Another milestone today (spit three times—be gone, Evil Eye)! I got to practice “kangaroo care” for the first time which is when you have skin-to-skin contact with your baby instead of holding him wrapped in a blanket. We got there sort of by accident. This morning I noticed that after his head ultrasound his CPAP breathing device had fallen out completely and yet his oxygen stats were doing fine. That enabled the nurse to temporarily change out Charlie’s CPAP with a regular nasal cannula which gives us the cord length and Charlie the stamina to tolerate the skin-to-skin contact. Heaven! I held him that way for over two hours and feeling his little hands move around my chest was the best feeling in the world.
Although devised in the late 1970s in South America, kangaroo care has only been part of regular practice in American NICUs since the early 1990s. Researchers have found that the close physical contact with the parent can help to stabilize a micro-preemie’s heartbeat, temperature, and breathing. As we well know at this point, preterm infants often have difficulty coordinating their breathing and heart rate. Babies who have kangaroo care tend to gain more weight, have longer periods of alertness, and earlier hospital discharge. And there’s just nothing like feeling your baby’s skin against your own—it’s been almost 15 years since I’ve had that pleasure. I just felt guilty that I hogged all the time because when Kendall came back later for her turn the nurse had just changed Charlie’s colostomy bag and he was a little too fragile to go on the nasal cannula. But she’ll get to do it tomorrow. Have I mentioned lately that Kendall is the best mother in the world? But no one who’s seen her around small children would be surprised by that newsflash. Charlie is one lucky kid. Today is the six-week anniversary of Charles and Oliver’s birth—a day that happily brought us our son but is so steeped in trauma that I’m only now remembering parts of it in painful flashes.
It’s so funny to me how adamant I was about never writing a “daddyblog” and yet that’s basically what this has morphed into for now. I have nothing against so-called “mommybloggers” and “daddybloggers” and have plenty in my blogroll but I just thought that was never for me, the whole point of my blog was the freedom to write about my diverse interests. If someone would have told me two months ago that I’d be posting almost daily videos of my baby’s every move, I would have told them they were out of their mind. But again, this is my life right now and also the best possible therapy I could have. And such a fun way to update my family and friends.
But speaking of the outside world, about which I currently know so little (I saw some of my first news stories of the past six weeks on a video scroll in a Noah’s Bagel shop yesterday and it was like watching the news headlines from Mars), I am completely out of it these days. However, after writing my post about Leah last night I did manage to watch most of the Tony Awards. Oy—what the fuck? My daughter’s acting school has a better sound system than what went on at Radio City Music Hall (and believe me, Leah has rarely had a solo where her microphone has worked—good thing she’s a natural belter!). No excuse for that, someone’s head should roll. And Liza, God love her. Yikes. She’s playing two nights at the Hollywood Bowl in July and before the twins were born Kendall and I had a fantasy of her going into labor during Liza’s show and Liza calling us onstage to deliver the babies herself. We had great dialogue to go along with that scene but I’ll leave that to your imagination.
I wasn’t as critical of the opening montage as many of the pundits were (except for the horrific sound system ruining everything) and I was happy with the majority of the winners even though I haven’t seen most of the plays, dammit. Can we transport Charlie’s incubator to the Sloan-Kettering NICU for a brief theatre trip? After seeing the Tonys, I’m most frothing at the mouth to see “Next to Normal” (musical about manic depression? I’m in!) , the new bilingual version of “West Side Story,” and the souped-up revival of “Hair” (were they all on acid?). But why the hell did they not have nominee Martha Plimpton introduce that segment since she was practically born on the stage of that musical, what a dumb oversight. And when that play won for Best Revival the producer erred badly in not mentioning Tom O’Horgan (another Hailey friend), the original director who died this year.
I will pay good money not to see “Rock of Ages” and why on earth did they waste our time with those tired numbers from those old musicals such as “Mamma Mia” and “Jersey Boys?” Yawn. Who was the guy who dragged his wife on stage to accept the award with him? Is that going to be a new hideous precedent? I already informed Kendall that there’s no way she’s coming to the stage with me when I win MY Tony. Except, fool that I am, she’s far more likely to win one than me and now I’ll be lucky if she even mentions me in passing in her speech. I thought host Neil Patrick Harris was a bit blah until his spectacular closing song (how the hell did they work the winners into those lyrics so fast?). Best va-va-voom awards (forgive me!) go to Susan Sarandan, Stockard Channing, and, of course, Martha Plimpton. I thought Angela Lansbury looked fantastic and was so glad she won (add that production of “Blithe Spirit” to the shows I must see). The good news about looking 60 when you’re 40 is that you still look 60 when you’re 80. And I don’t mean that to sound insulting—she was a gorgeous 60!
And now, in honor of the Tonys, I’m going to have the biggest diva of the Broadway stage serenade our boy. You can tell how much I love kangaroo care by the fact that I’m willing to show the world a video of my extremely out-of-shape self almost naked. Oy—be afraid, be very afraid. And why am I still shocked when I see how bald I am when my hair started falling out in my 20s? Should I just shave the rest off and go for the overweight skinhead look? The past six weeks may have aged me about 20 years but I really don’t give a damn what I look like as long as I get to hold my son. You’ll see more of Charlie in this video than you’ve seen in all the others since it starts with his head free of all breathing apparatus. God, he’s cute!