Day 43 in the NICU

My dearest Aiden, you are so loved!

Today marks day 43 since you were born. You are still in the NICU and not home. But, you are growing and thriving, just like a little fire! We picked the name Aiden, meaning little fire, for you way before this happened because we somehow felt you have so much courage and strength in you. I was giving you a bath today with the help of a nurse, then I put a newborn outfit on you. It doesn’t look baggy nor big on you like last week anymore. Today, you almost fit into it entirely. Then I sat there on the recliner chair in the hospital room that has grown into our temporary home, held you tight in my arms and started breastfeeding you for the first time. The sun shined softly into the room, dancing on the floor, a rare thing in Seattle these days.

Baby, you are just perfect to me!

Nothing can explain the amount of emotions I have gone through since that night your father and I rushed into the emergency room. Even now when I hold you in my arms, it’s hard to describe the feelings I have. I go to the hospital twice a day to see you. Up until a week ago, I couldn’t even hold you anytime I want. If I wanted to hold you, it must be at the beginning of care time every 3 hours. The on-call nurse would have to carefully put you into my arms without disconnecting any monitor or oxygen wire. Then I had to sit there for 3 straight hours, looking at you, sleeping peacefully, sometimes wiggling or crying. Sometimes you forgot to breath and your heart rate dropped all the way to the bottom. My heart tightened as I looked helplessly at the nurse searching for the answer ‘what I can do?’ Slowly I got used to this and learnt I can stroke you lightly to remind you to breath. It is normal with preemies, little did I know, but oh not so normal to me until this day. Other times, your oxygen intake dropped, I again profusely pinged the nurse for help, to figure out why and how we can get your oxygen back up. Sometimes, the nurses were busy with another baby and came late, I got so frustrated and felt so helpless.

Baby, I am learning to love you and bond with you. Trust me, I love you the moment you were born, but I was also paralyzed with shocks and numbness. I have yet able to comprehend everything that happened to us. I wasn’t supposed to meet you for another 12 more weeks, that was almost 3 months away. Then you came into the world, 3 minutes after I received anesthesia, your Dad timed. That quick baby! I love you the moment you were born but I was also shocked seeing you so tiny, just over 3 lbs, lying in the isolette, so fragile with all the tubes into your throat and nose, IVs into your body, breathing so softly that I could barely tell. My love for you is tremendous but during the first 4 weeks, I wasn’t sure how to send my love to you when I couldn’t touch you, hold you nor help you. I didn’t know how you felt at that time — if you felt pain, if you could breath, if you knew that I was sitting there with your father right next to your isolette, whether if you could hear my voice and your Dad’s, whether if you could feel our presence and love, whether you knew we were always there for you. People say of course you do, but what do they know when they have never been through this before nor have any idea how this felt like? … but I secretly hope they are right. Because we love you so much baby!

Today is day 43 since you were born. You are healthy and growing strong and I am so proud of you. Yet I am still tremble, I am still scared whenever you leave my sight. Every day, I leave the hospital in the afternoon when the sun is shining and people chatting, walking around in the hospital but oh I feel so sad. Every night, I come to the hospital at night, when it’s chilly and dark and there is almost no one in the hallway, but oh I feel happy because I am coming to see you and care for you.

Baby, I love you so much! I am still learning how to love you, care for you and bringing you the best things in life every day. Be with me, teach me, grow with me okay? Know I am always here for you, through your soft finger squeeze, through the look when you briefly open your eyes, through my breath on your face when I am holding you close, through the sound of my heartbeat when your chest is next to mine, through the warmth of my body onto yours … My fear of losing you still exists but I hope slowly it will vanish entirely and get replaced with all the wonderful things we will do and share together, with laughs and joy, with the scenery of beautiful places we will travel to, with kindness and soft kisses, with sunshine and the taste of sweet cherries, … Oh baby, there are many things in this world I want to show you and we will experience together.

So be with me okay, my little love!

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