This first picture here is of Isaac when we brought him home from the hospital. He was so tiny that my husband and I could not believe that after all he'd been through (nearly a month in the NICU), and still not knowing what was "wrong" with him, they were letting us take him with us, away from all of the monitors and machines, away from all of the medical professionals. We thought he was so fragile, so sensitive. We would treat him so delicately. We handled him gingerly to say the least. I remember it would take me an hour and a half to sponge bathe him to make sure that he was warm enough, to make sure I didn't get any water in his ears, to make sure that everything was . . . ok. I remember feeding him a bottle of breast milk would take an hour or more. I remember when I pumped 7 and 8 times a day!!! I remember that it felt like a constant cycle of feeding, pumping, changing, sleeping. It is so hard to imagine that that is what it was like, THEN.
I cannot even believe how things are NOW. My baby turned 8 months old on St. Patrick's Day. I told my husband that it feels like these days, Isaac is really waking up. It was as if he were sleeping through the first six months, and now he is changing so fast and doing new things daily. I know that every new mom says that things go by so fast, but it was not so in our case. The first six months were so long, so crazy. Everything was in slow motion. Now he is pushing 14 lbs and he's grown to 26 inches (from 19 1/2). He is laughing and smiling at you. I feel like he actually knows who I am now (at least I like to think so). I only pump 5 times a day, which is an amazing difference! He is making little sounds. He can roll over on his side. He holds his head up somewhat. He eats his bottles much more efficiently. We don't have to use the g-tube nearly as much. He is definitely making progress. We see it and it gives us hope.
I think it has been so hard to you see my baby struggling and having trouble doing simple things, things that come naturally to most. My husband would say to me when we were overwhelmed, Angie, I'm sorry it has to be so hard. It has been hard, but the struggle makes everything seem so much more precious. It has made us much more appreciative of the little things. I cry at milestones. I swear when he sits up one day I might go through a whole box of kleenex. God help me when he walks. I seriously can't imagine my life without him.
Now on my bad days, I can get lost in the scary scary place that is the PW future - where no one can predict how life will be, no doctor can really say how things will turn out. It is a very overwhelming place and I seriously have to block it out of my head in order to function. Back THEN, those days were more often than not. But those days are getting fewer and far between. Isaac is 8 months old and I'm sooooooo excited about it NOW!!! Well that and he is starting to look a little bit more like me I think!