Scary NICU picture. Or How I Would Rather Forget the First Few Days. Or Not What I Imagined. Or This Sucked. Or This Is Why I Would Cry While Pumping My Breast Milk. So, yeah. And after being in the NICU, I know there have been babies who were smaller and had it worse and all those things, but the thing is, at the time, all you can really do is think about your kid. I prayed for all his little NICU mates too, but here was my baby. After a few days of the CPAP, Cricket removed it himself. The CPAP is what is on his head-- I think it says a lot about the kid to note that he took this contraption off. His nurse at the time said she'd worked 17 years in the NICU and had never seen it happen before. At that moment, Cricket became a little NICU prodigy. My boy. Also, at this point, he was still Cricket because Partner and I had not decided on a name. One might think with 42 hours of labor, we could have completed that task, but it didn't happen. So Cricket he remained.
Swollen, Bloated Katie Kangaroos Cricket: If you've been in the NICU, chances are you particpated in some kangaroo care, which is where you do some skin to skin contact with your baby. The first time I got to do this, it was after a day when Cricket had been really struggling all day and the nurse thought KC might help. He was still on CPAP then, and I was so scared holding him. I sat there for three hours: my ass was killing me, my incision was on fire, I had to pee, but there was no way I was leaving until they kicked me out. After that, kangaroo care became part of our daily routine. Here in this picture, it's clearly after Cricket is off all the scary stuff and just on the regular monitors and NG tube.
I think with this picture you can appreciate his full beauty, even with the NG tube in. I loved the little white tee shirts he wore in the NICU. One might think I would hate them, but they were cozy and clean, and cute. As for the NG tube, we kept it and it's in his keepsake box. He repeatedly pulled the tube out, and I could never bring myself to watch them put it back in, but there it was, and since ultimately this tube helped us get our Cricket home, I thought it was important enough to keep, along with his little umbilical stump. (Yes, I will keep this-- It was what attached his little body to mine. How could I throw it away?I don't know what to say about this picture other than don't you just want to pick him and eat him here?
I wish there was perspective here so you could see how big his feet are, and he has these really long beautiful fingers too. Pretty much, we think he's perfect.