what can i say? the kid enjoys defying the odds and exceeding expectations. last night he had his umbilical arterial (UA) line removed and they thought they might remove his umbilical venous (UV) line if he looked good over the night. they only remove these lines when he’s begun to stabilize enough that he doesn’t require extremely precise measurements of blood gasses, so it’s one more sign that he’s doing fantastic.
they thought perhaps they’d try to put what’s known as a pic intravenous line in a good spot in him, which they’d thread close to his heart. then they’d need to watch and wait and make sure that he faired well after the routine, but still difficult, procedures.
he did so well over the night with all the changes that we were very pleasantly surprised to find the nurse asking us if we’d like to hold him when we arrived at the nicu! they had been telling us that it could be weeks before we could hold him, so you can imagine the range of emotions we felt in an extremely short time period.
first things first. he needs needs lots of swaddling to prevent his temperature from dropping when he’s taken out from under the warming lamp above his bed.
nurse peggy is deftly moving tubes and lines around so that kris can hold him.
at this point there’s a red light on top of his bed that’s started to spin and make noise and various beeps and flashes on a multitude of monitors are making quite a commotion.
nurse peggy is calm, so i stay calm. sort-of.
more commotion and final adjustments, but kris is finally holding eric!
he forgets to breath a few times, but nurse peggy is a pro and “jumpstarts” him by gently rubbing his back, as nurse jan brings some backup caffeine.
after all commotion things settle down quickly as kris hums and talks to him.
he makes little funny noises back at her and opens his eyes eventually.
nurse peggy thought he might only be able to be held for a few minutes and kris clearly hogged the handling time by holding him for nearly 15 or 20 minutes.
finally! i get my chance. kris did a great job of settling him down so he’s just being content and making cute noises.
nurse peggy lets me hold him unswaddled right before he goes back to his bed.
his skin is incredibly soft and smooth; he’s looking right at me, even though his vision is supposed to 20/600, as his eyes aren’t fully developed.
despite all the lights ( not least of which being the bright flash from the camera ) and the noise, he’s remarkably calm – just gazing up at me.
then, back to bed! he has some new linens and a stylish white cloth cap, which along with the CPAP mask make him look like a sci-fi jet pilot from another planet.
he’s pretty tired after all the activity, but still managed to muster the energy to open his eyes as i hum to him.
i know this might be bordering on the cliche’, but it truly was one of the most sublime and inspiring events of our lives and the pictures don’t even come close to capturing the essence of the experience.