Saturday, January 30, 2010

Dearest Lily,
Today would have been one week away from your original due date..I got my weekly e-mail from telling me what to expect at week 39 of pregnancy:) So strange that you have been here for two weeks already, when all along we thought of you as our February baby.
You are still very sleepy. I have been reading a lot on Downs, and apparently this is very typical- as is your content nature. You never cry- if you are upset you let out a high pitched squeal that lasts a few seconds. You have not had any real fussy times...except for when we're trying to nurse and you are frustrated, just wanting your bottle.
When I gave you a bath in your new tub (rather than just washing you off on a towel), you promptly fell back to sleep. In fact, you curled yourself up into a little fetal position...legs tucked up against your tiny chest, fists pulled in below your chin. I'm sure it felt like you were back in Mama's tummy:)
Nursing is the NICU...3 steps forward, 2 steps back. Sometimes you "get it", more often you are mad and pull off, frowning and grimacing and grunting in frustration. The bottle is so much easier for you- all you have to do is swallow. But breastfeeding is work. And many times Mama feels like we are involved in a wrestling match...rather than the dance I mentioned in a previous post:)
We did have an excellent feeding this seems you nurse the best when you are completely wide awake, and have already had your bottle an hour or so beforehand. I spoke with a woman from La Leche League today, and she encouraged me that the more you are awake, the better you will nurse. Right now you have two strikes against you, being slightly premature, and having downs. Both of these contribute to your sleepiness and inability to coordinate sucking, swallowing, and staying awake...and breathing through it all!! But the bigger you get, the more you will wake up and be able to do all of these together. The important thing for us is to keep working at it, and not give up.
She also encouraged me that breastfeeding will benefit you greatly in the long run. Not only because of the health benefits- the antibodies and nutrients in breast milk are so good for you- but also because it helps develop your muscle coordination for speech. Because of downs, you have low muscle tone, so the skills you develop to nurse will aid you in forming words one day...through tongue control, etc. On top of all that, the direct contact and stimulation involved in breastfeeding is exactly what you need as a baby with downs.
All of this makes Mama all the more determined to not give up on nursing. I was honestly not going to give up just because of my own desire to nurse... but now that I know it is important to you as well, I can be confident that I'm doing this for both of us.
Well, little Lily, it is time for some much needed sleep.
As I close, I am heavy hearted about our dear friends the Fishers, and all that they are going through with their daughter, Rose, and grand baby Benjamin. All of our little issues seem so small in comparison to what they are currently facing. Benjamin was born this past Sunday 11 weeks early, and weighing just over 2 pounds. His mommy Rose had to have immediate surgery after his birth to repair a torn uterus. Benjamin faces months in the NICU, with possible cerebral palsy, and Rose has just now gotten released from the hospital to see him. Lord, please touch this precious family, and bring strength to them in all that they face.
I am so thankful, sweet Lily, that you are home with us and doing so well. I am not taking for granted one moment with you- you are so, so loved and we are so incredibly blessed to have you in our lives. You are a gift straight from Heaven !
Love always,
Your Mama oxox


Mrs. K said...

My dear sweet Lily I can't wait to hold you. Mommy and Daddy make sure I get up to date pictures of you and I am so thrilled to see your sweet face. I will keep all of you in my daily prayers and add Rose and Benjamin too. Love, Grammi

TheFoleyFive said...

Hello little Lily…
My name is Sophie Foley…I’m married to your parents, pastor’s son….is that confusing? Ha…I wanted to write you sooner, but life got so crazy. So here goes…
Im pregnant too…Im due the seventeenth of February, your mama’s so lucky she gets to hold her baby already! I’ve followed your mama’s pregnancy with you through its entirety…and you are such a lucky little one. You will spend a lifetime with your family, and I doubt any of them will brag about themselves, so I’m going to brag for them.
You have an incredible family miss Lily. Your brothers and sisters are some of the finest, sweetest, kindest, most willing people John and I have ever known, and that’s because they have been raised by your mum and dad. Your parents are heroes. Truly, they are. Your Dad is a pastor, an occupation that never sees or hears the praise it deserves, but he’s one of the most noble men…and your Mum…that’s who I really want to write to you about.
For a very long time now, your mum has been someone I have looked up to with SUCH respect. Raising children is no small task, and you little wild things make us mums strive so hard, worry, cry, laugh, pray, pray, pray and bring such intense joy and intense…well…intensity. And I have never seen someone handle mothering with such grace and Godliness and joy… I want to be just like your mum someday. Her pregnancy with you was not the easiest and had it been me, I would’ve been so angry, but she carried on with such steadfastness and goodness…I have never respected someone more in my entire life. And look how it paid off little Lily…she has you now, and you’re beautiful and sweet and so good…I know Holland wasn’t on the itinerary, but your mama looks so good in Holland…I could never tell that Italy was ever on the ticket…she’s a gem this woman you call mum. Truly, if only you could see the impression she leaves on other peoples lives…oh wait…you will, because YOUR life will be completely covered in her character, and you are so lucky. Your mama will never get to truly see the greatness she leaves on the lives she touches, but it’s a great great reward that’s waiting for her. Most of all, she has touched her children’s lives, anyone who meets your family is so struck with the amazing character and sweetness that is so pervasive in every single member of your family…and THAT is the greatest accomplishment a woman, a MOTHER could ever ask for. I know you will hear this lots throughout your life, that Lily’s grow in hard places, but I suspect, I really do…that so do, Patti Rice’s.
All my love….
Sophie (and baby Kennedi)

stephanie howell said...

welcome to the world, sweet lily.
you are so blessed to have the family you have. praying for you, beautiful girl!

Leah said...

That is a sweet picture of you rest in the bath, Lily. You're already learning how relaxing a bath can be to a woman. :)