Forty days. Forty nights.
I never, ever, dreamed we’d be in the NICU this long. But, today we began to see a tiny pinhole of light at the end of the tunnel. Luke really made some big progress today. He’s no longer the owner of a PICC line (the photo is our last one with it in!!) Hoo. Rah. In layman’s terms, he’s getting all of his nutrition from the milk and not an IV. So, his only cords are the oxygen, respiration and heart monitors. I think I’m in shock. For reals.
He’s up to 40cc (inching closer to that 2oz. mark) at each of his feeds and he sucks it down in less than five minutes. I’m so hopeful that I can transition from the bottle to breastfeeding toward the end of the week. And, his pediatric surgeon gave him the all clear from their “nec” of the woods (sorry, I couldn’t help myself). We’ll soon set a date to put his bowel back together, probably in late November. I’m reminded of Dr. Pont’s comment last week…”We’re running out of reasons to keep you here.” I like the sound of that.
We certainly have several lingering issues that will require more tests, more follow-ups, more visits and a fair share of anxiety. But, we’re moving further away from ‘critical’ and closer to ‘home.’
This afternoon, I had the chance to attend Mass at the hospital chapel. I even served as the impromptu lector and the message today couldn’t have been more appropriate. The priest reflected on our faith, as it relates to the parable of the mustard seed, and reminded us that sometimes God asks us to wait. We may not always know why, but we should rest in knowing that there is purpose and sometimes through the waiting we grow in faith.
Ok, I’m no rocket scientist but that pretty much sums up the past 40 days.
Have you ever watched the Olympic gymnasts in awe? I mean, how does a body stretch that far, fly that high, spin that fast, balance so precariously? Practice.
These past 40 days I think God has asked Scott and I to stretch a bit. To let go of the handle and trust that we’ll grab it on the next spin. He never demanded we go along, but he sent us some great cheerleaders. I’m not sure that we’ll make it to the medal stand, but at this point I don’t really care. I’m hopeful that through this experience we’ll be more grateful, more patient, more loving, more giving. As Kelli told me yesterday, we’re not sure how Luke’s story will end. I do know this.
I’m starting to become thankful for the journey. And that’s not a statement I could’ve uttered with any kind of believability three weeks ago. Perhaps the reflection and purpose will be even greater as Luke grows older and I accumlate a few more gray hairs.
All I know is this. Our God is an awesome God. Our friends and family are pillars of strength and support. Our doctors and nurses are living, breathing angels. And I love my husband and children on an even greater level than I thought possible.
Luke, rest up my friend and enjoy the silence because momma is ready to blow this joint and bring you home!