My first Mother's Day was celebrated a day early on May 9th, 2009. I had been visiting our sons in the NICU and talking to Nicholas's nurse about his condition. He continues to be struggling from issues with his blood pressure, and respiratory status but his nurse reassures me that these are very common issues for babies born as early as ours and hopefully will not have long term effects. Ofcourse I have been wondering like any new parent, and especially a NICU parent--how long until I can hold my baby in my arms. When your baby is born full term, most parents get to have that contact almost immediately but because of how early and small our babies were born, and all of their health complications, no one ever really told us when it would be possible and we really had been to afraid to ask, fearing to hear how long it might be.
Somehow on this day, I finally got the nerve to ask, how long might it be before we could hold our babies for the first time? I wasn't sure what I expected to hear. I thought "possibly a couple more weeks", or "lets see how things go". Instead, the nurse was looking over Nicholas's vital signs and said "He's pretty stable, why don't we try it now?" My heart felt like it was going to jump out of my chest and I was afraid for a moment that I misunderstood until he came back with a sweetly knitted blue cap. The nurse explained to me that each of the nurses were different when it came to comfort level of taking these micro preemies out for holding (basically don't expect this often right now) and that really one of the biggest issues in babies this size was their inability to keep their body temperature up so he prepared me that I may only get to hold him a few minutes and see how things go. I would settle at this point for 5 seconds if I could just touch him and whisper to him without the thick Plexiglas being in the way.
It took what seemed like forever for not one but two nurses to prepare everything needed to bring my baby out of his incubator and into my arms. I almost felt guilty that they had to do all of this for just a few minutes for my own pure joy. I was also wondering if Mark would get back in time to see this and boy was he going to be jealous....but really all of those thoughts disappeared the second they placed Nicholas in my arms. I couldn't believe he was really there, certainly I could barely feel him since he still weighs under two pounds. But I could touch him and whisper to him and stare at him without anything in the way. It was the most amazing day. Mark did make it in time and I love him even more for not being upset that I was the one getting the first try at this, rather he was genuinely happy just watching me with our son. I held him for about 15 minutes but it was 15 minutes of bliss!
The only thing that saddened me on this day was the longing to also hold his brother, and with his medical issues and needs for healing, I know that it will be some time before we are allowed to have this experience with him. But Alex is making us so proud, he continues to surprise all of the medical staff with how well he is recovering from his surgery, and the preemie issues in general. I will be patient and wait until he is ready and continue to thank God for our two incredible miracles!!! I look so forward to the future where Mark and I will be sitting together, each of us holding one of our sons close to our hearts.