Monday, June 05, 2006

The Plan Emerges

I have referred occasionally to the imaginary flow chart of preemie development that helps me conceptualize the development of young Woody and getting him on the road to recovery. This was something I started thinking about very soon after his birth, as I realized that there were several insuperable obstacles to his growth and health that have to be overcome prior to any further progress. For example, on the first night of his life, he really needed to breathe before he was going to, say, be able eventually to belch the alphabet.

As the first week of his life started out so well, I imagined (no matter what the nurses told me) that we'd just go from step 1 (breathe) to step 2 (install IV lines) to step 7 (feeding) naturally to step 10 (get chubby) to step 20 (get out of the hospital) to step 588 (get a full ride scholarship to Harvard). It has been discouraging when he will do something like, say, stop processing blood gases well, which means he goes back on the oscillator, which means they stop feedings.

But ever since he got back off the oscillator a couple of days ago, he's been cooperating with the general schedule, and making it more easy to envision what the overall plan of attack is going to be. Broadly speaking, we have to get his feedings up to "full" levels, which will be something like 9 or 10 cc/mLs every 2 hours. We started him at "trophic" levels, you will recall, which were 1 cc every 4 hours, then 3 hours, then 2 hours, then 2 ccs every 2 hours, and now as of today, our highest level ever, which is 3 ccs every 2 hours. If we can get him up to full feedings in another week or so, then it will be far easier to imagine the overall plan to get him out of here, which involves fattening him up like a Christmas Goose and having him build enough lung and muscle tissue to outgrow the chronic problems that being born so early brings. Of course this plan is what will happen in the absence of any other crises, which are essentially inevitable.

Maggie continues to get better, and I continue to hear new information about how dire her condition was. It turns out that if you don't get the baby out in severe HELLP syndrome (which she had) the liver can be, for lack of a better word, killed, which then means that the mother requires a transplant (if she, you know, lives through it). That is some serious business. She went and visited her coworkers over at the Wild for the first time this morning, and reports that everyone there was very nice to her. I continue to search for new ways to tell people how small Woody is/was and how much he's growing, so thinking in terms of hockey-- he weighed, at birth, about 3 and a half pucks. Now, he's up to about 4 and a half pucks. Which means he's gained a puck since birth. Way to go, Woody.

New tagged picture up: How to read Woody's vent settings.


At 9:20 PM, Anonymous Dad/Sherri said...

Enjoyed our talk tonight - though you aren't expected to keep it together all the time like this, we all appreciate how well you do it, even when everything around you takes things in a different direction. In the past 8 days, I've recovered from a laptop hard drive crash and a PDA HD crash (which seemed to disable my phone) and those seemed like pretty big deals to me. Compared to what you all are working through, I know I've got it pretty easy. We're with you, though - and we'll be there July 1.

At 12:44 AM, Blogger Bill Hooker said...


[asshole style="pedantic"]Wrong word, I think. Maybe "unavoidable"? [/asshole]

At 2:42 AM, Anonymous jared said...


I still read. I still Understand. I Always Love.

At 2:49 AM, Anonymous jared said...


[for structural purposes this Comment i thought necessary]

1. 'droW: my thought was incomplete;

2. Nathan: I expect you to keep ot together all the time like this. God, and you (if these pronouns differ), should know that your behavior is both appreciated and "revered" by this godfather.

At 8:44 AM, Blogger Nathan said...


I plead hyperbole!

xox lousy Australians... xox

At 9:58 AM, Blogger Bill Hooker said...

lousy Australians

I plead, um, emigration!

xoxoxDamn lawyers.xoxox


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