I wasn’t going to write about this until I saw he’d written about it first.
Ryan Rhodes – who’s been running the “Rambling Rhodes” (among many other names) blog for about as long as anyone in Minnesota has been blogging, and has been a regular commenter on this blog ever since I’ve had comments – had a rough December. He and his wife’s twins – Finn and Zoey – were born very, very prematurely, weighing a pound and a half apiece.
Finn died on New Years’ Eve. But Zoey is hanging in there.
Unfortunately, the tragic turn of events that greeted us at the end of December, as well as the gaping hole left in our lives by Finn’s passing, has numbed my wife and me considerably when it comes to the sheer medical miracle that Zoey is still with us and fighting strong. We’ve been so mired in grief and sorrow, the everyday fact of Zoey’s continued existence almost seems like it’s the least fate could give us. Nay, owes us.
But, she is alive. And, it is rather miraculous.
She was delivered via C-section at a paltry 1 lb. 4.5 oz. I like to use the analogy of her being the size of a TV remote control, but that doesn’t really convey the reality. Her tiny size didn’t register for me until I saw her footprints alongside the footprints of my first son, Aiden, when he was born at 8 lb. 15 oz. The difference is truly staggering, like Andre the Giant next to Vern Troyer. And I remember thinking, 15 months ago, how the hell we were going to keep AIDEN ALIVE.
The delicate balance of drugs, medications, fluids, oxygen and general environment required to keep a 24-week old preemie alive is ridiculously complex. Each time I visit Zoey, I have to practically squint past the banks of machines and monitors to see the little wriggling putty of flesh that is my daughter.
He walks through the concentric miracles of both technology and infant physiology that are helping Zoey hang in there:
The lungs, which are about the most undeveloped organs in their whole bodies, can somehow be persuaded to kick things into developmental gear. It’s not an exact science, but the organs that are normally one of the last ones asked to perform can be coaxed from the bench and perform a game-saving series of plays that can make even the most die-hard pessimist hope, optimistically, for a victory. Preemie lungs are the Detroit Lions or the Cincinnati Bengals, or an expansion team.
Today was a good day. A much-needed good day. For all of us.
Tomorrow? Who the f*** knows?
But, you know what? I’m hopeful, and that’s huge.
So I’ll urge your to direct your prayers, karmic imprecations, best wishes or whatever your worldview calls for to Ryan, his wife, Aiden and, of course, Zoey.