Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Vacation's ups and downs; Surgery soon; Many photos

Loki and we successfully embarked on our first vacation--and our first trip out of town--in over a year. We are on Santa Catalina Island, off the coast of Los Angeles. We came here because Mom preferred a warm beach, and Loki can’t fly. I like that there are very few cars--mainly golf carts. We are staying in the single small and quaint village, Avalon, and not doing much of anything. Although our days still have all the details of feeding pump, breast pump, medicines, and more, it is wonderful to be out among the palm trees, beach sand, and blue ocean.

Packing and traveling were a different matter. It was very complex to remember what all to take. We have an entire large suitcase (and part of another) devoted solely to Loki’s stuff! The drive is normally only 7 hours, and then a one hour boat ride. But we took almost 48 hours to go door to door.

What has been great and simple is Loki himself. His behavior is wonderfully easy. He is satisfied and apparently entertained sitting in one place for quite a while, with just a couple toys, or looking around as we walk. For example, as we reorganized our luggage in our hotel room in L.A., Loki rolled around awake in his crib, just happily babbling, for an hour and a half--and then fell asleep. He has hardly cried besides just a few minutes before sleep. If it wasn’t for all his medical issues, Loki would be one of the easiest babies around.

Unfortunately, Mom has a cold! She has the sniffles and feels drained. Loki has symptoms as well. His nose is runny, and just now he cried for a long time before falling asleep. He must have his first cold someday, but during vacation seems to be an unfortunate coincidence.

Loki will get a G tube--a feeding tube directly into his stomach. This requires surgery, general anesthetics, and 48 hours in the hospital. It is scheduled for one week from this Friday, so we’ll be in the hospital Oct. 2 to 4. Unfortunately, that is the weekend that some friends from the Old Country (Richard and Maaike) will be here, and the weekend of a large free music festival in Golden Gate Park to which we planned to take Loki. But so it goes. We asked for the surgery to be after the vacation and before Loki’s birthday, so we can’t complain.

Loki had an abdominal ultrasound to examine a lump in his gut. It came back good. He had another round of blood work to examine the bicarbonate level. This was high earlier, but is now normal. Loki’s fever is still present, but a bit lower.

Of course, Loki continues to develop. Quite well, in fact: We received his discharge report from his early interventionist, and he is at the 7 to 10 (or even 12!) month level of development in most skills, even though his “adjusted age” (the times since his due date) is 7.5 months. His range of motion has increased: He can now twist and turn to pick up toys as he sits. Loki has begun to move from sitting to tummy or all fours, and he is just about to crawl. His sounds now include “b.” And he is developing opinions. When we take a toy away, or leave, he often distinctly protests.

Almost crawling:


Last session with early interventionist Barbara:


Our gear in the ferry station: big red suitcase, big blue backpack, big stroller, small black roller, and orange shoulder bag:


Loki:


Mom:


Long Beach (part of LA):


I’m on a boat:


Avalon:


Mom gets her feet wet:


Dad, stroller, beach:


Sleeping on Dad:


Hiking with Dad in the botanical garden:


Happy family (Note that Loki is sleeping and being fed while on this hike):


Ready for the beach:


Avalon again:

11 comments:

berkeleygal77 said...

Amazing pictures as always! I am so happy for you all that you are on vacation. But I especially like the picture of Loki and Barbara. It's like they're preparing for a race and Loki will for sure win!

Anonymous said...

I'm so happy for you guys! Enjoy the sun, the water, each other. Ah vacation and a blessed change of locale. Yay for you
Love Esti

Richard en Maaike said...

YEAH, one week from now and we will be there. Too bad Loki's hospital days will be exactly in the weekend (as we all were hoping for the midweek), but it's ok. We'll manage with the five of us. Maybe it's still possible for the two of you to go out. It's so funny that Loki can be compared with Flo when we were at your place last year. Hope the colds are over (and Loki comes over it by himself), and we won't get one in the meantime.
XX Maaike

Mascha Rodeck said...

I'm so happy for you that you got to go on this little trip, and I am hoping that a few minutes here and there it might even feel relaxing.

Enjoy the sun and the palm trees and the waves and just the different environment, if not the serenity of a real vacation with nothing to worry about.

Looking forward to seeing you soon. Anna is asking about Loki already.

Hugs.
Mascha

Elizabeth said...

Avalon looks like heaven - so glad you are having your first family vacation! What a milestone!

Enjoy your time together - and away.

Our love, liz

fransje melief said...

What a blessing to be away together for the first time, enjoy it!
Last night I had a class on Loki and all the other early Germanic gods . All I thought was: Loki really fits him exactly: a happy & mischevious troublemaker. From all your writing I can tell he really lives up to his name.

Love, Fransje.

Kyra said...

It sure looks like paradise to me. And maybe this cold will get along better wiht a relaxed state of mind! Enjoy each other, these rare family getaways are worth millions.

Love,

Kyra

Circe said...

Wat goed van jullie te lezen en de vakantieplaatjes te zien. Veel sterkte met de ziekenhuis opname. Dat Loki zich op zn verjaardag dan weer helemaal goed en de ouwe mag voelen. Lieve groet, Circe

Suzan said...

Lieve Loki,

Kusje van Phileine

(Moest ik van Phileine schrijven).

Wat fijn dat de uitslagen goed waren! Heel veel sterkte met de operatie! En een hele fijne verdere vakantie gewenst!

Liefs,
Suzan

marieke said...

Loki is so cute, In his vacation outfits he looks like a real hunk.
The sun and being outside must be a great feeling. I wish you energy for the upcoming surgery. In 8 weeks I will be with you! Would you like it if i buy Loki shoes for his birthday? We'll call, XX Marieke

Greet said...

Lieve familie, wat heerlijk dat jullie op vakantie zijn, jammer dat Loki weer naar het ziekenhuis moet.
Maar die sterke jongen zal het wel weer goed doen, dat hij zoveel aan kan is toch een wonder, en die 2 geweldige ouders ook, ik ben echt trots op jullie, lieve groet van Greet

About Loki Sky

Loki Sky is a special little man. He was a very early micropreemie, weighing only 610 grams (1 lb, 5 oz) after 24 weeks, 3 days gestation, born to an American Father and a Dutch Mother in Berkeley, California on October 18, 2008.

On January 11, 2009, while still in the hospital NICU, his one kidney stopped working. It was repaired after three surgeries. After spending time in three hospitals in three cities, Loki came home on February 17. He struggled with eating, and then stopped in July, leading to 8 days in the hospital, a failure-to-thrive diagnosis, and a NG feeding tube. On October 10, a minor surgery installed a G feeding tube. Another procedure replaced it with a new one, and then again with a Mic-Key button in Jan. 2010.

In August 2010, he and his parents moved to the Netherlands.

Read about his first name.
Read & hear about his middle name.
See photos.
See videos.

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