I just wish Eva was big enough to cuddle without tubes and especially big enough to bring home. Today I had a day where I realised that it’s a really long time before I will be granted the above wishes. At least with kangaroo Care I have the opportunity to feel close to her but it also gives me a taste for what I am missing out on. Being at the maternity hospital means that several times every day I see very pregnant ladies and also new parents taking their new arrivals home. Both of these circumstances make me fleetingly jealous. God has sent me along this path for a reason and I may not be able to see why at this stage but I have to realise that the journey is important.
As a treat today I washed Eva! This means I used cotton balls dipped in warm water to wash her forehead, behind her ears, in the folds of her neck and her armpits. It was so exciting to be doing something so normal. Each little part of her is just so tiny. We will get to do this daily now.
Eva and I had special cuddles today although she was a little unsettled towards the end. The NICU was frantic at this point so maybe she was disturbed by all the noise and activity because she settled instantly in the safety and quiet of her crib. We read “We’re going on a bear hunt” and did lots of singing. Lesley, the volunteer catholic chaplain, sat with us and checked how we were all going. Lesley also prayed for us, which was lovely.
Eva had her blood overnight last night with no problems. Today she is very flushed in the face. Both Andrew and I thought her skin was rosy and that she has grown a little larger. Eva has also had a further 2 dirty nappies so that’s a good sign. Her milk is currently at 4mls every 2 hours but should be going up to 5mls during the night. Eva seems to be tolerating this well.
Due to the busyness of the NICU they had no formal medical round at 2pm like they usually do. Andrew has just come home to fill me in on the latest. Eva has a bellybutton! The black stump of her umbilical cord fell off tonight so we now have that to add to our momento collection. They plan to start giving Eva 1.5 – 2 hour breaks from her CPAP daily because her need for supplemental oxygen has decreased over the past 36 hours.
Today the staff received two newborn babies and a transfer from another hospital all within an hour. This is a lot of work for them as they have to stabilise the babies and get all the machinery set up. I guess I was probably also a little unsettled as I was watching what was happening imagining that this is what happened to Eva whilst I was still recovering in the delivery suite. I was also very conscious that there must be 3 sets of anxious parents, families and friends who are starting on a new journey. It’s hard to believe that was us just 2 weeks ago, it seems so long ago now!
Eva seems to be the star patient in the NICU currently. The staff always say how lovely and delightful she is. Of course this is because she is so easy to care for compared to the more complex cases. Mandy, a senior nurse, said tonight that Eva had been the best behaved baby today and deserved a gold star, if they gave them out. Andrew suggested they could put the stars on the end of Eva’s crib.
I know some of you are kindly keeping other babies like Reuben also in your prayers. I spoke to Reuben’s mother today who was a little anxious as he had been moved to Low Dependency due to the need for more acute beds for other babies. She feels he is not quite ready for this step. The good news is that Reuben seems to be processing his food so there is hope that his bowel is healing itself. Of course it is early days yet and every day is a blessing for them. Reuben’s parents are visiting separately this week as one needs to be home to care for their 15 month old so they are finding this separation difficult.