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2003 Journal Links

Oct 26th - Archie is born
Oct 31st - Today, Archie is five days old
Nov 1st - We called the NICU at 3 a.m.
Nov 3rd - Archie's billirubin is down
Nov 4th - Today was Archie's due date
Nov 6th - Yesterday was the most trying day of our lives
Nov 9th - I think we knew that something
Nov 11th - Good day, bad day
Nov 13th - Archie looked great this morning
Nov 16th - If prayers were audible...
Nov 18th - I got to hold my son today
Nov 19th - John is back working again
Nov 20th - Archie slept all day
Nov 22th - I think I know what it’s like to be deaf
Nov 24th - Archie decided to stop fighting the ventilator
Nov 27th - Thanksgiving At the NICU
Nov 28th - John held Archie tonight
Nov 30th - If Archie doesn’t like something, he let’s you know
Dec 3rd - Archie will go for his first plane ride
Dec 5th - Tomorrow Archie will travel to Charleston, to the city where his father was born
Dec 8th - We got up extra early
Dec 10th - Although I spent the entire day at the hospital...
Dec 14th - The doctors attempted to extubate Archie twice
Dec 15th - We’re going to buff ‘em and shine ‘em up
Dec 17th - Santa Claus introduced himself to Archie today
Dec 18th - Archie is doing well
Dec 19th - Archie is continues to do well
Dec 23rd - It is Tuesday morning
Dec 26th - “Are you sure you’re Archie Moore?”

2004 Journal Entries

Jan 4th - John is holding Archie and feeding him his bottle
Jan 11th - We dressed him in a light blue sleeper
Jan 14th - Oh, how I've missed Days of Our Lives
Jan 18th - Patient & Family Satisfaction Improvement Survey
Jan 20th - Archie discovered his hands last weekend
Jan 15th - Babies like this
Jan 29th - Archie Moore is a flirt
Feb 11th - I'm watching Archie study his fist
Feb 23rd - Guess who gained eleven ounces his first week off Portagen?
Mar 2nd - My throat began feeling raw yesterday afternoon
Mar 10th - Tummy Time
Mar 15th - I hate those machines!
Mar 31st - Archie was not interested in his early intervention therapies today
Apr 13th - Well-baby check-up
Apr 21st - Today Archie's world got a little bit bigger
May 7th - It's difficult to write
May 30th - I took Archie to the CDS yesterday
Jun 20th - I know I don't update my journal as frequently as I once did
Jun 29th - We Achie to Budka's
Aug 26th - Archie fights sleep with a fierce tenacity
Sep 12th - Yeah, I know. I need to post more
Oct 26th - Today you are one


I got to hold my son today
by Anne Moore

I got to hold my son today. Hold him and brush his fine, baby hair. He didn’t wretch or vomit once, a problem attributed to his drug intake that kept me from holding him for a week’s time. He and I stared at each other for 25 minutes until his eyes grew heavy. He would close them for a few long seconds before laboriously opening them again, looking to see if I was still there. Finally he allowed himself to drift off to sleep, satisfied that I still held him in my arms.

Archie’s nurse Janice and his respiratory therapist Mimi searched for a camera to record the precious few moments on film of mother and baby studying each other’s face. “Archie!” Mimi called as she snapped the photo. My smart son turned to acknowledge his name and she managed to take a photo of the baby with his eyes open. A variety of nurses and staff members came into the room to admire my handsome little guy. They “ohh’ed” and “ahh’ed” and commented on his beauty. This baby brings out what is good in the people surrounding him. When those who have met him call him “special,” it is this quality he possesses to which they’re referring.

Everyone eventually left the room, nurse and respiratory therapist included, leaving Archie and I alone. I knew that they hadn’t gone further than the other side of the room’s glass wall. I knew that they were still watching Archie’s monitors, constantly observing the little guy’s stats, but I was alone with my son. Everything felt perfect enough that Archie and I could have been home in his nursery, sitting in the rocker his father and I carefully choose with the baby wrapped in a blanket I carefully washed weeks before his birth in anticipation of bringing my baby boy home. It’s amazing how the human mind is able to revise dreams to fit into the dictated parameters of reality.

Dr. Ferlauto stepped into the room briefly this morning before he began his rounds. “Hi,” I greeted him, smiling.

“How’s he doing?” he asked, gesturing toward the baby.

“He’s resting peacefully. His stats look good.”

“Archie’s doing better than you,” the doctor replied, noting my laryngitis.

“I’m not sick,” I reassured him. “I think it’s all of the emotion.”

“Stress can do a lot to a body,” he responded understandingly. “See you during rounds.”

Dr. Hayes examined Archie this morning. He was pleased with the baby’s liver and spleen placement and white blood cell count. Although Archie’s white blood cell counts continue to go up and down, up and down, the fluctuations aren’t severe enough at this point to alarm the doctors. “No changes,” he said. “Looks good. Hopefully you’ll be able to take him home soon and you can bring him to visit me in my office before Christmas.” I smiled in response.

Dr. Ferlauto and Archie’s nurse practitioner Sue reviewed the baby’s stats and CBC (complete blood cell count). Sue noted that the baby gained weight over night, bringing him to 7 lbs., 4.5 ounces, as close to his birth weight as he’s been. She cheered and the doctor and I joined in. A culture for Cytomegalovirus (CMV) came back negative. The CBC revealed that the little guy’s billirubin was down; the nurse practitioner noted that the baby’s jaundice wasn’t noticeable. They discussed the gas the baby had all day Monday. Dr. Ferlauto observed that the changes Dr. Horne made to Archie’s heart medications seemed to have a positive effect. “The good news is that the leukemia, or transient leukemia if you want to call it that, seems to be leveling out,” Dr. Ferlauto observed, moving his hand and arm as if he were drawing small hills the space in front of him.

“I know!” I answered. “I’m excited about that.” It wouldn’t be until later today that I realized how bizarre my reality is that I can talk nonchalantly about my baby’s transient leukemia.

“We hope to have the results from the F.I.S.H. on the 22nd chromosome back sometime this week,” the doctor commented.

Dr. Ferlauto and Sue stood over Archie’s bed. They felt for the little guy’s liver, spleen and kidney. Apparently Sue contended that the baby’s kidney felt differently this morning. “It feels… um, ahhh… distinct,” is what she said.

After examining the baby’s abdomen, Dr. Ferlauto explained to me that Archie’s liver was below his umbilicus on the day he crashed, or became septic as they say in the NICU. “The liver is still low, but right here,” the doctor said, indicating the positioning of the baby’s organ.

“My brother-in-law said that Archie’s cousin had a lower-than-normal liver when she was a baby,” I offered. The doctor shrugged.

He stood over the baby’s bed, chart in one hand and pen in the other studying the little guy. If you watch closely enough you can almost see the man’s mind race along at lightening speed, assessing the baby and weighing him against his encyclopedic knowledge of health issues plaguing the smallest and most precious among us. “Take him off the C-PAP,” he ordered. “Mom?”

“Sounds good to me,” I replied.

“Let’s see how he’ll do. And let Mom hold him.” With that the doctor and nurse practitioner left the room, ending Archie’s daily assessment.

When I left the hospital this morning, the baby was receiving oxygen through a tube placed below his nose called a nasal cannula or nasal prongs. We hoped not the have to put him back on the C-PAP, but I promised to understand if we had to.

I also left with a promise from Archie’s nurse that we would bath the baby together this weekend when she was working again if the baby was still doing well.

Oh, and the baby’s hair color? A pretty autumn auburn, maybe even a strawberry blonde. The jury is still out on his eye color, though.

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