A year ago today: Thursday, November 3rd, 2011
Marcellus was 6 days old and doing awesome! He made some big accomplishments this day. He got off the bubble CPAP for good and he opened his left eye for the first time. I was so very proud of him that day (and every day). He just continued to amaze me with all his little self did.
We had no idea we had just experienced half of his life time. He was six days old and only had six more to live. I wonder what we would have done differently if we had known. I am glad we didn't know though. It allowed us to enjoy him and being there as much as we did. I just wish we would have spent every moment with him and never left.
We didn’t get the NICU right away that morning because I had to get my staples out. Audrey came to our house to do it. Grandma and Auntie Katie came over to meet Audrey and to bring a bunch of stuff that your cousin was passing on to you.
We were a little nervous how Perk would do with Nolan. He hadn’t really been around babies before. He was so good! He just sniffed him in his carseat and was very gentle. He was going to be great with you! Oh how I wish you could have met your furry big brother. I know he misses you too. He may be a dog, but he knows you are missing from our family.
I remember telling Audrey how good you were doing and showing her your pictures. She wanted to come see you soon. After we got my staples out I had to pump before we left. Silly Daddy took pictures of my pumping. I didn’t care though. I was proud to work so hard to get you your milk!
After I was done pumping Grandma gave me a ride to the NICU. Daddy had to finish up some things at home. When I got to the NICU, no more bubble CPAP! And you had goop on your left eye, I knew that meant you opened it. You had Lisa again that day. We joked that you did everything for Lisa when we weren’t there. You pooped for Lisa, got off your CPAP for Lisa, and opened your eye for Lisa. I was so excited to see you off the bubble CPAP. We got to see so much more of your sweet little face!
|No more bubble CPAP! Look at the cute little little nose (like Daddy's) and your sweet ears (like Mommy's).|
Again, Daddy had to study and take care of Perk. He was so busy and did such a great job taking care of everything and still spending lots of time with you! Mommy’s so thankful he took charge of all the responsibilities. Because then I got to just focus on you my squirmy wormy.
Daddy got to the NICU that afternoon. I know he was excited to see you off the CPAP. You were pretty cozied up for the day. Grandma and Katie got to come in and see you before Daddy got there. Daddy was there for your 3pm care. He was snapping pictures of you and your nurse held you up for a better shot. You gave out a little yawn and then opened up your eyes. The first time Mommy and Daddy got to see your dark eyes! How awesome that moment was. You were looking right at us. Such a sweet look. After that Mommy got to k-care you. They had to find you a hat because they don’t know what happened to the first one you had (when on the vent) and you didn’t need the special CPAP hat anymore. You got a blue and yellow hat at first.
|This is the moment Mommy and Daddy got to see both of your eyes open for the very first time. We were so in awe of you sweet boy. We loved seeing you look around.|
Daddy sat by us while I held you. He took pics of us together. You look a little jaundiced in the pics, but not too bad. I do specifically remember holding you that day. When we first started k-caring you were facing Daddy. He could get a good look at your sweet little face. You were being squirmy (as usual!). After Daddy was done taking pics of us I leaned back and closed my eyes to relax. Daddy had some studying he was trying to do, so he wasn’t paying much attention. Next thing I know, you’re facing the other way! Somehow you managed to turn your head the other way. When you were on the CPAP you would like to face plant on our chests while we held you. I’m sure you were doing this that day and then with wiggling around you ended up facing the other way. I was so amazed your little self could do that. I loved the moments, just you me and Daddy (and the machines, and the nurses) in the NICU. They’d put up the privacy screens and it was like the three of us were in our own little world.
|Here you are facing Daddy...|
|And the next thing we knew, you turned your head by yourself!|
Daddy had to leave before shift change to get ready for CNA class. Grandma and Katie got to come back. Grandma visited with you before shift change and the plan was for Auntie Katie to visit with you and get to hold you after. At some point we decided the hat you were wearing wasn’t working so well. It kept slipping off your head. So Lisa got you out the cutest little pumpkin hat. She said because you were born before Halloween you should have one. I love that pumpkin hat! Patty stopped at your isolette before shift change to make sure we knew about the dinner that was planned for NICU parents and families. That’s the first time I met her, but I’m sure she met you before since she knew Tawny. Little did we know baby boy, that Patty would be such an integral part of the day you died.
There was a dinner that night for parents and families in the NICU. I was bummed that Daddy couldn’t go because of CNA. But Grandma, Auntie Katie, and Nolan got to go with me there. There was one lady who was a NICU graduate and then some people associated with the NICU. Patty was there, she’s a chaplain that primarily worked in the NICU at the time. And then there were a handful of other parents there that currently had babies in the NICU. One mom was there whose baby was in the feeder grower room, I think she had a girl. One couple was there whose daughter was in the glass room. She had been in the NICU awhile. She was born really early, I think 24 weeks and weighed less than 2 lbs, maybe even closer to 1 lb when she was born. The other couple was there with their older daughter. Their daughter, Breanna, was actually your neighbor. She was in bed 1 and you were in bed 2. Breanna was born the day before you and at the same gestation. She was just over 2 lbs though, so you were very big compared to her. Your nurse, Kathy (you didn’t have her until the next day) would call Breanna your girlfriend. I remember Breanna’s mom coming to see you and saying how big you were. Most people said you were teeny, but she thought you were big!
