I walked into Kit’s room this morning with her four older sisters, a packed lunch, and bags of toys and books slung over my shoulder. A nurse, sheathed in the yellow quarantine gown and mask was holding her, and there was a paci in Kit’s mouth and Kit was sucking on it. I cried.

And it felt so silly to be crying with happiness that my baby was taking a paci when I know there are so many moms who have cried because their baby wasn’t allowed a paci and was given one or because their toddler wouldn’t stop taking a paci… and I have been the mom that was crying because my baby was drinking a bottle when I wanted her to be breastfed…

but to see Kit taking a paci today. I can’t tell you how many countless times I’ve worked with her on overcoming her lost ability to suck/swallow. How many times I’ve sat with her during an ng feed and patiently ran the paci or bottle across her lips, let her clumsily play with it, careful I didn’t inadvertently gag her or push her to take it and cause an aversion. Doctors and nurses I’ve made sure to let know she can’t have them shoving a paci in her mouth, that we are working hard to avoid aversion.

Before Kit got sick, I saw some changes in her–she wasn’t working quite so hard to breathe, and she was chewing on her hands and toys. She was showing much more interest in her mouth and I thought that maybe, possibly, we were getting closer to her being able to start taking a paci and maybe one day a bottle. I thought though that we could forget about all that, with her being in the ICU for three weeks now.

I know she won’t overnight start drinking full bottles and we may still have to get a gtube in the end, but this was a big step today, a really big step. After the discouraging news about her possible blindness and her long hospitalization, this was just so good, so very good.


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