All week we have been recieving rave reviews from her nurses, respiratory therapists, and doctor. I have been very thankful for that...especially since I was not able to see her Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. I felt the beginnings of a cold, started to chug OJ and double up on vitamin C, and decided (with the urging of her nurse Monday morning when he heard my stuffed up sounding voice) I needed to stay away to keep my girl healthy. What torture! It was truly awful, but I tried to remember the sweet whispering I received shortly after her birth- "she's not just yours". The NICU has become an extension of our home, and No. She is not just mine. We are sharing her, knowing she is in the best care possible.
Every Thanksgiving morning, we usually get up and watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade. We love the floats, the bands, singers and of course the Rockettes, but we especially look forward to seeing Santa officially ring in the holiday season. This year was different. I asked the kids if they would be disappointed if we missed the parade and headed to the hospital after breakfast to see Ella. Everyone was excitedly in agreement. When we got there, our dr. was there and he gave me her latest updates. She was doing well on the canula, so they would continue that full time if she tolerated it. Heart valve still being watched...not much change, so we'll keep watching. Upped her feeds. Still receiving the human milk fortifier in my breastmilk and vitamins. Gaining weight. She is anemic but she seems to be handling it and her iron reserves are kicking in. As she continues to gain weight, she will be less and less anemic. He said that it is his dream for all the babies at Ella's stage to be where she is. He said he was very pleased with her progress and that if she kept up what she's been doing for another month, she'd be cured of her preemieness. (Of course, I asked if that meant she could come home and he said no. that is not what he meant.) He told us that this week she hit some milestones- 30 days old- 5 weeks this Saturday, 30 weeks gestation, and 1000 grams- 2lb 4oz "ish". This was all wonderful news, but the best part of our visit was Hilton holding his girl for the very first time. One of our respiratory therapists has been hoping for this day and he was determined it would be that day. He was right. He was so sweet about it. He went and got the kids so we could take a family picture. There usually can only be 2 visitors at a time. We have to take turns bringing one child in at a time, but there weren't any other visitors at the time, so I guess they decided it was ok. We were thrilled. This was the first time our whole family was together with precious Ella. What a gift and a blessing!
So, each day for us is a day of thanksgiving. We were (and have been) on a high after that great visit. This may be our Christmas picture since we are all together, although I may wait and send out a new year's letter or Valentine' s Day letter....when my sweet Ella is home in our arms full time. Thanks to all of you dear ones, my blessings- my friends, family, new friends I don't even know- who have taken us into your hearts and prayers. May the Lord bless you as he has our family. He continues to bless us daily and carry us through this amazing journey.