can’t wait to see the story he writes for himself.