Well, friends, I've been up with insomnia tonight. How can someone who is as worn out as I am have trouble sleeping? I just don't understand it. But as I lay in bed awake, I realized that I was about to mess up the timeline in my little story here. So much happened in such a short amount of time that it's all a bit of a blur. But now I realize that all of the big stuff happened even closer together than I realized—no wonder I was so at the end of my rope!
So let me back up a minute… I did go home briefly on Sunday afternoon to shower, change, and head back to the hospital. And at that time, I really did think we might be heading home soon. But by Sunday evening we had realized that this was going to take longer than we had originally thought. At that point, I was completely overcome by exhaustion—physical, emotional, you name it. I couldn't take any more. I told my hubby that I needed just ONE good night's sleep so that I could face whatever was coming next, so I went home with him that night. It just about killed me to leave Roo there alone. He wasn't in the NICU, so it wasn't like I was leaving him in a secure place—it was just… leaving him in… a hospital room. By himself. It was scary. But I knew that I had to do it, just for the night. And really, the nurses there are great, and I know that they did keep a closer eye on him with me gone. Also, he literally slept 24 hours a day, with the exception of those 15-minute feedings—and quite honestly, he didn't really open his eyes then either.
I rode home with my husband (OK, he needs a name too. What is he? The Lion Tamer? I don't know, I'll have to think about it. All suggestions welcome. ;-) ) and basically went straight to bed. It was late, so the Lamb & Monkey were already asleep. (My mother-in-law was with them.) My good night's sleep, though, wasn't quite what I expected. I got a call from the hospital at around 4 in the morning. The nurses had determined that not all of his food was getting digested, and decided that he needed to get more fluids intravenously. They were putting in an IV. The nurse who called said they would attempt to put it in his arm, but warned me that there was a good chance it would be in his head.
It seemed like it would never end. It was always one. more. thing. I wasn't sure how much more I could take.
The next morning Jon and I took the kiddos to a friend's house for the day. Can I just stop here and tell you something good? We could probably all use it right about now. J We had a tremendous amount of support during our stay at Children's. Friends who brought food to my family so that I didn't worry about what they would have to eat at home. Friends who brought food to us at the hospital. Friends who just came to visit, who called, who sent cards, who prayed. I sent an e-mail to my moms' group at our church, and women who I hardly knew called and e-mailed, offering to watch the big kids, to bring us dinner, even to run errands for us. And of course, our families visited, helped with the kids, took us to countless lunches and dinners, even stayed with Roo to give us a break. It was amazing. I was overwhelmed daily by the love and support we were given in the midst of all that. What an absolute blessing.
One friend in particular—who knows who she is and probably won't be happy to be singled out, but I'm going to do it anyway—offered more and more of herself throughout this whole time. She was one of the first people at the hospital when Roo was born, the first friend who visited when we had to go back to Children's. She brought us dinner and desserts (and let me tell you, she is one heck of a cook!), and on this particular day, she gave up her last day of Spring Break to watch the Lamb & Monkey for us. I don't know what I would do without her. Talk about being the hands & feet of Christ!
So Jon and I took the kids to her house, then headed back to Children's. Even though we had been warned about the IV, we were not prepared to see our little baby that morning. We walked in and there he was, all four pounds of him, still in the isolette, blue lights shining down, eyes covered, but now with the tube in his nose, an IV in his head, and splints on his arms to keep him from pulling at the IV. I literally could not catch my breath. I had to keep reminding myself that it was just fluid in the IV, not some disease-fighting medicine; that the isolette was just there to keep him the right temperature while he was under the lights, not because he was sick and couldn't be touched. This would be OK. We would get through it.