Thursday, April 3, 2014

CONFESSIONS OF A PREEMIE MOM: What I'd Tell You on A Bumpy Road and Lessons In Empathy.

It's been a while since I wrote a "Confessions" post.  I debated writing this post, but it stuck with me and so I will.

N and Me 

It's been busy.  We've hit three months and over five pounds.  Whoop whoop. :)

Spring has set in, well at least, here in Texas, she is trying to.

I get all walled up in my pattern, get into a groove and make the best of a situation where so many of the pieces are beyond my ability to effect change.  It's the season of feeding and growing. We learn the fine nuances of CPaps, spotty leads, FiO2 levels, nasal canula and count flow levels like I am waiting for the lotto and discuss nippling, all while life goes on, time moves forward and the seasons struggle to change.

The road has been bumpy.  

You take a few steps forward, take a couple back and rest in a holding pattern for while.  Then you leap forward and practice thanking God for the process, for time and for healing.

I gain some perspective and learn what empathy looks and feels like as I see and listen to other families pain and thank God that it is not my house and that we've been spared their pain. Oh the cry that must erupted in Egypt in that dark Passover night. 

But I digress, it was early on Wednesday morning two weeks ago.  Had I not been so excited to see my Mr. N, I might would've noticed the subdued nature of the nurses that I passed in the hall.  But like so many times that I've walked into the NICU, you get into a routine.  

N waving at 3 months. 

Grab a sip of water.

Wonder how his day has gone. 

Wash up. 

Pat dry. 

Foam sanitize and push open the door. 

Quietly greet passing nurse. 

Grin happily at baby through the glass. 

I walked directly to his bed, set his milk on the shelf and only then did it register that the dark green screens were out.  

Hot tears well up and that frog lodges right in the middle of my throat as I try not to cry.

The dark green screens pulled close together always mean the same thing.  Someone's baby didn't make it and had passed on to Heaven.  

The monitor was still on and the nurses were subdued, efficient and graceful as they prepared the space and worked to soothe a hurting family.  Time seemed to drag on and I held my hand on Noah's back as I watched the ending of a too short chapter unfold. 

Relief floods my system.  Thanksgiving whispers in my soul.  Followed by guilt for that relief and grief at her mother's pain.

And I am reminded at the gift we have been given of time, of healing and the honor chance to be parents.

I am reminded that this is a blessed road we are on.  And if you are walking down the same road, and I know your story maybe different, but similar enough that you get it.  You understand where I am coming from, I would tell you... miracles happen -- quite frankly, the fact that we are right here, right now, means just that.  A generation or two ago what we are walking through right now and treatments available wouldn't even be possible, much less available.

"Grace has covered you.  Cling to the good.  Look for it -- see it -- acknowledge it and celebrate it. You are stronger than you know.  Life keeps moving forward and people aren't going to get it.  And that's ok.  Honestly, you might not want them to.  Experience is a hard teacher and not everyone is cut out to be walking in the shoes that you are in. Wear them proud.  Do what you can and sleep is important.  Be here in the now.  And keep going.  Keep going."

Then I'd probably give you hug.

Until next time,