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Ashlee is Mama of one darling boy. A 28 week early bird, now 1 and some change, doing beautifully. She lives near Chicago with her sweetheart husband and French Bulldog. She's a thinker not afraid to get her silly on. Babywearer, veggie queen, photography nut. Before the domestic days Ashlee was pursuing a future in developmental psychology but has happily shifted gears in favor of staying at home and couldn't imagine doing anything else. In her free time (ha!) you can find her whipping up babyslings, holding down the fort at Mama Speaks and spotlighting as an Itsy Bitsy Yoga Instructor.

In our arms for the first time..

Friday December 16, 2005

Current weight: 3 pounds 3 ounces

12:00pm - Off CPAP, on phototherapy to treat jaundice
-held for first time

3:00pm - peed on mom during diaper change
-breathing ok in room air

My baby boy,
They took you off the CPAP machine around noon today to see if you'd be able to breathe on your own. Your breathing is labored, your belly puffs out and your chest retracts with every breath, but you're doing it. They inserted a small tube through your nose, down to your belly to remove air and see they can get your stomach working by giving you a bit of my milk.

You coming off the breathing machine most importantly meant that we were able to hold you for the first time (we weren't supposed to, but your nurse was willing to bend the rules a bit)... and how amazing it was! I won't lie, it wasn't at all how I'd imagined the first time you'd be in my arms - I'd dreamed of a naked wet baby placed on my bare chest within seconds of entering this world and well, you had other plans... so today around noon we get the news that if we want we can hold you for a few minutes. If we want?! Are you kidding? It's your second day here and we haven't even been able to touch you much. Your skin is so thin and sensitive that "normal" touch hurts. I've been firmly holding holding your head and feet in my hands while you lay spread out among the wires and lights but I'm yearning for more. I stand and wait anxiously draped in a fresh yellow gown while Donna, your nurse, unhooks wires and swaddles you tightly in several hospital blankets to help you stay warm. I sit in a rocker next to your bed and she places you slowly in my arms arranging dangling wires as she goes... Tears. I am giddy with joy. Love. I try to blink the tears away so I can see your face. You remain in your deep sleep, but look so content. I suddenly feel the need to introduce myself. "Xavier, it's me... your mommy, I love you so much...." I am amazed at how light you are... I try to distinguish just where you body lies amidst all those blankets, I find your tiny bottom towards the top third of the bundle and cup it in my hand. Your miniature, shoulder peaks out from the blanket still covered in hair, I get lost in the perfection of your face. I know I only have 5 minutes with you so I try my best to stop the clock, to block out all the noise, to set aside my fears and just be. I drink you in with every sense I have. I didn't think it possible to love someone so much.... all too soon my time is up... I reluctantly pass you back to Donna so your Daddy can hold you for a minute. I step back and am amazed at how little you look in his strong arms. Within a couple of minutes Daddy passes you back to Donna so she can unwrap you and place you back on your bed to warm up.

My heart hurts that these are the circumstances... that the first time you are placed in my arms there are gowns and blankets and wires between us. Regardless - I got to hold you!

We can do this my love,

You can leave your response or bookmark this post to del.icio.us by using the links below.
  • Blogger Staci says so:
    4:14 PM  

    Seeing Xavier now, you would never think he started out so small!!! What a miracle he is! top

  • Anonymous Anonymous says so:
    5:12 PM  

    There's no wonder in why you've not stopped holding him since you were able... oh, you both are so precious to me! top

  • Blogger Cyclone says so:
    5:26 PM  

    I'm teary-eyed right now. You guys have been down such a rough road, but look at where you are now! God is good. top

  • Blogger Jen says so:
    8:45 PM  

    Everytime I see Xavier, I can't help but thank God for yet another miracle. top

  • Blogger Robin says so:
    10:04 AM  

    I know that feeling of touching your baby but not being able to hold him. I got to hold Hunter for a few minutes after he was born, but when we realized something was wrong it was 6 days before I got to hold him in my arms again. I didn't want to ever put him down either. top

  • Blogger Randi says so:
    10:26 AM  

    He is indeed a TRUE BLESSING:) Very touching post. top

  • Anonymous Anonymous says so:
    10:46 AM  

    said through tears...
    This is so touching Ashlee. Thanks for sharing this with us and thank God for little Xavier!! top

  • Blogger Antoinette Perez says so:
    1:22 PM  

    Oh, Ashlee... you're so strong! I am all teared up. What a fantastic mom you are and what a beautiful big boy you have! None of which is a surprise to me, anyway. Happy Thanksgiving to you and David and X from us here in Austin! top