Picture Day

Yesterday was picture day in the ICN. Although David isn’t in school yet, the idea of picture day had me longing for turtlenecks, large brown glasses, slobbery retainers and awkward smiles in front of a white sheet in the lunch room.

Graham + Jane = True Love (and most definitely an awkward dorky son. Sorry, David)

Yesterday was family picture day, courtesy of Kathleen White, a local professional photographer, and the March of Dimes. Kathleen generously offers a free monthly photography session to all parents of children in the ICN. Like the Tuesday night harp music, it’s another perk of having a preemie. We got there early and dressed David up in an outfit that he still can’t fit into, and then nurse Sam ordered a special stretcher-chair to his bedside so that I could lie level to his isolette and he could Kangaroo with me for the pictures. Because of the oscillator machine and its stiff plastic tubing, which makes it hard to move him, David had not been out for a week.

After a bit of a production, the three of us gathered around together and had our first pictures taken as a family.

David had a hard time smiling with his mouthguard in.

I wish I could say David was feeling and looking his best for picture day. Unfortunately he wasn’t, and we could tell that from his puffy eyes and his increased oxygen needs. I need to go back and re-write a few of my earlier posts, because although they were true at the time, they’re not as true now. David is not just premature, he is sick. And he’s no longer taking the common course, but rather “his own course” because he’s a “puzzlement,” as the doctor claimed yesterday. These are not comments that make us feel great. And I have held off from writing through the weekend because I don’t like to write to you until I have processed my thoughts and feelings.

They have not identified his infection yet and it’s not clearing up as fast as they hoped. He finishes his antibiotics today, but the consensus is that it might not be a bacterial infection. They’re still checking for a viral infection. That he has an infection is not the biggest problem, it’s his inability to be weaned from the oscillator that is concerning, and the infection is certainly not helping the process. We’re told that the longer he stays on it (the machine) the longer he stays in it (the ICN) and the longer road he will have to recovery once he leaves. We’re fine with taking a longer road; we’re not as fine with not knowing where it’s headed (it makes us uncomfortable and fearful). But that’s the daily struggle in this place, and although we can’t know all the outcomes, like when he’ll leave and what future problems he might face, we still have to take it in sometimes strained and wobbly strides.

After picture day and his Kangaroo care session he had a better afternoon. A week of meds and isolation and an unidentified illness…maybe what he really needs right now is just an extra dose of snuggle time.

Be back with the good news soon.

J & G & D


11 thoughts on “Picture Day

  1. Hi Jane and Graham-you two are so postiive and loving that David must feel that energy-we know it has been a tough time, but both persevere so well. Every photo is so beautiful-Keep them coming. All the love-Betty and Chuck

  2. Hi Jane and Graham,
    I loved the family pic. Jane, I think you are so right about David doing better after snuggle time and I hope that Graham and you will soon be able to hold David as much as possible. We all know how better we feel after a big hug,so I am sure David feels much calmer and secure in you arms. J&G, can you give this message to David from me–David this is a friend in Staunton, wishing you a very good day. I know you will be okay!!!! I know that you are working really hard to get better so you can get home. You are my hero. Remember you WILL BE OKAY. J & G, as always you are in our prayers.

  3. We love the cute new photos, and the work you are all doing is impressive. Healthy healing vibes are constantly being sent your way. Love, The Temples

  4. Your photos are great! When David is old enough to read this he’ll learn just how much his dorky ol’ parents love him!

    ~ Pam and Jack, also dorky ol’ parents… according to our kids that is.

  5. Jane & Graham,
    I just read your most recent post and must say I am feeling sad that David has an infection and he is still causing you worry and concerns.
    The good news is he’s 30 weeks and 3 pounds, every week of life is giving him strengh and weight gain which is important. I know he is
    in good hands and has two loving parents who show him love, affection and reassurance. He feels all and for this, he is
    one lucky little guy. The pictures were wonderful, so comforting to see, and beautiful as a family. Love & prayers for you!

  6. Oh Jane & Graham…one of the most trying times we had in the ICN was when Logan had a bout of ‘belly issues’ – he went TPN, daily x-rays, ultrasounds, onto restrictions (we could only get near him if we were gowned/gloved and masked)…and yet, nobody ever knew why. One day it just mysteriously subsided. I look back on the notes that I kept during our ICN time and I can hardly relate the relative panic to the stark data I kept on paper on a daily basis, yet I can remember it.
    I hope that David hits that upswing soon and gives you some respite from worry. One of the most phenomenal things was something you experienced…kangarooing with mom would often bring their temps back to normal (up for Logan, down for Cooper usually) and stabilize things that the doctors couldn’t affect. It’s magical.
    You are a beautiful family and you’re doing great! My thoughts are with you guys every day.

  7. Dear Graham and Jane:

    I could no longer resist the urge to write you and let your know that I have been following David’s plight via your touching blog, and that your little boy is in my prayers. You don’t know me, but I am Erin Mascolino’s brother’s wife’s (Rachael’s) mother. Rachael was kind enough to send me your blog after telling me about Davids early entry into the world. I have been a neonatal nurse for many years and therefore have some experience with preemies, although usually at the “feed and grow” stage, after the ICN. The one things that continues to captivate me about these little beings is their resilience and their will to survive. The power of their ability to recover is a constant source of amazement to me. I think about David and how far he has come and where he is headed knowing he is in the best of hands, his parent’s and the staff in the ICN. Know that I, along with so many others, are sending the support of good thoughts your way.

    Sincerely, Claudia VanWagner

  8. Oh, Little Man Webster……

    We knew there would be down days……so here they are…..We hope this will pass quickly and, with more snuggling you’ll feel safe enough to use all your energy to keep on fighting……We’re doing our darndest to send good wishes your way…..

    Great photo !!….You have a lovely & handsome set of parents, and you look so relieved and at peace to be in their arms…..

    Keep up the good work Little One………..

    Fondly……….Murray & Karen

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