Thursday, April 13, 2006

A dip in our emotional rollercoaster

We had a very emotional afternoon today. I warned myself and anyone who is reading this at the outset that I was going to try and write about all of the aspects of our experiences, including the emotional and even spiritual side of things. Well today was a day that added a new element

Today Ellie was baptized. Even though I am not religious at all and Abby is a one time Episcopal, the chaplain did a great job of recognizing the situation that we were in and added just enough spiritual stuff to make us both really appreciate the little NICU ceremony. This had two effects on Abby and I:

First it made Eleanor very real to us to have an official person pronounce her name out loud. We get weepy whenever we say her name to each other but this was different and really hit us both hard. I think that it woke us up from what seems like a movie (that I'd like to ship back to Netflix immediately thank you very much!) and makes us realize that this is our lives, we are the stars of this story, and we have no idea how it will turn out, even in the next small chapter that will play out tomorrow.

Second, it made us revisit the fact that despite her cooing and cuddling in the past few days, Ellie is a sick little girl and has all of that uncertainty attached to her tough situation. It's tough to say, but is the reality of our situation.

With things the way that they are, we are taking every opportunity that we have to go in and see her, hold her (the nurses in the NICU have been really great in encouraging us to pick her up and get lots of contact with her), sing her songs (the NICU versions of My Old Man's and Anthropologist, and the entire Lynryd Skynrd Second Helping are destined to be all time classics).

Abby spent an hour each of the last two nights holding her, skin to skin and it has done wonders for both of them. We can watch Eleanor's heart rate slow and watch Abby's eyelids droop. Good medicine for both of them.

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