On the eve of my actual 40-wk due date (11/22), Avery has the same wonderful nurse, Melissa, taking care of her who she had the night of her admittance on 7/26, 17 long weeks ago. Our babies were ‘supposed‘ to be coming into the world somewhere between 36 and 40 weeks, and instead we all were thrust into this unwelcome reality on week 23. Melissa has been a special part of our journey and on more than one occasion has shared sentiments and perspective with me that I will never forget. With courage, talent, and a lot of delicate love, she kept Avery alive on that first long, terrifying night when her skin was thinner than paper. With a lump in my throat as I write, there really are no words for how much she means to us. Nurses are heroes in scrubs.
Tomorrow, I will share a writing from a memory book they gave me at the hospital that will surely make you cry. Instead of being a happy journal to capture of the joys of becoming a mother, it instead is intended to help mother’s cope with their pregnancy being taken away too early. Both Quin and I sobbed upon reading it, as it truly captures the sorrow of a ‘surprise’ labor. (this is your fair warning not to “tune in” tomorrow unless you want to be deeply moved)
Avery has had a good weekend and I spent much of the weekend just sitting with her, holding her, singing to her, feeding her, and simply watching her sleep and pondering the miracle that she is. I am honored every time I feed her and hold her.
Her left eye looks good following last week’s surgery and her shunt surgery is tentatively scheduled for this coming Friday. As I rocked her and told her that, “God loves her,” she smiled wide. As I told her all the multitude of different names that we call her “big brother” Riley (our golden retriever), she smiled again. Smiles! Avery is smiling! I tried so hard to capture it on my camera, but missed it enough times that I finally decided to surrender. I put down the camera and instead soaked up the private moments of joy. I sort of captured one of her precious smiles after she enjoyed her pacifier and then drifted off to sleep on Friday night…
On my due date, Avery is 17 weeks old, weighs 5 lb 5oz, has defied every odd, has been through more than most can fathom, including 4 major surgeries with one more to go. And yet….she’s smiling! (you’ll just have to trust me on this one!)