Laim’s ability to hold your hand – as much as we want it – is extremely limited. Every once in a while, and with no consistency or duration, he will grip your fingers. He has essentially no control over his arms or hands, although he is able to move his arms around a little bit – but something like a blanket over him effectively removes that ability. His arms, like the rest of his body, are rather limp and without muscle tone. When you pick him up, he sort of flops all over the place and his arms and legs just go where gravity tells them to.
He does have big hands, and that doesn’t go unnoticed by everyone around here. I think it’s been mentioned before, but a lot of the kids that end up here in the NICU are premature, so when a full term baby shows up, it looks particularly big. We have tried to put Liam’s fingers in his mouth to see if that would help sooth him, but without any control over his arms they don’t stay there for too long – like no more than a few seconds. The other daily challenge (which is actually pretty similar to every other baby) is getting clothes on over his fingers and arms. Since there isn’t any real rigidity to his arms, it’s slightly harder than just shoving one through the sleeve of his onesie. And to top that, his left arm never goes in a sleeve due to the IV access that is in it (for the record, we did do it twice – for photos. We had to disconnect the medication tubing and run it all through the clothes once they were on, then do the same thing to change the clothes…just too much to do every time).
There are those moments, where through a combination of what Liam has done and what we have done, where you can end up holding hands for a while when he is sleeping. There really are few sensations that are better than that….