Holding her. Part 9

Monday, May 27

Mike calls the hospital to check in & see how she’s doing. The nurse tells him that her UV line in her belly button is out & she’s completely off of the oxygen! Which means we get to hold her today!!! We both wanted to say forget everything we needed to get done that morning & just sprint back to Buffalo. Joy, complete joy!

How amazing is God? The church came together and prayed for our girl & she makes huge progress! Prayer is a real thing friends. He hears every word, every thought. The petitions of His people do not fall on deaf ears. The nurse tells us E is sucking down milk too! She’s building that appetite!

We head to the school so that I can get the plans for children’s church that I had left on my desk & help my substitute with the plans for the rest of the school year.  Then meet Tree at the church to get everything set up for June. We picked up our car from the shop & stop at home so that I can pump before heading to back to our girl!

Frustration & disappointed don’t begin to describe how we feel when we walk back into the NICU… The UV line is not out yet. The nurse clearly didn’t share the information with Mike very well. The UV line is coming out, just not yet. What’s worse is that E now has an IV going in her forehead. Her forehead. The most awful looking sight. It’s to make sure she gets the proper fluids. She may be gulping down milk, but it’s not as much as the dr’s want her to be taking. So the fluids are helping her get enough nutrients. She needs to drink 45 mL of milk before they’ll consider taking the IV out. At her last feeding she took 24 mL.

I get to feed her again. Still can’t hold her because of the line in her belly. This time she doesn’t seem too interested. Wants to sleep through the whole feeding. She kept passing out when I tried to burp her & daddy thought it was hysterical. And cute. The nurse finally steps in to finish giving her the bottle because clearly I wasn’t getting it done like they wanted me to. Then I changed a big poopy diaper.

Side note: nurses are amazing. NICU nurses are a million steps above that. to spend their days caring for such fragile & precious humans. I could never do their job. But..like all professions, some people should choose a different career. Don’t get me wrong, E had some phenomenal nurses & I’ll certainly be sharing about them, but being in the NICU is like being in a fish bowl. So, so many eyes watching everything you do. As a brand new mom, this was intimidating. I felt like every move I made was being monitored, well actually I’m sure it was. for obvious reasons. but certain nurses made me feel extremely self conscious. I wasn’t feeding her right. I wasn’t changing her right. I wasn’t soothing her right. everything was new to me. and none of it was like I planned, so when some nurses stepped in and actually offered encouragement and help, I was more than happy. and when others offered judgment, I felt more insecure about this mama job.

M & I head to lunch and to walk around a few stores.

I head straight to pump when we get back to the hospital. The UV line came out while we were gone. But now this means we can barely touch her for awhile just to make sure she doesn’t bleed out from where the line was. She still has the IV through her forehead & it just looks so painful to me. The nurses promise me it isn’t. That it doesn’t bother E at all.

My parents come up & we get to watch daddy finally change a diaper. His first diaper ever. And he did great. Ha…I was right there offering lots of help along the way. And I think E actually peed a little while he was changing it. I feed her again but she barely takes 15 mL. Nurse can’t even get her to take it. Troy & Nicole stop in to say hi.

I head to pump & think we will probably all leave once I’m done. Mike’s heading back to Olean with my parents tonight. Back to work for him… But when I get back to E’s room, Mike tells me to put my stuff down & sit.


The most amazing feeling. I can’t even describe. It’s been almost a week since she was born and I’ve held her for a total of 5 minutes. And have spent the rest of that week just staring at her.

I cry. Mike cries. Emma just sleeps. I never want to put her down. She feels so perfect in my arms. So at rest. Exactly where she should be. I want to hog her all to myself but daddy want’s some cuddle time too. I’m pretty sure this is the first time M has held her. And I melt. It is just the sweetest, most amazing sight. My husband. Holding our daughter. Our beautiful, sweet, precious daughter. Our miracle. Our gift. Oh friends, I pray someday you all experience that feeling. Seeing the one you love hold your blessing in their arms. There is no other feeling like it.

After what feels like only seconds, but really was much longer… we pull ourselves away from her. She’s completely peaceful and asleep for the night, so we say our goodbyes.

Such a painful goodbye. Mike tries making it quick so neither of us cry, but who is he kidding. I sob the entire way back to my cousins. This is not how it’s supposed to be. He shouldn’t be leaving me. I want him in Buffalo all of the time. I don’t think I can go every day, all day without him. And I’m selfish. He doesn’t want to leave either. I can’t imagine the pain he was feeling as he drove off that night. Leaving his entire world in an whole different city.

It was hard. And so sad. I can already feel like the days are getting longer & the light at the end of this tunnel is getting further away.

But getting to hold my daughter. Getting to see M hold his daughter. I clung to those images to get me through that night. Knowing that someday, someday…we’d be home.



















to be continued…


Claire Flores said...

It's such a roller coaster in the NICU... I Totally know what you mean about feeling monitored and it was my third, so I can't imagine the feeling with your first--that stress of feeling like you aren't doing it properly--or rather being made to feel like you aren't doing it properly. in a normal scenario you work through those trial and error in the privacy of your own home--not with a bunch of professionals watching. But seeing you and Mike cradle her is just beautiful. Seeing you both kiss her forehead--nothing can take away from that moment! That simple act of holding that child is so precious

Liz Edwards said...

Thank you!

Liz Edwards said...

Thank you Claire :)