We met Tess around 5am, as soon as we could get to the NICU from the airport. We met the birth parents 2 seconds before the baby, so it was a pretty momentous morning on zero sleep. We went back to sleep for an hour before rounds, when we’d finally get an update on her health. At rounds, the medical staff said Tess “didn’t realize how old she was. She’s acting like a big girl!” Dave and I, along with the birthparents, were of course ecstatic. She kept it up, too. She switched from the major ventilator to a more gentle one, and by evening was down to the canula. She even had her first breast milk (because our birthmom is awesome and pumping for the first few weeks!). We wash her face, get the goo out of her mouth (from the tubes in her mouth), take her temperature, and brush her hair with a toothbrush. She’s on a low-stimulation program, so we only touch her four times a day. Dave got to hold her for the first time, and we started working on our preemie diapering skills. I assure you, getting mini diapers that are still too big on this kid who loves to squirm and kick makes this challenging!
We got to hang out some with the birthparents, and the birthdad and Dave even ended up singing together – pretty awesome! We still can’t believe how lucky we are. 🙂 The birthmom got discharged at the end of the day, and is feeling great.
As for the Ronald McDonald House, I owe Becca Fradin an apology and a thank you! When she stayed there, she mentioned that their kindness make her teary more than once. We’re in the same boat, but I didn’t get it originally. The woman who checked us in told us we were exactly why the House exists, and then said she was a 30-week preemie herself! Seeing this healthy, happy grown woman was so reassuring, the waterworks started. Dave was tickled the Boy Scouts were making dinner last night. Becca – I get it. Wow. We are amazed at the little things they think of – from communal coffee to meals and a quiet room to – most importantly in our case – a focus on keeping the space as germ-free as possible to protect these little kids. We’re in the hospital more than we’re out right now, and having a clean, comfortable place to crash is a lifesaver. We are so, so grateful. Everyone’s emails, calls and texts made a world of difference, and helped remind us how many people are rooting for this sweet little girl.