Monday, April 25, 2005

3 weeks old today

Yesterday we tried doing some normal things. We went to Costco and Safeway because we were out of food. Everytime I'd see a baby I'd think, "I have a baby too." I wanted to have his carseat or carry him in the sling or push him in a stroller. Janie pointed out every baby for me so I couldn't miss them.

After a while, things get so normal that they get abnormal. I can't just slip back into life before baby. It's as if we never went through IVF or pregnancy or ever had a baby and I hate that feeling. It's like pretending this never happened or that the whole pregnancy was imaginary. Like denying Jack that he's part of our family.

Suddenly in the middle of the store the panic will hit me. I've got to get to the hospital. I've got to be with my baby. He's all alone! And I can't get there soon enough. The problem is that I can't just ditch out on Janie that quickly. She's enjoying the normal day. By trying to leave I'm suddenly bringing her back to our messed up reality and she cries. And my heart breaks. I can't be two places at once and I'm torn. I can't race out of there, but I can't stay and keep my mind off him either.

Last night Jack had a long period of being awake. I held him facing me so I could look at his face. He's three weeks old today, but I swear he looks three months. He's got no neck, just a crease. He's got chubby cheeks, chubby arms, and roly poly legs. I nibble off each of his round toes. He was wearing a dark blue t-shirt that matched his eyes. I know he can't help it, but he smiled at me a few times. So beautiful. I started singing "You're just too good to be true. Can't take my eyes off of you..."

He ate nearly 15 cc's very easily, then fussed through another 10. He's getting better at eating, but still confused on the concept.

Do you know what a NICU nurse should never say to a parent? "See you next weekend."

Damn. I hate that.


Anonymous terri c said...

You are doing stupendously, being able to maintain awareness of all the emotions of this complex situation. Feels like h--- I am sure, though, and I wish it were over for you all. Glad Jack is making progress on the eating front and hope you will all be HOME soon. Maybe the NICU nurse just wants to move in w/you? No one would blame her.

10:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy 3-week birthday Jack!

~Brooklyn Girl

12:52 PM  
Anonymous j said...

It is hard not to feel pulled in every different direction, but you do need a break sometimes, and Janie does need some normalcy. Has Janie been to visit Jack in the NICU? I know when my girls were in the NICU, they really encouraged us to bring our older son to see them. He was younger than Janie, just 2.5, so I'm not sure how much he understood, but we thought it was good for him to see his sisters, and to see what mommy was doing while she was away. Of course, I really think he thought it was cool that he had sisters who lived in boxes away from home, and was a little disappointed at first when they actually came to live with us.

1:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been reading your story, you are a wonderful person, mother, etc. I am constantly in prayer for you and your family. I just know that everything is going to work out for you!

Hang In there Girl! You are doing Great!

1:21 PM  
Anonymous Wrin said...

I hope things work out a little better for you with relation to the family thing; I can't even imagine how difficult it would be to have pieces of your family all over and to feel like you had to run all the time and make sure everyone was okay.

1:45 PM  
Anonymous Louise said...

Happy 3-week birthday Jack. Keep up the eating, you're doing better all the time.

4:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you are doing such a wonderful job-I can't imagine having a baby in the hospital and another at home. when I was in labor my water broke and was stained with meconium. My son was in the NICU for 10 days-3 of which were on a vent and then CPAP. I look back now-16 months later and wonder how I made it through. I know you will too! you are entitled to a melt down now and then-it will get you through it! I am happy to hear that Jack is doing better and think about him and your family daily!

4:47 PM  
Anonymous Menita said...

The feeding sounds good - and loved reading that he is a fat, strong little baby. He sounds just heavenly, and your singing him that song...How do you manage to create moments of such beauty in the middle of all of this?

7:55 PM  
Anonymous Anna V said...

Yeah, we were discharged this morning after a bowel disimpaction under GA and one of my favourite nurses said, see you next time! Well, ducky, I'm kinda hoping there won't be a next time YK!

Good work on the eating thing Jack!

9:39 PM  
Anonymous Simone said...

I wish my Mum had the internet 33 years ago when I was born with bladder extrophy. I had a urostomy (slightly different bag to Jack) and Stoma from birth until I was 26 years old. It was a very bewildering, upsetting, scary time for her. She also had my big healthy brother 14 months old to care for. Very little available information & the appliances where pre-historic. Huge, thick rubber things with belts & lots of stinging, adhesive glue & sprays, nothing disposable. My father was unaccepting & no support to her or me. I'm so glad you have your husband. I could change my own "appliance" (hate that word too) by the time I was a toddler. With my Mother's love & encouragement I had a completely normal, wonderful childhood. I loved school, sport, had lots of friends, rarely felt different. Jack has a tough road ahead, no doubt, but with you to show him all that incredible, unconditional love, your little boy will flourish. I am so sorry Pazel, I have always marvelled at the way my mum coped & cared for such a sick baby, as I. This makes me love her so much, your Jack will be exactly the same. Thinking of you & checking on his progress every day.
Just wanted you to know that living with a bag will not stop Jack from having a great life. And my doctor always said that kid's with bags were inexplicably highly intelligent & gifted. I already knew that. xx

10:24 PM  
Blogger Kate said...

It is a surreal feeling- being pregnant, having a baby, but then not taking it home. I remember the feeling all too well. It would hit me at the strangest times. I remember waking up on Christmas morning, and feeling so horribly guilty about celebrating and opening presents while my baby was in the NICU on a ventilator.

You'll get through it- some days will be hard, others will be harder. :) But before you know it, little Jack will be home, safe and sound, with his wonderful family.

Happy 3-Week Birthday, Jack!

12:58 PM  
Blogger The Lioness said...

I think Simone is a wonderul birthday gift. Happy birthday, little one!

5:36 PM  
Blogger Jody said...

The nurses will do a number on you like that. One of 'em will assume you'll be around forever, the other will imply you're leaving in two days, and they'll drive you completely batty. Try not to let 'em, though.

Fantastic news on the eating front. Yeah, Jack!

9:00 PM  
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That sounds great, but I've seen very different opinions of breeze cpap mask

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