Long Break, Good Reasons

It’s been well over a year since I’ve posted on this site. I swear I’ve got good reasons. Shortly after my last post, Nicole (my spouse) got admitted to the hospital with something scary called HELLP Syndrome. Basically, HELLP is something that puts a pregnancy and the mother at grave risk. That was Wednesday, May 11th, 2016. By the weekend, we were feeling optimistic that she “merely” had a long stint of inpatient bedrest ahead of her. In the wee hours of Sunday, May 15th, HELLP came back with a vengeance. At 7:38am, our son, Carlos Jesús (CJ) was delivered via emergency C-section.

CJ was 24-weeks gestation. He weighed 435 grams — a mere 15oz. He was about 10 inches long. H couldn’t breathe without mechanical ventilation, oxygen, and more. He’d lose more weight in his first 10 days, before slowly growing and fighting off everything that was thrown at him. We’ve catalogued his journey on a public Facebook page, which is most easily reached at http://youngscrappyandhungry.com (yes, I’m a Hamilton fan).

Keep reading for pics and the happy ending….

CJ at 1 week, “wearing” our wedding rings.

The good news: after a 148 day stay in the amazing NICU at the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital, CJ was discharged and our new journey started at home. Now 1-year-old “adjusted” (i.e., he’s a year past his due date, which was September 1), he’s been off of oxygen for several months, he’s off most of his medications, and he’s developmentally exactly where he should be for someone of his adjusted age. He’s small, but he’s strong and full of character.

CJ with a typical, mischievous look on his face.

So … that’s what I’ve been up to. I took the fall 2016 term off from teaching and burned a course release in spring 2017 as well. I’m on sabbatical this semester trying to work on my new book project (which I’ll hopefully start blogging about soon) and finish up some side-projects. I’ll follow this up with a post about some interviews and reviews related to The New York Young Lords and the Struggle for Liberation.