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Final Days At Hospital (04/25/02 - 05/10/02):

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Enjoying the bottle. Burp time. Happy boy feeding. Ethan likes to help holding the bottle when he can :)
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Dad spending some time with his little man. Is that a Giants shirt?  It's good to wear something that you don't mind getting ruined :) Cake after 4 weeks.  Have to find that 5-week picture. Some sleepy cuddle time with mom.
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One happy mommy. It's hard not to just stare at him sometimes. Resting up, right before the trip home.  

Day 20 (04/24/02):

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Getting ready to feed via 'gavage', which is through a tube that he basically swallows. Nurse fills the syringe at the top of the feeding tube. One of our early bottle feedings (a.k.a. nipple feedings).  Ethan is even wearing his little preemie outfit.
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Burping time!!  He lets some powerful burps go sometimes :) Trying to get the rest of the bottle down.  Don thinks he looks like an Egyptian priest of some sort with his tall hat.  

Day 18 (04/22/02):

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First time holding him without air tubes on his face. First bottle feeding (a.k.a., nipple feeding) Trying to talk Ethan into finishing the bottle. First efforts a burping.  Lots of learning tonight!
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Ethan let loose on a couple of beauties!! Finally, we get to see his face without tubes and wires. The cake Grandma Shirley made.  Has two candles at present signifying his 2-week birthday.  

Day 17 (04/21/02):

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Resting peacefully.  Still has his IV in this pic, although it is gone now. Sleepy. The famous preemie portal picture :) With his new hat.  It's a preemie hat, but it barely fits him already.  Where could a large head have come from?!?!
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Mom doing another kangaroo hold. Ethan definitely loves these holds. Happy mommy! One of our new favorite pictures.
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Grandma Shirley getting to hold. Ethan was very fond of holding her finger.  He's got a good grip too! Mommy telling Ethan a little story. He listens well :)

Day 10 (04/14/02):

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Grandma Diana holding "the man" before she heads back to Missouri. I wonder if Grandma is happy here?? Another kangaroo hold.  You can see his little eyes looking up towards Mommy.  Brighter pictures coming soon.  Have a new flash to try out.
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Dad getting in on the act. Close-up. Kel visiting.
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Kirsten visiting. Paul visiting. Susan visiting.

Day 8 (04/12/02):

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First "kangaroo hold".  Happy baby! Happy mom!! Having a little chat. There he is, although tough to see in this photo.

Day 6 (04/10/02):

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Sleeping, viewed through a portal in the isolette. How Ethan spends most days.  He's a big fan of sleeping and eating.  Not sure where he got that from ;) We just had to show those long toes!!
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Mom gets to hold him again. Poor guy actually had to get his IV in the head as his little hands are all poked up.  We expect a central line (i.e., an IV tube running inside one of his veins) on Thursday.  It's amazing what they can do there. Ethan is very restful in Mom's arms.
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Aaawwwww! Grandma Witham had her first chance to hold Ethan today. She was very proud.  After her shift, she immediately called a friend to share what she had done.

First Days (04/04/02):

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Immediately after birth. Handled by the nurses. Also immediately after birth. Mom and Dad got to see him for a while and touch him before he was taken away to clear his lungs, etc. Little Ethan, at his first visit from Dad and Grandma Witham. Mom was in recovery at this point. This was a great time to take photos .... before Ethan was put into the Isolette.
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Dad getting close to Ethan. It's amazing how tiny he is. At this point, Ethan's arm is roughly the size of Dad's finger!! But boy is he a cutie!!! Resting in the isolette. An isolette is an incubator. Since Ethan's body expects to still be in the womb, it's very important to keep him warm and cozy. We can still touch him through the openings. It's also very important to monitor Ethan closely since his little body was not quite prepared for this experience. The fleet of nurses keeps a constant eye on the babies and they check up on any alarms.
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Mom and Ethan sharing one of their first moments together. Too moving to even begin to express here. Mom with her arm in the isolette. She did not get to visit Ethan until the first night, as she was simply too sore from surgery. One nurse thought it best if Dawn just visit him the next day, but there was no keeping her from her new son. So, she struggled to get into a wheelchair and visit that evening. Mom and Grandma Witham visiting. There's a limit of two people with baby and only parents can visit after 8:00, but the nurse gave us have a little leeway since it was the first visit by Mom. Grandma has her hands above Ethan's head and below his feet. They tell us that this gives him comfort since it feels more like being in the womb.
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The sign on the isolette, so everybody knows who the handsome lad is when they go by. We've been told that we can decorate a bit, with pictures of us, stuffed animals, etc. We look forward to doing that very soon. It took us a day or so to finalize a name, so he was named "Boy" for a while. We were not exactly prepared for him to arrive so soon, but we had always thought that his name would be Ethan so it was easy to make a decision. The sign outside the NICU (Newborn Infant Care Unit) where Ethan is being cared for.  It provides important directions for all to follow.  

Sonogram (01/18/02):

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Here's your standard sonogram profile picture.  Not so standard to us of course :) Some fingers.  We think that's the right hand, but we're not sure.  We mostly got pictures of little fists. Despite what may appear to be some other blessed part of the anatomy, this is one of the baby's feet.
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Staring right at you.  Has that kind of "what's goin on out there" look. Doc tells us this is a yawn.  Don't feel bad.  There's was open discussion of the alien resemblances at this stage of development :) It's a Boy!!



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