Welcome to the KingZoo and Funny Farm, where we learn to live, laugh, and love together. Here you'll find snippets of life in our zoo, parenting tips we've learned along the way, reflections on shining God's light in this world, passions in the realm of orphan care, and our journey as parents of a visually impaired child with sensory processing disorder. Have fun!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Visualizing Victor

I'll be the first to admit that I had no idea what a 25 weeker, less than 2 pounds, baby was going to look like.  I had googled it.  The younger kids and I looked at pictures of other 25 weekers.  I thought I was prepared.  But pictures taken with a tele lens do not tell the whole story.  Nothing could have prepared me for this tiny little human.

Being born in the midst of the Gosnell trial, Victor's tiny, yet perfect body, really puts things into perspective.  I've seen some of those pictures, as many as I could handle, and I was horrified.  And with that in mind, the fight to save Victor's life is nothing short of miraculous.

But people are always asking me, How tiny is he really?  Yesterday a friend posted this comment on Facebook:

"I was trying to get some perspective on how much 1 lb. 14 oz. is and started looking around my kitchen...and figured out that Victor is almost as big as my big bottle of coffee creamer.  That's pretty good!  So this morning, I raise my mug and drink to you!"

But if you're like I was before arriving in the NICU, you still can't visualize what this mini peanut (one of his many nicknames here) looks like.  So, imagine a baby with a body the size of a Beanie Baby's body.  His head about the size of a lemon.  His fingers are long and oh, so skinny.  His feet barely longer than a quarter each.  He has fingernails, eyebrows, a head of thick, black hair, and tiny eyelashes that curl.  That dark hair is all over his body.  He has no fat or muscle so his limbs are long and skinny.  His belly is often extended.  His skin is dark but translucent so we can see those tiny veins.  His ears are large, flat and pressed to his head.  His eyes are mostly closed. Occasionally they open, but do not attempt to focus.  His head, neck, and fingers give him a very E.T. like appearance.  When he's mad at the nurses for messing with him, he wrinkles his face and becomes an old man.  He has tubes and wires and tape and gunk going every which way.  He's fragile, precious and wonderfully made.  Everything he needs to be a living, breathing human being is there, albeit tiny and in need of maturation.  He is wanted and loved.

Besides Mini Peanut, the NICU doctors, nurses, and therapists have nicknamed him The Little Fighter, The Little Trooper, Second (most of their babies are shorter than a minute but Victor is shorter than a second), and Swinger (because his oxygen levels keep the nurses on their toes).

He had a much better day yesterday.  His oxygen needs still fluctuate but most of the time, when he dips, he brings it back on his own and the dips are not as low and dangerous as they had been.

He graduated to a CPAP which is great news.  Praise God for this and pray that he continues to remember to breathe on his own.  That's kind of important.

He broke the 2 pound barrier which is also great news.  Praise God for donor breastmilk and a NICU that believes in using it.  They continue to increase his feedings.

He is no longer so bothered by people talking around him and actually seems to pick up his breathing when you talk to him.  He is less bothered by the nurses handling him.

Pray that he breathes, feeds, and grows.  Those are his main jobs for the next few months.

Pray for John at home who is struggling with wearing several hats.  Personally, I think this is good timing for him, coming off of many years of perpetual graduate education.  It may give him some sensitivity to what it was like for me at home alone those many times.  And if he utilizes the time well, it will give him one-on-one time with his children, time that has been in short supply as he worked on this latest degree.  The first step is overcoming the, "But you didn't have to work fulltime," excuse.  Because I'm pretty certain that I work overtime, even if I don't need to leave the house to do it.

For me, pray that I find some time and place to get outside and move.  I may not be the most outdoorsy or athletic, but for someone who's used to running a few days a week and walking in-between, the most exercise I'm getting these days is uncrossing my legs and recrossing them the other direction.  Yesterday I got so desperate that I parked at a strip mall and walked up and down the sidewalk in front of the stores.  I left before someone could call the cops, thinking I was scoping out the place.

Thanks for keeping all of us in your prayers!


  1. Awe, that is so great that he is on the CPAP machine now!!!! I remember how big of a deal it was when Andrew moved off the ventilator and onto that :) So enjoying reading all your updates and everything you have been posting about this journey!

  2. I wake up thinking about you and praying that God will supply all your needs. I hope you get out for a jog/walk today. With those mountains as a backdrop...wow!

    1. I'm truly living in a postcard. Thanks for the prayers.

  3. I knew when the only thing I could compare him to was a bottle of liquid, that your baby was probably condensed into a much tinier package. But I also knew that my lighthearted cheers to you would be received in the warm way it was intended :)

    Thank you for painting such a clear picture for us- and for keeping such a good sense of humor while you go through this stressful time.

    The King Family was on my mind a lot yesterday as I was (yet again) struck by what a huge influence/inspiration you have been on me. Your compassion, kindness, awareness, humor (I came up with a long list of attributes, but I'll save some of the others for later) resonate with me even as I walk through my Hell's Kitchen neighborhood and pass the hundreds of interesting characters going about their lives. I send you so much love back!

    1. I absolutely loved your comment! It was certainly received in the warm way it was intended.

  4. Replies
    1. Not amazing. Just normal, trying to keep my focus on Christ. If I don't, I tend to wallow in the craziness of this all.