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the eric update - 242: on sadness. and giving.

after the rsv shot we decided to grab a bite to eat at a nearby restaurant. it just so happens that we know that a young couple works at the restaurant who we met in the nicu. we met them about a month before leaving the "old" nicu and felt an instant bond with them as we watched them struggle to come to terms with the ups and down and uncertainty that you're guaranteed to experience with a 25 weeker. and even though we certainly had our share of scariness, we knew they gained some amount of hope from odin's ability to continually fight the good fight. we did what we could to give them a sense there was hope, while always trying to remember to adhere to the single most important lesson we had learned while in the nicu; nobody can ever promise you that everything will turn out alright. nobody. ( i write this somewhat hesitantly, as i know there are many new visitors who are just beginning their own nicu journeys. )

soon after we were seated, we found ourselves engaged in the now very familiar conversation with our waitress about odin being small for his age because he was born 15 weeks early. kris casually mentioned that she knew that two of the waitresses coworkers had been in the same nicu and perhaps she'd mention to them that we wished them well.

her demeaner immediately changed as she paused, apparently trying to decide if it was appropriate to continue.

"i'm sorry, but the baby died a short time ago."

after spending 5 long months in the nicu, the infant died, suddenly and unexpectedly the day before he was to be released from the hospital.

kris and looked at each other and odin as the words sunk in. i think it's impossible to adequately describe the complex mix of emotions that you feel, not only as a parent, but also as a "nicu veteran", upon hearing such news. in the nicu you learn lessons about impermanence, uncertainty and death right along side the lessons about strength and resiliance. they're life changing, Big Lessons and it's difficult to have the emotions associated with them come rushing back unexpectedly. needless to say our hearts go out to the family and we're saddened by their loss.

i sometimes feel a bit odd keeping this daily account of odin's adventures, all the more so given the fact that he's doing so well. he is a miracle boy and we're obviously very, very fortunate and thankful and happy to celebrate his achievements with the world. but it's important to remember that odin's story is unique and there are many readers who could share much different stories.

the march of dimes is the one organization that has done more than other to help fund prematurity research to help improve outcomes. if you've ever been moved by odin's adventures, please consider making a contribution to the worthy organization.

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3/03/2005 10:35:00 PM 2 comments

2 Comments:

Oy. Yeah. The NICU forges strange bonds, I've found. Each time we've been back to visit (three times in the past 2 months... but two of those times were were back on the inside for tests), I've sort of looked around expectantly for the parents of Shoshanna's next door neighbor for most of her NICU time - a little 27-weeker who last we knew had been transferred to another hospital for an organ transplant. We don't know what happened to him; I wonder about his outcome every single day, and in the back of my mind every time I think about him, there's a nagging feeling that he didn't make it.

Those are the times when I look at my daughter and marvel at how lucky we got, and sometimes I think that maybe his family could have benefitted from some of our luck.

By Blogger Sarah, at 6:24 PM  

By all means Eric, please keep doing what you're doing. My niece Trinity, who was a 27 weeker didn't make it. When she was born, I had been following Odin's progress for over a month. This blog educated and informed me and my sister. When Trinity was born I had hope she was going to make it since Odin was making it. The blog gave me hope. Even though she didn't pull through, I am grateful for your blog. I find encouragement here when I see Odin day by day getting bigger, being and staying healthy, and triumphing through it all. It feels good to know that not all micropreemies end up like my niece did.

By Blogger LaFrog, at 2:18 AM  

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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

[ about ]

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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