I was standing by Gabriel’s bed this morning and saw a mom in her hospital gown in a wheel chair being wheeled towards the exit by her husband. This was the first morning she got to see her baby. Unfortunately, not only have I experienced that, but I can point those women out. Not two minutes later I saw her being wheeled back towards the baby’s room, this time the doctor was in tow. Shortly after, I stepped out to have breakfast and at the end of the hall of elevators, there they were. The mom was sobbing, head in hands…sobbing. I have seen too many women go through this.
The NICU is an environment of extremes. There are extreme joys and extreme heartbreak…and then the roller coaster of the mid-lying emotions. Joys like surviving birth, sneezes, not requiring oxygen, gaining weight, peeing when the diaper opens, poops. Heartbreak like vitals alarming, brain bleeds, retina damage, infections, death. I applaud the nurses and doctors who work in this environment. For me, this environment is almost too heavy to bear. Today I’ve especially felt the weight. I need to sleep.
Gabriel’s blood cultures came back negative, he doesn’t have an infection. His doctors don’t know why his body has had such a bad reaction to surgery and recovering. He has been on a ridiculous amount of meds. They can’t figure it out, so now he’s on steroids to boost his adrenaline. He can’t start receiving breast milk until his body isn’t so edemitis. He’s slowly being weaned off of the high frequency ventilator, but hasn’t had any changes to the vent settings in 24 hours…which has been discouraging to me. Gabriel is still considered critically stable. He’s very sick. He’s on life support. As thankful as I am that he’s not digressing, it’s the slow and uncertain improvements that are haunting…but he is improving.