One month later
A month ago, at this very moment, I was hunched over a table in the OR as the anesthesiologist pricked my back several painful times, looking for the right spot to give me my epidural. I was about to go under the knife for the fourth time, for my fourth son. This c-section though was going to be very different from the other three, it would be the most painful and emotionally draining of them all. I would not come out of this c-section to have my baby placed in my arms and my joy over take my pain, instead it would only be one of many scary and painful steps in my youngest son’s journey into this world, a journey that started two months sooner than it should have.
That was all a month ago now and many things have changed in that month. Things certainly aren’t as scary or painful as they were a month ago. Last night my little guy was moved from the long term NICU to the short term NICU in preparation of going home soon. This is just one of many exciting and hopeful signs we have been given in the last few days. At one month old (35 weeks 3 days adjusted) my little guy is now almost 4 and a half pounds, up from 2lbs 12oz at birth. He has been off oxygen and at room air for a couple of weeks. He was moved out of the isolet and into a crib a week ago. He began to be introduced to the breast and then the bottle within the past week. As of this morning, he has doubled the amount of milk he was able to take from a bottle during one feeding from 12 to 24ml. He is doing so well that the only thing left for him to do is to be able to take his entire feeding, every time, by bottle (or breast, but that will likely happen after he comes home). Things are looking good for my little guy.
It is hard to believe that my little guy was born a month ago. In many ways it feels like we have been traveling back and forth to the NICU forever, yet it also feels like he was just born yesterday. The past month has been so strange and filled with so many emotions. Now we are getting ready for new emotions and experiences, the feeling of elation and apprehension at the idea of finally bringing our preemie home in the next week or two. Soon all the pain and fear of the past month (and even longer) will no longer matter because I will be home with my littlest guy in my arms and that is all that will matter; and for that I am thankful.