Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Beauty in the Breakdown

  I made some mistakes...

  I made the mistake of getting my hopes up.

  I made the mistake of making a promise I couldn't keep.

  I made the mistake of opening my mouth too soon.

  Friday, the rounds Doctor told me, Monday, Fiona would be able to go home if all stayed the same through the weekend. From what I could see, everything stayed the same. By Sunday, Fiona's nurse started getting her ready to go home. She passed her car seat test, and I passed my training on how to administer her medication. I called my boys and told them mommy was coming home real soon, that Monday I would be there. I had no doubt in my mind that we were going home Monday.

  Charlie came up late Sunday night, and after spending some much needed time with Fiona, we headed down to the Ronald McDonald House to sleep in an actual bed. My rigorous breastfeeding/pumping schedule has pushed me to be able to produce enough milk that I am about 2 to 3 bottles ahead of her. Four hours later (which was the most sleep in a row I have gotten since she was born) it was time to head back up the six floors to the NICU.

  7am on, doctors can come by at anytime. And when the doctors come by, that minute that they are there, is your only opportunity to find out exactly how your baby is doing and to ask any questions you may have conjured up in the last 24 hours. So many days, I have waited and waited for doctors, for them to come by the 20 minutes that I run down to get something to eat. Now with Charlie here, we took shifts of who could leave and eat and who was on doctor watch. At 8, the nurse practitioner stopped in to check on Fi, and in her talking to Fiona's nurse, I overheard her say that Fiona's paperwork said that she was not leaving today.

  The tears started swelling behind my eyes. I was doing everything to keep them from pouring down my face. I was tired, emotional, and over being in this dark little room. My boys faces flashed through my head, and the tears pushed fiercefully to come out. I kept my head down, looking at my phone so the nurses couldn't see my face. I can't remember if I even spoke to them. The nurse said that the doctor would make the final call when he came by for rounds. This was at 8.

 9.... nothing. 10.... nothing. 11.... nothing.

 The doctor did not come by till close to noon. It was a different doctor then last week, and she had a completely different demeanor then the other doctor. Much more serious- not cold, but not overly friendly as the other doctor had been. When they do rounds, the doctors come by with these rolling computers, followed by two or three other nurses or doctors in training( I'm not sure which), the discharge nurse, and the nurse practitioner. They all talk to each other and don't really acknowledge that you are in the room until the end when they tell you their summery of what is going on. But you can hear everything they are saying.

  By the time they had finished, my eyes were burning from the tears and my heart was racing with anger. She was not coming home today. The medicine they had started on Saturday needed to be monitored at least till Tuesday morning and the cardiologist had ordered one more echo cardiogram for either that day or the next. These are all things that they knew about on Saturday, when they had started giving her the medication, but no one informed Fiona's nurse or myself, so here we are, prepping her to leave and having our hearts set on going home.

  You would have thought they told me that she was never coming home, the way that I broke down and sulked all afternoon. I was mostly upset because I miss my boys terribly. I had promised them that I would be home that day, which I never should have done because it wasn't in my control. But I never break my promises to them. If Charlie would have let me, I would have driven the 4 hours home to get them and bring them back. That was out of the question, and not being able to do that left me feeling more helpless.

  My sister Skyped me with the boys after their nap around 4 or so. Like someone flipped a switch in me, my spirits lifted. They were happy and healthy and having fun with my mom and my sister. I guess I had pictured them freaking out that I still wasn't there, but thank God that they are only two years old and can easily be distracted. As my dad said, "When you put the balloon in the other room, they forget about it". I will never promise them something that I don't have control over again, but thankfully they are still too young to really understand exactly what a promise is.

  Charlie took me to dinner downtown- my first time leaving the hospital in over a week. It felt so good to get dressed up, flower in hair and all. We went to this amazing local Tex-Mex restaurant and cleared our heads and filled our stomachs. 20 minutes later, we were done, and joked about how we've learned how to inhale food- when you have kids, its either eat fast or don't eat at all. We've forgotten how to relax and enjoy our food.

 I watched Fiona cry her first tear drops this morning, and I gently wiped them away for her as they came. They drew her blood to run possibly the last test needed for her to get clearance to leave. I've stopped using the word hope, in fear of feeling the pain of disappointment if things take longer then anticipated again.

  Now I sit here, typing with one hand and cradling my daughter in the other, waiting for more doctors and test results. My life, in this season, is a never-ending game of waiting. But God hasn't disappointed me yet with what he has had in store for me. Nothing seems to be going the way that I plan and there has been pain in between the joy, but it's going the way that He planned. I continue to pray for patience to understand His Will.

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