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the eric update - howdy stranger

if only because some of my family members that are checking the site regularly might be confused by all the strangers commenting, i'll point out that this site is getting quite a bit of 'traffic' from boingboing. i'm not going to even try to explain boingboing to my nana in machias, maine ( maybe it helps to know that xeni, the person who posted the link, also does occasional work for npr? ) who is getting the daily update after it's printed out, but suffice to say, boingboing has a very large readership and there are many, many, many more people rooting for eric.

in fact, between the "regulars" who've been visiting the site for years and are patiently waiting for me to go back to more boring topics, the scads of family members that are hitting 'refresh' every ten minutes, the many moms ( and a few dads, likely ) from ( the thread was graciously started by my sister and it's amazing to see it take on a life of its own ), the dads from daddytypes and everyone else from from bloggingbaby, i think it's safe to say that eric developed quite a large support network. and what a varied network it is - i imagine everyone bumping elbows at his nicu release party, saying chummy things to each other.

i obviously knew that his story might interest a few people beyond family and "the regulars", but i really had no idea that so many people would find it so captivating.

update: so, why is this site still "up" after already exceeding my monthly bandwidth quota, even before getting the boingboing treatment? because michal over at cornerhost is a true gentleman ( and fascinated by the story, i suspect ). so, in a certain way, you could say that this site is being brought to you by michal and you should remember that when you're looking for a hosting provider with a "human touch".

bookmark: ::digg it ::furl ::reddit ::yahoo ::
7/20/2004 07:16:00 AM 14 comments


I knew that your story has a broad and national audience that will benefit from your saga. I had hoped that many others would find the site. You are a natural born writer Eric. Who would have guessed that your son would lead to your discovery! I will keep your Nana in Machias updated on blogger terminology (although you know that I am techno-disabled and learning myself). She reads your update everyday. We are all learning a lot about micro-premies and the emotions of being a new parent of such a special child. When you combine the story of Eric IV with your own birth, it is the stuff the novels are made of. Much love today to all 3 of you. Love, Mom

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:36 AM  

early on, E4 has had the ability to captivate people, so it's no surprise to me that this story has caught on in so many places on the web. I will also mention that some of my friends over at The Online Christopher Walken Fan Club also are rooting for E4, and several playgroup moms here in Charlotte, as well as a couple of my high school friends from Grand Blanc, who are on my daily email route. They might not check the blog like the others, but they get reports through me. I was being anything but gracious when I first posted on LOL. I was in a true panic for information on what could be going on with Kris. But, what started as a "Help! What's Happening??!!" thread suddenly took off into a wonderful journal thread with lots of people checking in daily, including other former NICU/preemie parents as well as an experienced NICU nurse.

Yep, E4 is already a popular little guy I'd say. If you were to count up his cheering section, I think we could probably fill a stadium easy. As my pal Snackrack on said "He's stuck around for a reason. If truth be told, he's already touched more hearts in 15 days than most people do in a lifetime. But there are great things ahead for him in this life. Mark my words. This boy is destined for greatness." I think she's right!

Hugs - C

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:40 AM  

Not sure if I can add a bit of hope to your situation by relaying my own situation, but here goes:

I was born 3 weeks, 11 days premature, with a birth weight of 2lbs 14 oz. I quickly dropped to 1lbs 10 oz, and was given little to no chance of survival by doctors at the time (1974). Low birth-weight preemies hardly ever had a chance at the time, given the available technology. My mom wasn't even able to hold me as I went straight to ICU for life-saving attempts. I was put on oxygen, and as it is difficult to gauge the 'right' amount for a preemie -- too little and you might die, too much and damage to vital functions can result -- suffered from partial blindness. I was placed in incubation for nearly six weeks. The doctors continued to have such a low prognosis for recovery, saying things to my mother like, "There's little hope for him having a normal life. He'll likely be retarded," that I wasn't even issued a birth certificate until nearly a month after my birth-date.

I'm sure my mother can fill in additional and more accurate details, but this is what I remember of the story. It was discovered that I would need glasses sometime around my 2nd-3rd birthday. I was unable to walk or talk until sometime in my 3rd year. However, by age four I was reading, talking, and living a normal, productive life. Since then, I've gone on to live as any of my normal-birthweight peers would, the only indicators of my plight being glasses and/or contacts for myopia and astigmatism from 'retinopathy of prematurity' (ROP) and scars on my hairline from feeding tubes (placed in my head, neck, arms, and ankles after they ran out of places to stick needles). All in all, very lucky. I am told that I had many people praying for me that felt I needed protection, and everyone that loved my mother and me giving as much support as possible during the difficult journey from preemie to normal weight child. This support is even more critical than the medical care your son receives, and will mean ever so much to you and your wife during this time.

