By most accounts, today was a good day for Luke, a good day for Scott and a semi-good day for me. First, we’ll start with the boys.
Luke started feeds today!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Granted it was only 1/2 teaspoon every four hours, but he tolerated them so much better than last Monday. Now we watch, wait and advance feeds incredibly slowly. The doctors told us it would take at least 10 days before Luke would be at full feeds…and as with most things Luke we know it will take longer. We’re trying to focus on the ‘one day at a time’ philosophy rather than dreaming about day 10. That’s what we call ‘wishful thinking’ in the NICU. We were blessed with Nurse Beth today – she is truly one of our NICU angels. I think Luke might have a crush on her. He cries just so she’ll hold him when I’m not there. What a ladies man.
Scott had a good birthday. He says Luke eating was his best present. When he arrived at the hospital this afternoon Beth and I were proud to show off his new birthday card. I need to scan it in because writing about it won’t do it justice. Sorry for the cliffhanger, but you’ll have to wait until tomorrow for that pictoral bliss.
Me? Well I was actually doing quite well today. I’ve learned that’s how things roll in the NICU. You can be singing the, “I can totally do this” song and then wham-o. You read something, someone sends you an email, you kiss the forehead of your sweet baby, anything really and then you hit the proverbial wall. Mine kind of came in waves today.
A high school friend of mine who could write a book on crosses God gives you, wrote me such a kind note. I was really humbled. I mean, he IS faith, but in a refreshingly honest, real sortof way. Matt, thank you for understanding my prayer life these days.
My other life crept back into the day as I cleaned out closets (sorting fall and summer kids’ clothes), waded through the mounting pile of medical bills (that’s way fun), folded some of Luke’s clothes, checked email, blah, blah, blah. I was feeling quite mom-ish and in control.
When Scott and I journeyed back to the hospital, Luke was sleeping, so I started reading a book on preemies. My eyes stumbled upon a chapter and it was like that book was saying what my mind was thinking. Teeny breakdown in Room 8 tonight.
I’ll just share this with you as my parting reflection this evening.
#1: I love my husband. In the midst of my tears he made me laugh. So love that about him.
#2: Not sure where they get these nurses, but they are a taste of earthly angels. Each and every one.
#3: We all have a cross to bear. Some of you – strike that – ALL of you reading this post right now have one sitting upon your shoulders. Maybe it’s a spouse who’s unemployed, a husband who works too much, a child that is struggling in school, anxiety about a new baby, the death of someone you love, bills you can’t pay, a spiritual bank account that’s completely and totally bankrupt. Whatever it is, know this.
You will always have a cross.
Through this month-long NICU journey and the 8-month pregnancy, God has shown me that sometimes the cross is light and sometimes it’s heavy. I think, really, that we just move from one to the next. Occasionally, they’re not too bad, we have a community that helps us carry them, or perhaps life experience has shown us that we’ve carried the same cross before and we can do it again.
Other times, though, the weight seems quite nearly unbearable one minute and totally bearable the next.
I’m pretty sure I would classify this as that ‘other time.’ 🙂 Mostly, my heart is really missing Luke tonight. I think it’s because he started eating today and even though that liquid gold is me in that bottle, it’s not me. I’m not the one snuggling with him, stroking his head and listening to him eat. He doesn’t get all milk drunk when he’s done. And how do I really feel about all that?
It sucks. And, yes, that pun was totally intended.
Thankfully tomorrow is a new day, with new lessons to learn. God of all creation, be with Scott and I as we travel this road. When we are not physically present with Luke, send our guardian angels to protect and watch over him.
Luke, my little eating machine, may your feeds be just enough, your nurses kind and your sleep restful until we can kiss your peanut head in the morning. We love you…