Yesterday was one of the best days of my entire life. After ten days of life, I was able to hold Elizabeth for the first time by doing what the NICU here calls "kangaroo care."
When I went in to her pod in the morning, I received bad news. Valerie, her nurse, said that her morning blood test wasn't looking great, and that they thought her heart murmur was affecting her lungs negatively and causing them to fill with fluid. She would have to have an echocardiogram, as well as her already scheduled head ultrasound to check for any bleeding. With all of the tests, Valerie didn't think that kangarooing would be wise, even though we had been looking forward to it since she was born. After breaking down for a minute, I kept going on with the day.
She had her echocardiogram around lunch time and her head ultrasound in the afternoon with Simon there with her. Afterwards, Valerie and her nurse practitioner, Tiffani, came over and told me that they thought she was stable enough to kangaroo. I went to the bathroom, took off my top and put on a gown.
I sat down in a lounge chair while the nurses picked her up and put her on my chest, making sure that all of her leads/IVs were fine.
After that, they covered both of us with blankets and let us bond for two hours! Simon took SO many photos!
The nurses gave me a mirror so that I could look at her the entire time. Amazingly enough, her oxygen levels had been pretty high and unstable all morning, but when she was on my chest, she was completely stable and her oxygen concentration levels were turned all the way down to 21, her lowest level of the day. We were both so comfortable with each other.
With her on my chest, I felt like it was the first time that I knew what life was all about. It was an amazing experience where I finally understood why I was placed on this earth- to take care of this little girl and to teach her how to be a strong, kind, woman.
Today, I am thanking God for the day he gave us yesterday. When we were kangarooing, Tiffani came over to give us the results of her head ultrasound. There is no bleeding on her brain whatsoever, which is really rare for a preemie her age. A huge weight was lifted off of our shoulders with that news. Today, it's daddy's turn to kangaroo for the first time!
Keep growing little one. We love you so much.