I am having a difficult time getting to the computer these days.
A difficult time answering email.
A difficult time writing thank you notes or sending birthday cards.
A difficult time sleeping, or rather, finding time to sleep.
A difficult time with the fact that our son has been in the hospital for nearly three weeks.
A difficult time imagining how we will ever manage again without help, even though I know that eventually I will need to run this ship on my own for a good portion of every day.
This is just hard.
Most of the time I am able to move along from one thing to the next (mostly because we have so much help), and pump and visit/hold/feed Michael, and occasionally eat things, and shower, without thinking too much about any of it. . . putting one foot in front of the other being the main goal most of the time. And we are managing.
But today I had the living poop scared out of me. Michael (who is closing in on 4 lbs., 12 oz.) still has a lot of learning to go as far as the bottle is concerned. Babies as young as he is have to work very hard at coordinating sucking, swallowing, and breathing. It is easy for them to choke, or hey! just get a little tired and decide to take a break from breathing. Which is what Michael did to me today. He is usually pretty tired at his 10 a.m. feeding, which is a time I am normally there, so I haven' t had a lot of luck with him and the bottle. This is frustrating because obviously a parent likes to be able to feed her child. Today his oxygen sat dropped to 50% when I was feeding him. It is supposed to stay between 90 and 100% and an alarm goes off if it falls below 85%. As soon as it got close to that 85% I had the bottle out of his mouth and was sitting him up and talking to him, and that number just continued to drop. And then he started to turn sort of bluish and one of the nurses scooped him up and apparently talked some sense into him, as he decided to breathe again. She didn't have to actually resuscitate him or anything, but the whole "episode," which is what they called it, basically terrified me. As much as I'm anxious to bring him home, I am not leaving the hospital with him until he stops doing that. Unless an entire medical team agrees to come home with me.
They kept assuring me he was fine, but I still couldn't stop crying for a good forty-five minutes. And they did put him on a different kind of monitor that has some recording capabilities so they will be able to watch a little closer for this sort of thing and make changes in his care if necessary. I know they won't send him home until they think he's ready, but I just can't imagine what it would be like to have something like that happen here.
Today we also happened to be signed up for the infant CPR class that parents of NICU babies are required to take. I have taken many CPR classes, including an infant one, in the past, but practicing on those plastic babies was really upsetting after what had happened this morning. I NEVER EVER want to need those skills.
Please tell me that, in a few weeks or even a couple of months, we'll all be under one roof. Matt and I and two beautiful and healthy children who we are perfectly capable of caring for. Because today I'm having a hard time seeing that.