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the eric update: the best day. evah!

nothing but good news today. early in the morning, the doctors decided to take kris off her magnesium sulphate and discontinue her IV completely. so no more tangled mess of cords coming out of her. and her labs all look more positive, so i think it's safe to say that she's starting the "normalization" process. she's eating regular solid foods and even has real pajammas on, so that all makes her happy. and in the evening she finally got the go-ahead to take a shower. i guess the novelty of a sponge bath wears off pretty quickly.

even better - kris got word that she could see eric! despite all the pictures, her initial reaction was to gasp at how small and fragile he appeared to be amidst all the equipment. we stayed for about an hour and watched as they prepared to put him on a new ventilator. we talked, and touched and even saw him open his eyes! that's right, his eyes were fused shut and nobody was expecting him to open them for another week or two, but i guess he's enjoying proving everyone wrong. he'd struggle to keep them open and slowly start closing them, until i'd say his name and then he'd try to open them again.

the new ventilator is a big step for him. he's been on what is known as a high frequency oscillator which rapidly causes his chest to rise and fall as it helps him take 300 to 400 "breaths" a minute. this is absolutely necessary when he first arrived, but he shouldn't be on it for too long as it can affect his long term lung capacity. so, it's a really good sign that he's on a new vent called a "baby log" which is in "continuous positive airway pressure" or CPAP mode. so no more oscillating and he'll essentially be doing most of the breathing while it's in CPAP mode. this is another big stabilization step, so it's fantastic news. he will probably be on his new ventilator for awhile. or not, i guess, considering how much he enjoys beating the odds.

[ update: he's been on the new vent for a few hours and he doesn't like it so much as his blood gasses started looking bad - mainly due to him forgetting to breathe. so they've taken him out of cpap mode and put him in 'pressure support ventilation' (PSV) mode with a volume guarantee (VG) of 3 cc's and a backup rate of 44 breaths a minute. so essentially if he forgets to breath, the machine ensures that the makes 44 breaths a minute and it also makes sure that he's getting 3cc's of air, which is about the capacity of his super small lungs. ]

and, proving that he really does have snowdeal genes, they started giving him caffeine today which he seemed to enjoy. i always said that you can't start drinking caffeine too early or too often. no, they aren't trying to create a coffee addict, but rather the caffeine somehow helps him to remember to breath. micro-preems apparently have a bad habit of forgetting that they aren't in the womb and simply forget to take breaths. it's not unusual for babies to be released and still be on a caffeine schedule as they are still forgetting to inhale.

he's been under the "jaundice light" again today and he's looking a little yellow, but that's completely normal and the least of anyone's concerns.

thanks so much too everyone who has sent flowers. they kept coming yesterday and today and we're starting to look like a regular florist shop. the room is really fragrant and nurses and been poking their heads in because they can smell the flowers all the way down the hall. word has spread around the floor and everyone is so surprised at the amount of support she's getting. in just the hour that we were in the nicu seeing eric, she received six arrangements, and was obviously very happy. again many, many thanks to everyone for sending the flowers. considering how much she's improved in the past 24 hours, i'd say the plan worked perfectly.

in fact, you all can stop sending flowers because there's a small chance that she might not be here to get them. amazingly, she's making such rapid progress, that they are hinting that she might be released tommorrow evening. if not tommorrow, then almost certainly on saturday. her recovery is simply amazing as it's not uncommon for the preeclampsia "10 percenters" to take weeks normalize.

lots and lots of people all over the world have let us know that they're sending us good thoughts in whatever way seems appropriate for them and i must say that while i'm typically a skeptic's skeptic, it certainly doesn't seem to be hurting; we've had nothing but good news and both eric and kris are making surprising recoveries.

but while kris is clearly out of the danger zone, eric still has a tough road ahead. amongst many other impending issues, everyone is going to be very vigilent about infections. one bout of pneumonia can wipe out all this wonderful progress.

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7/08/2004 10:34:00 PM 1 comments


That's great news Eric. Please post a list of things that would cheer you and Kris once she arrives home (and post your address too) It will be hard to leave the hospital cradling mere lillies and roses, when you'd rather be leaving with a precious bundle of joy. Also, look into doing voice/sound therapy for E4. Remember that he's used to hearing Kris talk all day, plus all the gurgles and wooshes of the womb. If you're allowed, make a recording of her voice and have it played near him for times when she's not there. The voice stimulation will be good for him - all the machines and ventilators are a good substitute for womb sounds, but you can also pick up a "Momma Bear" that plays womb sounds if they'll allow it.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:22 AM  

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