My first chance to hold my little darling Elise actually came last week, a little while after she was first held by her mommy. Unfortunately, after a very good session with her mother, Elise was just tuckered out, and she wasn't able to be held more than a few minutes before she was whisked away from me back to the isolette.
I, like Jess, had waited so very long to hold Elise for the first time, and it was certainly much different than I expected. Although I had worked in the NICU before during my residency, I really didn't hold or nurture the babies-- I left that to the nurses and families. I really can't fully describe how wonderful and beautiful it was to get to nuzzle her small body up against my chest. I also can't describe how truly small she feels-- much like a bird, kind of fluttering against your chest.
I was very disappointed that my first experience to hold her was cut so short, and I also felt very powerless at the time as I saw her oxygen saturations and heart rate decrease and I really wasn't the one who was in charge of getting them under control. Quite the opposite, I felt that my greedy desire to hold my daughter was causing her detriment as opposed to improving our bond. It was a rough end to an otherwise tremendous day with her...
Fast-forwarding to today, I definitely had some reservations about having a chance to hold Elise for a second time. Despite my need as a father to hold my child in my arms, I kept envisioning her dropping her oxygen saturations and her heart rate like she did just last week. It had been a week of ups and downs already. She had managed to get on CPAP for that short period, but then things started to go sour between her breathing and possible infection. She had several good days on the ventilator since then, but I just hoped that she would tolerate being held for longer as I really needed to feel as though I was bonding and building a relationship with my daughter.
As you can see from the below pictures... Today was a much, much better day!!!
|Just this tiny creature pressed against you.. So warm, but so little...|
|Elise likes to tug daddy's forest of chest hair and tickle him ;-)|
To many, many more experiences of holding my sweet daughter...