The last couple of months have been bit of a blur — an emotional rollercoaster. Visiting the hospital multiple times per day, the journey seemed endless, and truly tested our endurance of hope, of our love, and our family.
It was a blessing that after 32 weeks of pregnancy, Elizabeth gave birth to our new little one — Keira. And as great fortune has it, Keira, although born premature, was healthy, moreso than we had expected. And we were, of course, thankful. Keira couldn’t come home with us immediately after birth however. She needed to stay in the Neo-natal Intensive Care Unit; the NICU, they called it for short. She had to learn and grow what she would’ve done if she was still in utero. And she was quite sensitive to the elements, and required constant monitoring, just in case something may happen, like forgetting to breathe — I know. It sounds scary. And believe me, it was.
Nurses and doctors cared for her around the clock constantly. We would visit the NICU multiple times daily. Every few days, the doctor would call and provide status — and our hearts paused every time the phone rang as we saw the NICU on the caller id. As we visited Keira, we learned how to care for her. The nurses trained us how to monitor her vitals, how to perform specialized feedings, and just simply to hold her. The minutes, they turned to hours. The hours turned to days. The days, they turned to weeks.
Keira learned how to survive without additional medications being pumped in by I.V.’s. She learned how to cope outside an incubator and survive in room temperature. Her heartrate steadied to a normal pace and didn’t seemed so rushed anymore. And finally, she had to learn how to be fed by mouth – without a feeding tube and continue to gain weight steadily. All along we would carry her, and talk to her. She would always look to us, quieting down, as though she tried to listen and understand.
“Keira,” we would say, “There’s a whole world outside of here. It’s beautiful. We can’t wait for you to see it. There’s this bright light in the sky, and there are green fields and mountains. I think you’ll love it. But I think you’ll need to learn how to drink from a bottle first okay? It’ll feed your tummy the same way. You’ll see. I think you can do it. You’re going to love it outside. You’ll see. You got this one baby girl… you got this…”
The next day – the nurses told us she was able to feed from the bottle consistently and pulled out her feeding tube all by herself. Two days after – Keira was discharged and now home with us. 🙂
(A special thank you to the friends and family that stuck by us — observed our need for privacy and reached out to us every now and then. This was a truly difficult and trying series of events in such a wonderful time as the birth of a newborn. We withdrew from functions, gatherings, work, social media as well as most outward communication. But it was so wonderful to hear from others every now and then. It may not seem so much, but it made a whole world of difference. We do feel cared for and so truly blessed. And from the bottom of our hearts, we thank you).
Welcome home Keira!! 🙂