Well, don’t “start spreadin’ the news” just yet, Charlie’s not “leavin’ today,” but we’re getting closer by the minute. At our meeting this week with our neonatologist, the main topic at hand was Charlie’s departure. That’s a far cry from the months of meetings where this query was met by the doctors' glassy-eyed automatic response: “There’s no way we can know when that will be, Charlie will let us know when he’s ready to leave.” And now he is…almost. Charlie has passed so many hurdles during the past four months including four major surgeries, a variety of respiratory devices, and learning how to coordinate his breathing, sucking, and swallowing. Now he is an eating machine, taking over 60 cc by mouth every three hours. After so long it’s hard to believe we are moving ever closer to the day when he will leave the confines of Cedars-Sinai. We have every reason to hope that this will happen some time in September (God-willing, pu pu pu) but the next week or two will clarify where we stand. We’re still working at bringing those feeds up, trying to get Charlie off oxygen, and making sure all is well with his shunt and cerebrospinal fluid absorption.
I want to wake up in a city that never sleeps
To find I'm king of the hill, top of the heap…
Too bad Charlie wasn’t quite ready to face the crowds at the Hollywood Bowl last night where he could have heard the originator of that song. Liza Minnelli’s performance there was delayed from mid-July when we thought our twins would be born (we expected them to come 4 weeks early—not 16!). For months Kendall and I had this fantasy in which we’d go to the Bowl to see Liza and then Kendall’s water would break during the show. Liza would notice the ruckus in the audience at which point she’d invite us to the stage and deliver the twins herself in front of 18,000 enthusiastic fans. Okay, maybe Liza wouldn’t have been the ideal midwife and perhaps the Hollywood Bowl wasn’t the perfect sterile environment but it was fun to imagine. As for Charlie, even after he’s sprung from the NICU we’re going to have to be very careful about germs and crowds so he’ll have to settle for my renditions of Minnelli’s top hits, many of which he’s already heard. (Is that why we keep moving from bay to bay? Are parents banding together to sign petitions against my constant warbling of showtunes?)
Charlie hit 120 days earlier this week. Oy Guttenyu, as my mother would have said. The number 120 has special significance in Jewish tradition. Because Moses supposedly lived until the age of 120 (at least according to Deuteronomy 34:7), the number became part of an oft-recited blessing for longevity. “Biz a hundert und zwanzig!” Jews say in Yiddish, or “Ad me’ah v’esrim shanah!” in Hebrew.
More to say but for now I must rush up to the NICU for Charlie’s early morning feed. The more bottles he takes by mouth, the sooner we can blow this popsicle stand.
These NICU blues, are melting
I'm gonna make a brand new start of it—outside of Cedars!
If I can make it here, I'll make it anywhere
It’s up to me…Charles Oliver Thomas Miller!