Buddy is up to 3 lbs. 9 oz. Tonight they will measure his length and his head circumference. Apparently they do that every Sunday night. His milk is being supplemented with extra calories, and the nurse said they upped his calories. This should help him get some of that baby fat he is lacking and get him looking more like a baby and less like an old man, which is how premature babies look at first. I think he has already started looking more like a baby, so I am anxious to see him put on more weight and get some rolls on those skinny little legs of his. The nurse also told us the next thing is to get him to be able to stay off his oxygen, which is currently given to him through a nasal cannula (spelling?). He doesn’t require much oxygen through his nose, but every time they try taking that away he doesn’t like it very much. He is really just 32 weeks now if he was still in the womb.

I am battling guilty feelings as a mom. I feel bad that I can’t be up there 24/7. I feel bad that today I physically had to take a nap and get caught up on some rest instead of visiting him this afternoon a second time. I worry that we won’t bond and that he’ll think the nurses are his mommy. He responds when I talk to him when I am up there, and it seems like he knows I am at least someone important – but does he know I am momma? I find it strange that I decided not to go back to work in the fall because I wanted to be the one to care for him – not baby-sitters or a daycare – and here I am having other people and machines care for my baby because that is what he needs right now. At the NICU parent group, I heard the leader give parent quote that he/she felt like he/she had been put in a blender, and that is how I feel emotionally this weekend. I do not want to go the “Why me, God?” and “This isn’t fair!” place that I so naturally run to when difficult things happen, but I find myself tempted to pack up my bags and travel there because although it is a miserable location, it is familiar, and familiarity offers some comfort.

Instead, I will try to focus on the good things. Buddy is making progress every day. His breathing episodes are getting better. He is healthy considering how young he is. We have had some really good nurses lately. Buddy has had several visitors lately, and he is loved and prayed for by many. We have been encouraged and blessed by phone calls, gifts, emails, and kind words. We cannot say thank you enough to our church family and my work family for their prayers and support. I am learning to rely on God and others in new ways. I am learning in ways that I never imagined how much each day of life is a gift not an entitlement.

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