We woke up with the driving need to see our daughter. Wow – that parental bonding is something fierce! Our awesome new night nurse got her bed changed, got rid of the mouth feeding tube (now in her nose with the cannula) and took out her IV! She’s getting enough fluid from breast milk apparently, so she doesn’t need it again until the PDA medication starts. They put a little bow on her head (with Elmer’s glue!) and lowered her air flow a bit – all to say that when the brand-new official parents showed up, she looked healthy and happy. 🙂 As an added treat, Lexie the night nurse did foot and hand imprints and put together a scrapbook page for us and one for the birth parents! They seem so much smaller on that big piece of paper.
We also want to send a special shout-out to the advising NICU moms, especially Becca Fradin. You keep us sane, calm(er) and laughing! I shared the vampire comment with the nurses and they all nodded sagely. We are so lucky to commiserate with you and hopefully applaud your children’s progress as we root for our daughter. Just hearing from you brightens our day, so keep it up!
I know some people have commented on how open this adoption is, and I think the birth mom put it best: when they made their birth plan, they counted on 2 days in the hospital to say their goodbyes and then assumed she’d disappear from their day-to-day world. Having her in the NICU here for months changes everything, as they worry about her and she’s so close. While no one could have predicted how much we’d like each other or how early Tess would arrive, I think we all feel that this shared time works out best for everyone. It isn’t hard at all for us to share Tess with another set of parents, as they’ve (kindly) made it abundantly clear that we’re her forever parents – even before the papers got signed. The NICU staff had the same reaction; would this end up being drama or were those four people really getting along? I didn’t know an adoption like this was possible, and it’s been such an incredible experience that it gives me faith in Tess’ future. How could a kid with this many people watching out for her get anything less than a wonderful life?
On that note, now the everything’s official, that cute young couple you see in our photos are Kat and Spencer, the birth parents! We are huge fans of theirs, to put it mildly.
Tess is getting her IV for drugs right now. It’s a bummer, but will be better in the long run to catch it now. aside from that, she seems pretty comfy and happy right now. Her labs look great and she’s hanging in there on the high-flow cannula. Here’s hoping this isn’t too traumatic, although they warned us the feisty babies express their displeasure at being hungry!
I’m watching Dave hold Tess for the first time. It’s one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen – her tiny hand curled around his thumb! She looks so cosy and relaxed when she’s in our arms. It’s unimaginable that at some point we’ll be able to hold her whenever we want. You can sadly hear the air rush through her tiny cannula – so much air she refuses to close her mouth! She’s getting better with the pacifier though, because we use it as a cork.
We came back to the House early tonight, right at shift change. Dave ran into the office with our adoption day hand/footprints and showed them off to the managers! Well, it was like magic. Suddenly, the people who run this house (that we’re never in because our hospital is so far away) were exclaiming over our little girl and sharing in our joy at having her in our lives. They copied our scrapbook page to hang in the hall of kids, and it suddenly felt so right for her to be there! As Dave said, why shouldn’t we celebrate the good days? And guys? So far, almost all days with Tess are good days. 🙂