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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