Cleansing ~ Part 2 aka “Ducky”

May 14, 2010 at 4:02 PM Leave a comment

Finally, a much needed blog post on little Hailey Marie. I was trying to find some inspiration about what to write about because, honestly, I’m afraid I’m running out of memories to write about…there are only so many… But my last entry inspired me to share some memories and thoughts about bath time with Hailey (trying to go along with the ‘cleansing’ theme).

As many of you moms out there know, bath time with a newborn isn’t much of a bath time as one my think. There are no bathtubs, bubbles, rubber duckies, etc. – although we had all of those items ready for when Hailey was going to be old enough for a “real” bath…unfortunately we never had a chance to use them with her. So anyways, before I get sidetracked, bath time for newborns is more of a sponge bath and is not done that often initially.

Hailey was about 2 weeks old when we gave her her first bath. And we really had no clue what we were doing… at least I didn’t. It’s one thing to have a healthy newborn baby on your hands and doing things like washing him/her for the first time with all those new parent anxieties where everything is a learning experience. But it’s completely another thing when on top of that your baby isn’t healthy, has an oxygen tube in her nose at all times so she can breathe fully, and has gauze and an ace bandage wrapped around her tummy incision and stitches.

I remember being excited about giving Hailey a bath and having that memory with her. I was excited to use some of her bathing items we bought or received as gifts, like her ducky towel. I was excited to do something motherly with my baby. But at the time I remember being worried about several things. I worried about cleaning her tummy area but not getting her bandages or anything else wet. I worried about how we would wash around her oxygen tube and tummy bandages and still give her a good bath. And most of all I worried about her becoming too cold during her bath.

We decided to bathe her in her nursery as the other rooms were too cool, hers was slightly warmer. We placed some towels down on the middle of the floor. I prepared some bowls with clean warm water, clean soapy water, etc. and got some soft baby rags ready to use. We laid out her ducky towel so it was ready to wrap her in right when we were done.

At this time Josh’s mom was with us and we designated her photographer. Josh was in charge of holding and maneuvering Hailey. And I was in charge of doing the actual bathing. So when things were all ready and we had our plan of attack – which mostly involved keep Hailey warm so move quickly – we undressed Hailey, removed her diaper, and I began washing her one little area at a time – wash one leg, dry one leg, wash other leg, dry other leg, and so on so that her body was never all wet at the same time.

Hailey was a trooper through most of her first bath. At first she didn’t really know what was going on and had lots of confused expressions. I think she liked the rubbing that was involved – kind of like a massage perhaps. But eventually she became a little fussy and who could blame her. A new strange experience with people fidgeting a lot with her. Not very calming although we tried our best to make it that way.

Seeing her completely undressed and wet brought mixed emotions. On the one hand she was so tiny and adorable and cute it just made my heart melt with love. On the other hand she was so tiny… so very tiny… and so very skinny…She was not the image of a healthy chubby baby at two weeks. In her skinniness you could tell she was sick, and she didn’t look like the full term baby she was… at this point I think she weighed barely 5 lbs. So that was hard and still is hard. I think the same things I did then now when I look at her pictures. So many of them bring positive and negative emotions and thoughts with them.

But anyways, back to my memory, Hailey’s first bath was a success. When we were finished washing her, we wrapped her in her ducky towel. (The pictures of her in her towel are some of my favorites.) And Josh quoted one of our favorite childhood movies, “I smell….I smell…I smell…hmmm…ducky!” Hailey was our little ducky. 🙂 It felt good to have her clean with that fresh baby smell and flowery scent of her baby body wash and all wrapped tight and warm in her towel. (And if I remember correctly, I’m pretty sure at some point Hailey peed on Josh…but he seems to have forgotten this and thinks I’m mistaken… 🙂 ).

We gave Hailey her second bath the weekend before she passed. By this time our moms and families had gone home, and it was just Hailey, Josh, and I. Her second bath was very much similar to her first. However, as I was almost finished bathing her, while Josh held her tiny, fragile, slippery body in his hands, I realized I wasn’t doing it exactly as I had done the first time. I wasn’t washing and drying each part of her little body separately. I was approaching it with the mindset of wash everything, dry everything. And to this day I feel guilty about that. I feel like that was the wrong approach and I made her too cold… Probably something silly, but sometimes I wonder if that helped make her sick… Sometimes I wish I could do that second bath all over again…but I know I can’t and that I did the best I could. Sometimes the best just doesn’t seem good enough does it?

So something so simple as giving a baby a bath was not quite so simple for us. But at the end of each bath Hailey was clean and taken care of and we poured our love out on her, our “ducky.” And I am happy and feel blessed that we were able to have the privilege of bathing our baby girl in our own home – another memory making moment I wasn’t sure I was going to have.

(And just a little fact – Hailey’s ducky picture is the picture I used to put inside of my locket.)

**Miss you munchkin ~ I love remembering the moments we shared ~ Love and kisses, Mom**


Entry filed under: Hailey. Tags: , .

Cleansing ~ Part 1 Another cleaning of sorts…

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"God gives, God takes. God's name be ever blessed." ~Job 1:21

In Loving Memory of Hailey Marie

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