October 27, 2009

Charlie’s Kicking Ass

So Charlie’s been in the NICU over a week now and Charlie has done nothing but get better. Last night we walked in for our 8pm visit and his nurse was wheeling out his photo-therapy lights to place into storage. He’s now completely off the lights and no longer has to wear sunglasses. He has also reached his maximum feeding level which is 36 CC’s of formula every 3 hours. That means he is getting all his nutrients and hydration through his feeding tube so they have been able to remove his additional I.V.’s. His caloric intake is also being increased so he can really start packing on weight now. Charlie has met every benchmark so far, earlier than expected and without hesitation or setbacks. We don’t want to get ahead of ourselves but he may get out earlier than initially expected. But we’ll have to wait and see.

His next goal will be learning to eat/suck and breathe at the same time. Let’s face it, that can be tough. But his temperature regulation is getting better so pretty soon he may graduate out of his incubator and into an open bassinet. So I think this is officially what they mean by baby steps.

Grandma Patty gets a big yawn out of the little man.

I'm watching you, bucco.

"I wear my sunglasses at night..."

Sarah teaches Charlie about eye contact.

Daddy and Charlie are discussing important things like baseball and meatball subs.

"....And in this corner, weighing in at 4 pounds, 2.3 ounces..."

Charlie gives me this confused look a lot. It either means that I'm not making sense or that he's pooping...or both.

Charlie just found out there's a whole big world outside the NICU...and he's wicked excited.

October 24, 2009

A Long Week

Sarah was discharged from the hospital yesterday after a 5-night stay following her C-section. Now begins a process of moving forward as a family.

As we begin operating within a routine that includes "visiting" our son twice daily, we are encouraged by what seems like monumental progress with each passing hour. We will now take each day, one at a time, to heal and mentally prepare for his un-tethered debut in the outside world. And while that may take as much as 6 weeks, our sole priority is Charlie's health. We have had the benefit of amazing care and vigilant service by the Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Saint Mark's Hospital. And among the most encouraging and uplifting sentiments they've shared with us, is the simple idea that under the circumstances, THIS is as good as it gets. They have reassured us that Charlie is ahead of schedule and has shown outstanding promise. In fact, he's doing better than all of us. His strength gives us strength.

We are aware that premature babies carry certain risks and that the road ahead will have many turns. But Charlie's doctors and nurses have earned our utmost confidence and respect. We'd very much like to thank the staff at Saint Mark's Hospital for their care and sensitive tact. They have shown and continue to show us tremendous professionalism, expertise, and humanity.

We would also like to thank all of you reading this note, for your love and support. We appreciate your calls, flowers, visits, texts, blog comments, Facebook "likes", Tweets, thoughts and prayers. We are very optimistic and hopeful for Charlie. And we're so excited to introduce him to all of you.

Sarah changing diapers inside the incubator

Mommy and baby

Getting weighed is so embarrassing.

Milk Drunk!

Milk-Drunk YAWN!

Nitey Nite! See you tomorrow!

Charlie on his light-up photo-therapy dancefloor..."Billy Jean is not my lover..."


Charlie cuddled up with his dancefloor underneath.

Checking out of the hospital. THANK YOU to all those who sent flowers, texts, calls, tweets, thoughts, and prayers.

October 22, 2009

Status: Breathing!

Charlie's breathing so well now that they've taken him off his oxygen. He's breathing 100% on his own now so that's one less tether for him. Of course they're still watching him very closely but the fact that his lungs are working so well is a great sign. He really wants to get out of here soon, and so far he gets what he wants.

Birth Announcement

We want to thank our friend Lynn McCormick for the awesome birth announcement she made us. Lynn's a very talented designer in Boston. Check her out »

October 21, 2009

More Holding & More Eating

Gary joined me in the NICU for tonight's feeding. He got to hold Charlie for the first time which I think was good for him. They had some great bonding time tonight but tomorrow's Patty's turn.

Afterwords, I gave him his dinner which was another 2 CC's of milk. He was more interested in cuddling and sleeping than eating. He actually snored more than he sipped. But that's ok because he's also still being fed intravenously. Still I couldn't help thinking of the all-night staring contests I had with my father over bowls of peas or brussel sprouts. Anyway, we'll keep trying but they really don't expect him to fully get the hang of it for a couple more weeks. And he has plenty of time.

Gary rocks Charlie's world.

Joe tries to feed Charlie.

Charlie: Day 4 - “Food & boogers”

Charlie started eating today. He's only having a few milliliters of milk every 3 hours and they're watching him closely to make sure his little tummy can handle it. He wasn't really sure what to do with the food today but he got a taste for it. Over the day he's been getting more used to it and the nurse told me that his 5 o'clock feeding went very well.

After breakfast, Charlie was a little fussy going back into his "terrarium". The nurse checked his nose using a little turkey baster thing. She sucked a few boogers out of him that were so incredibly huge I did a double take. But he immediately calmed down and fell right back to sleep. Wow.

Mommy calming Charlie down before breakfast.

Mommy feeding Charlie for the first time.

