M. Giant's
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Friday, October 15, 2004  

Peek-a-boo, NICU

(Thursday night)

As I write this in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit for later posting, my wife is sitting in a chair next to me and holding our soon-to-be-adopted son. He’s allowed out of his incubator for longer periods now, which seems to be just fine with him.

Yesterday we had him out just once for a shorter time, and then he had to go back in the tank when his temperature got too low. Now his internal thermostat works well enough that being wrapped up next to a warm adult body is sufficient to keep him warm. Much to his, and my wife’s, complete lack of distress.

And earlier, mine. Trash had to go into the office for a while and I was here alone with him for the afternoon. He hadn’t yet been out today, so I asked if I could hold him after his 4:00 feeding.
"You can hold him during his feeding," the nurse offered. Sold!

So we snuggled up in the same chair that M. Tiny and Trash are occupying now, while a syringe slowly forced 25 cc’s of formula into his stomach through a tube that runs up his nose all the way to his esophagus. He slept peacefully in my arms as this happened. I will never complain about airplane food again.

I too dozed off in the chair. I woke up when the nurse came in to ask me about circumcision. I opined that that was a fairly personal question, but she defused the situation by explaining that she was talking about M. Tiny. Whose eyes, by the way, had popped open at the first mention of the C-word.

Trash was quite bitter that I not only got to hold him in her absence, but that we had essentially taken a nap together and he stayed with me for upwards of two hours. I told her about how I placed him back in his Isolette™, carefully arranging his various tubes, wires and pillows, including sticking the EKG lead back on him when the electrode peeled itself off his chest. I also replaced his eye mask.

Did I not explain about the eye mask? It’s quite common, you see, for premature infants to experience jaundice due to an overabundance of something in their bloodstream called bilirubin. The hospital shines mild ultraviolet light on them for extended periods of time to alter the bilirubin into something that the liver can more easily handle. The light would also damage unprotected baby eyes, so he has to wear a soft foam-rubber mask over his eyes that makes him look even more like an alien. He doesn’t much care for it. I can tell because he keeps trying to pull it off his face. Not three days old, and already with a rebellious streak.

But he didn't stir this time when the nurse came in later and whispered in his ear, "circumcision!"

(Friday night)

I’m tired of writing. I’m tired, period. Pictures now.

Our very first picture of M. Tiny. I was still trying to work out how to take a picture with the digital camera without using flash. By the way, covering the flashbulb with your finger? Doesn’t work.

Ten hours old, and possibly having second thoughts. This is everyone’s first of many lessons about where the grass is always greener, and yet so many of us never learn it.

Under the "bili lights." There’s also a luminous "bili blanket" underneath him. I think we got him out of there before it made him permanently tanorexic.

Check out the funky eyewear, the ultraviolet lights, the pacifier—it’s baby’s first rave!

"Look at me! I’m crazy eyemask baby! Won’t you give me some candy?"

That’s enough pictures for now, because it’s after midnight and we’re heading back over to the hospital first thing in the morning.

You know how they say there’s something new every day? That’s even more true for preemies. Today he ate from a bottle for the first time. He kept making this weird Jon Stewart face: "Mmmm, yes…fortified formula…ooooh, how I love it…mmmm." Any kid who’s emulating Jon Stewart in his first week of life is going to do just fine around here.

posted by M. Giant 11:08 PM 16 comments



My little brother had bilirubin as an infant. I seem to remember that he spent a lot of time in his crib with his belly wrapped in glowing cords. They looked like Christmas lights. I was eight at the time, and thus found it perfectly normal.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 15, 2004 at 10:29 PM  

He's beautiful!


By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 16, 2004 at 3:52 AM  

M. Tiny is gorgeous!

By Blogger Rachel, at October 16, 2004 at 5:34 AM  

With all due respect to his father's mad picture-taking skillz, he's actually much cuter than that. Those kind of have the alien-baby look, as M. Giant pointed out, and he has a perfectly lovely tiny-baby look to him when he doesn't have the Crazy-Ass Goggles on and isn't under funny-looking lights. Among my favorite M. Tiny 1.0 features are the fingernails the size of freckles, the nascent eyebrows consisting of approximately six miniscule and unpigmented hairs apiece, and the fact that he has already perfected the facial expression that goes with, "I don't know exactly what you just said, but it sounds wacko to me."

I looooooove him. Loooooooooooooove him. I won't step on his dad's action by telling you about the great day he had yesterday, except to say that I was blessed to be present for the ceremonial Wheeling Out Of The Incubator, leaving him as simply Little Boy In Little Bed. He's just divine.

By Blogger Linda, at October 16, 2004 at 6:02 AM  

he's beautiful for little alien boy need a babysitter?

By Blogger LI JAP, at October 16, 2004 at 6:09 AM  

Why wouldn't I give candy to someone known as crazy eyemask baby? Best. Superhero. Ever.


By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 16, 2004 at 7:44 AM  

Not dissin' Jon Stewart or anything, but M. Tiny has him beat in the charm and looks departments already. ;-)

When my (now 14 yr old) daughter was under the Bili lights, they had her shades attached with velcro on each of her temples. Seems the duds are much more comfy these days.

Congrats Trash-Mom and M.Giant-Dad!!

By Blogger JenL, at October 16, 2004 at 12:51 PM  

Congrats! He is just peachie!

By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 16, 2004 at 2:28 PM  

Congratulations! Such a beautiful baby, alien Jon Stewart impersonator qualities and all. What a lucky baby, and what lucky parents you are!

By Blogger Special Sauce, at October 16, 2004 at 2:29 PM  

Congratulations! There is nothing like the NICU to make you realize how lucky you are. My nephew was in there for a month after he was born in late november two years ago, and by some miracle able to go home just before Christmas. With the love M.Tiny has in his life, I am sure miracles will happen for him, too. Make sure to grab as many of those hospital pacifiers as you can, he won't want any other kind now!

By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 16, 2004 at 4:47 PM  

He is so adorable.

And I totally believe everything Linda says, because she's so clearly not biased or anything!

By Blogger DeAnn, at October 16, 2004 at 8:51 PM  

TechnoTiny! Awesome!

He looks fantastic. And he's already making me laugh, with the Adam Sandler candy-scamming face. Can't wait to see him come home and take his rightful place as head of the household...

By Blogger Febrifuge, at October 17, 2004 at 11:24 AM  

I AM, HANDS DOWN, THE LUCKIEST AUNTIE IN THE ENTIRE WORLD. He gets cuter everyday.. I love him.

By Blogger S-I-L, at October 18, 2004 at 6:42 AM  

M. Tiny is too adorable for words. Which is why I don't have any words other than, "Adorable!"

Already impersonating Jon Stewart? Clearly a baby of good taste.

By Blogger Carol Elaine, at October 19, 2004 at 12:18 AM  

Oh! Oh! I am so late to the well-wishes. Giant, Trash - he is absolutely handsome. What a lovely little man already! Congratulations to you both. Tiny, you sure lucked out with a super set of parents.

By Blogger cd, at October 19, 2004 at 10:33 AM  

Congratulations on M Tiny! I hope that his stay in the hospital is as short as possible and that you can take him home soon. Last month, when my daughter was born, she was kept half a day longer than I was so they could keep an eye on her minor jaundice. A few extra hours seemed like forever to us not to have her at home; I can only imagine how impatient you must be to get M. Tiny out of there. All the best to you and Mommy Trash, and baby strength vibes to M. Tiny.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 19, 2004 at 4:56 PM  

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