Tiny Warrior Avery weighed in today at 2.5 lbs. We are so proud of her. She is up to 2.2 cc’s of milk per hour and holding strong on her vitals. Other than obvious irritation with her breathing tube that she continues to let the nurses know about when they move her, she had another stable day. We are so thankful for the wealth of prayers and love that we know all of you are sending to her and to us. We feel the blanket of love pouring in despite the distance, and cannot possibly express our sincere gratitude enough for the kindness and caring you each provide in your communications and prayers. Your love and compassion sustains us all, and Avery is getting stronger each day.
After Avery received a beautiful stuffed lamb that sings ‘Jesus Loves Me’ when you squeeze it, I started singing that song to her each time we visit. The song reminds me of my youth and being at Bible School in Elizabeth, but until receiving the gift I had not thought to try singing it to her. In the same way that Sienna responded to the tune of ‘Row, Row, Row your boat,’ little Avery seems to be most fond of ‘Jesus Loves Me.’ Each time I quietly sing it to her (and despite my apparent lack of innate singing talent) she opens her eyes and looks right at me and takes even more breaths on her own. Other songs don’t seem to have the same positive results. So, I repeat it over and over and over again.
Magically, tonight we watched her take her tiny pacifier that had fallen out of her mouth into her hand and put it right back into her mouth. At first, I thought it had to be just a coincidence that her pacifier was in the exact right spot and she “got lucky” with putting it back into her mouth. However, I then called the respiratory therapist over and said, “take a look at this…” After we joyfully watched her chew on the pacifier for a few moments, it popped out again and landed in front of her face. She literally took her fingers from behind it, wrapped them around the top of the pacifier, and picked it up and stuck it right back into her mouth. His enthusiastic response was,”Wow! That’s amazing! We rarely ever see that with these tiny ones!” I will never forget those precious moments and his reaction. I look forward to hearing those exact same words, “Wow! That’s amazing! We rarely ever see that!” from all types of professionals in the years to come. I deeply believe we will.
We had the good fortune today while visiting the NICU to meet the Executive Director of Preemies Today, and the Family Support Liaison for the March of Dimes. Both are so kind and caring, and provided us with lots of hope and information. We appreciate them so very much and look forward to utilizing more of their resources, support, and connections. Even more, we look forward to giving back to them as volunteers as we become a success story. For those of you who sent, or plan to send, us donations for the March of Dimes upon receiving the “Tiny Warrior” wrist bands, please know that your gift will be used wisely and will make a difference for families and babies.
I’d also like to acknowledge the wonderful staff at the front desk of the NICU. Each of the women we are coming to know well, have touched our hearts in so many ways and they truly are the soul of the NICU. I hope Inova Fairfax knows how fortunate they are to have these fine women. They see so much each day, smile and care about us in simple ways during our darkest times, and their strength, smiles, and personal connections are beautiful.
We know that many churches and Sunday school classes around the world are praying for baby Avery. If you have the opportunity to sing, “Jesus Loves Me,” I like to believe that her guardian angel Sienna will let her know.
Warm blessings and thanks from our hearts to yours.