Sometimes when those early pictures cycle through I don't think twice about them except of course to notice how little she once was. But other times, like recently, those pictures take me right back to those early days and I feel like I am experiencing all of the emotions all over again. I'm sure many people in our same situation want to forget about many of the details of those first days and weeks. But I don't ever want to forget any part of it.
I still relive the doctor delivering the news to us and while I don't care for remembering the pain I felt at the time, it was all a part of what has become one of the best things in our life. I don't want to forget any of it. I want to remember the joy of holding her for the first time, the excitement of everyone who came to see her, and even the closeness that Tom and I felt during that time. It sounds strange, but I want to remember those people that I was there to tell (Tom took care of so much of delivering the news to visitors after the first day). I want to remember all of the emails and Facebook posts congratulating us and telling us how beautiful she was and offering help of varying kinds, but above all else, offering unconditional love for our new daughter. I want to remember bringing select family members and friends into the NICU to hold her and see her. I want to remember having to move all the cords and wires just to hold her close to me.
I want to remember the smell of her and how warm her little body was as I held her, I want to remember the day we walked into the NICU together and the nurse telling us that Tera had pulled out her own NG tube (for feeding) and that they had decided to trust our little newborn and not put it back in so we could see how she would do on her own. I want to remember the day we arrived to finally take her home and Tom being amazed that he could actually walk around with her because she wasn't hooked up to anything.
I want to remember getting her in the car and sitting in the back seat with her while Tom drove us to pick up lunch and then head home. I want to remember that it was snowing and that Tom kept asking me if she was okay and that he wished he could see her too. I want to remember getting home and finally feeling like we could start our life as a family. I want to remember the early visitors; those family members that had been dying to hold her without wires and just see her so they would know she was home and okay.
I want to remember the way that Tom took care of Tera and I. He forced me to drink enough water, take my pain medication, help me keep track of when Tera ate, when I pumped, and when those things had to take place next. I want to remember that I could not have loved him any more during that time if I tried.