I wanted you to see these photos I took today of our son’s beautiful hands. I’m fascinated by all the amazing details you can see in his tiny, tiny appendages. This post won’t be long—we just got home from the hospital for the first time and are ready to collapse as some of the adrenalin of this awful week begins to subside. We are grieving our son Oliver something fierce but through all the horror there have been moments of joy. We are getting to know Charlie and his unique personality which is already so evident despite his being a virtual prisoner of his incubator womb. He cannot cry since he’s intubated, he cannot be touched very much yet, and he can’t even open his eyes since they are still fused.
We now begin to figure out our new life at the Cedars-Sinai Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Charlie will be there for months and we hope to watch him develop into a big fat baby we can take home. Everyone there tells us to expect setbacks but we’ve been blessed with some pretty decent news during his first four days of life. He did have an alarming weight loss two days ago from his birth weight of 1 lb. 10 oz. to 1 lb. 4 oz. but all babies lose weight during their first week and today he gained an ounce so he’s back on the upswing, I hope. A small hole in his heart (PDA) was successfully closed through medication. They initially found some blood in his brain and it’s still there but hasn’t grown over the past few days so we hope it will be reabsorbed. They tell us his eyes will most likely unfuse on their own when they’re ready. Everything they’re doing to him and the dozens of other babies in the NICU is simply miraculous, the level of care and expertise involved is beyond anything I ever could have imagined. Of course a week ago I thought any baby under five pounds was a goner. Who knew? What an education we’ve already gotten after just a few days. Kendall is lying in bed next to me furiously writing away. My wife is a fantastic writer as any of you who’ve read her book know, but for the past few nights she’s been on fire, writing nonstop in the voice of Charlie as some kind of film noir hero. It is funny, amazing, heartbreaking stuff that she is channeling through her tears and it’s allowing her to write about topics that she couldn’t bear to broach any other way, like how Charlie feels about losing his big brother. I think it’s the best writing she’s ever done and I’m stunned at how it’s pouring out of her fully formed in a voice that is nothing like her own.
I am stunned at the outpouring of support we’ve received from so many people including the readers of this blog and I thank you so much for your concern and for your positive thoughts. I am terribly grateful for every single comment and healing vibe sent Charlie’s way and will eventually respond to people individually. I think of how many times I narcissistically moaned about the number of comments I usually receive on my blog posts and how I couldn’t get 100 comments if my life depended on it. And now I’d give anything to not have had a reason to receive over 100 comments on my last post but I’m so moved and appreciative that I did.
I’ll keep writing about Charlie and all the other crazy topics I love on this blog but I’m planning to start a new blog specifically about Charlie’s adventures in the NICU as a way to update family and friends on his condition. I’ll give the URL to that site very soon. Those will be shorter, daily posts and I hope to also include some of Kendall’s film noir tales of our still-cooking son.
Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers. They mean so, so much to us.