One of the suggestions our social worker has for helping siblings cope with a baby in the NICU is to exchange gifts. Since the girls aren't allowed to see him (and honestly we wouldn't want them to see him right now anyway), this helps them realize that there truly is a baby here.
As they have drawn him pictures and gotten him little gifts, we will take a picture of him with those things. Then we will take a picture of him with his gifts in return.
The girls love it, and I think it really does help them cope and visualize what's going on. Especially with Lydia. At first she has been so confused about mommy no longer having a big tummy and constantly asked where baby Aiden went. After a few gift exchanges with pictures she has stopped asking where Aiden is and has started asking when he's coming home and if he's all better yet.
The hospital is really great with providing little things for Aiden to give his sisters. They have given us premie diapers, bottles, and pacifiers for their own baby dolls. Today someone had donated receiving blankets, so we jumped at the opportunity and grabbed some for the girls. They were also giving away Easter eggs filled with candy. We told the girls it's an Easter present from their brother, and they were so excited to receive them. Both of the girls are sleeping with their blankets from their little brother. It warms my heart to have this little amount of interaction between all of them.
The hospital plans on giving them more gifts from Aiden in the future. They have some really cute things they can do for the girls, so I can't wait to see what they get!
(In this picture, the outline of his actual head size and the line of fluid is very apparent. The good thing about that fluid is it's only between his skin and skull, there isn't any fluid in his actual brain. And while it'll take some time, the fluid will start to disappear. It's very bizarre. As they turn his head it'll move and settle around where he's laying. And not that we sit and play with it by any means, but it's almost moldable and can be moved around just by touching it. I'm glad he's sedated through all this because I can imagine his poor head would be so uncomfortable with all that fluid causing pressure.)