Since going to exclusive bottle feedings, Olivia has had a few apnea spells. Her nurse, Lanae, said we may have pushed her too fast, so today they gave her a break, giving some of her feedings through her NG tube and she had no apnea spells. When my mom and I went to feed her this evening, she took her entire feeding, then was awake for about an hour. We took turns holding her and she just looked around. At times, her eyes held mine and I felt like I was looking into the eyes of an old soul, timeless and wise. Not of this world, somehow... Then, her eyes went all cross-eyed and she started dancing to the rhythm of her hiccups. An old soul in a body, unfamiliar and new.
For weeks, Larissa has been asking when Olivia can come out of her "little box." Tonight, Linae raised the top on the isolette so she could monitor how Olivia would maintain her body temperature on her own. To help her, we would dress her in layers and bundle her up.
Linae had me put a long-sleeved undershirt on under the footed sleeper. The sleeves were twice as long as Olivia's arms and my mom tried to fold them over, so her hands could stick out. When I put the sleeper back on, I had to stuff her arms in and we laughed, because she looked like that little brother from the movie "A Christmas Story" after his mom zipped him into a snowsuit with his arms sticking out at 45 degree angles, unable to move. Olivia's arms were bent at the elbow and her little hands were in fists. The folded undershirt made her arms look huge and muscular, like Popeye. She just lay there, holding up her fists- like a double-dog-dare. We took her picture and laughed.
"She looks like a boxer." I said.
"Yeah, just like her parents." My mom said and we giggled some more.
We thought up captions for the pictures.
-"Hey, Natalie and Larissa, things are going to change around here."
-"I said I want Amore to sleep in MY bed and I mean it!"
-"So what if I'm only 4 pounds? You got a problem with that?"
A nurse came by, teasing, "Hey, I know you two are having fun over here, but if you wake up that baby sleeping over there." She pointed around the curtain to a bassinet on the other side of the room. "Well, you will have to get him back to sleep... and he is NPO."
Getting a baby to sleep who can't eat is difficult and heartbreaking, because the baby is trying desperately to communicate in the only way he knows how, but all he has is you- a moron who just doesn't seem to get it. Eventually, he wears himself out or gives up.
"Sorry," I whispered. Not the first time in our lives, nor the last. In our family, we laugh a lot.
Linae laughed with us at Olivia the Boxer. Then, we adjusted the sleeves, zipped her into a sleep sack, and swaddled her in receiving blankets, with her little face peeking out from under a little knit hat. All settled in and left in caring hands.
Sweet dreams, sweetheart...