Best of luck, and my thoughts are with you,

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:56 AM  

don, thanks for sharing your story. i was a '26 weeker' myself way back in the dark ages of 1972 - weighing in at 2 pounds 8 ounces ( or something like that ) [1].

my parents can relay a scarily similar story of having no chance of survival - or even if i were to survive i'd be "retarded" and have no lung capacity etc. when i tell the story to eriv IV's nicu nurses they just shake their head in amazement, as many of them were just getting started then and know just how horrible the odds were.

and yet, i turned into a completely normal adult ( can't you just hear the guffaws from the family ).

it certainly makes things easier to hear other people's stories and know that in the end, many others have happy stories to tell when they finally leave the nicu.


By Blogger e3, at 12:27 PM  

I agree with your Mom even though I do not know her. Is there anything you are not talented at? My friends and I keep hoping for all the best for you, Kris, and E4.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:07 PM  

rudy -

you're being far too kind. apparently, i'm not so talented at giving a micropreem a massage [1] :-)

i might have to take a raincheck on going out for a beer in the near future, but sooner or later i'm going to force you to drag me to the bar and buy me a beer.


By Blogger e3, at 1:13 PM  

Good luck to your little Eric. I also had a premie 10 years ago named Eric. He was born 11 weeks early and today you couldn't tell by looking at him. Hope all goes well!


By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:35 PM  

I'm one of the moms at and I check in on Candy's thread as often as I can. Just wanted you to know of one more person who is rooting for you all! Wishing you the best and thinking of you and little E4.


By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:24 PM  

I'm impressed with your courage in posting your family trials in such a public forum.

My wife & I had a little girl who was born @ 29 wks, about five years ago. You sure learn a lot about doctors, nurses and hospitals when you spend days at a time in the NICU.

Some advice for you - doctors and nurses are humans only. Be skeptical and ask questions. Don't allow anyone to push you into anything you're not comfortable with.

Also, our daughter now has a slightly elongated skull from spending her first eight months laying in her care bed - make sure they're repositioning your little one frequently, and make sure that the head gets propped in place to allow it to rest on the back of the head for awhile. Our daughter's problem seems to be cosmetic at worst, but we have friends we met in the NICU who have a little girl with a severely malformed skull due to the same thing. Sadly, this is a common problem with kids that spend time in the NICU and should be completely preventable.

All our best wishes to you and your family - we'll be praying for you.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:58 PM  

May the Lord of peace Himself give you peace always in every way.
2 Thessalonians 3:16 To Everyone who is praying for Eric the 4th we thank you from the bottom or our hearts. God answers prayers. The Snowdeals.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:45 PM  

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:45 PM  

re:being skeptical and asking questions - i heartily agree with advice. all of the official visitors to the nicu are encouraged to write a journal entry [1] that documents in excrutiating detail eric's current status and what has been done and what they are planning on doing. we've found that everyone from the neonatologist, to the nurse practitioners and the registered nurses have been very happy to spend as much time as it takes to explain and explain again any discrepancies and changes in the care plan.

re: the elongated head. this is always a concern. our nurses, rather bluntly, refer to the effect as "toaster head" ( "because it looks like their head was put in a toaster" ). they are very diligent about moving him every two hours to diminish the effect.

i also just deleted a "double post" of 2 Thessalonians 3:16 that presumably one or both of my parents just left. we very, very, very (!) much appreciate everyone expressing their support in whatever way makes sense to them, but i want to clarify because it was simply signed "The Snowdeals" that kris and i do not have a preference as to how people express their support; we want everyone to remember that people are coming from all over the world with all manner of beliefs and upbringings.

not that we mind people saying prayers - we just want to make sure that everyone knows that we accept all expressions of support ( including the native american ceremony that was done in his honor on saturday ).


By Blogger e3, at 11:47 PM  

I hope someone caught my dyslexia: "I was born 3 weeks, 11 days premature, with a birth weight of 2lbs 14 oz. I quickly dropped to 1lbs 10 oz, and was given little to no chance of survival by doctors at the time (1974)"

SHOULD have been...

I was born 11 weeks 3 days (my mom reports 4 days...).

So, yes, even after 30 years, there are some after effects ;)

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:58 AM  

" including the native american ceremony that was done in his honor on saturday "
Oh, how wonderful Eric. I would really like to hear more about that - did you and Kris attend? It's great that so many people care, no matter how they choose to send their support. Every little bit helps.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:01 PM  

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