While some people are superstitious about Friday the 13th, I am not. By going through our photos and looking at the photos from the 13th of each month it seems that the 13th has actually been pretty good to us. I am told by Heath that his great grandmother Kathryn, whom Virginia's middle name comes from, was quite superstitious about the number 13. Perhaps she had a hand in the good fortune that we have had on the 13th of each month.
October 13, 2011 - This was the first day that there was renewed hope. Heath and I had remained positive, but most every doctor that we met with had very grim predictions for my pregnancy. On October 13 I beamed ear to ear. The ultrasound seen in the above photo revealed that my cervix had remained stable for 2 weeks and the baby was growing appropriately and looked great. We were just 2 days from 24 weeks (viability) and they gave me my first course of steroid injections to help the baby's lungs develop.
November 13, 2011- Virginia had been opening her eyes for a few days, but this was the first day that she had them open for a few minutes and seemed alert. It was also the first time that I got a photo of her beautiful eyes. She had been very sick in the weeks prior, but I can remember feeling so joyous and calm after we stared at each other for a few minutes that day.
December 13, 2011 - Virginia had been extubated for 3 days (her 2nd attempt at extubation) and that day it appeared that she was going to stay extubated. Her settings were down, her saturations and heart rate were great and she surprised all of us by making some amazing progress in the weeks after.
January 13, 2012- January was one of the hardest months during Virginia's NICU journey. I was back at work, our schedule was very hectic, it was the dead of winter, and we were going on 4 months in the hospital (3 months in the NICU) with seemingly no end in sight. Even during this difficult time the 13th was a good day. The doctors had been concerned that there was something physically wrong with Virginia that was preventing her from effectively feeding by mouth. Thankfully on Friday the 13th her swallow study, endotrachial study and brain scan all came back normal. We would learn in the weeks to come that Virginia just needed our patience, she was on her own schedule.
February 13th 2012- This was the first day that I was confident that Virginia was going to get out of the NICU without an NG tube or G-tube. Virginia's difficulties with bottle feeding was the only thing keeping her in the hospital and as the days and weeks wore on there were more and more conversations regarding going home with and NG tube or having a G tube placed. In true Virginia fashion she pulled things together just in time.
March 13, 2012 - We were home (!) and settled into a good routine.
April 13, 2012- This is the first day that Virginia and I left the house together to go somewhere other than a doctors office or the hospital. My computer, which was my lifeline to the world outside of our house at the time, needed to be fixed so we ventured to New Haven to go to the Apple store which is ironically just around the corner from the hospital.
May 13, 2012 - I was back to work and Heath was home with Virginia for a few weeks... looks like she was enjoying herself :)
June 13, 2012 Virginia was wrapping up 2 wonderful weeks with Nino and Papa.
July 13, 2012- Virginia fell asleep for the first time in her highchair while heating her oatmeal and apples. We also went out for our first run with the jogging stroller. It felt good to get back out running but I completely underestimated my current endurance and how much extra effort is involved in pushing and navigating the stroller.
Im excited to see what August 13, September 13, October 13, and so on have in store for us!