Saturday, January 27, 2007


It's hard to do a proper action shot because he is so fascinated by the Treo.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Nekkid baby

Covered with a burp rag for modesty.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Thin smile

Woody is very happy, and has a couple of different smiles. This is what I call the thin smile. It makes him look like his Grandpa Jerry. (and his Aunt Krista)

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Woody's bed

Woody is now sleeping in this cool cradle. Note the awesome quilt on the bottom-- it was made by one of Grammie's colleagues at GWU. Go Bulldogs.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

The Update

We're still plugging along here, no big troubles on the Woody front. Maggie is always a little bit worried about him, which is understandable*, but there is little to get too exercised about. For a while we were a bit concerned about his lack of weight gain, but it appears that was a temporary problem, or at least my back says that. We will have a weigh-in on Friday, so we'll know for sure then. But he looks pretty chubby to me.

After discharge, the hospital told us that their policy for copying medical records was that they'd do it for some ridiculous amount per page. Maggie followed up a few times with people in the administration to maybe consider giving us a free copy of the records, because a) that would be REALLY EXPENSIVE and b) it's uncommonly important for us to be able to have all the early records in case he needs medical attention when we're not at the hospital later. To their credit, the Unnamed Hospital agreed to make us a full record and it arrived yesterday. So we started going through the records and learning what the doctors and the nurses and the lab reports said about everything.

My primary observation is that hospital records are remarkably boring. If you can take interesting news and can successfully obfuscate the meaning with jargon and stilted writing, then you should probably go to medical school. I have never seen such a lack of adjectives in my life. We looked carefully for any observations about us, of course. Remarks about parents fit into the almost insultingly generic category of "social", and they manage to be as un-illuminating as possible. "Parents were at bedside." "Parents are interactive." "Advised mother about situation." "Parents seem concerned and engaged in condition of patient." I have yet to see anything about how "Parents are incredibly intelligent and understant patient's condition far better than we do". But then again I'm not done reading this yet.

The real thing I'm interested in, besides just helping me remember how weird everything was, is to get an idea of how serious things were at various points in the hospital stay. For example, I knew his glucose levels were bad in the first week, but I guess I didn't realize how bad. An average glucose level runs at 60-90, but for the first few days he was consistently reading near 300.

The other thing I really appreciated were the notes from the delivery. They were written by a resident, Dr. A-M. I only saw her on two other occasions; her term ended shortly thereafter, and I understand she's now a neonatologist in Alaska. I will always remember and be thankful for her. When things looked really bleak, and I saw the tiny tiny baby that had just been born, and didn't really think that there was any hope**, I remember so well her eyes between the cap and the mask opening wide as she told me "He's BEAUTIFUL!". She also told me that he had done so well and wanted to breathe and had great APGAR scores (3 and 7) for being such a ridiculously early preemie and that we should be really proud. I just appreciate so much that she was able to give us some hope.

I am currently beginning to put together a timeline using our observations and the medical records to put together Woody's history. It will be a fun project.

*Maggie has some small hypochondriac tendencies, and the worst thing that could possibly happen for such a person is to have some of the fears come true. I mean, we did refer to her blood pressure as "180/preeclampsia" in jest to make fun of her, and look what happened. So no, I don't really blame her.
**My defense mechanism is to try to make wisecracks to keep the mood light. So they put him in the 'sterile bag', which is literally a plastic sack, so as to keep him warm right after delivery, and I see this and declare "I asked for paper!" Ha, ha, ha. I'm so sure I mentioned that ~amusing~ anecdote before.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007


Yes, he really is that alert.

Friday, January 12, 2007


I tried to get one where Maggie and Woody both were sticking out their tongues, but oh well.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Woody gets happy

Woody gets happy
Originally uploaded by norm_.

Woody is very wiggly and cheerful this morning.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Mom and Woody

Mom and Woody
Mom and Woody,
originally uploaded by norm_.
Since I seem to have figured out how to post directly from the Treo, I thought I would show how big he was getting.


originally uploaded by norm_.
If this works, it will show a picture of Woody playing. If not, poop.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

The Year of the Wild Hog begins

So this is the new year. And I don’t feel any different.

Actually, this is not true. Everything is different in one way or the other. I went out to a little party at the home of the LDV on New Year’s Eve, but made sure to get back in time to celebrate the new year with Maggie and Woody (who was asleep at the time, bless him). As I said to Maggie, this was less about welcoming 2007 as it was pissing on the grave of 2006, a year that sucked in all ways except one.

And still, even though the year ended with everything coming up roses for Woody, it’s still a bittersweet experience, for a number of reasons. First, we were robbed of so much time and treasure with the Summer of Woody, and I don’t say that because we had anything better to do this summer, but because most parents don’t have to go through what we went through to have a kid. So I’m jealous and a little wistful about the lost opportunities we missed out on this summer, whether it’s camping or swimming or whatever we could have been doing with a roundly and radiantly pregnant Maggie, but it just wasn’t to be. Second, the experience with Woody has really put a massive crimp in our family plans henceforth—no systemic explanation was ever found for why Maggie had the HELLP syndrome so early, and the recurrence rate is something like 35%. So even though I’d love to try to have more kids, is it really a reasonable thing to try to do with odds like that? And even if Maggie is ok with putting her liver and life on the line again, what’s to say that we won’t have the exact same situation with another kid, but not get so amazingly lucky, and then have a kid with major disabilities or worse? Is it fair to such a potential kid?

So yeah, I have mixed feelings about everything, and try to be grateful for everything. Amazing family and friends and luck and everything. But it’s not to say that everything is great, because it just isn’t.

In the meantime, Woody is doing fine. He’s not been sick, we’re working on weaning him off the oxygen (we have the oximeter to check out his O2 saturation from time to time) and he’s getting more bright eyed and frisky every day. He’s nearly 15 pounds, although his weight gain is slowing down considerably the last two weeks as his activity goes up. So we have to cram as much down his throat as possible. On the other hand, he now reliably sleeps through the night, so he’s giving us a lot more of a normal existence, which is much appreciated.

Happy new year to all.