I bought Gabriel a Halloween shirt a few weeks ago and have been praying that he’d be able to wear it (he’d have to be off the ventilator). Gabriel was officially extubated two days ago! He’s on a less severe breathing machine, CPAP. He cried for several hours after he was put on CPAP because it’s strapped to his head, covers his ears, and blows so much air into his nostrils that if he opens his mouth, air blows out. He’s finally adjusted to it. His body hasn’t progressed yet, since being on CPAP, but he isn’t getting worse…so that’s ok with me! I’ve heard Gabriel’s cry for the first time in almost a month, his hoarse little cry. I never thought I’d be so happy to hear him cry.
My Biel is up to 6 lb 2 oz, 37 weeks gestational age, and 7 weeks old. He’s done remarkably well with his feedings! He is having consistent dirty diapers, no spit up, and is up to 1 oz (30 mL) of breast milk through his feeding tube every 3 hours! Gabriel’s doctor gave me permission to hold him starting yesterday… after 17 days and 1.5 lb later. Today he buried himself further into my arms; this is what motherhood is all about.
This week I’ve been able to see three of the NICU moms that I got close to who have all been able to go home. These women have shared in my tears and have shared in my joy. phenomenally strong women, families, and babies. I’m so excited to have play dates in the near future!!
I can’t say that I’m beyond my hesitancy to be fully enthralled in the happy moments and progress. In actuality, my “hesitancy” is coming out in frustration and anger. Gabriel has cried more than ever on the CPAP and the helplessness is killing me!! There are only so many things that I’m allowed to do that would bring comfort to him and when those things don’t work, I can’t just pick him up or rock him or take him on a walk or for a drive in the car to calm him down – and it’s so frustrating. I’m helpless to my own baby… and we both cry. I’m trying to uproot the displaced anger; however, when a nurse feeds my baby 40 minutes LATE, she may or may not be getting deserved anger (I haven’t decided yet). For now, I’m just trying to coast, not have expectations, and fully enjoy holding Gabriel again.