It seems crazy that almost two weeks have already passed since Caleb was born. It feels like there hasn't been a moment of rest since then...and he's not even home from the hospital yet! The most exciting occurrence since my last post, is that the ventilator has been taken out. AND, I have finally been able to hold my precious little guy (Sunday night was the first time). It was such a sweet moment. The ventilator was just taken out this afternoon (Tuesday), and it was such a tender experience hearing him cry for the first time. Well, it was more like a soft little wheeze, but so sweet. Caleb settled down quickly after the switch, and was just looking around with bright eyes, taking in all the excitement.
Auntie KC got Caleb this cute "First Thanksgiving" hat. It was quite a hit with all the nurses and other parents visiting babies on Thanksgiving Day. (We only kept it on for a bit, so as not to embarrass him too much. :) Anna and Benjamin sent the brown Teddy-bear for their little brother, and Caleb was able to send them a little thank you note - with some help from mommy. It was very exciting for Anna and Ben-Ben to get a note from their own little brother, and it included a hand and foot print. So sweet.
Thanksgiving plans were up in the air with the uncertainty of bed rest/delivery/Caleb in the NICU/recovery. We ended up having a great Thanksgiving at Chuck and Melissa's. Love the pictures taken that day. Love my little family. The things I have been most reflective on this Thanksgiving, have mostly been pregnancy and baby related. I am so grateful not to be preggers anymore...I feel so much better! I am grateful that I was able to fit in pre-pregnancy pants a mere week after having Caleb. (I really thought it would be different this time, harder to bounce back perhaps...but it's just what my body does. Now I need to focus on regaining all the muscle I lost during the pregnancy...my body is much softer now. :) I am grateful for the wonderful care Caleb is receiving in the NICU. I am grateful to my mom, who is still so unbelievably helpful since I've been home. I seriously don't see how I could handle all of this without her. I am grateful to be living in a time with modern medicine and technology...I don't like to imagine life without it, especially lately. I am grateful that Caleb is making progress, after being plateaued for about a week. I am extremely grateful for Ethan; that he was able to give Caleb a blessing with his dad, and that he has been so helpful in every way possible.
***The more progress Caleb is making, the harder it is being away from him. I still don't quite feel like he's "mine" yet, if that makes any sense. Don't get me wrong...I love him, love visiting him, and am so happy for all the little steps he's making. But the nurses are the ones to take care of him most of the time, and it's kind of an odd experience trying to be the mommy of a new, precious baby in the atmosphere of the hospital, and while having an audience (nurses, doctors, etc.). Even though it feels a little odd now, I am positive that when he comes home, all will feel complete and right. As I mentioned in my previous post, I have had a relatively peaceful feeling about all of this unexpected NICU stuff with Caleb. I also think it helps that I was a NICU baby myself, not that I have any memory of it. I was there for about a month for heart related issues, that I grew out of after my first year. Caleb will be in for about that length of time, a bit less perhaps, for lung related issues, and will most likely "grow out of it" after his first year too. With my baby in the NICU, I have heard of so many other's experiences with it. It helps me to worry less, and keeps my perspective positive. I have been blessed with so many wonderful things in my life, and I am grateful for this time of year to focus on that.