Saturday, July 21, 2007

the girl who is finding it hard

It hit me on Wednesday that it had been a week that little Eleven had been in the NICU. It was a good day--he was moved to an open air crib, a graduation of sorts since it meant he could maintain his temperature enough to be out of "the box"--but it was the first day that I cried seeing him and leaving him. It had been a week since he had been born and he wasn't home. It had been a week since he had been born and I was leaving him--again. It hurt. And it has really hurt more every day since that little anniversary.

All in all, though, Eli is doing well: each day is an improvement. Day 5 saw him taken off IV. Day 6, his feedings were increased. Day 7, he graduated to an open air crib. Day 8, he was taken off his monitors. And Day 9--today--he was given a hearing test (he passed) and car seat test (to make sure he wouldn't get apnea at the 45 degree angle of the carseat--he passed that too) and a head ultrasound to check his brain development (waiting on those results.)

About an hour ago I was struck with an urge to go see him. Usually Aramis and I split shifts at the hospital, trying to make it to all of his daytime feedings for some kiss and cuddle time and bonding. Our last visit is usually the 9 o'clock one and Zack and Ian have both made individual visits. (Matthew has had a little cough, so he hasn't had a turn yet.) Tonight I really wanted to just go steal him away and lay down with him. One of the best experiences of a new baby is when you lay down in bed with them and look at all of their little pieces and parts. I haven't really seen my little guy in all of his glory since I handed him off to the EMS guys. The nurses in the NICU are so professional. Nothing wrong with that, and I love them for all they do for my little guy, however--every time I loosen up the baby burrito, one of them comes along and briskly tucks him in again. Exasperating! I had to ask if his umbilical cord had fallen off yet! There is just this loss of control that is so unnerving.

In the Family Room of the NICU they have copies of Preemie magazine. I picked up a copy and took it home with me. Reading this magazine, I realized how good we have it. I don't think a single "miracle story" involved a baby older than 30 weeks. Some of the preemie products they have out there sort of baffled me ( a pair of beanbag hands you are supposed to sleep with to get your scent on and then wrap around your preemie in the NICU so the baby feels like you are holding them--???, really? ) but I found ads for lots of preemie clothes suppliers. Hopefully, I won't feel like ordering some stuff from them though. I sincerely hope he doesn't need a huge preemie wardrobe.

The good news is that if he continues feeding as well as he is today (but not yesterday, yesterday was a step backwards) he may be home by next week. So we are hoping for that. We are slowly getting the house ready for his arrival.

Here's hoping it's soon.

The last few days in pictures:

Day 5: and looking like he's kind of wondering, "What the hell have I gotten myself into?"

Day 6: Such a sweet, wide-eyed look!

Day 7: it's a blurry picture, but it's a sweet little half-smile, I have to share!

Graduation Day!

Day 8 and the nurses found me a different hat for him. I was tired of the pink and blue. The pom-pom on top is nearly as large as his head!

Another cute shot later in the day.

And here is a comparison so you can see how tiny his little head is! When I call him an apple head it's not just the shape!

Day 9: Today I managed to unwrap his hands and hold his tiny little fingers without a nurse spotting me, lol. Instinctively his little hands go up to his mouth. I wonder if he'll be a thumbsucker like Zack and Ian, or suck his fingers like Matthew.

That's is for today. I hope that my next update is a joyful announcement that he's coming home!


Milissa said...

Isn't he a charm. I have no idea what it is like to have a preemie... mine seem to never want to come out. LOL... I am praying for him ... he'll be home soon. I know you are missing him terribly. Hang in ther... they are doing wonderful things for him. I can't wait to see him in an outfit! He's going to be so handsome! Hang in there girl. We are all thinking of you.

island girl said...

awwww....he's so stinkin' precious!! i am so crossing my fingers that he will come home SOON!!

jenscaleshr said...

You're so strong! (shut-up, you are too!) You're being strong for your whole family! I'm so proud of you!

He'll be home very soon & all of this will be a distant memory.