I write this to you now because I know that I have the words. If I fail to write them now, I may not remember it this way in the future. Today is your ninth day of life, and also your ninth day in the neonatal intensive care unit. Right now you don’t know what that means, other than you get a comfortable warm box to sleep in, we feed you a lot, and you aren’t with us but you do see us often. You certainly know who mommy and daddy are. You are in a place not many little ones visit, and you’re there because you came early. You weren’t supposed to be here until April. You were born in February. What that means is, since you were not ready to leave me, you are still too little to be with daddy and me. We love you so much Alexandr and I hope that no matter what over the years we do the best job we possibly can showing you that we do.
I want you to know that you saved mommy. Without you showing the doctors and nurses that something was wrong, mommy and you might not be here today, so even before you were born, you saved mommy, and yourself. That makes you pretty special, and amazing.
Right now showing we love you means that we take your temperature and change your diaper. We feed you as much as we can and spend time holding, kissing, hugging, and touching you. Today you tried to eat my finger, and I thought that was pretty cool. You return our love by smiling at us, open your eyes real wide, wrinkling your forehead with delight, and coo on occasion. When you came into this world you were only three pounds and six ounces. Most babies are over seven pounds, so you’ve got a long way to go to get that big. You won’t be that big when we bring you home, but with help from mom and dad, and some tasty food, you’ll get there eventually. You live in an isolette right now. Which is the box I was talking about. It’s kept warm for you like mommy’s tummy would have been, had you been able to stay with me. Because you are so small, we weren’t sure you were going to be able to breath on your own, but you came into this world screaming to let us know you were here. It was the greatest noise me and daddy had ever heard. They whisked you away from me after i met you, to take you to where you live right now. They put an IV in your little hand, and a pad to tell your temperature, pads to tell how your heart was beating, and a few other odd tubes and wires. Some of them are gone now, some of them are not. With time they will all be gone. Daddy went with you to this strange place we call the NICU, and when they were done putting on all your tubes and wires, they thought that is all they would find. Most guys who come as early as you don’t open their eyes, and they told daddy you wouldn’t. He looked at you and you decided to open them anyway! The doctors were confused and surprised! It would not and will not be the only time they have been surprised by you. Mommy got to come see you after she was all better, and got to hold you close for the first time. Her and daddy sat with you for a long while listening to you breath and holding your little hand. Later that night mommy came back, you were sucking on a pacifier and they were going to feed you through a tube. Mommy wanted to try to feed you through a bottle, they said I could try, but since you were so small, you probably wouldn’t take it. You took the bottle from me and drank the whole thing! See, more surprises for the doctors and nurses. You are full of them. Mommy spent a lot of the time she was still in the hospital with you, feeding you, holding you, and loving you. Now that she is home, she still goes as much as she can to the hospital to see you, and feed you, and hold you. You smile at me, and open those eyes, and chew on my fingers, and tug at your ears. These are all things you shouldn’t be able to do, but you do it anyway, against the odds.
Alexandr, there will be people in your life who will tell you that you are too small, and that you can’t. I want you to know that you can, and no matter what they say. Do not let people tell you your limitations. I have seen you break so many molds and do so many things out of turn. You are amazing, you are strong, and you should never let anyone else tell you otherwise. Daddy and I will always be here for you, and when those people tell you you can’t, and you want to show them all, we will be here to help you do that. Whatever you choose to be, and are in life, we will love you and support you. You can do anything Alexandr, you really can.
This journey is not over, and you will have to stay longer in the place you are now, but for now mommy and daddy are here being as patient as possible, doing everything they can to help you get better, and be ready for the day when you can finally come home. We will be here, and we will be there, where ever you are, that’s where we will be.
Mommy loves you, Daddy loves you, Don’t ever forget it Alex.