Friday, October 11, 2013

100 days in the NICU

Last day of September
Goodness! No blog entry for over a week! Where does the time go? (I know all you practiced parents are thinking, just you wait!) I try not to tally my hours by activity since it would just be disturbing, between working and pumping. At least while I do the latter I make attempts at being productive, working and pumping simultaneously by day ... and shopping Etsy by night. I will admit that my overnight sessions have had me consumed with anxiety over which crocheted animal-hat to buy Calder for Halloween. (In case you were wondering, I did eventually pick one!) A much better choice to fret over than some of the others we've had to ponder of late.

Even as Calder improves, there is really so much to report, and I regret that we haven’t been keeping up!

If I’d written a proper update last Tuesday, I’d have reported only good news on the eyes, as one remained at Stage 2, while the other reverted to Stage 1. Such rejoicing! This Tuesday’s exam yielded fine but less exciting results, with both eyes classified as Stage 2. The ophthalmologists are optimistic though that there will be no further progression of the abnormal growth, and last week Dr. N told us that the stats at Calder's age are now in our favor. So if the docs are not worried, I’ll try not to worry. Easier said than done.

Keeping in the heat in Gram's pink hat

Extra-large yawn

In the meantime, Calder has been coming down quite steadily in his flow, down now from 7 liters per minute … to 3.5!! (To put this into perspective, if he were to come home on O, he'd be around 0.2, I believe.) They take him down about every other day, as was the original plan and hope, and monitor changes in his vitals and oxygen requirements to determine how well he’s handling the weaning. Monday’s gas was 61, a respectable number in Calder’s case, and this Thursday’s was a very impressive 51.

Calder has also decidedly outgrown his preemie clothes and is weighing in these days at SIX POUNDS. That’s six. pounds. And this is the real stuff. He is 41 cm (~16 in) long and has a head circumference of 31 cm (~12 in). He is still on the Lasix (will switch eventually to the Aldactazide and may even come home on that one) and continues to produce very healthy diapers and usually wet his outfit once a day, a great indicator that his body, with a little help, is working as it should and allowing his lungs to function better without any extra gunk to get in the way.

Amidst all the breathing hubbub – the excitement about his switching machines and now consistent decrease in flow – we somehow managed to forget about kangaroo care for a week or two. We were holding him, but not always ensuring that we had that skin-to-skin contact. In the earlier stages it was always such a big production, what with the tubes and all, that we didn't realize how much easier it is to accomplish now. We are now approaching the concept with renewed vigor and find our visits are increasingly consumed with rocking the little guy up against our chests. That is, when he’ll have us. He is both an ornery and curious little fellow, and it takes some doing to get him to kick back and relax.

As parents, we’re still learning lots of new tricks, and Kraemer in particular has been busy honing his diaper changing and swaddling skills. I must say, very impressive, very impressive indeed. Do I know how to pick a husband or what?


  1. Love seeing that "real men" wear pink!! And doubly loved watching the very capable parenting skills of Kraemer in the swaddling routine :) Calder is an amazing, wonderful creation!

  2. I. love. etsy. I got sucked in pretty bad during the wedding planning (though I later realized buying anything from there for that many guests really isn't feasible...) :)

    1. I think you could say I've officially gone Etsy crazy. It's come a long way from when it started though, and you can find allll kinds of awesome stuff. But you're quite right about quantity - there is a limit!