Charlie Update: Day 4 - “New Digs”

Charlie has been doing so well that he's been upgraded to a new NICU unit. His "isolette" looks serious but it's actually a sign that he's doing well on his own because he requires less handling. He's breathing on his own but still has a small wind tube to remind him to breathe. He's also being moved over to a bottle instead of an I.V. so that's nice. This morning we're planning on feeding him for the first time. That's very exciting.

Here's Charlie in his new apartment. He's got his tanning lamp on and he's wearing his sunglasses.

Here's Charlie's foot. I think he's snoring in this photo.

This is the name tag the NICU staff made for him.

Patty and Gary get to enter the NICU whenever they want to see Charlie. Sarah and I took this photo from out in the hall because Charlie can only have two visitors at a time.

More updates soon. We're hoping to feed him today.
Thanks everyone for your love and support.

October 20, 2009

Charlie Update: Day 3

Today was a good day. Charlie has been doing so well downstairs in the NICU that he's being promoted to a new area. In fact they're putting him on display in the "storefront" windows so our visitors can see him.

But before all that happens, they let us hold him for the first time. I can't express my joy right now. It felt great to finally hold him in our arms and look him in the eyes and let him know we're here for him.

Sarah holding Charlie for the first time in the NICO

Big Yawn for such a little man

Baby Charlie loves his mommy.

Daddy gets a turn with Charlie.

Proud Papa and his little man.

October 19, 2009


Charlie Landwehr Myers was born on Sunday, October 18th, 2009. He wasn't actually due for another 2 months but I suppose he was in a hurry. Before I get into the details, let me first say that baby and mommy are doing fine. So here goes.
• Born at 10:58am October 18th instead of his due date of December 17th.
• 4 pounds 3 ounces, 17.5 inches long (or "tall" if he was born walking.)

At 3am on Sunday morning, Sarah told me she was having horrible cramps. After a shower and a walk around the block it wasn't going away. These "cramps" started coming more and more often. We called the hospital and they calmly urged us to hop in the car and pay them a visit. By 6:30am we were at the hospital having Sarah checked out. She was dilated 5 centimeters. Before we knew it the doctors were rallying around us to deliver this little party-crasher. After one last check the doctor noticed that Charlie had started sticking his shoulder out instead of his head. At this time they agreed to move to a cesarean section, which went beautifully.

By 10:58am, Charlie was born and Sarah was being closed up. Sarah was awake throughout the operation and I was allowed to stay with her the whole way through. As soon as Charlie was out, the NICU team whisked him away to their cutting edge facility. He's under their close eye now and will be for up to the next six weeks. So far he's responding amazingly well to the treatments and is already ahead of schedule. He's receiving "photo therapy" (which is like a baby tanning bed) and lots of food through various I.V.'s. He was also on a ventilator for the first 24+ hours but he's breathing mostly on his own now and doing quite well. On our last visit an hour ago, Sarah and I actually got to hear him cry for the first time and although I'm sure it will be easy to lose sight of in a few months, that was truly wonderful.

We'd like to thank Saint Mark's Hospital for all their hard work and quick, decisive action. Not to mention their care since our arrival has been outstanding. Every doctor, nurse, and technician we've encountered has been amazing.

We also want to thank all our loving friends and family who have shown us their support in the last few days. We can't wait for Charlie to meet all of you. We love you very much.

Now, here are a few pictures:

Joe and Sarah keeping a stiff upper lip going between contractions.

Joe on his way into the c-section operating room.

Charlie's first picture in the outside world.

Charlie in the NICU unit.

Sarah touching Charlie for the first time.

Charlie's hand around Joe's pinky.

Sarah's hand and Carlie's little tootsie.

Charlie crying. YAY!!!

Sarah listening to Charlie cry for the first time.

October 12, 2009

My Little Man To Be

My Little Man To Be

I will teach you how to throw a ball
I will feed you so you'll grow up tall
I will emphasize the weight of wisdom
so you won't have to lead with gall.

I will give you music, art, poetry
I will give you mountains, sky, the sea
I will show you how to treat a woman
and earn the love your mom shows me.

I will offer you my best advice
I will help you tell the men from mice
I will give you every consolation
when your best just won't suffice.

I will teach you how to camp, mow, shave
I will show you how to misbehave
I will pass along the crucial pieces
that my father to me gave.

I will illuminate your surroundings
I will share with you my love of things
I will insist upon your righteousness
without the hate it brings.

I will love you, little man to be
I will give you all the world to see
You'll have every opportunity
to be a better man than me.

October 5, 2009

10 Weeks left

It is hard to believe but we are just 10 weeks out from our due date. There is still so much to be done. We have to attend birthing classes, install a car seat (thank you to Dr. & Mrs. Myers for generously purchasing the seat), attend a few showers, and finish the nursery (thanks to the endless efforts of my parents.)

I am optimistic that we will get it all done while still taking time to enjoy being pregnant. I have gotten very used to feeling my son's little feet push up on my right side just below my ribs and know I will be sad when he will not longer be with me 24/7.