Saturday, September 16, 2006

The days are numbered

Woody "accidentally"* pulled out his feeding tube last night, and since then he's been taking every one of his meals by bottle. This is a pretty impressive feat, considering that he was barely able to figure out how to properly suck a week ago, and it's only been a few days that he's been able to work on a whole bottle's worth of food, since he would get tired out.

Moreover, as of today he's been put on an "ad lib" feeding schedule, so he'll tell the nurses when he eats, to better simulate it for when he goes home. Which leads me to the other point... Woody's going home this week. Yes, we were told today that it was probably going to be Thursday that he gets released. He has to run through a variety of tests, but as long as he passes, and we don't think that he'll have any trouble with them, he's coming home. We are very excited and very freaked out by this. We are frantically assembling everything that we need, but it's hard to say whether we have enough diapers (no), clothing (probably), sleeping accoutrements (maybe?), and money (yipe) to be able to handle having Woody actually living at home with us.

Anyway, I've been thinking about how the long strange life at the hospital, the one that began with a bad case of heartburn last May, is coming to an end. Since I'm not sure I ever exactly related what happened, I'll go ahead and do it now.

Ever since we found out that Maggie was pregnant (January), we had been watching the pregnancy like hawks both because Maggie's just plumbed a little different from other girls and also because we had a miscarriage in 2004 that was, as any couple that's ever had one can tell you, a really hard experience. Our OB/GYN (Dr. C) has gravitas and dignity, and impressed us with his declarations of "anything you've ever heard of that can go wrong with a pregnancy, I've seen it TWICE" and similar exhortations of his level of experience. We visited him A LOT during the pregnancy, and there were many things that we were concerned about, although what wound up happening was something different, of course.

Anyway, my sister Valerie is the baby of the family, and was my training course for how to deal with small children, and she graduated from college (Mars Hill) in May. Such a momentous occasion required that I show up and support her, but Maggie didn't really want to have to fly in her delicate condition, so she stayed behind. I regret to admit that she had been complaining for a few weeks about terrible heartburn, and that I had told her things like "every pregnant woman gets heartburn" and "my mom drank Riopan by the bottle when she was pregnant with Val" and basically had tried to tell her to suck it up. I was only in North Carolina for three days or so, but each day I called Maggie and made sympathetic noises as she complained about her horrible heartburn.

The day I got back I got picked up at the airport by Maggie's sister Krista, and immediately got a call from Maggie, who told me that she was lying on the floor of her work, in tears, so I went straight to her office and picked her up, and then I took her home and tried to take care of her. Sometime around 11 that evening, after she started puking, I was finally convinced that we were past the point of me being able to deal with this heartburn issue and I took her to the hospital. Maggie was well past the point of complaining, and was moaning with such ferocity that she got herself a shot of straight morphine into the buttocks, which made her feel a lot better. Our first stroke of really good fortune was that Dr. C just happened to be at the hospital that night, and ordered a few tests to see what was going on. He later told me that he didn't think there was any chance that the liver function test could possibly show anything, but that he had ordered it to make sure that all bases were covered. It showed Maggie had HELLP syndrome, and the rest has been pretty well documented here. Of course Dr. C told me that "I've never seen a case of HELLP this early in pregnancy!" So much for experience, I guess. Woody is also his earliest surviving delivery, in something like 40 years of practice.

Anyway, the point of this story, should it be said that I have one, is that time seems a world away, and yet I've been coming to this same hospital just about every single day since then, and the idea that this routine is going to end by this time next week is bewildering and exciting. Nurse S asked if I am planning on keeping up the Woodyblog, and I definitely am-- but the timing will probably change. I think it's going to go to a regular but less frequent posting schedule. As many have noted, I've been updating much less recently, and I might as well just embrace my lessening time to do such things. I'll figure out when the schedule works for me and let you know. I know there are a lot of Woodyholics out there that love to check in every week or a few times a week or in some cases a few times a day, and we won't forget about that.

*I would have no reason to doubt Nurse S's contention that this was an accident, although the fact that she suspected that he was going to do this a few hours before the alleged event leads me to think that maybe it wasn't.


At 10:23 AM, Anonymous YSA said...

This is fantastic! I am so damned happy for you and Maggie!


At 1:16 PM, Blogger judith said...

congrats. what fabulous news!

At 12:55 PM, Anonymous Angie Theisen said...

Woohoo! Please, tell me exactly what you are in need of for his arrival-we probably have it!


At 3:51 PM, Blogger Bill Hooker said...

Woody's going home this week.


That's made my day. Hell, my whole month.

At 3:59 PM, Anonymous neuharth said...

Congratulations Woody, Maggie and Nathan! Many thanks for the opportunity to follow young Woody's progress on the blog. Good luck to you in this new phase of your parenting!


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