Happy one-week birthday, Luke! This time last week, I was hooked up to pitocin waiting for his arrival. My how things can change in a week.
At this morning’s early morning feed, I walked in to see Master Luke under “the light.” His billirubin levels hit 12.1 at 4am this morning, so a sun-tanning he goes. That will mean that his feeds will be shorter (30 minutes or less) so we can keep him under the light as long as possible. Not as much cuddling today which already makes me sad. But, the silver lining is that this will decrease his levels much faster and get that nastiness out of his system. Can I hear an AMEN?
This morning Bay 2 was a nuthouse. The first nurse assigned to us was called out for transport. A full-term baby was in distress and was being brought up to the NICU. And, our second nurse got called to another bay for an emergency intubation. I saw the swirl of the hurricane before my eyes and had to take a minute to collect myself. In a blink, a blink folks, the NICU can be a chaotic place. A parent’s life can change. A baby can go from perfectly a-okay to distress. Just like that.
At his 11am feed, Scott joined me and we were greeted by Dr. C. It seems as if Luke is not digesting his feeds completely. So, as a precaution, we’re doing several x-rays, holding off feeds and putting the IV back in so he can get his nutrients. Let’s just say that I did not handle the IV putting back in very well. I had to go into another room. We decided to head to lunch while they worked on Luke.
When I returned at 2pm, Luke was still not able to eat, and that continued throughout the day. At 5pm, it could not have been any more joyful in my room…Scott and the kids arrived for family movie night, complete with pizza, popcorn and brownies. It was your typical chaos, but it was so very good to spend some time with them. My mind couldn’t help but imagine Luke sitting there with us…
Before dinner, we stopped by the NICU, so the kids could see and talk to Luke. They were overjoyed and loved his cool sunglasses. And, I must say, they are pretty sweet.
About halfway into our family fun night, we got a call from Dr. C, all the x-rays and the CBC came back mostly normal. The x-rays did show some air pockets, but his bowel isn’t descended, his color is good and his heart is not in distress. Those are all good signs. However, the doctor wants to hold off on feeds until one last round of x-rays, another CBC, a check of his billy in the morning and another exam. So, I’ll just be pumping and sleeping tonight…or at least trying to. I just spent about 30 minutes in the NICU just stroking his tiny little foot, watching him breathe. So many things were going through my mind, namely that I feel so completely helpless and so totally dependent upon God’s grace. That is a humbling thing. To give it all to God. You know, because I can cry and question and wonder why, but none of that makes Luke better. The crying, however, does make feel a tiny bit better 🙂 But I know that it is faith that is carrying us through our days here. Someday, hopefully someday soon, we’ll look back on these days and they’ll seem like a blip on the radar. When you’re living it, it’s a different story.
For the most part, that’s good news. They’re being cautious and protective of Luke and his bowel and for that I am very, very grateful. My heart aches, though, knowing that I don’t get to cuddle with him this evening, and that I’m going to miss Will’s flag football game in the morning. Sweetheart, when you read this, say it with me, “This too shall pass.”
One final note about the compassion here at Seton. We have the coolest nurse tonight, Gunther. He was here last Friday on Luke’s first night in the NICU. He’s amazing, thorough, funny, dedicated and so totally in love with his job. Luke has the best tonight. I kinda lost it tonight as Gunther was walking me through what they would be monitoring during his shift. He just put his hand on my shoulder, handed me some kleenex and told me it was okay to be worried, okay to be scared. I SO wanted to hold Luke…to pick him up out of the bed and make it all better. Gunther told me, “You know, we have a soft spot and I will do anything I can to make this easier on both of you. Sit here and spend some time with Luke.”
The NICU is a horrible place, but you still find yourself wanting to invite the entire staff over for dinner. They are the closest thing I know to angels.
Thank you God for Luke, for his amazing progress, for his loving nurses, for a stellar NICU and for the prayers on his behalf. I sometimes feel like there’s this blanket of prayer protection around him – that probably sounds weird. And, I don’t mean to imply that other babies in the NICU don’t also have people praying for them. Because I know better. I just know that every feed when I walk in that room, I feel – really feel – your prayers. Thank you for taking a few moments out of your day to lift Luke up in prayer. That sacrifice does not go unnoticed.