Today was a very special day.
There were many tiny NICU milestones. First, Eli's heated bed was turned off to see if he could regulate his own temperature. He was able to do so all morning so they decided he was ready to move to a bassinet. Also, now that he is controlling his own temperature, today was the first day he could wear a tiny tee, socks and be wrapped in a blanket.
These are such simple things, I know. But to see him in these things is so comforting to me. Instead of a sedated, unclothed baby covered in painful looking wires and tubes, he is beginning to look more comforted.
They started the regular feeds again this morning. He is only eating 5ml at a time. And while he isn't using everything he is given, so far they have not pulled any more blood from his stomach. So maybe his system is starting to learn to digest a tiny bit. We will find out more tomorrow. They are taking it very slowly.
He is still on a bit of oxygen to help his air flow. He hasn't mastered his breaths per minute as they are all over the place, but he continues to work hard at capturing those breaths.
His body is still trying to get to know this crazy place.
But the most amazing moment happened when they told me they would be switching Eli's bed this morning. They asked me if during the switch would I like to hold my baby.
Can you imagine?
Did I want to hold this baby?
It was the most incredible feeling in the world.
Even though his little body was so full of wires and cords and tubes, they brought him over to me and placed him on my chest. With his tiny fist over my collar bone and his little ear resting over my heart, he snuggled in and it was as if we had never been apart. I could feel his little breaths and hear his soft mews. I held him for an hour. It wore him out, but the nurse noted how stabilized his vitals were when skin to skin. I will forever be grateful to her for handing me my son for the first time.
Later this evening we decided it was time for Jackson to meet his brother. We wanted to wait until Eli was more stable and his machinery looked less scary, but the hospital has a strict policy that children are welcome to visit the NICU until the first RSV case has been reported in the hospital. There were rumors that a RSV case was pending so we wanted to get Jackson up there before the policy was initiated for the rest of the season. This was the first time Jackson got to see his baby brother, since Eli had been whisked away after his birth.
Jackson handled it very well. He had several questions about Eli's machines and IV fluid but he never seemed apprehensive. He was excited to touch Eli, even if it was only the top of Eli's blanket. He got to see him open his eyes and was so happy to hear his tiny noises.
Eric then read a story to both of his boys.
It meant so much to have the family all together at last, if only for a few minutes.
While we are not out of the woods yet, it was the first time we felt like there was more good than bad.
I don't want to tempt fate but we wanted to share this moment with everyone to show you that your prayers and positive energy are working.
Your love and prayers are truly gifts.
It made this moment happen...
Keep sending your gifts of prayer to our sweet Stella Rose, too. Her treatment begins tomorrow. We are sending her and her parents prayers for strength and healing.