Diary of a Stay At Home Dad: Machines? We don’t need no stinking machines!

Yeah, that headline sounded much better in my head, but that’s all I got.  Well it’s not all I’ve got.  I have an update for those following the trek of my daughter as she fights it out in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at the University of Tennessee Medical Center.

Anne Marie has been relying mostly on machines to sustain her.  She had a tube hooked to a corresponding machine that catered to just about every need.  She had a tube for breathing, feeding, medicine, exhausting gas from her belly, and even one pumping liquified fat directly into her veins.  She lived in an incubator for warmth and protection from germs, a humidifier to help her breathing and keep her skin pliable, and even a blue light to burn off the jaundice.  Such is the life of a 1 pound baby.

This is what she looked like at maximum machin-ism.

From my deep sea diving collection – the latest in incubator wear.

Like I said, the life of a 1 pound baby.  Yeah it was hard to see her this way sometimes.  There was a lot of coping mechanisms.  My go to coping move is humor.  Of course most of the stuff I say or write is only funny to me.  In your mind you have to tell yourself, this is all for a purpose, all these tubes and machines are there for a reason.  She wouldn’t be alive without them.  And at some point, someday in the future she’ll be free of all this stuff and breathe and eat and grow on her own.

Well the future is now my friends.  We walked into to her room this afternoon to find her in a very fancy baby swing, with no feeding tube, and more importantly, no breathing tube.  She had shed most of the other stuff I mentioned a while ago.  But this is the NICU, you can never let your guard down.  You aren’t out of the woods until you’re actually out of the woods.  The light at the end of the tunnel might actually be a train.  To that end it is more than likely during bottle feeding she’ll have to have some breathing assistance, until she gets the hang of it.  In between feedings and while she’s sleeping she breathes fine on her own.  One small step for man, one giant leap for Anne Marie kind.

So the life of a 1 pound baby can look grim at times, but the life of a 5 pound 8 ounce baby looks better and better every day.  As a matter of fact it looks something like this.

1st face shot of an Anne Marie in captivity.

This is truly the first time we have ever seen her face without some tube or machine blocking it in some fashion.  Turns out she takes after Tracy, thank God.  Here is a good shot of her futuristic baby swing.  It looks a little like the half-egg Mork from Ork rode to earth.  Google it.  And yeah Tracy will be buying the swing as soon she finds it on Amazon or Babies R Us.

Just swinging the day away. Working the binker (pacifier).












Her official stats are as follows: 5lbs 8oz.  17 3/4 inches long.  Taking a 2oz bottle every 3 hours.  It’s still early to be talking about her coming home but the docs think July 4th weekend is a reasonable goal at the moment.

Stay tuned.