Thursday, April 12, 2012
By Amy

This is a reflection written while Michaela was still in the NICU. Michaela is home and happy today.

Michaela continues to do well and gained some great weight today (up to 3 lb, 3 oz), but I'm feeling a bit reflective tonight. A couple we met recently in Michaela's room with twins born at 28 weeks buried their week-old son a few days ago. He suffered a pretty severe brain bleed, and they had to make the decision as to whether they wanted to keep him on life support or not.
It's a sad reminder of just how fragile life is, and how different Michaela's story could have been. Had we gone a few days longer in my pregnancy without an ultrasound, we might have lost her. And a brain bleed is a complication the neonatologists warned us about when we first met with them a few hours before Michaela's delivery.

Luckily, neither of those things ended up happening in our case. Yet there's still no guarantee she's coming home with us at the end of this journey. The only thing to do is take things one day at a time…and hope and pray that our story has a happy ending.
I hope you don't mind a break from our "typical" update, but I had a few thoughts I wanted to share with our friends, family and all our supporters out there...

What I wouldn't give
...To have had a stranger come up to me on the street when I was pregnant and ask "When are you due?"
...To have stretch marks on my belly right now -- over a month before my due date -- instead of bags under my eyes.
...To wake up at 3am to a hungry newborn crying instead of an alarm alerting me that I need to express my breast milk.
...To walk down the hall instead of driving a half-hour to see my baby's face every morning.
...To not have to change my baby's diaper through two portholes in an incubator.
...To start my day without hearing or speaking the words “morning rounds.”
...To dress my daughter without being worried I'm going to pull out a tube or IV.
...To give my baby a bottle without worrying whether it's sapping the energy she needs to keep herself warm.
...To see my daughter's grandparents, aunts, uncles and the rest of our friends and family hold her in their arms.
...To look at all the beautiful baby gifts we've received over the last few weeks from friends and family and not wonder whether we'll have a baby come home to use them.

I hope and pray that some day soon these experiences will eventually come, but in the meantime, I'm thankful for:
...Days that I don't have to watch my baby get another IV put in.
...Days when the doctors increase my daughter's breast milk feedings and lower her IV fluids.
...Days she gains weight -- even if it's only a few grams and everyone in the NICU thinks it's just poop that hasn't come out yet.
...Days she poops!
...Days I get to hold my sweet daughter without the nurse needing to increase her oxygen level.
...The nurses and doctors at Evanston Hospital who work so hard to help keep my daughter alive.
...Friends and family that show their love and support in so many ways.


Precious and priceless so lovable too, the world’s sweetest littlest miracle is, a baby like you.

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