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the eric update - day 97: simulate the nicu? a field trip!

well, our first big lesson is that no matter how many feedings we might have been doing at the nicu, it's not quite the same experience unless you're doing the 3 a.m. and 6 a.m. feedings back-to-back while realizing that you'll be doing 3 a.m. and 6 a.m. feedings back-to-back for quite some time. it's tiring! and i think that little odin might have days and nights a little mixed-up ( not an uncommon problem with micropreemies ) or he might be uncomfortable with all the quietness at night ( again, not an uncommon problem with micropreemies used to the noise of the nicu ), because while he'll sleeps just fine during the day with all manner of noise and commotion going on around him, as soon as we try to settle in for sleepy time at night, he seems to enjoy practicing his vocal cords. maybe i'll have to go to greater lengths to simulate the nicu environment so we can all get a good night's sleep.

we're went on our first field trip today! we had grand visions that his first outing would be to a museum or an art opening. but instead we had to go to a meijer to get A Very Important Thing that we had somehow found ourselves lacking.

you see. we didn't have a "diaper pail". and one must have a specialized pail for disposing of diapers or one will find oneself in a mess rather quickly. so our first field trip involved quickly retrieving a polder step-on trash can, which we heard does a great job of keeping nasty odors in the pail and out of your house.

odin had a great time and seemed like all the lights and sounds, which i suspect probably might feel more familiar that our quiet, dimly lit house. and his monitor didn't go off once! whooohooo! ( although i'll admit that i was secretly hoping we'd get at least one harmless 'loose lead' alarm so i could get see how people might react to the ear piercing sound emanating from an otherwise normal looking car seat. )

taking a micropreemie out in public is a controversial thing to do and there is probably more than one nicu parent who is cringing when they see these pictures. online preemie discussion groups often host Great Debates as to how much one should insulate one's little wonder from the great wide world and many parents can find themselves paralyzed with the fear of putting their child at risk for contracting something that will give them a one way ticket back to the hospital.

but he, himself ( amongst others ) once told us that we shouldn't be afraid of big, open spaces. it's the small spaces where trouble lurks; the churches, and relatives homes and day care centers where people will quickly come up to you and touch your baby. but big spaces where you're anonymous are o.k. as long as people don't come up and touch or cough or sneeze on your child. ( and certainly there are exceptions to this rule, so consult with your doctor to see what's appropriate for you :-) )

so, if i see you in public and you start to put your hand out to touch him or pinch his cheeks, don't be suprised if i tackle you and shove a bottle of purell into your hand. it's nothing personal, and in fact, we have to try extra hard to not touch him after we've had our hands sullied by "the street".

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10/09/2004 11:19:00 PM 7 comments


I've read someplace and heard from friends of mine who have kids that the best thing they ever did was to get their child to sleep through noise. You definitely don't want to train him to only sleep when it's quiet, or else he'll always have problems getting to sleep. Or so they say. Good luck with that! :)


By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:17 PM  

I, too, am so happy for EIV's homecoming. Congratulations! I have to tell you that the pic of Mauja (how do you pronounce that?!) meeting Eric has brought tears to my eyes every time - three, so far - that I've seen it. Being the dog lover that I am, I'm curious as to whether or not you've made a decision to keep them or to put them up for adoption? I so hope that you can all be one BIG happy family - four parents, three kids and four dogs! What could be more wonderful!!! If I had TV/cable I would DEFINITELY watch your show. So much more cool than the pap they put out on a daily basis. Again, congratulations, and my heart is filled with joy for you all.
Kathy in Ozark, AR

(Yes, I'll get off my ass and send a card. You shouldn't have told me that I have six months to do it, though!)

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:22 PM  

Being the dog lover that I am, I'm curious as to whether or not you've made a decision to keep them or to put them up for adoption? :

well, this is an evolving situation. more on this in upcoming episodes of the snowdeal show :-)

By Blogger e3, at 1:41 PM  

Wow - you miss a couple days, and the whole world changes!!! What Incredibly amazing, wonderful news!!!! WooHooooo!

As for tackling people... I do it on a regular basis ;) We enjoy our weekly shopping trip, which was limited to outdoor malls, to stay in the fresh air. We will still do an occassional trip outdoors - but we are essentially on "lock-down" now... Meaning we won't take Kyle out unless I out for a drs visit, etc... And still we'll be selective where we go. I think the key is to keep him moving. Sitting in a restaurant - no-no... Moving through the store, quickly past people - okay if we have to ;)

So, now get ready for the ride!!! You think he was growing good before - just wait and watch Odin take off now!!!

I have a question on the leads, are you using the gel leads with the snaps, or the black pads with the headband? I have almost a full box of unopened pre-gelled/sticker leads if you need them. You have my email if you do. We turned in the apnea monitor last week, because it was collecting dust.

By Blogger Katra, at 9:12 PM  

I have a question on the leads, are you using the gel leads with the snaps, or the black pads with the headband? :

heya katra! see what happens when you miss a couple of days :-)

i'll answer this publically, since there may be a few people that are interested in the answer. we use the black pads with the "headband" ( actually more like a chestband ) rather than the gel leads, since the pads seem to be a little easier on skin ( no adhesive! ). he's a little small for the pads though so we have been getting more than a few false "loose lead" alarms.

By Blogger e3, at 1:50 PM  

heya kathy - not sure if you're still reading the comments to this post, but i'll still answer your question about how to pronounce mauja's name since other people might be wondering. sorry for the delay in responding.

mauja is an inuit term for light ( or soft ), deep snow. since my last name is snowdeal (reallt, it is :-) ), it seemed quite witty.

i believe the proper pronunciation is mou'yuh where the "ou" sound is similar to the vowel sound in "ouch". many people think that he is a she because his name ends in an 'a', which is the feminine form of words in many languages. it's not unheard of to have male names end in 'a' though - e.g. the very popular male russian names sasha and pasha.

By Blogger e3, at 12:27 AM  

Hi! I too have a dog name Mauja - a three year old white german shepherd. For anyone who is interested in knowing how to pronounce the word, just visit and listen. Everyone I know usually ends up calling her 'Maya'... Or even 'Maj-ya' - which is how she earned the nickname Maj. :)

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:20 PM  

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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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