Today was bittersweet. Luke continues to make steady progress. I got to hold him again this morning, which I’ve decided is the best way to begin your day 🙂 And, he’s been doing a great job of settling himself back down when the x-ray tech comes in at the unGodly hour of 4am. Don’t these people have real work hours?
I enjoyed a quiet lunch by myself in the hospital cafeteria. It was quite nice, actually. The view was spectacular. While being in the NICU really stinks, at least we’re at Dell Children’s. This $140M hospital’s designers realize that when treating the patient, you’re also treating the family. “Life” exudes from here – in its design, its use of color, its artwork. It’s all so child-centered and I feel blessed to be at such a wonderful facility. Although, I could’ve stood for enjoying the beauty while looking at a brochure rather than living here…
After lunch I just enjoyed being in Luke’s presence. Watching him sleep, make his cute noises and seeing his personality begin to evolve.
Then 3:45 came and my brother’s text came ‘a calling. Time to say goodbye to Luke and head out the doors – for real – for the first time. Let’s just say it was extraordinarily difficult. I had flashes of happy families – moms and dads and wide-eyed newborns all bundled in their new carseats – leaving the hospital. I so longed to be normal today at 3:45. Human nature, I suppose. Yes, we’ve been that happy, smiling family four times over. Guess I just wanted to do it once more.
I arrived home to a smiling husband, a clean house and a scream of “Mommy!” and a big hug from Anna-Laura. I suppose I was doing a-okay until I went to pump for the first time without having seen Luke first. As my lactation consultant reminded me, where there’s tears, there’s milk. Let’s just say I pumped alot. While the NICU is hard on everyone, I think it’s been especially hard on Scott and I and our marriage. Even the best ones struggle. You both want to bilocate and be two places at once. You want to be where the other one is. You cling to the hope that normal is just around the corner. We will get there and by God’s grace we will endure this valley.
We ate dinner, bathed the kids and put Granny in charge while we headed back to the hospital. Scott enjoyed some Luke love and we just enjoyed being in the presence. A friend from our old parish, St. Theresa, stopped by to give us Communion. Oh my, a little peace crept back into our harried lives and it was so needed. Thank God for the sacrament of the Eucharist.
We’re heading to bed and you can bet your bottom dollar I’ll be calling the night nurse come 2am for my Luke report. Sweet dreams sweet pea…we miss you already.