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the eric update - day 10: care. kangaroo style.

so i guess you really can't prepare mentally for what you're going to experience in the nicu. yesterday we had no idea we'd spend the day getting our son to breath and today we thought we'd probably walk in and find him on the vent.

instead the nicu nurse exclaimed, "how'd you like to try some kangaroo care today!"

it was one of those moments where you want to start running laps around the nicu stations yelling, "yeeeeeeehaaaaaaawwwww!" but you don't. because that would be rude and self indulgent. not everyone else is having such a good day. so you just walk over to your station with a certain jaunt to your step and get ready for Another Perfect Moment. incidently, this is a good example of the subtleties and nuances that one must observe while becoming a 'nicu parent'. you're in a fish bowl with a half a dozen people on their own emotional rollercoasters and you're all simultaneously trying to figure out how to "become" a parent in front of complete strangers.

kangaroo care is simply a way of holding a premature baby so that there is skin-to-skin contact. the process is fairly simple - or as simple as you can get when you're holding a baby who has attached a variety of sensors, wires and tubes; eric, wearing only a diaper, is placed against mine or kris' bare chest. in addition to providing both parents with a great way to bond with your child, it has been proven to bestow a range of physiological benefits to the child, from stabilizing the baby’s heartbeat, temperature and breathing to boosting a premature baby’s brain development. and it's a whole lot of fun.

kris held him for an hour and indeed, his breathing and heart rate improved, as evidenced by a lack of apnea alarms. of course, as soon as the nurse put him on my chest, his oxygen dropped and we basically spent 10 minutes trying to get him to breath deeper before giving up and putting him in his bed. feeling like i got the short end of the kangaroo care stick, i decided to give him a massage with an ointment that smooths his skin, prevents water loss and helps him retain heat.

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7/14/2004 08:16:00 PM 6 comments


I am so happy they started the Kangaroo care already. From everything I have read about it, it provides such great benefits for both baby and parents. I hope that this will become a daily ritual for you all.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:00 PM  

That's so cool. This child is ahead of schedule on everything! I read that typically Kangaroo care starts when the baby reaches 28 weeks gestation. Wow -he's a superstar. Perhaps he'll inspire other babies in the NICU to make improvements when they see how well he's doing :)

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:23 AM  

I couldn't wait to see how Eric IV is doing today. I feel like yelling yeppppeeeeee too. I could do that here in my little office but I'm afraid that Nana might have a heart attack. (Greatgran) Nana Rier is following his progress daily too. Seems strange but I only recently learned the term bradycardia - but it was because her heart was slowing down to 29 beats a minute. We were already to have a pace maker operation when I discovered that her eye drops for glaucoma can cause bradycardia and the chronic bronchitis she has been suffering. Since we changed her eye drops, the bradycardia stopped and lungs are much better. So....both Eric IV and Nana Rier are progressing well. Treasure each day. Thanks so much for keeping us up to date. We look forward to it everyday. Love, Mom

P.S. Is anyone else out there having dreams about Eric IV? I keep forgetting to tell you that I have been dreaming about him almost everynight. I just keep seeing him - and feel like I am close by. Good dreams.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:36 AM  

Funny you should mention that. I had a weird dream that Oprah Winfrey brought a few tiny premature babies on her show.. no parents, just the babies - she introduced them one by one, and pulled them out of the inside of her sweater. The audience clapped. Not sure if one was E4, but they certainly all looked like him.
What can I say, I have weird dreams.

PS - Glad Nana Rier is doing better, Monica told me about the eyedrops causing havoc.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:34 AM  

ha! that oprah dream is funny. unfortunately, i can't say that i've been remembering my dreams very well of late, due to the general lack of quality rem sleep :-)

By Blogger e3, at 11:48 AM  

Ok...this family psychic link is getting a little weird these days. Ever since I got back from Michigan I have been dreaming about Eric IV. Maybe this is our way of keeping him in our thoughts 24/7 and sending nothing but love and positive healing energy to him (and his mom and dad of course). I am sure somehow he knows how much he is thought of and loved. Who knows...maybe he is dreaming about all of us too :-)


By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:14 PM  

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