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?”|
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
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
“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
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.