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Archive for the 'NICU' Category


ben just turned 4 weeks old on friday, which puts him at a gestational age of 34 weeks. one of the infant behaviors ben’s starting to exhibit is “rooting.”  rooting babies show signs of wanting to be breastfed: they tend to open and close their mouths during feeding times, and they have a tendency to [...]

intermediate care

last week or so, benig graduated from intensive care in the NICU to intermediate care. the intensive care room at the NICU is fairly dense; there are 6-8 incubators crammed into a room the size of half a volleyball court.  this is where the most premature babies first come, and where the very sick babies [...]

family visit

grandparents and aunts came through town these past days to see ben.  our parents (benig’s “lolo” and “lolas” in tagalog) got to hold him for the first time. everyone looked very happy.  so happy, in fact, that christina and i are concerned that our parents love benig more than they love us. lolo rico (my [...]


who knew mom gave birth only 2.5 weeks ago?


benig is still a little too young to be fed via breast or bottle — mastering the suck/swallow/breathe trifecta usually happens around 34 weeks.  instead, he feeds via nasal gavage, which is a fancy french term for tube in the nose. it was a bit heartbreaking to see a nurse insert his nasal gavage right [...]

Today is the first day we will not be able to visit Ben-Ben.  The road conditions that Hurricane Irene have created are too dangerous for us to traverse them to the Brigham. So this is the first time we’ve had to stay home in the last two weeks and finally clean and sift through the [...]

32 weeks

benig turns 2 weeks old tomorrow, which corresponds to a gestational age of about 32 weeks.  after losing a little weight after birth, he’s now plumped up to 3 lbs 12 oz. ben’s also starting to look less like an alien, and more like a really, really cute baby.  in fact, he may be too [...]

kangaroo time

the nicu advocates that parents and premature babies bond daily in “kangaroo time.”  during these hours, we lie ben facedown on our bare chests.  the skin-to-skin contact does several things: calms ben by giving him a heartbeat to hear, like he used to in the womb provides him with warmth stimulates lactation in mom makes [...]

Greetings Earthlings!

Ben’s bilirubin levels are elevated (common to newborns).  UV light breaks down bilirubin and so they’ve got him in a little tanning salon.  And I thought we were getting him out of Staten Island … An interesting fact a nurse told me: before UV lights were available, nurses would just put babies out on windowsills [...]

What’s in a Name?

In deciding to name our child Benigno, an incredibly Filipino name foreign to most our son will ever encounter in his life, we’ve already found ourselves having to explain his name. “What’s his name?” “How do you spell that?” “Interesting.  Where is that from?” I have resorted to saying, “Ben-ee-g-no. It’s spelled like “benign” with [...]

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