The cardiac team has decided on a "wait and see" plan for Helena.
She's growing, just not as quickly as they had hoped, but she is steadily putting on weight. She is still battling the cold (for realz, all the adults in the family are still battling the damn cold), and her cardiologist said it's actually a good sign that she's handling the cold so well. She's fighting it off on her own, which is showing how strong she is, so that's good news.
They're going to let her keep growing and see what happens. She's doing well right now so they don't want to rush into anything, and they're hoping in a few more months she'll have grown into her shunt and then they can put off surgery as long as possible.
The one thing we do need to work on is getting her to eat orally again. We've been doing dips, which means dipping her pacifier into her formula and putting it in her mouth while the NG tube feed is happening so she's getting some sort of oral stimulation, but she is still refusing the bottle and she's still not latching on to the bottle or the pacifier.
I've made an appointment with a speech therapist at our local hospital (NOT the hospital she had surgery at, with the stupid speech therapist we hated) and I'm hoping she can give me some guidance as to how to get Helena to eat orally again. She was up to half her feeds by mouth before the cold knocked her out, so I'm hoping we can make her relearn how to do that. So we'll see how that goes, I'm hoping it's a better experience than the one we had with the speech therapist earlier.
Other than that we're to keep doing what we're doing and let Helena take the lead and show us what she needs.
I'd also like to thank everyone once again. It's stupid and cliche, but it's also true - you really realize who truly cares about you when something bad happens in your life and the outpouring of love and support and prayers has been amazing and we appreciate all of it. Our eyes have been opened that some relationships aren't what we thought they were, but we've also realized how strong others really are. We have a long road ahead of us, and we're so grateful that we have all the love and support that we do going forward. So once again - thank you.
Despite all her troubles, she's a happy girl