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the eric update - day 32: yet more alarms. bile. gifts!

yowza. even after getting a dose of lasix, which is a diuretic meant to help his get rid of the fluid that he was retaining after the transfusions, eric weighed in at 978 grams or 2 pounds 2.3 ounces, which would seem to indicate that his weight gain over the past few days was more "real" than not. yeah!

after a cluster of alarms in the morning, eric had a quiet afternoon and then started up with them again in the evening. though he "only" had eleven a's and b's by the time we left, they were disturbingly "deep" in the evening, requiring a lot of effort to get him "jumpstarted", necessitating a big jump in 'oooooohs' ( supplemental oxygen - remember, anytime they increase his 'ooooohs' he's at an increased risk for eye problems down the road. it's all so very, very connected. ). at a certain point i was left wondering if it might be best to just put him back on the vent to give him a rest. and we noticed before we left late at night that he was starting to use his intercostal muscles, which are the muscles lying between ribs, during his breathing; it might seem like a minor point, but it means that he's he's getting quite tired, and trying to recruit more muscles to help him to breath, which only makes him more tired. his nurses were still holding out hope that he'd settle down over the night, so i guess we get to play another round of The Waiting Game.

at one point i was able to capture one of those special nicu moments that involves bile, poop and breathing. the syringe is filled with a mixture of undigested milk with a little bile, which is what gives it a green tint. the tube gets filled when he refluxes fluid back out of his stomach. there are a number of reasons why he might reflux , one of which being that he might be trying to poop, which is why kris is checking his diaper.

if he struggles to poop, he'll put too much pressure on his abdomen and force the contents of his stomach up into the tube.

besides being slightly gross, the pressure will also affect his vagus nerve which will slow his heartrate and breathing, resulting in bradycardia or apnea - which is exactly what happened right after i took this picture.

amongst the postcards we received today, we also were happy to find a toddler t-shirt from some of eric's new friends who are attending penn. i doubt they have micropreem cloths at the penn giftstore so they sent him a 6 month shirt for a full term baby.

as you can see, it might be awhile before he's able to wear it.

thank you very much melody ( and your roommate too! ). i can't hardly wait until i can take a picture when it fits him properly. it's astounding to think that complete strangers have gone through all the effort to send him such a gift and words really can't describe how touching we find the gesture.

we also received a bunch more postcards today. it means a great deal to us to be able to walk into the nicu and read everyone's supportive postcards. i need to get my act together and find a way to show everyone where all his cards are coming from. special thanks go out to adam and johanna who are friends from california who appear to be traipsing around california and sending postcards from los angeles to sonoma to san francisco. eric IV enjoys each and every one of them ( as do we, of course ). thanks!

later in the evening we would get the chance to put him under a super soft blanket that some friends gave eric when he first arrived in the nicu. the nurses all commented on how comfortable he looked nestled in it. it's big enough that i think he'll be able to enjoy it for his entire stay. he seemed to like to rub his hand against the plush border of the blanket.

much, much later in the evening ( o.k. really, it was early, early, early the next morning ) we called the nicu and eric had finally settled down with his alarms, so it looks like we can sleep relatively easily.

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8/05/2004 11:50:00 AM 0 comments


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"it is hard to be brave," said piglet, sniffing slightly, "when you're only a Very Small Animal." rabbit, who had begun to write very busily, looked up and said: "it is because you are a very small animal that you will be Useful in the adventure before us."

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this site chronicles the continuing adventures of my son, odin, who was unexpectedly born on the fourth of july at 25 weeks gestation, weighing 1 pound 7 ounces.

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if you're new, you can browse the archives to catch up. and don't forget to watch a few movies that i made while we were in the neonatal intensive care unit. or if you want the abridged version and you can find a copy, you can read about his adventures in the november 2005 issue of parents magazine.

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