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the eric update - day 78: saying goodbye. and hello. postcards?

since i have absolutely no free time, i'm going to try something new and only put a placeholder entry here. perhaps i'll get a chance to put a more detialed account here later. or perhaps not. but for now, i'm just going to give the bullet points there are more important things to attend to.

i apologize to everyone who called yesterday who didn't get a call back. obviously, cell phone time is short and i'm basically in "triage" mode and only returning emergency calls. after a whole bunch of voicemails it became apparent that there was some confusion about eric's eye surgery. he was being transferred today ( monday ) and will have an assessment on tuesday. if he moves from being "prethreshold" to "threshold" then he'll need surgery within 72 hours. the quick move was made because the expectation is that he'll move quickly into threshold land and everyone wants to be prepared for that event. we don't know exactly when he'll have the surgery in the event that it's required and i won't have that answer until later tommorrow.

the new nicu is quite different from the old in many, many ways. while "saints" was small, at 15 beds, little odin's new home is enormous, with over 100 beds. it also gets a lot of sick babies that are transferred from many different places so it has a much different feel. it's odd to be thrust into the new environment, trying to adjust quickly to the new rules, while walking around and seeing so many babies with shaved heads and drainage bags, presumably alleviating pressure after brain surgery. the nicu is cooler, literally and figuratively and is much more antiseptically clinical. in a wierd way, it also feels like we've transferred from the 'jewel in the rough', small, personal liberal arts school to the large, top tier, big 10 school. the veneer looks more impressive, but it also seems like it could be quite easy to get lost in the shuffle. time will tell.

uh. so, it looks like i'm incapable of writing a 'placeholder' entry.

many people have asked me about where they can send postcards. it seems that little odin's quick transfer has revealed all the procrastinators in the crowd :-) for now, if you've sent a card that's already in the mail, i'm sure the staff at saint mary's will keep it until i can find time to come and pick it up ( in fact, i think they were happy to hear that i'd be back to pick up postcards which would give them an opportunity to hear about eric's progress ). i don't know the new nicu's policy , so i can't say whether or not people will be able to send stuff there ( i'll find out more today or tommorrow ). i'm not ready to post my home address on the internet ( i'm not really sure why, since it's quite easy to sleuth it on the the internet. ), but i'll probably come up with a solution sooner rather than later. as always, thanks so much to everyone who has sent us or plans to send us a card ( or more! ).

the endless kindness of strangers ( and friends and family, of course ) never ceases to amaze me.

oh. i guess i should note that eric is gaining weight so fast that it's almost starting to freak me out. he tipped the scales at at 4 pounds 9 ounces or about 2075 grams. that's right - he gained 2 ounces over the last 24 hours and over 5 ounces in the past 48. while everyone is suitably impressed, it's not good to put that much weight on that quickly, so my guess is that they might reduce the amount of fortifier in his breastmilk soon.

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9/20/2004 11:27:00 PM 9 comments


Here's hoping he won't need the surgery! Good luck, Odin. I'm rooting for you, little man! :-)


By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:39 AM  

Wow, those pictures are amazing! Little Odin is HUGE compared to those pictures taken of him right after his birth. That said, seeing him in that transfer incubator contraption puts into perspective just how tiny he still is.

He's really starting to look like a full term newborn now! Actually, his little cheeks are chubbier than my son's were when he was born at 6lb 14 oz! He's just breathtaking.

Quick question: It it exceedingly abnormal for micropreemies to gain weight that quickly? (with the understanding not expecting an answer anytime soon)

My thoughts and prayers are with you, Kris and Odin as you feel around this new turn.


By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:23 AM  

Laser eye surgery? What hospital?

By Blogger Robb, at 10:27 AM  

oops. sorry robb, i know you know a thing or two about local eye surgeons ( or at least can get on opinion ). i'll try not to get food on the keyboard while i answer this, shove food in my mouth and grab my car keys :-)

he's at devos children's hospital and they have not told us exactly what type of surgery he might have - that'll come after his assessment today, but i believe everyone is leaning towards laser surgery. he won't get intubated and will get what is known as "conscious sedation". dr. droskie ( i don't know if that's the official spelling, i've only ever seen it scrawled illegibly on his clinical notes ) is his pediatric opthamologist. every speaks very highly of him, but i'd be mighty obliged if you could dig up any additional references on him.

emily - 5 ounces in two days would be bad if he kept gaining that much over the next few days because it would put too much stress on his lungs and kidneys. it's not a big deal at this point, but if it happens again, they'll probably reduce his fortifier and stop him from drinking breastmilk than his "minimum" ( his "orders" are for 42 cc's of bm a feed, but he'll happily drink that and more, often drinking about 50 cc's ).

this is one of those things that's hard for people to understand since it seems strange to prevent him from gaining weight, but it really is a case of "too much of a good thing" turning into a bad thing. weight curves in general end up driving micropreemies mad, even after they leave the nicu. his peds doctor will watch his gains and losses very, very closely. i'm sure there are more than a few micropreemie parents who can share their frustrations about staying in the curve.

By Blogger e3, at 11:14 AM  

oops. kris corrected me, it's droste, not droskie :-)

By Blogger e3, at 11:22 AM  

E3 - I have sent an e-mail to our surgeon and await a reply...

By Blogger Robb, at 2:34 PM  

thanks, robb. still sitting at the nicu, hurrying up and waiting for the assessment. we learned that he will often do the surgery immediately after the exam, so things could happen fast.

By Blogger e3, at 3:50 PM  


there are internet access terminals at this new fancy pants nicu, so that's nice.

By Blogger e3, at 6:05 PM  

I am waiting to, watching e-mail/phone like a hawk.

By Blogger Robb, at 7:14 PM  

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[ rhetoric ]

"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."

the complete tales & poems of winnie the pooh

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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.

he's quite a fighter and you can always send him a postcard to the most current address listed here if you're inspired by his adventures. see the postcard project/google maps mashup to see a map of the postcards.

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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