Monday, February 28, 2011
Life in the NICU is difficult. It is overwhelming. It is humbling. It can be inspiring. It can be depressing. It is stress inducing. Everything about it is unique. Just like every parents story. I have gotten to know the parents of the babies like Lucy who will be staying for awhile. I envy the parents who only have to experience the NICU for a couple of days or even a week. We have spent everyday at least twice a day for the last 6 weeks driving to and from the hospital. We ride up the elevator cautiously excited to see Lucy. We walk up to a door that is locked and have to be buzzed in. We have to wash, no scrub, our hands for 3 minutes before we even step foot into the unit. We then put on hospital gowns over our cloths and head over to Lucy's isolete. Each monitor that beeps while we walk over to see Lucy makes my heart skip a beat. The nurse updates us all the days happenings. There are days when all we hear is bad news. "She is just not tolerating her feedings" "She seems to have her heart murmur back" "She is up to 50% on oxygen and there is a chance she has chronic lung disease" "Her urine output is not very good so we are checking her kidneys" "She is having a head ultrasound today to check for bleeding in her brain" "She has to have a blood transfusion, again" "No sorry you can't hold her" "She hasn't gained any weight" "She has lost weight" (This by the way is just some of what we have been told on our journey with Lucy) Then there are days when the news is great "She has been on room air all day" "Her PDA has closed" "There is no bleeding in her brain" "Her kidneys look great" "She is off the CPAP" "She has gained 2 ounces" "You can hold her" Everyday holds new information. New fears new joy. I would really never wish this experience on anyone. Whats hard is explaining what it's like to have a baby this small, this fragile to others. I am however amazed at the power of medicine and of course prayer. Without either Lucy would not be doing as well as she is. I still question Gods plan here, why we are having to go through this sort of pain. I am trying to embrace this time in our lives and soak in all the bad and the good. I am finding small blessings in the NICU and that is helping me just get out of bed in the morning.