October 29, 2008

Come To The Fashion Show!



In case you missed it last year, here is a the recap of the 2007 NICU Fashion Show.  Here is the ad of our little family in the newspaper following the event.  I say it all of the time on this blog, but our babies are a miracle.  They are here by the grace of God, the staff at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital, and the Department of Neurosurgery at U of M.  The event this year will feature fashions by Vintage To Vogue, Elephant Ears (both in Kerry Town), as well as Land's End.  Greta's 2009 Calendar benefitting the St. Joseph NICU will also make it's debut at the event.  The Fashion show will take place on November 13th at 7 p.m. at 2800 East Huron River Drive (The Morris J. Lawrence Building at Washtenaw Community College).  The event is catered and doors open at 5:30 p.m. for a Silent Auction and Reception.  Tickets are only $25, so we hope to see you there! For more information call Greta if you know her number or 734-712-2564 if you don't.  If you are an out-of-towner you call call to purchase a calendar!

October 21, 2008

Neurosurgery Update



On the 14th, Niklas went to the University of Michigan for a neurosurgery follow up appointment.  This appointment was supposed to be in December but, for a couple of reasons, Greta and I had it bumped up.  A few weeks back, Niklas was especially cranky.  His disposition is usually very pleasant so, of course, we began to wonder about the shunt.  The poor kid does something out of character and automatically his Mom and Dad start doubting his ventricular hardware.  Little did we know that it was just the start of a month long cold that was invading our family.

The second reason we moved up the appointment was this bump on the top of Niklas's head, just above his forehead.  Back when he was in the NICU at St. Joe's, he had a temporary shunt implanted in this spot in hopes his hydrocephalus would clear up and a permanent device would not be necessary. This temporary device actually had a name, but I can no longer remember what it was.  More and more I realize I have blocked out many parts of that whole experience.  This device was a tiny little reservoir under the skin of his scalp into which the excess cerebral fluid would drain.  In essence, Niklas had a tiny little tube going from his brain and through his skull.   This tube drained the excess fluid in his brain when pressure built up into a plastic bubble implanted just beneath his skin.  When the bubble filled up, the doctors would remove the excess fluid with a needle.  When it came time to implant his permanent shunt, this temporary device had to be removed and the area that remained had to be patched up.  You can read more about the first shunt here.

There has always been a little bump where this device was, but recently Greta and I felt it was getting bigger.  I told this to Dr. Maher who, in my opinion, is one of the smartest people on earth.  He told us that he patched up the hole in Niklas's skull with what is called an absorbable plate.  Over time, these plates just dissolve once the bone has regenerated.  He said he has installed thousands of these without an issue until one recent case in which the body was rejecting the material and building up excess tissue on top as a result.  He wants us to keep an eye on this area to see if it continues to grow and remove the plate if it does.  In a nutshell, this poses no risk to Niklas's health and is purely cosmetic.  If surgery is required, he would go home the same day.

Niklas had to be sedated for his CAT Scan this time because the whole thing is just too scary. The poor guy couldn't eat anything all morning because of the sedation.  He gets knocked out for the scan and then they have to wake him back up right afterwards, which also happens to be nap time.  For the rest of the day Niklas couldn't even walk because he was intoxicated from the meds.  This infuriated the poor little man because he knows how to walk but he couldn't understand why things weren't working properly.  It was a rough day for us both and I don't think I will ever be able to look at my baby on a CAT Scan machine without tearing up.

Most importantly though, the ultrasound looked good.  It was about the same as it was 6 months ago.  The little pocket of fluid that he had surgery to alleviate a year ago is still there.  It is smaller post surgery but still there, although no longer a real concern of Dr. Maher's.  Niklas has been passing all of his milestones, says words in two languages, and is doing everything a little boy his age should be.  Niklas is, and continues to be, a miracle.  Praise God!

October 14, 2008

First Time Away


This past weekend, Greta and I had our first weekend away from the Triplets together!  We attended the wedding of our friends Kevin and Julie near Daytona Beach Florida.  Actually, we have been looking forward to this trip for almost a year now, and we didn't miss any opportunity to party it up.  I think Greta may still actually be sore from jumping up and down on the dance floor for 5 hours straight!  We left on Thursday morning, and upon waking up I started to feel a tickle in my throat.  I haven't been sick since the kids were in the NICU almost 2 years ago, and now I get a sore throat the morning of our first vacation together in ages.  I did not, however, let it slow me down in any way.  It was nothing that a few rum runners couldn't fix.

My parents were gracious enough to come down to our house and watch the kids for the weekend .  Thanks Mom and Dad!  If the trio wore them out, they didn't admit it.  The weirdest part about all of this is that we really didn't miss the kids.  That may sound terrible, but we knew that they were in good hands, and we hadn't been away in over 2 years.  After all we've been through, there was no time to spend missing anyone.  We enjoyed every minute of being away, and it was completely awesome and refreshing to see the monkeys when we returned on Sunday night.  Congratulations Kevin and Julie!

October 4, 2008

The Pumpkin Factory

Today we made a trip over to the Pumpkin Factory in Belleville.  For any locals reading, the Pumpkin Factory is better than Wiard's if you have young kids, and there is not an $8 admission charge. Lately I have been writing about how the kids have been trying our patience, but today was simply perfect.  No explanation is really necessary, just watch the slideshow.

October 1, 2008

Fall Is Here






This past weekend my Sister Sarah trekked to Michigan, from Hoyt Lakes Minnesota, to attend a wedding.  Since my parents were also attending, the three of them stayed with us for the weekend.  In the spirit of family, my Brother Ben and his wife Emily came over for a filet mignon BBQ on Sunday.  It was a gorgeous Michigan weekend, the type of weather for which people live in this state.  On Friday, we took a trip to Wiards Orchard in Ypsilanti Township. The kids were fascinated by the animals and the hayride, albeit a little scared at first.  Fall is here, and today it seems we made the transition rather quickly.