...but we've had her blessing each day of our lives in person for the past 80 days- and what a ride it has been. Acknowledging it can be cliche to say how much a baby teaches you - there truly is no better description as each hour of each day - from giving birth 11 weeks early to 61 days in the NICU and two weeks at home including being admitted back into the hospital this weekend - every second is a new lesson in the trappings of our sweet little one.
The emotion is overwhelming, and can't quite be pinpointed into one I have ever felt. It is a mixture of relief and disappointment, the irony of being elated feeling we have made it so far - almost victorious -- paired with such devastating disappointment that my body delivered Emerson Claire just a bit too soon, and each cough and wheeze she now faces as reminder of how frail she was/is.
It has been a journey that I could have never fathomably mapped. Despite the issues with Incompetent Cervix, I truly believed she would be a term baby, just like our amazing Grace. But alas, we do not always have an opportunity to "choose our own adventure" but ultimately we are the authors of how we handle the journey - and in reflection of the past 80 days since her birth, I am filled with such an overwhelming gratitude for family and friends and in a way, proud with how our story has unfolded.
This weekend at Stanford's NICU, all of the nurses kept buzzing about how we would celebrate today - for very premature babies, making it to their due date is a very big deal. Being born November 15, 2015 when she due today, February 1, 2016 - it still gives me bumps. While I would have loved to have cupcakes for the three of us and dress Emme up - instead we spent time at the Pediatric Urgent care following up on our debrief - with both of my girls under the weather. My phone broken (apologies for those who have tried to get in touch with me) - nothing is picture perfect nor what I had expected, but in a weird way it is perfect - I've had an opportunity to just savor this afternoon on the couch watching Rio & Rio 2 with my two little angels on earth - what more could a mom ask for?
This weekend was exhausting yet just another dance of our cha-cha with Emerson in the hospital. Testing positive for RSV and Rhinovirus despite being on the Syngeris vaccine I fought so hard to have her qualified for - we are playing the waiting game and praying the virus stays manageable. One note that both Grant and I found eye-opening was we have been so proud of her growth - this morning 8lbs 4 ounces -- but apparently she is drastically under the growth curve for a 29 weeker singleton and since she isnt gaining weight properly, that is another issue we will be addressing with the pediatrician this week.
Staving off pneumonia in Emerson and keeping Grace's fever under control, no one is dressed up or celebrating on the outside... but internally I am so relieved my heart but cannot help celebrate. As I said in an earlier post, my Pop-pop always challenged, "Today is the first day of the rest of your life..." and for Emme, it truly was supposed to be - but what a blessing of lessons she has already shared with our small family and our incredible community who has continued to pray for her...I look forward to witnessing how both of my girls impact the world with virtuous hearts afire.