Monday, October 04, 2010

Skin to Skin


I was recently asked to share some of our skin to skin photos for the development of educational materials for Mount Sinai Hospital. Looking back at Little One's earliest photos was bittersweet. I must have been on auto pilot mode (or maybe in denial), because I never worried once that Little One wouldn't be okay. Our days in the NICU were a roller coaster ride, but I just knew she would be fine.

I trusted her doctors and nurses to the utmost degree. I trusted that all would be fine.

One of the things I am really impressed with and thankful for is how the nurses kept encouraging me to do kangaroo care with her and to hold her skin to skin. I really do feel that this helped connect my preemie to me. We bonded, and that warmth of having her close to me really touched my heart. I treasured those moments so much, since it was nearly two weeks until I got to hold her.

Initially, it was a bit intimidating and I was afraid to hold that tiny, fragile, itty-bitty baby. I was afraid I'd break her. Honestly! She was only 2 lbs, 3 oz and full of leads, a CPAP, NG tube...It was all a bit daunting!

Her primary nurse told me to take off my shirt, tuck Little One underneath my hospital gown, and hold her.

It was the best feeling in the world. Over the course of her 70 days in the NICU, I looked forward to my special time with her. I nursed her, sang to her, read to her, and just held her. Those days seem so far away, and seeing these photos again after not seeing them in a long time just brings back those memories.I still can't believe she was so tiny or that we spent so many days in the NICU. Today, Little One is a very active, busy, bright, clever little 22 month old. It really is hard to imagine that Mount Sinai was our home for 70 days (well, I was there for a few weeks on hospital bed rest before she was born, so it was longer for me).


Getting bigger!


Hubby was scared to hold her at first. He said she was so tiny and so fragile. After his first hold, he was hooked! He also treasured his quiet time with her. Skin to skin is also important for Daddies! Here he covered her up with a little face cloth so she wouldn't be cold!
Many thanks to Mount Sinai, the NICU, the lactation consultants, and the Linden Fund. We wouldn't be where we are today if it weren't for all of you.


16 comments:

Kady L. said...

Beautiful pics! Thanks for sharing!

Christine said...

That is so touching Christine, I sit here with tears in my eyes from reading this post!

Just beautiful!

Me said...

wow christine, these pics are a true tribute to the amazing NICU department at mount S'nai. They did such a fantastic job caring for LO and for you too.
Beautiful! I am amazed at how far she has come since those days!
I'll never forget Oct 31 as being the day you started your stay in Toronto pre-birth of LO.

Cherry said...

That tiny CPAP is just too heart wrenching!
Your strength has always amazed me but never so much as those long months you and then your LO spent at Mount Sinai. Beautiful.

Eric was the first to hold our LilMiss skin to skin. Those stupid hours I was held up in the Cardiac Recovery ward he was in the nursery with her doing kangaroo care. I was so grateful he got that precious time with her.

C said...

Kady:
:) I can't believe those pics were taken almost two years ago! Crazy how we spent so much time in the NICU. It was a completely different world from the one we know now.

C said...

Christine:
I cried too when I read this! I cried as I was writing this! I hope to see you soon! We're only 15 min away from each other, yet I only see you at the pharmacy! LOL!

C said...

Me:
I know! Crazy, eh? I just wanted to say THANK YOU! Thank you for being there for me and for visiting me in the hospital before and after I had Little One. With friends like you, I will always be rich. Love you! XOXOX

C said...

Cherry:
Thank you for following our journey and for being there through it all. You, J, Ms.Mamma, Dot, and everyone else were instrumental in keeping me sane through the whole thing. Thank you! Big fat fuzzy heart you!

jMo said...

What memories, you're so strong. It will be wonderful when she's old enough to understand these photos.

C said...

jMo:
Thank you! I was actually going through old posts and reading comments from people all over the blogosphere. So many people shared in our journey. It brought tears to my eyes.

Thank you, jMo. You've been a wonderful friend through it all. In love, friendship, and chocolate...

Gillian @TheLindenFund said...

Thanks for sharing! The pictures capture those special moments. The strength it took you all in the NICU is amazing. So lovely.

Nimkee's Mum said...

~what precious photos and memories to cherish. Little One sure has come a long way. I especially love the photo of John cuddling his wee girl--so sweet! What a great Daddy :O)

Love & Nimkee-Blessings, Mxxoo

J at www.jellyjules.com said...

I remember reading so much about skin to skin, and yet, Maya was brought to me bundled and swaddled. And over the next few weeks, it was cold and wet winter...we didn't do much skin to skin, outside of breastfeeding. I think she turned out OK, but I wonder sometimes if the skin thing might have helped with the early days. She wasn't a premie, though. She was LATE. Maybe instead of skin, she needed to be put in the other room. ;)

KIDDING.

C said...

Gillian:
Thank you :) I have to say that the Linden Fund helped a lot during our NICU days. I spent Christmas and New Year's in the NICU with Little One. Mount Sinai, the NICU moms, dads, and staff, and the Linden Fund were our family...and still are :)

C said...

Nimkee's Mum:
She sure had come a long way. :) I need to keep reminding myself on days when she tries my patience (she is sooooo independent, stubborn, and into everything), that we went through so much to get her here and I need to take a chill pill and enjoy...savour each moment with her. I love my little monkey.

C said...

Julie:
LOL!!! You crack me up!! :) Actually, a friend of mine had her son at term, but she also did a lot of skin to skin when he was born. She read a lot about skin to skin.

I remember the nurses telling me that babies know their mom's smell, their heartbeat, the way they breathe. We were once connected, so this is an extension of that. I do believe it helped me bond with Little One in those very early days.

Now she doesn't even want to cuddle. She's very selfish in giving away kisses and hugs :( Actually, she'll give hugs and kisses, but only on her terms.

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City girl moves to the country, falls in love, and marries a farmer. She tries to incorporate her city ways with her new country lifestyle and blogs to keep in touch with friends, family & students who live far, far away :) Can this city girl go country? Watch as she learns all sorts of exciting things about life on the farm and in a small rural community. *UPDATE* We are now parents! Our baby girl was born on Nov. 11, 2008 (at 28 weeks gestation- 12 weeks premature, but she's quite the trooper)!!!
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