I just spent the evening playing with Maddie. She’s still army-crawling up a storm (one of these days she’ll figure out that her legs are helpful), discovering her toys, and interacting with Mike and me. It’s so much fun to watch her world expand by leaps and bounds every second of the day. We are loving every moment of this.
Now that Maddie is sleeping (an amazing achievement in and of itself), I’ve been thinking about how little she used to be. I’ve been going through her clothes, trying to make room for winter wear and packing away a few articles of clothing that don’t fit her anymore. I came across her preemie clothes and paused. There on top of the pile was the first shirt I ever bought Madeline, the first shirt she ever wore. She didn’t wear clothes until she was three weeks old. I found a pink and green camouflage shirt that I thought would show off her fighting spirit. At the time, she was still hooked up to a bunch of IVs, and was on the ventilator.
The shirt is for a preemie up to five pounds. In this picture she’s just past three pounds. It’s swimming on her, just like her diaper. I didn’t even know clothes were allowed for NICU babies until her nurse told me to bring her shirts and socks. I went out and spent $100 on socks alone. I didn’t want her feet to be cold.
I went to my You Tube site and I found a video of her, wearing the same shirt, on the same day. She’s agitated and crying, although you can’t hear the sounds of her displeasure because of the ventilator.
I’m so grateful that our NICU encouraged video and pictures. When I’m feeling down about Maddie’s slow weight gain, it’s so helpful to look back and see how far she’s come. I have footage of her first cries after her ventilator was removed. Her voice was so hoarse from the vent tube. Her first sneezes were so small.
I stare at her every day, and I still see that tiny three pound baby she once was. Sometimes you just need a visual to illustrate the days gone by.