Today was a rough day. We're realizing that everything we can possibly do for Annaleigh is done. We had a nice viewing, picked out a headstone, and packed up her belongings. So now were left wanting to do more for her but there's nothing left to do. And that's hard to get used to. But then...
Lily got a bath! Not a gentle sponge bath while still in her isolette, but a legit in a tub bath! What an absolutely perfect cure for sadness! Her nurse Amelia, who was actually Lily's first nurse on the night she was born, decided it was time to give her a real bath. She got a small tub and filled it with warm water and slowly lowered the Bug into it. We had no inkling that she would like it, but she actually seemed to enjoy it.
Amelia held Lily's head up and lowered her body into the water up to her waist. Brooke soaped up Lily and gently washed her down. Lily splashed around and looked confused. I took pictures and laughed with glee. It was the most adorably thing I've ever seen! After a few minutes, Amelia lifted her out of the water and Brooke shampooed her hair. After a gentle towel drying, Brooke spread lotion all over Lily's back, arms, and legs.
Both of us got to hold Lily while she was completely naked. Getting the chance to feel that close with her was just beyond words great. And not only was she without any clothes but she was also without her feeding tube and her breathing tubes. She was breathing completely on her own for about 10 minutes during the whole bath. And when she was hooked back up to the monitors, the numbers showed that she was doing great!
Charlie had a milestone of his own today too. While he was out for a snuggle in my arms, he was fussing around with his hands and managed to put his thumb in his mouth. After a brief bit of confusion, he started sucking away like a champ! Charlie sucked his thumb! And after a few minutes, he accidentally took it out of his month and got very upset. He started to silently cry and he thrust his arms around. He didn't calm down until I gave him his pacifier, which he happily sucked for the whole time he was out.
It was just a fantastic visit. We both just laughed so hard watching Lily's bath and Charlie's thumb-sucking. Once again, the babies were able to give us a much-needed break from our sadness.
In another note, we haven't yet posted about the memorial service that the NICU staff held for Annaleigh. Sister Mary Jane, the St. Peters chaplain, organized everything. It was held at 7 am between nurse shifts so both the day and night nurses could attend. Sister Mary Jane made up little memory cards for her out of scrap booking materials; they had typed out quotes about love and loss on them. Plus, each card had a little purple butterfly and some colorful gems glued on them. She gave a very nice eulogy and a few of the nurses read some Bible verses. We watched the tribute video I made and said a few prayers and then everyone hugged us. It was perfect. We would have loved Sister Mary Jane to preside over her funeral services but unfortunately she was away and couldn't be there. But it was a very nice service and we were touched by all the nurses who showed up. Once again, the staff of the NICU showed us just how amazing they are. We really, truly are blessed to have found such an amazing place to take care of our babies.
Charlie loves his thumb!
My two best girls, happy as can be.
I cannot even begin to tell you how great this felt. I want to do it every day!!!
Lily got a grip on Brooke's hair and just wouldn't let go!
She looks like she was actually enjoying herself. We were told to expect them to fuss and be scared during their first bath, but the Bug seemed content to be messaged and pampered. It was her own spa treatment!
When it was all over, she was just so stunned by everything that she laid there and looked up at us as if to ask "what just happened to Lily?"
Afterwards, we had to make sure Lily was nice and warm, so I held her in my arms for body heat and we covered her in a couple blankets. We were so, so happy from the bath time fun!