Ethan Connor – 9:19am on 3/14/16, 3lbs 5oz.
So, what about Ethan Connor’s name? Well, Diane was working at the SIUE library one night during her pregnancy. It was that point in the pregnancy where almost everything was annoying. One student was practically yelling, trying to get another student’s attention – and he just happened to be yelling ‘Ethan’. After hearing it several times Diane thought, “Huh, that actually doesn’t annoy me. I think I’ll add ‘Ethan’ to our list of possible names.” Connor is a derivative of my name (Connie). Diane offered to use my maiden name (Albert) as a name for the boys. I didn’t like the idea as Albert as a first or middle name just didn’t seem to fit with any of the other names on our list. But, I said to her one day “I do like the name Connor”.
A piece of the story that many do not know: at 8am on 3/14/16 hospital staff wheeled Diane out of her room toward labor and delivery. They got us in an L&D room, started to prep her and got me my cool blue outfit for the event. By 10am the boys were out, she was stitched up from her C-section and we were back in her L&D room for her recovery time…a two-hour recovery time. They would not wheel her through the NICU until they had monitored her for two hours to ensure she was okay following surgery. She had seen all of the boys immediately after they were stabilized, but would have to wait to see them again. Her anxiety was palpable. I had taken pictures of each of them. So, I opened my phone and said “Let’s name them while we wait!” This served to keep her calm and help her wait out the time until she could touch them when they wheeled her, in her hospital bed, through the NICU. It was during that recovery time when we determined that this little guy’s name is Ethan Connor.
Ethan was a rock star from the beginning. He did have that central line through is umbilical cord at first, but otherwise he entered Cardinal Glennon NICU as basically a feeder and grower. He had no issues with his bowels, or keeping food down. Like Elliott, he didn’t have the suck-swallow-breathe skill due to his age, so was started with tube feedings. When he was ready, though, he took to breast and bottle-feeding like a champ. He was the first to be allowed off monitors for short periods of time. This meant we could take him into his brothers’ rooms for visits. It made being together a bit easier. While in Cardinal Glennon each boy had his own room. So Diane and I spent our days and nights moving between them. Fortunately, the staff got Ethan and Elliott in side-by-side rooms and Henry was just across the hall.
As life at Cardinal Glennon was winding down for Ethan, he was diagnosed with retinopathy of prematurity. This meant that the blood vessels that grow around the eye were actually growing abnormally. In Ethan’s case they had turned in toward the center of the eye and were pushing on his retina. If treatment wasn’t administered the blood vessels would detach the retina and cause blindness. I’ll spare you the details of this drama, because I want to focus on the positive – and that is the fact that the treatment provided has done its job. The blood vessels are now almost exactly where they should be for a healthy eye. We won’t know for a while yet if there is any vision damage, but the bottom line is that he is not blind. Hallelujah!
On April 29th, Ethan left Cardinal Glennon and became the first triplet to sleep at home in his crib. He was the first to roll from front to back and smile socially. For weeks he was our ‘Triplet Ambassador”. Whenever someone new met them we would hand them Ethan because he would flash a smile and melt that person’s heart. He is still flashing that smile! He loves to stand up and has been practicing with his voice, trying out new sounds every day. Recently he started giggling and it is an amazing sound. When on his stomach he is working to figure out what those knees are for, so I think we’ll see more than scooting soon.
While he has only a few wisps of hair, several people have commented that it looks red. Are we going to have a red-haired, blue-eyed boy? No matter what his hair and eye color, he already has us tightly wrapped around his little finger.