Monday, October 28, 2013

Day 103 & 104: The best place for preemie Halloween costumes.

Day 103 & 104: October 28 & 29, 2012

JAM was being weaned from oxygen. By day 104 he was off oxygen altogether and still managing to saturate high. I spent much of Sunday afternoon with him. He slept most of the afternoon, so I made him a personalized plastic pumpkin out of craft supplies the NICU nurses had on hand. I brought him a surprise, too. I practically waltzed in with it. It hung on a cute little hanger that I placed on his isolette and showed nearly every nurse that walked in. 

You see, the night before, October 27, the rest of his family had gone to a family-friendly trick-or-treating event. During the event I felt sad. We didn't have a costume for Jonathan. How could we?  All the overstuffed pumpkins and pea pods started at size 0-3 months. He was too small.

I'd joked with a colleague that I'd dress him up in tinfoil and call him a Chipotle burrito. "He's about the right size," I said.

The colleague usually has a sense of humor, but this time just stared at me in shock. I guess it wasn't funny, after all.

I also thought about finding red boxers and boxing gloves for my little fighter. But I was having a terrible time finding gloves.

So I was out of ideas. I think I'd read somewhere that Build-A-Bear bears were about the size of a three pound baby. Maybe there was my answer.

So, in a fit of holiday spirit, after gathering the girls and all their candy back into the car, we headed 20 minutes away to the nearest Build-A-Bear workshop. The sun had gone down and we were half-expecting the store to be closed. But it was still open. Open and nearly empty.

As I walked into the room, my heart started to soar.

Forget the pumpkins and pea pod costumes, or all the cute animal baby Halloween costumes. I had just walked in to the best Halloween store ever.

A store filled wall-to-wall with Jonathan sized clothes.

It took a little creativity to find ones that opened fully in the back or front, or that had comfortable-enough seams for his sensitive skin. And then there was the problem of his central line and ostomy bag. But we'd gotten pretty good about creative dressing in the NICU (the key is to put the head hole in through the feet, not over the head, by the way) and so we were confident we could get this to work.

The question was, WHICH outfit?  Superman and the Hulk were good ideas.  The green scrubs were probably most fitting -- that was the color scrub that the respiratory therapists wore, and I could think of nothing scarier for a NICU baby than the respiratory therapists with their suctioning machines. (Respiratory therapists - I mean you no harm. I think you're amazing people. And you saved my son's life more than once. Just trying to think like a preemie here.) He could have been Woody from Toy Story or any branch of the military. And then there was the tuxedo. What could be cooler than a James Bond baby?  We had so many choices. In the end, this is what we chose:

Sith babies have red pacifiers
Jedi babies have blue pacifiers.

Yes, somehow we settled for only one costume. Not by my design, but by Steve's prudent insistence. (He was right, of course -- although I DO still wish we'd gotten the tux as well.)

Our son already had fantastic mind powers. He could get nurses running just by holding his breath.  This costume celebrated all that.

Our son was a jedi knight.

Coincidentally, he was deemed a jedi knight the same day that Disney bought the rights to the Lucas Film line.

This is what he had to say about that:

NOOO! I am NOT a Disney character!!!

It's okay, baby.
This outfit was bought when you were still
Disney free.

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