Since the day we came home, he has slept huddled in the left hand corner of the crib. Face tucked and pressed into the tiniest corner side slats as close as he can possibly get. His nose, mouth and ears protected and completely covered by the massive shell of Biscuit. His stuffed sea turtle.
I don’t understand how he can stand to have his whole face smothered, but as soon as I think of taking away the stuffed creature, I can’t. I always wonder if he does it because for months he lived and slept in a tiny isolette with CPAP tubes taped to his nose and face, his chin held shut with a stylish velcro strap to keep his mouth closed. NICU guilt is never ending apparently. So I leave Biscuit there, his sweaty curls peeking out.
We finally moved him to a big boy bed and room. I wasn’t exactly sure how it would go.
He crawled in. Read his book. Drank his milk. Inquired about the new fish aquarium light which we turned on. We said our prayers “…and please send mommy, daddy and Tucker a baby.” (seriously.). He rolled over, pulled the cuddles (covers) up over his entire head and that was it. Not a peep all night. We found him the next morning reading a book to his parade of animals.
Kid loves his room.
3 weeks in and I’ve stopped checking every few hours to make sure he’s still breathing. This is, after all, the first time since he was born that he doesn’t have a monitor flashing a green light to tell me he’s breathing while he sleeps. I know. It should’ve gone ages ago. Do you know me at all? Hi, I’m Paranoid.
About an hour after he falls asleep, I do though, creep quietly into his room. I wrestle away the pillow, turn back the cuddles, and remove Biscuit from over his entire face. Not kidding-he won’t fall asleep until he’s buried his head under all of them. The head that’s now smashed into the top corner of his big boy bed. I watch him breathe easily, without labor. Without machines. Without thought. It’s beautiful.
I’m fairly confident he’s dreaming about his speech for graduation from zoology school, and owing it entirely to his mom’s incredible animal decorating style. That, or ice cream.
As a regular O – donor, and the brother of a preemie born back in 1966. I find “Your Baby Needs Blood” story and your blog amazing. Thanks for sharing