When it is baby's first Christmas, parents all around exclaim that their "Christmas Gift Came Early This Year" (baby's birth) and in so many ways, that is true. But for me, my heart just wouldn't be whole until I had our whole family of four together for the first time, and yesterday all of my dreams and wishes came true with Grace visiting Emme in the NICU for the very first time.
In my mind was a romantic notion of how it would all work out, while the reality it was about 7 minutes with a fidgety toddler who eventually broke down into tears... but we have our first family of four photo... Accessorized with wires, binkies and tears :)
The NICU is a terrifying place, and Grace did so well - it helped being so warmly welcomed by all of the nurses. As she had to have her temperature taken to enter, it was a rough start- but even in just the short visit she seemed mesmerized by her sister's tiny fingers.
Emme is doing well, but not great. For the past few weeks our doctors had been hinting she may go home "this year" but as she is still in an isolette to regulate temperature and hasn't yet graduated from her feeding tube, we have a few more weeks. 45 days old and she has already progressed and learned so much, she is a champ at both breast and bottle feeding, but is still tiring out regularly- though we are proud to announce this little girl has made it to the 5lb club!
Her Vitamin D levels are extremely low, which in studies has shown preemies suffer from a variety of ailments from MS to Lung Disease later in life. The biggest concern today is her hemacrit levels dipping- lending to serious bouts of anemia causing her to be pale and stop breathing - her ABD episodes have increased over the past 48 hours so she is being monitored closely with the likelihood of a transfusion increasing. All that said, these are typical issues and while I would love to have her home spending Christmas with us, I have ever confidence she is where she needs to be- with the amazing NICU staff who work tirelessly no matter the day.
I have so much to say but in all honesty, my heart is both full and breaking at the same time with bittersweet emotion as I sit here in the NICU with my one daughter in my arms, knowing I have to leave her on Christmas to go witness the joy of my other daughter opening the gifts Santa brought. It is a balance I still struggle with, but ultimately one that I am grateful for...
We may be celebrating Christmas in July this year when both my girls can really enjoy :)
all of of our warmest wishes and hugs to you and your family this Christmas!