I’m sitting here watching our 4 month old (2 months adjusted) wiggle her arms and legs feverishly while her little toys swing above her, just begging for her to grab them. She’s found her voice and tries to talk to them with the few sounds she’s figured out how to make.
It’s amazing to see how far she’s come from her early arrival Thanksgiving morning. She arrived at 2:11am and was 32 weeks at the time of her birth. Thankfully, she was a little turkey and weighed 5lbs 2oz, which helped her progress as fast as she did. It was such a surreal feeling to not see her for over 24 hours- mostly for me to recover from surgery enough so that I could make the journey to the NICU down the hall. I will never forget the first time I saw my beautiful baby. She was beneath tubing and wires and lighted gadgets and who knows what else. She layed helplessly in her little isolette with her chest heaving each breath she took. Her skin was so soft and so thin- she was reddish, pink all over as her skin was still translucent. Her little eyes were closed and her little tongue occassionally made an appearance for no real reason.
I felt so helpless to know that I couldn’t help this little one at all and the only reason she was still with us was due to medical intervention. The only thing I could do was pray…and solicit prayers from friends and family, But soon enough, God’s healing hand was evident in our baby’s recovery. She came off the ventilator after only one day. She came off the oxygen a few days later. She began taking small amounts of milk by feeding tube. Then the day came where I could hold her…close. It’s called kangaroo care and
the nurse stuffed the baby down my shirt. It was the best feeling ever!
Soon, she was well enough to try to nurse and she did great. Every day we saw dramatic improvement and we know it was due to constant prayers of protection and healing. Things could have been so much worse and thank God they weren’t. Our baby’s only set back was some difficulty gaining weight. She just tired out from eating but only days later she got the hang of it and returned to her birth weight. The doctor who cared for her continued to acknowledge God’s work, His timing and His perfection. We were extremely comforted to know that the doctor in charge of our baby’s care was a Godly man.
Finally the day came when we were able to take our baby home. It was exciting and terrifying all at once. I was completely afraid of being without the NICU staff standing by at a moment’s notice. She was home with us…ok, we can do this. Take her temperature, change her diaper and feed her. How hard could this be? Well, we went through the the cycle once- no tinkles in the diaper. Nothing to worry about, it’ll happen next time.
We went through the cycle a second time- no tinkles in the diaper. Hmm…I’m sure it’ll happen next….right? What if it doesn’t?? So three worrisome hours pass all the while thinking we are going to have to take her to the hospital because of dehydration.
Third time arrives. Check the temperature- all looks good. Diaper change…tinkles?? Yes! We have tinkles!! Huge sigh of relief…I’ve never been to happy to see urine in all my life but there it was. Her body was working properly all by itself with no NICU staff. It was then that I realized- we can do this and she is going to be ok.
Back to the present…there she is at my feet, playing in her exercise mat and starting to whimper for attention. Thank you, God, for answered prayer.