So I am not quite sure how this happened, but I think I blinked and 10 days of baby love have already gone by! It seems like we were just walking into the maternity ward, and now I am here with my munchkin sleeping sweetly on my chest, not a care in the world besides the warmth of mommy. It's just lovely.
And, as if that wasn't enough, the Christmas season is officially over too. This year was a bit different, as I basically did no shopping since I was so tired and pregnant this last month, so it was maybe a bit more impersonal. And then, the NICU stay happened, which was so unplanned, of course. So, our family members (excluding the girls) got gift cards I thought they would like. And, my grandmother who lives in Florida, my brother's new wife and our new baby girl all added to our usually small family gathering. For the last four years it's actually grown, since my sister or I have had a baby for each of the last four years.
I also wanted to share with you a bit about the NICU stay and how God really used it as a faith builder for us. It was a very traumatic time for me, I think because it was so unexpected. The first couple of days I was just devestated and crying all the time, but as the days wore on, I was able to get myself back together and started to be a little less emotional and much more rational. So, I developed friendships with all of Anna's caretakers, and found they were pretty much all believers. It was amazing to have them there and be so supportive, and talk to them about God as well. Really, it seems small, but what a blessing!
On Friday I started praying that I would be able to hold Anna on Saturday. She had been being fed through a tube and they did not want to overstimulate her, so I couldn't hold her or breastfeed her. My only contact with her was changing her diapers, which meant everything to me because I just wanted some bit of normalcy with my new baby. So, most of the day on Saturday went well, but by the end of the day I was in tears so the nurse asked me why. I told her I just wanted to hold my baby and she agreed to it and then talked to the nurse practioner who said they wanted to increase her fluids so they were taking out the IV so I could try and breastfeed. I had been pumping with great success, which was a blessing in itself since it took 10 days for my milk to come in with Lilla. My milk came in in abundance this time and as soon as I put Anna on the breast she latched on and hasn't let up since!
On Saturday I started praying that on Sunday she would be weaned off the air they were giving her through her nose. It did not contain O2, it was room air, but they were using it to expand her lungs to try to get the fluid out. Don't you know, when I came back after getting a shower on Sunday, there was no tube in her nose. It was fabulous to see her face! Her bilirubin count, she's a bit jaundiced, had gone down dramatically too! And then, they started talking about us going home in the next few days.
So, on Sunday, I started praying we would go home on Monday. When the doctor told Michael, that was the plan, I could have cried! So when Monday came around I didn't let myself believe it as the nurses were cautious to not give us hope until the doctor had for sure cleared Anna. Then the nurse suddenly came in and said, "You're going home today!" and that was the best blessing of all!
Oh, this post has gotten out of hand long...and the munchkin is stirring so I will just say I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and that your new year is filled with extra special blessings too!