Maggie is back on a good path. Her lung issues aren't as serious as we were thinking (infection) and she is gaining weight from the new mommy milk she is eating every four hours! She is about 5 lbs. 3 oz. now, and the doctors are prepared to give her plenty of time to rest up and get strong on full-sized feeds before they move forward with any more risky stuff.
I think Joy and I are finally starting to enjoy our experiences with her instead of just worrying all of the time. Yesterday I got to hold her again. For 40 minutes. Skin to skin. At first I didn't want to take my shirt off to expose my pale, muscleless body to the people in the room, but then I realized what a great moment it would be to feel her skin so close and even feel the warmth of her body on mine. That time was precious to me, and I have to thank Joy again for letting me have that time. Joy certainly could have taken some of it, and had every right to hold the daughter she put nine months of life and work into, but she gave me that time as a gift. What a generous and beautiful woman.
I love Joy more today than I ever have. I'm impressed by her and I think more fondly of her every day. Yesterday when she let me hold Maggie, I cried. Not only because I was holding my first born, but because Joy loves me that much. Honestly, I know she loves me, but I didn't know she loved me that much. That was so big and selfless, and I don't deserve to be loved that much. And how much more does our God love us? Seriously people! We are blessed!
Maggie loved me holding her as much as I did. She balled her little legs up into my chest, curled her arms into her side chicken-wing style, and commenced to slobber all over my chest. It was beautiful.
So now we know her lungs aren't infected, and the CT scans came back to show nothing too terrible, just some muscles that are weirdly shaped. Her EKG reported no changes in her heart and the little rash on her neck is in healing mode. While it all sounds good I've learned there is a certain calm before every storm in the NCIU. That moment when you feel secure in the improvement and are beginning to gain confidence is never a good sign.
I hope you enjoy the photo attached above. I know it's more me than her, and my nose is more prominent than the little child in my arms, but please look passed that if you can. So many people are clamoring for new shots of her so I'll try to put together an album for the site in the next few days.
It's really hard for Joy and me to connect throughout the day. She pumps every two hours, which seems like every 20 minutes, and I'm running friends and family from waiting rooms to see Maggie most of the time we are at the hospital. When you add me going back to work and family being in town the only quiet time we find together is when we go to bed at night. We always pray together, but lately we have been laughing a lot, and wow, that's so healing. We joke, we tickle and we laugh about things that happened throughout the day, but mostly it's just time to heal and grow even closer to each other.
I've never enjoyed going to bed until now. Partly because I am, in the words of Dr. Clark Roush, filled with a holy exhaustion every night, but mostly because I have such precious time with my wife. The beautiful woman who gave birth to our daughter. One more incredible reason I love her.