Our sweet little girl is already 12 days old! So much has happened over the last 12 days that it feels both short and also very long. This past week has been a really tough one from my point of view. I started getting a cold a week ago on the girls' birthday and it grew worse over the subsequent days until gradually disappearing very slowly. I was able to squeeze in a quick visit with Elea on Tuesday, feeling well enough at that point and wearing a mask. Though since then a cough appeared and the end of the cold has lingered on. Usually I'm the one in the family that manages to escape most of the bugs that pass through, but I know this time around it has been a result of a very tiring, stressful week that took it's toll physically, mentally and emotionally on my body and it's been incredibly frustrating to wake up each day and still not feel 100%.
I know how important our presence is for our baby, and even more so how important it is to have plenty of 'kangaroo' cuddles (skin to skin). This contact has so many benefits to these tiny babies, as you might imagine! Just being close to mum, hearing her heart beat, feeling her warmth and smelling the familiar smell is of huge comfort and helps so much with baby's development. It's been pretty hard to spend days at a time without seeing my little girl and letting her know I am here and missing these opportunities to hold her. I know the best thing has been to stay away so she doesn't catch anything nasty, which is the last thing I would ever risk. But I've been afraid that subconsciously she would notice my absence and it would affect her. It has helped to know she has been very settled on a whole, particularly with her breathing. Eti has been in each evening after work and had long cuddles, which she has really loved. She cried almost every time she had to be put back in her bed! Knowing that she was seeing her Papa every day made it a lot easier on my heart! And one of the senior nurses reassured me that they also take care of her and give her lots of love and care in our absence.
Today I have felt almost 100% well and have been able to go and see our beautiful little one. She's looking so good and putting on weight, despite not being on milk feeds at the moment due to a tummy bleed earlier this week. There are a few things that are being monitored quite closely by the medical staff - possible concerns - but things that with time and growth will either prove themselves to be legitimate, or, as we pray and hope, nothing worth worrying about. This roller coaster ride is so tough on the emotions! We have to try not to let our non-medical minds wander into all worst-case scenarios, but find that quiet space of peace and have patience to wait and see, trusting and praying all the while that all will be well no matter the outcome. And as our sweet one grows I pray for many hours over the coming weeks to cuddle her and talk with her and spend time with her until we can bring her home.
On the home front my mum is our hero. She moved in with us just before I went into hospital the first time, and will be with us until Elea is home in July, all going well. She has made a lot of tough sacrifices in her choice to do this, but her presence has been such an incredible help (plus I love her company!) and stability for our other three little people. She has kept them in great routines and run our household single-handedly for much of the time. Our three have done so well but it's also been understandably unsettling to have mummy disappear in the middle of the night to go into hospital (twice) and then have to share our time with their little sister who is in a hospital across the city from our home. Having mum here to keep them settled and secure has been an amazing blessing. I'm acutely aware of my inability to thank her equally in return for as much as she has given, knowing it's not easy to run someone else's home at the best of times. We're so thankful for a mum who puts her love into action and carries an incredible load to serve us.
Here's to a healthy week, plenty of cuddles with our littlest,quality time with our precious three at home, and much encouragement and refreshment for an awesome Superma!