By now, daddy was an expert in giving me "kangaroo care", even with those tubes from the ventilator taped to his chest. He held me closely, told me he loved me, and I slept like a happy, loved baby in his strong, warm arms.
This was a very important week for me. I reached a major milestone with my little lungs. See, I was on the ventilator for lots of weeks and on occasion, I got tired of that tube going into my mouth, past my vocal cords, and into my lungs. Yes, it's true that I needed that precious machine to breathe initially, but I was getting bigger and bigger. I kept figuring out a way to take the tube out by myself! Yes, I weighed under two pounds, but I have been a very strong willed baby all of my young life.
So, I had on occasion done a trick the staff here calls "self-extubation", removing the tube from myself. The first three
times I did it, the doctors tried to keep me off the ventilator by putting me on a thing called a CPAP (constant positive airway pressure) machine.
Unfortunately, my little lungs were not strong enough, yet, to keep me off and I had to go back to the ventilator after a few hours of trying to breathe on my own.
But, this week, on November 1st, I decided I'd had enough of the vent and yanked the tube out once and for all! I waited for shift change too so I could cause a big commotion and keep my favorite evening nurse with me just a little longer. I know that Phil appreciated that!
This time I stayed on the CPAP and initiated all of my own breaths, taking an important step in learning to breathe like a big girl. The CPAP was just there blowing oxygen into my nose plus a bit of pressure so that I could keep remembering to breathe. It worked fine and I liked not having a thing down into my lungs. Even better, my vocal cords were free and after I got over the soarness, I began to make sounds, crying and cooing like the big baby that I was becoming. My parents and granda were so happy to hear me at last!
Best of all, my mommy, daddy and abuelita Tina got to see my big cheeks on my face for the first time! I'm sure they were very, very happy to finally see my face below my nose. I heard them say that I have daddy's forehead, eyes, and earlobes but I have mommy's nose.