Lovely #1: Eloise. She is a lovely baby. All this beautiful dark hair. I know moms aren't supposed to hope for hair or eye color, but I wanted a dark haired baby. Mostly to even the odds. She's a beautiful little girl, with a perfect little face.
Lovely #2: Amidst all this distress, I had one perfect moment. Once I was finally discharged from the hospital, I was driven straight to Primary's to see Eloise. To set the scene - I cannot walk, must be wheeled. Visiting a hospital I've never been to. Meeting medical professionals who are throwing critical information at me (brain is foggy from pain meds). Proof of ID, ID tags, elevators, long hallways, late at night. Finally pass through the doors, pass a dozen incubators and cribs, to my finally destination: my darling new baby.
Of course I'm overwhelmed by a million feelings. I approach her little incubator and say something like, "Oh my sweet baby. You're mine." She stirred, blinked, and looked up at me. It was the very first time she had ever opened her eyes. The nurses, doctors and my husband were so surprised. But she knew my voice and wanted to see me. Its a moment I'll never forget. Despite all the distance between us, we were still connected and she knew who I was. Did this mom's heart good, answer to prayers...
Lovely #3: Jo, Millie and Hazel got to meet their baby sister for the first time. We thoroughly prepared them as to their behavior, and to their credit, they were perfect. It was lovely to introduce someone to Eloise who didn't ask a hundred questions. The girls don't know babies come into the world any other way; they don't know to be anxious about the dozens of wires, IVs and tubes hooked up to their little sister. They just enjoyed her. "Look at her teeny weeny feet, mama!" Or, "Her hands are so small!" "Aww, cute little Eloise! I love her!" It was really a lovely, special moment.
Lovely #4: There hasn't been a moment in this process when Trevor and I have not felt supported and loved. My parents have been beyond amazing. Sacrificing their time and resources to help us get through this. Its scary for me to think where I'd be without the incredibly loving, caring parents I have been blessed with. My siblings too - my brothers have helped almost every day, playing with the girls, watching them. Which of course the girls love. Trevor and I have come home to happy, fed, healthy girls thanks to my family.
Post-partum blues mixed with insurmountable stress and anxiety have left me feeling like I'll never be happy again. I have all these stifled new-mother hormones. I cry when I leave my daughters at home, and cry when I leave my daughter at the hospital. Eloise is getting top-of-the-line care at Primary's, such excellent doctors and nurses. But even with all the attentive care she's getting, its clear she's in pain and uncomfortable from the surgery, from the tubes in her mouth and down her throat 24-7. Its horrific for a parent.
In the long and fruitful life Trevor and I envision for our little Eloise, three months won't be that long. But right now it feels like forever because we're stretched too thin, and our darling new baby is suffering. I still haven't held her, or even seen her face without tape across her mouth. I'm just not sure how we're going to make it. We've spent more time on our knees than ever before, and are keeping those lines of communication open...
But even with all these difficulties there are lovely moments, beautiful blessings. That's what's worth writing about.