Not that I would want anything to happen to any of those babies, but I bet they are all at home and happy with their parents. Even the 24 weeker. I just don’t understand why you couldn’t have made it too.
After the dinner Auntie Katie and I went back to the NICU. This was the first night you had Rod as your nurse. I was honestly a little shocked to see a male nurse when I got there. He was changing out your bed, so it was a little crowded for a bit. After he got that all squared away, Auntie Katie got to hold you! She was so excited and nervous all at the same time. See your cousin has always been a big boy, so your auntie had never held such a small little boy. She adored holding you and you just looked right up at her. You may have had both of your eyes open for the first time, but you weren’t shy at looking around! While she was holding you I remember we were being really silly. I pumped while she held you and this is about the time I started consistently getting a lot of milk. At the dinner I realized how rare that was. Many of the moms struggled with their milk supply. I guess that’s common with having a preemie baby and the stress of having a baby in the NICU. But I didn’t have a problem at all. Maybe it’s because I really wasn’t stressed having you there. Not sure why, but I didn’t at all care that we were there. Of course I would have rather had you at home, but you were here and doing well that’s all that mattered.
We talked about starting a group called breastfeeding anonymous or something like that. Your auntie didn’t have any problems getting milk for your cousin either, so we said how we could start a hotline for mom’s needing tips. It was really fun having your auntie there with us in the NICU and being able to joke around and have a good time. I don’t know if many people laugh that much in the NICU or not. I don’t know what Rod thought of us or if he heard us talking about our boobs or not. That was part of what made it so funny that night.
After a while Grandma and Auntie Katie left the NICU so it was just you and I waiting on Daddy to get there. He was going to stop by the hotel again and shower before coming to see you. I just sat with you like usual and even started videoing you while waiting. Normally Daddy did the videos and pictures (I wasn’t very good at it). But you started to squirm a little bit so I thought I would try to. I was recording you hoping you’d open your eyes for me. You didn’t, but while I was videoing you Daddy came around the corner. I loved seeing him arrive to the NICU. You could tell as soon as he rounded that corner to your little “room” everything melted away from him. He was just so happy to be with us.
He brought a new story to read to you that night, “The Sword in the Stone.” It was one of the books your “Auntie” Beth got for you. Daddy says he brought it because he likes that Disney movie and he wanted you to hear the story.
We spent some time with you and Daddy got to k-care you. It was his first time holding you with the nasal canula. Daddy says he was a lot more relaxed without your scuba mask on since he didn’t have to worry about your bubbles. He read you the story and Mommy pumped. Before we knew it we had to get going. Daddy was super tired and need to sleep. I always said Daddies don’t get the fun hormones that Mommies do. I could have gone without sleeping at night.
Every night before we left we sang you your song and kissed you goodnight. After you had both your eyes open you would always be wide-eyed when we left. Like you were saying “please don’t go Mommy and Daddy.” You were following your pattern from in utero. When you were in utero you would always be kicking like crazy right at the time Mommy was trying to go to sleep. Sometimes Daddy and I would lay there for awhile feeling your crazy movements. Daddy started singing you your song long before you were born. He wrote it just for you. It will always be your special song. I think another reason you would be so wide-eyed is because you always zonked out during k-care, whether with me or with Daddy. Then when we’d move you back you’d be awake.
|Our very favorite picture of you baby boy. It was taken when we were telling you goodnight. Look at those beautiful eyes of yours.|
Rod was great about letting us say goodbye. He would leave the top of your isollette up so we could really get in there and give you kisses. That night we got one of my favorite videos of you. You were wide eyed looking around. You yawn in the video and then give a little sneeze. Oh how I treasure that video immensely. I wish we could have stayed with you all night baby boy. I really wanted to, I know Daddy wanted to too. But we had to take care of ourselves. I have to remember that. If we would have stayed all the time and never slept then we probably would have gotten sick or something. If we would have gotten sick we wouldn’t have been able to come in to see you. That would have been worse than having to go home to sleep for the night.
I have to remember we did the best we could. We couldn't have know you were going to die 6 days later. We were there as much as we could be and the most important thing is that we enjoyed every second with you when we were there. I am thankful for each on of those seconds I spent with you. They are the best moments of my life. Thank you for the wonderful moments and memories you gave us. I wouldn't trade them for anything in the world. You are the best son ever! Loving and missing you like crazy my squirmy wormy xoxox