Yesterday, April 3, 2016, was one of the longest days of my life.
My daughter went into labor. The problem was, she wasn’t due until July 13. Distraught, she kept crying – “It’s not July yet. It’s too soon. It’s not July.”
It’s not July.
Her daughter apparently did not care what month it is.
Born at 12:40 yesterday afternoon, our little princess weighed in at a whopping 1 pound 11 1/2 ounces and is 12 1/2 inches long. More than 24 hours old now, she is still breathing on her own, which is miraculous considering the circumstances. Who knows why these things happen, but as evidenced by the other 19 premees in the NICU, it happens frequently.
Thus begins a new journey in our lives.
We do not have a name for this tiny little baby yet. Her mamma hasn’t been able to make up her mind yet. She’ll probably end up with 8 names. A moniker that is longer than she is. But that’s ok, she’s beautiful and perfect and we could not love her more. Yesterday, I was calling her Princess Bob. Today, I called her Princess Snugglebottoms. I’m giving her a new nick name every day until her mamma picks out a permanent name for her. 🙂
One day, I plan on telling her this story, of the day she was born. I can picture her now, with dark ringlets and a bright smile, listening to me ramble on about what a perfect but tiny baby she was. I can already see her smile at me, perhaps she’ll roll her eyes and saying something sweet such as, “Bob? Snuggle bottoms? Grandma, what were you thinking?”
But that day is a long way off. For now, our lives will consist of the NICU at OSF – the best hospital this baby and her mamma could hope to be in. It will consist of IV’s and tubes in her little belly button. Of blood tests and blood levels, incubators, machines, and nurses who should be sainted. There are countless long days and nights ahead, filled with questions, worries, concerns and I am sure, scary and terrifying moments.
But it will also be filled with hope, awe, and faith. I refuse to worry at this point. I refuse to allow worry and dread to take over. I’m going to focus only on miraculous milestones, such as ‘she’s x hours old’, then ‘x days old’, then weeks, then months.
In my heart, it was still a joyous day, even if it was filled with several terrifying and heartbreaking moments. And when I heard her cry for the first time – she sounded like a newly born kitten – I did not think I would be able to stop the tears of joy at that blessed, beautiful sound.
No matter the outcome, this baby is a blessing.
I am blessed in that my job is completely portable. All I need is my laptop. But for now, I’m putting all writing on hold. My daughter, my granddaughter, they need me. I’m also blessed that I’m only 15 minutes from the hospital. I’ll take my work with me if I need to or when things settle down a bit.
My daughter lives an hour away and has a 5 year old in kindergarten. During the week, she’ll be at home with my grandson and I will be at the hospital with the little one. On the weekends, Emilee and my grandson be living with us so that she can spend as much time as possible with her precious daughter. This week my husband and son will be busy rearranging furniture and finding creative ways to find room for extra people.
It has been a very long three days, but things will settle down soon enough when we are finally able to get into a rhythm of sorts. For now, I’m enjoying every single moment with this precious, beautiful baby with the dark hair, and long ‘piano finger’, and the button nose, and tiny toes.
My daughter gets to go home tomorrow. It’s going to be a little disappointing not taking the baby with us. But as I told Emilee tonight, by the time the baby can come home, Emilee will be well rested and back to her old self, instead of sore, exhausted, and hormonal. Hey, you have to find those silver linings wherever you can!
I ask that you keep my daughter, granddaughter, and family in your prayers.
I thank you in advance for your kind understanding of my publishing delays for 2016.
Very proud grandma to Princess Snugglebottoms