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Wednesday, August 7, 2013

THE INCUBAT0R


THE INCUBAT0R
 

My first son was born with Jaundice over thirty-nine years ago.   I still don’t know what it means; only that his color was on the yellowish side and we could not hold him for several days.  We were told it was not unusual, and that everything would be fine, but Michael spent his first three days in this world behind a window, with gauze over his eyes, under the lights, in an incubator.

It should not be a big deal; after waiting nine months, what is another few days?  Besides, we could always make another.  But it is a big deal, and you cannot make another, not another Michael.

For several days I only saw Mike from behind a huge window as we waited for his bilirubin count to fall…or rise…one of those…I still don’t know what bilirubin is but the doctors made it seem like it was important.  Looking at this skinny baby with gauze over his eyes to protect them from the lights was difficult.  We just wanted to take him home.

What made it even worse was the other window gazers, “Oh look at that one.  Poor thing; I hope he is OK.”

“He is OK!!  He is more than OK!!  It’s just a low (or high) bilirubin count!!”

We finally got to take our boy home.  One of the so called baby landmarks at the time was “the first time baby rolls over.”  Mary Beth rolled over the first time at three weeks.  Mike was so skinny that when he raised his arm he rolled over.  He rolled over at four days!

Mike was never an easy child, not from that first day in the incubator until the day he left the house at seventeen, on his own to become a skier in Colorado.  It seems he has always been on his own, from a helpless skinny little baby with gauze over his eyes in an incubator to the man he is today.

He is very successfully on his own today in California 3000 miles away.  That is what it seemed like when he was in that incubator, like he was 3000 miles away.

Mike is my middle child, always a bit neglected.  He probably lacked attention as is typical of many middle children.

Sorry about that Mike; just know I love you,  I enjoyed your visit this summer, and I miss you…just like I did those many years ago when you were behind that window, with gauze over your eyes, under the lights, in the incubator.

 

Hate the beard though!  


Just kidding, the beard is OK

15 comments:

  1. I was a middle child, too. Don't you worry, I'm sure my parents loved me.

    I grew used to not getting accolades. They were all given out to my older sister who is only 11 months my senior! lol

    I bet your son is a hell of a creative person, too. Middle children find ways to entertain themselves with their own humor and wit. There's an audience for us somewhere. ;)

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  2. You're not going to say anything about his odd taste in hats?

    Ditto the middle child thing. I remember once my wife at the time asked me to go get Andrea (middle child) a denim jacket. She pointed out that Andrea never had any new clothes. HUH? Seems she got all of her older sister's stuff which were still good, and the youngest got new stuff because by the time the hand-me-downs got to her they were worn out. I felt horrible! I took off work and went and bought Andrea the fanciest, best denim jacket I could find! And I made sure she was well dressed thereafter, too.

    S

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  3. Awww, that was a nice post! My oldest child also had to be under the lights. They gave him little baby sunglasses & I remember being horrified that they kept cutting the heel on his foot to test his blood :(

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  4. If you have three kids, then the second one is the middle child. I get that. But what if you have ten? In that case are there 8 middle children? I mean, how do you know who is the middle child when you have more than three? If you have five, then the third is the middle child. But who's to say that the2nd or the 4th child in that grouping won't get neglected? WHO is the actually "middle child" in that case? So I'm thinking that I have 8 that could possibly be middle children. Well, I hope they all turn out okay!!!

    This was such a sweet post. I have never had to have one under the lights due to jaundice, but I see how it would be very hard on a parent.



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  5. Please don't say anything to my oldest or my youngest, but my middle child MIGHT just be my favorite!!

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  6. sweet boy turned into a good man. :)

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  7. What a nice birthday card. Happy birthday to your middle son!

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  8. Your posts often make me laugh and frequently make me think, but seldom do you make me get misty-eyed. Darn you!

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  9. The beard Is fine.....
    That hat.................isn't
    Greetings from Wales

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  10. Darn that excess (or lack of) bilirubin! At least that's something that could be fixed. I bet Mary Beth's beard was not as good as Mike's, either.

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  11. What a fun post! My middle son, Jordon, also had jaundice when he was born and spent extra days in the hospital. I had a difficult time returning home with empty arms, but I needed to get back to my two-year-old daughter and see her. Being the kid in the middle, Jordon also fended for himself a lot and still does. He spent 7 years active duty in the army and is now in the Indiana State Guard. He just bought a beautiful new house and I'm so proud of him. But he began shaving his head bald at age 17 and has kept it that way ever since.

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  12. All that u.v light seems to be good for beard growth and taste in hats. Thank heaven for good medicine that keeps our babies okay--even if they occasionally turn out be be little sh*ts despite our best efforts.

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  13. Our first baby had to be in an incubator, too. But he was a ten-pounder, so he was jam-packed in there and not at ALL happy about it.

    This was a very sweet post. I hope your son read it.

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  14. very sweet ~ my son had the same as your Mike ... except I did get to go in and feed and rock him and since I had a C-section, I stayed with him the three days.

    that was 28 years ago and he also has a beard

    and Susan! TEN POUNDS?? man?!

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  15. You're right...There is no other Michael.

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