This little cloth will forever remind me of Andrew in the NICU. All 5 lbs, 4 ozs of him. His fuzzy hair. A tube taped to the side of his face.
I often look at it and think, “why am I so attached to this little blanket?” I think the reason is because we are sentimental, emotional creatures by nature. It even reminds me of the smell of certain hospital soap. Those same memories came back even when I went to visit my sister and her new baby after he was born this past October. The thoughts, emotions, and feelings all came flooding back.
I think these particular memories are so vivid and connected deep within me because it was during a time of unknown, uncertainty, and absolute trust in my Heavenly Father and doctors and nurses I didn’t even know.
They were working on my little man. The very little man that I knew from doing what felt like jumping jacks in my tummy for 8 months. The one that I could feel playing with his twin brother in the womb. The one we heard the heartbeat of first that made us not even question that another baby could possibly be in there, too.
Now, I was putting his health in strangers’ hands.
He was so tiny. I remember thinking how odd it was to go from having a huge belly to nothing and no one. When I got into my hospital recovery room, no one was there. No husband. No baby “A” and baby “B” as the doctors and hospital referred to the boys. It was a very lonely feeling. I knew my husband was where he should be… with the boys, or at least Andrew. But where was Matthew? I was told he was going to meet me in recovery. Not there. Then I was told he was going to meet me in my room. Not there again! After awhile, a nurse came in to explain that since he was below 5 lbs (4 lbs, 6 ozs), they had to watch him for 6 hours in the NICU. Fortunately, after those 6 hours, they released him to “room-in” with us. However, they kept Andrew.
When we finally got to visit him for the first time, I wasn’t sure what to expect. The last time I had seen him was right before they took him to the NICU when he had a huge oxygen mask on his face while all the nurses around me were repeating over and over “He’s ok, we just need to take him to help him get more air! He’s ok!”
He had a tube taped to his face, was passed out, and looked exhausted. There were wires everywhere. He was surrounded by other babies and mommies and daddies going through the same thing we were. They all looked so fragile. HE looked so fragile. I lept inside when the nurse finally asked me if I wanted to hold him. I wasn’t sure I’d be able to with all those wires, beeping sounds, and machines everywhere.
I loved it. That precious barely over 5 pounder had captured my heart in the womb and now, here he was. He was so tiny. So sleepy. So mine.
He was perfect.
Yes, they needed to help him get more air and develop his lungs more. Yes, they needed to feed him through a tube for a couple of days before even getting him to suck the first time. Yes, he has a hard time communicating now, just learned to walk at 2 1/2, and screams from 0 to 60 in 2 seconds, but he’s perfect!
That blanket reminds me that even though it was a time of unknowns, as all of life is, it was a precious time, never to be forgotten. A time in which I learned just how much strength is in me. A time I learned how patient I am. A time I learned how to build the character I didn’t have then so I would have it now when they need it most. A time we welcomed two new members to our family.
I will forever connect that blanket to him. I will forever appreciate those moments. I will forever love my precious little boy.
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Jessica Stone is a wife, mom to 4, and owner of her own businesses in the fitness and essential oils industries. She has 3 special needs children, one which has an undiagnosed neuro-muscular condition that limits her mobility, and her twins are currently receiving therapy for sensory defensiveness, physical mobility, fine motor skills, and speech. She enjoys sharing what she has learned through her trials, experience, research, and tools that have helped her children’s health with other parents who are looking for support, encouragement, and helpful information. Get her FREE eBooklet Five Steps to Losing Those Last 10 Pounds today for simple steps to help you trim up and fit into those fashionable clothes you’ve always wanted to wear! Connect with Jess live today on Facebook!