Thinking of our due date, I also think of my many loved ones who are due soon and very soon. My own brother and sister-in-law are anticipating their little daughter's arrival in a few weeks. Love the fact that Alicia is going to have a cousin so close in age. One of my best friends from high school is also due soon and very soon. Not to mention the dozens of friends who are now pregnant and will be expecting in a few months. What an exciting time, huh? A new generation is sprouting!
Right before I sat down to write this, I just got off the phone with the NICU, and can I just say that I appreciate nurses who are pleasant? Sometimes, I call and it's all business, the nurse gives the stats and gets off the phone. On occasion I'll get a sweet nurse who actually sounds genuinely happy to talk to me and I will actually chat with them for a few minutes and hear stories of Alicia's exploits throughout the evening.
But I digress.
This morning I had a really, really encouraging phone call with the NICU nurse. It's 6:30 in the morning right now and I think her words were the perfect boost to start my day. She told me that Alicia has been on the thinner nasal cannula for 8 hours already, and other than when she's eating, she's breathing super well! So here are the words that I've been waiting to hear for an eternity. The nurse said that one of the doctors came by and checked on her and said that Alicia will probably move upstairs to the step-down unit soon! AHHH!!!!!!!! OK. So it's not for sure yet, and there are no dates set. But they're going to observe her for a few more days. If she continues to progress the way she has been, we'll be upstairs soon and very soon.
It was cute, when the nurse told me this information she said that all the nurses were a little sad, because they've grown quite attached to our little Alicia. She's really won over their hearts.
We've still got some time before Alicia can come home for good, but friends this is a glimmer of hope. It's a glimpse of the finish line that gives these weary athletes the needed boost to push through the last few meters of the race. Yahoo!
Fact is though that once our NICU marathon is over, we'll be entering into a new race called, "parenthood." Please pray for that transition, and pray that God would prepare us to receive our little Alicia and integrate her flawlessly into our family. Pray that Linda and I will be able to know how to care for her and that God would continue to cover over her and help her to thrive.
All the nurses truly do love Alicia. Since she's one of two babies that are stable enough to hold, Alicia gets lots of love and holding from the nurses in the NICU. She really loves the attention as well. She'll be fussing in her incubator and the nurses will pat her on the butt and she'll go right back to sleep. Of if they take her out and hold her for awhile, she'll stop crying and look at everyone as if she doesn't have a care in the world. But, as I've said before, once she gets put back, she does not like it. I think we'll need to work on that a bit in the future. =) Don't want her to get spoiled.
Although, I have to say after so long of her not being able to make a sound, I do appreciate being able to hear her voice and her cry. It's really sweet, not something I'm going to take for granted at all.
The nurse this morning commented again on Alicia's eyes and on how big, bright and full of life they were. This I believe is God living in her. She's got a bright future this little one. I believe it!
The nurses in the NICU are really cute. About a month ago, I bought a notebook so that we could collect Alicia's handprints and footprints as she gets bigger. (Alicia by the way hates getting her hands and feet stamped. Ahh, the princess who loves being clean.) Somehow this notebook has turned into a message board between us and the nurses. It's sweet. The nurses will leave notes about what Alicia did and various milestones. They'll write nice messages encouraging us and Alicia to keep going. We'll definitely miss our new friends after we come home.
In other news, Alicia is loving the bottle and eating like a champ. She's not always able to take all of her milk from the bottle because it just gets too tiring for her, but most of the time she is able to get at least half of her milk down on her own. Those times when Alicia can't finish the bottle, she'll cry because she really likes eating on her own. Talk about Miss Independent.
I know I've said it before, but I have to say it again, thank you friends for all of your prayers, all of your love and all of your support. I do really want to hear from you, so if you've been holding off on contacting us for fear of bothering us, please don't hold off any longer. I want to hear how things are going for you.
We're doing really well. As I said in my last post, I marvel at the journey that the Lord has brought us through in the last 3 months. It's been an amazing privilege to walk through this time and to be able to see and touch our daughter at a time when she shouldn't even be born yet. To be able to witness this miracle has been awe-inspiring.
Please do continue to keep us uplifted, and get ready because Alicia's coming out . . . for the second time! =)