Sunday, November 17, 2013


The problem with waiting six days between posts is that SO MUCH HAPPENS in that period in the NICU that some stuff that did happen has now unhappened.

For starters, the *very* exciting news is that we have an ETA on the books. Calder’s homecoming is scheduled for this Thursday, November 21. If it doesn’t happen Thursday, it’ll happen the following Monday, they say, as they don’t like to discharge on Fridays and Saturdays since pediatrician’s offices are generally closed over the weekend, and we’ll need to take Calder to see the doctor within 24-48 hours of his discharge. (That’s what I said – so soon? We will have just broken him free!) We are primarily waiting for him to receive his full set of vaccinations and pass a couple tests.

Kraemer and I have been trying to pull everything together in the meantime, although it’s virtually impossible to accomplish that on a Sunday (the special pharmacy, the post office, the milk donor depot, etc.) Which leaves me feeling overwhelmed but helpless.

But I think the real reason I’m feeling listless and distressed is because Calder is back on oxygen. This may come as a surprise to you all since I never got around to telling you that he was even off oxygen. Early this past week (Tuesday?) Sumaya decided to give him the “room air challenge.” (With all these “challenges,” sometimes I think he’s a contestant on Double Dare.) This means they took off his cannula and monitored his oxygen saturation levels to ensure he could keep them up on his own. When we learned they were testing him, I tried not to get my hopes up. Kraemer and I had seen him doing so well with his cannula displaced for prolonged periods of time – he had a knack for ripping it off his face or at least pulling the little tubes from his nostrils; sometimes we found them up by his eyes, which couldn’t have been comfortable either – that we were secretly optimistic he wouldn’t need the tank at home. When we arrived at the hospital a couple hours after they’d started the test and there were no tubes attached to his face, I was ecstatic. He looked … normal. And his sweet cheeks were relieved of that horrible tape that only the night before had left him bleeding when he yanked it off. But I was hesitant to get my hopes up; I’ve been around the NICU block. Despite my hesitation, after he’d been off the oxygen for four or five days, I started to let my guard down. No oxygen? No pulsox? No leads? None of this at home? After the time we’ve spent in the hospital, this prospect was almost too good to be true.

And so, when his nurse Ashley called me this morning to talk breast milk and also reluctantly gave me the news that they were putting him back on oxygen, I was bummed. He had begun satting more regularly in the low 90s as opposed to the mid to high 90s, so, better safe than sorry, they decided to give him back his whiff.

Putting things in perspective, this is really no biggie. He is coming home, after all – what’s a little tank to carry around with him for a month or two (or a little more)? The tape isn’t really that bad, and now we’ll have a monitor to … put our minds at ease. J

Perspective schmerspective, there is nothing wrong with a little retail therapy. We still need all kinds of things for Calder; I’m on Amazon so much it might as well now be my homepage. My shopping habit has been greatly facilitated by our friends and coworkers at both USAID and the State Department. Each of our offices feted us with a nice get-together. Kraemer and I were blown away by their generosity, and after months of support from them all, this was hardly necessary but not out of character.
I've got this.
Some other great news? My dairy-free endeavor appears to be paying off, at least so far. Calder has been receiving breast milk for the last several days with no apparent ill effects on his digestive system. He is just under eight pounds, though, so they have plans to start fortifying my milk in the near future. I make so dang much of it that I think it gets spread a little thin. That, and I know I’m a little short on nutrients sans dairy. Although I’d been hoping to get to Sticky Fingers this weekend so that I’d have some birthday treats for tomorrow, Sticky Fingers up and came to me, first last week from one of our good friends in town, and then in the form of a cookbook from one of my fantastic coworkers and his wife. I’m not sure whether my family is excited or frightened that I’ll be trying out at least two of these recipes for them over the Thanksgiving holiday.


  1. I love the photo shoot...look at those big eyes! :) So glad he gets to come home soon...Hope you have an amazing birthday! :)

  2. What a beautiful boy! So glad that he is up to eight pounds and will be home for his first Thanksgiving!!!!

    1. Thanks, Lisa! We'd had our fingers crossed for Thanksgiving and couldn't be happier to have him home!

  3. He is adorable! I love how chunky his arms and cheeks are. :)