…And It Goes A Little Somethin’ Like This.

It’s true, every word of it. I can back it up – I’ve seen it for myself. Not only can Nyana breathe room air, but she can do it fairly well. In three large chunks now, she’s done really well all by her big girl self and has only had to go back on CPAP because her time was up. There hasn’t been a largely noticeable difference in her stats yet, so far she seems to behave quite normally without the CPAP on. Which is to say, mostly breathing regularly but with a few dips along the way. Some bigger than others, but self-recovering often. The biggest change that I can see is how happy she is without all the tackle on her face and how much more mobility we can have during cuddles. I can only hope that this will motivate her to keep up the good work.

Tonight was a good night. First CPAP-free cuddles for Dad. I was thinking about it all day but trying not to get too excited because there was still a chance that something might happen to stop the trials, but secretly I was bursting inside with giddy disbelief. When we got there and Nurse Awesome was still giving me the green light, I couldn’t believe it. It feels kinda like if you were to win a shopping spree. There’s a whole “really I can haz?” vibe that I took extra time to enjoy before I scooped her up without an oxygen support system. It was 8pm.

Like a 12-year old on a skateboard, I beelined for the door. I needed to see how much wiring I was still left to contend with. She has a g-tube still in her mouth, but it’s capped off with about a foot of tiny tubing that can be bundled up and taped on her back. That leaves her vitals probes – 3 little wires that feed into a cord, and then a second cord, both feeding out through a leg and heading south. Turns out both of those are about 8 feet long…just long enough to cross the threshold of her room. With her perched high up on my shoulder, we went out to introduce Nyana to The Hallway.


First real look at the outside hallway. She was awestruck, didn’t know which way to look first. There was so much to see!
Many people caught wind of Nyana’s field trip and stopped by to say hello and revel in the adorable cuteness.
I was just super happy the whole time, couldn’t believe it. It was just really cool to see her breathing on her own so well. Hard to explain. It’s been a long time coming.
Nyana gets a closer look at the big white light that she’s been staring at the last couple weeks.
Brackett Family Photo
Time for the 9pm feed, better settle down. We sat for a while and enjoyed bumping fuzzy heads together without any gear in the way.
It started to look like Nyana’s stats did better when I was talking to Karen so I read her a few stories from her big story book. Well, mostly read…with some edits on the fly. Some of those are dreadfully boring so I had to keep myself entertained by adding some character depth and extra story bulk along the way. I think she liked them regardless.
Dinner’s over, Mum and Dad have to catch a bus. One last shot before we go…

Tonight was one of the best nights we’ve had in the NICU. I came home and as I was taking out my contacts I noticed the drool stains on my shirt and for once they didn’t come with the memory of plastic tubing and scratchy velcro bashing into my chin every time she wiped her face back and forth across my shoulder. Tonight, Princess Munch was fantastic beyond words and the two of us are ecstatically proud of her and her recent progression. It’s hard not to get too far ahead of ourselves because there’s always a “step back” around the corner to be wary of, but at the same time the light at the end of the tunnel just got a lot brighter this week. We’re that much closer, and The Sunshine Brigade is full steam ahead.



About Donners

Thirtysomething father to The Royal Princess of The Sunshine Brigade, a 27 week preemie who survived 222 days in the NICU. The Queen and I are still crazy in love, and life in Vancouver's West End is getting back to a whole new normal that we've always been waiting for but never knew we would get quite like this.
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20 Responses to …And It Goes A Little Somethin’ Like This.

  1. Anne Brackett says:

    Absolutely awesome. Nyana you are adorable. Love to all

  2. T says:

    Ah, when will I ever learn that if I start the day off crappy all I need to do is check my email for a Nyana update that always makes me smile.

    Great job Nyana, keep up the good work!

  3. Linda Angell says:

    Don, you just put a smile on my face and into my heart ~ your accounting of the day leading up to your first “wire-free” snuggle was so touching and I could just imagine you going about your office duties with a loppy grin on your face. And then the pictures told the whole story in glorious 2-D!! I am so happy that you and Nyana both finally got this time together, C-PAP free. Let’s hope for many, many more days and evenings such as this one.
    My love to you,

  4. Crystal says:

    I agree with T! I am soooo happy for you both and so proud of Nyana! You go girl!

  5. Jennifer says:

    Love the pictures Don. I hope for both you and Karen at Nyana’s progress.

  6. Jennifer says:

    Sorry, typo. I meant to say I am happy for you both.

  7. Lynn Duncan says:

    Love the pictures!! And I see the Princess has her own mirror now, too.

    Wonder if you could record some stories for you that they could play at times when you are at work and Karen isn’t there, since hearing your voices seems to soothe her?

    I bet she cannot wait to be able to see what there is to see down that hall and out the door.

  8. Tasha says:

    The family photo melts my heart!

  9. Charlene says:

    What a great way to start the day. I’m so happy to hear that Nyana is doing so awesome! I can’t get over how big, beautiful and blue her eyes are! Adorable!

  10. Lee says:

    Wow. I’m grinning like an idiot. Thanks for sharing and I love the pictures.

  11. alicia says:

    Such good news! Way to go baby girl-you are doing it!!!

    So happy for you all 🙂

  12. Shannon says:

    How awesome and incredible is this? Wishing you many more trips to the hallway and the wonderful things beyond it!

  13. Ben Ton says:

    Hi Karen & Donners,
    I had a lot of “problems” on my mind this morning … before getting my “Nyana update” …. but I’ll be darned if I can think of any of them now. This little girl might just be the cure for almost anything. Thanks for sharing … love to all.

  14. Duncan & Dorothy Gillies says:

    Hi folks – sure enjoyed the photos of Nyana. Sounds like she is making great progress.
    Take care and keep thinking positive thoughts.
    Love Duncan & Dorothy

  15. Twiggy says:

    awwww I see so many of us are inspired by Nyana. Those eyes are so bright and curious!!

  16. Robyn says:

    Came to your blog by way of my friend Alaina from the okanagan who you were in a preg group with, been reading my way from first entries and just LOVING being able to share in your amazing journey. I have an almost 5 month old daughter who was born at term 4 days after Nyana. just wanted to say hello and i love the pictures, shes getting so nice and chubby! best of luck ❤

  17. Jen says:

    I don’t even know what to say *smile* Shes such a bright eyed lil beauty! And Don, don’t EVER stop adding stuff to stories. Until the day she reads them herself and says “Um Dad, thats not right!” It makes books you’ll have to read a billion times a little more tolerable, it’ll teach her to Read instead of memorize later down the road, But most importantly you’ll be teaching her to expand her imagination and thats the Best gift you can give to her. It was the best thing my own Dad ever did for me. And the eventual “Ummm….” moment? Utterly, UTTERLY priceless, I promise. *smile*

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