Today, I hit the wall.
Last night I couldn’t sleep.
As a dear friend, who’s also a nurse, reminded me…Scott and I have been in hyperdrive for the last two weeks, operating on adrenaline. Our bodies finally felt the let down and reality sank in. Last night, while I tried to sleep, Scott sat by Luke’s bedside and talked and prayed with him. Boy, that must’ve been peaceful.
I stumbled to rounds this morning and heard all the reports. When Dr. Michael looked at me and asked what questions I had, I just teared up. Dang, this is hard. My Luke had a great night and he really is making slow, but incremental progress. What’s not to be happy about? I think there’s a part of me, perhaps bigger than I want to admit, that’s scared the NEC is going to come back. I’m working through that and this blog is therapeutic for me in many ways.
For the first time, I found myself not hovering today. All the doctors and nurses are worried about me and keep saying, “Kathryn, get out. Go get some fresh air.” My head totally hears them – and believes all that they’re saying. But the heart wants to tell them, “I got it. I just need to be here to make sure that you’re doing your job.” My own little version of Jekyl and Hyde, I suppose. I sometimes wonder how I went from supermom, to being able to walk away while my infant son is on a breathing tube, entrusting his well being to people I just met. It’s surreal and scary all in the same moment.
Enough about me, you’re here to bask in Luke’s progress. And, he made quite a bit today.
We’re going down on the pain meds and dopamine and he continues to tolerate all that quite well. Around 5, I was walking to his room and saw all the lights on…that usually means something big is going on. Yep, big news. Dr. Michael was at the foot of his bed and I heard the nurse and the respiratory therapist say, “1…2…3” and then out came the breathing tube. Another small victory.
Dr. M commented that he was quite cute. Ok, so I totally knew that already. What else you got? He’s maintaining his breathing and his O2 levels are good. Here’s praying that continues. One step closer buddy, one step closer.
The cardiologist wants to hold off on doing anything on his ticker for a while. In fact, his exact words were, “You’re not going to see me for a while.” My reply? “Good!”
When I returned to my room, the charge nurse came knocking. I knew what she wanted before she ever entered the room. I’ve been saying it since Monday. Now that Luke’s extubated, Mom has to leave.
Sorry, I had to wipe away some tears.
No more waking up at the 5am pumping and running down to check on him. No more quick naps in between pumpings before I head back down again. It’s bittersweet. I know I need to go home. Well, my head knows that. I desperately want to see the other 4 hoodlums. To tuck them in at night, to hear them fighting, to eat breakfast with them and drop them off at school.
It’s like there’s 80% of me that’s normal and 20% that’s not. I know this will pass. I just need some time to process all that. I’m thankful that the nurses have given me one last night to be at his bedside anytime I want. It’s a gift, really. I’ve been with him non-stop for the past two weeks.
The best gift came tonight when the nurse and neonatologist asked if I wanted to hold Luke. Need I say more? For one whole, glorious hour, we just hung out. His big eyes peering at all the cords and listening to the beeps and hums. No interruptions and amazingly, no tears. I think I was too happy to cry. It was the moment I thought would never come. For an hour, I forgot that we were in the NICU and I imagined myself cuddling with him on the couch. Soon. Soon.
Please pray for both of us tomorrow…that when I walk out those hospital doors without my precious Luke in my arms, that I will be at peace…knowing that “this too shall pass” and we’ll be a happy family of 7 under one roof very soon.