Home Stretch?

Rowie is taking her time. She’s in no rush.

I, on the other hand…

Praise Jesus, the bradys and de-sats do actually go away. I couldn’t have imagined it if I tried. Thank you Heavenly Father.

Rowan received a large dose of caffeine last Friday to help her de-sats vanish. She just needed a little boost, and it seems to be working. If she can continue to remain stable – even after her eye exam this morning – the doctor will remove her cannula. If she can breathe on her own and remain stable – what a huge step! No more air blowing in her nose, maybe her feeding tube will be moved to her nose – and perhaps baby girl will be more interested in feeding by mouth.

Breastfeeding is my current dilemma. She does very well with the nipple shield, but lately she’s just been falling asleep when I hold her. It is wonderful to know that I calm and comfort her, but she won’t stay awake to eat! And I’ve tried skin to skin, tickling, etc. to keep her awake, but the cuddles are just too relaxing I guess. She also must learn how to bottle feed as she’ll need fortified meals and a way to receive her medication at home.

She’s, like, a baby now. I think she likes me. 😊 She makes baby noises and is huge! She gets upset, and I can make her feel better. I’m her mommy, and she knows it. I’m starting to realize that she needs me more than she needs the nurses/doctors. That makes me feel really, really good. I love her so much. She’s everything I’ve waited for.

I’m “allowed” to hold her whenever I want. I’ve been taking her temperature and changing her diaper. Daddy and I have been doing that for a while now I suppose. I’m very familiar with babies. I know how to care for them. I handle my Rowie like a baby. I’m not scared to pick her up or turn her over. I don’t worry about hurting her. I know what I’m doing; I get babies. Before, though, it was different. She. was. so. fragile. Limited touch, noise, light, etc. Now she’s my baby whom I know and understand how to handle.

I look at her “newborn” photos – the ones from her first days. To me, she is my two-month old baby. To you, she’s probably a newborn now. I never intended for her to experience our third trimester in an isolette, but she’s grown up so quickly before my eyes. I experience those bittersweet emotions just like any other mommy. I suppose I get bonus newborn-baby time though – if that’s what you want to call it.

There are other things here and there regarding her health that Daddy and I pray will resolve. They’re not worth mentioning, though. Daddy and I will worry about and deal with them. The point is: She’s perfect.

I cried on my way to the hospital today. Emmanuelle. I miss her – my sweet baby girl. I wish I could have her. I wish Rowie could have her. Often times I think about my experiences with Rowan and am reminded that I was supposed to have those experiences with Emmanuelle too. Gosh, that button nose and those eyes.

It sucks. She was so feisty. She was doing so well, then everything changed so quickly.

I’m holding Rowan now as her gavage feed is ending. There’s nothing better. But I’m starving; I haven’t eaten all day. Okay, I had two Ensure shakes this morning before my run. I ought to sneak in some lunch.

I wanted to write more, but I don’t have the words right now …

… Something about Emme being Rowie’s guardian angel … and how it annoys me when people compare Rowan’s birth gestational age to another preemie baby’s … and how it really fucking sucks to see #birthwithoutfear photos on Instagram because those moments look beautiful, and the birth of my daughters was horrific. How did Nina put it? “Violent and unpleasant.”

Alright, I’m pretty hungry. It’s time for my millionth Subway Flatizza at the hospital’s food court.

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14 thoughts on “Home Stretch?

  1. You are an amazing beautiful Person. Hope the years ahead are happy and healthy for your family. If you keep Emmanuelle’s innocence, love and goodness in your heart..she will be with you always…I know you will. Happiest of Holidays to you.

  2. So glad to hear that Rowie is doing so well. And even breast feeding! That’s amazing.
    I know it is nothing at all the same, but my baby wouldn’t stay awake to breast feed no matter what I did. Even cold washcloths didn’t phase him at all. I really have no advice. We just had to fight through it as well as we could. I guess us mommies are just too darn snuggly! πŸ˜‰
    I wish that you and Rowie and your husband could still be with Emmanuelle too in person as well as in spirit. I am glad that you talk about her and keep her memory alive. I think that is very important to remember that she did exist and her spirit still does. πŸ™‚

  3. So glad things are progressing as they are. Your baby is perfect. Your family is so strong.

    Emmanuelle’s spirit will always be with you.

  4. You will always carry Emme in your heart and we will all always morn her loss. You will always be the Mommy of two an no one can change that. Ever. No one. So glad to hear Rowan is doing well. Sweet girl! You are already running? Are you 6 weeks post partum? I can’t wait until I can be active again.

  5. Just when it had gotten easy to see happy pregnant people, it all got stolen away again. It pains me to see beautiful gentle births as well. I am so proud of Rowie. I can’t blame her for snoozing when she’s so close to Mommy. She’ll figure out Mommy has multiple uses.

  6. I’m excited Rowan is growing and doing well. She clearly is smart for loving her momma so much already πŸ™‚
    I’m sorry you are missing her sweet sister though. It is not fair.
    Both girls are so so lucky to have such a strong, amazing momma!

  7. I hear a spark of joy in your voice I haven’t heard this strong in a while I must say. I also hear the moments of pain that creep up from time to time in your missing Emmanuelle, but they are outnumbered by the joy with Rowan that is taking over uncontrollably….for that I am so VERY thankful for you to experience!

  8. I’m so glad Rowan is growing strong. I hate that Emmanuelle is missing from this puzzle and I hate that future memories were lost with her passing. I’m so excited to think that soon Rowan will be in your arms going home. That warms my heart and I am excited for that day.

  9. Can’t wait to see pictures of your beautiful girl! I love the blog banner, with those perfect little fingers. Hope she’s home soon.

  10. I’m way behind in my reading, but wanted to let you know I’m still following your story and cheering for baby Rowan! I’m so glad to read that she is doing well and getting past that fragile state, which is so scary. I’m also very sorry for the heartache of not having Emmanuelle with you.

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