Empty… quiet… normally it would be like a vacation for a parent. No kids, no dogs… Jeff’s parents are amazing. They took 6 living souls from our house to their own for the night/day which is a pretty huge task. Couldn’t thank them enough.
But it was eerie. Too quiet. We have grown accustomed to the chaos in our house with 3 kids and 3 dogs. And to top it off, we had a newborn that – instead of being in her new little rocker or Mamaroo – she is with strangers in an intensive care unit. Sadness sets in.
The quiet, when you are going through a traumatic experience, can be extremely frustrating. It gives you time to think. That is bad. I started to picture the 5-10% of cases in open heart surgery that don’t make it. She is already a rare statistic that we thought would never happen to one of our kids so what is to stop her from being in THAT statistic as well? Oh God – my stomach. We picked up Wendy’s on the way home and I stare at my food. There’s no way I can eat this now! I start to sob again…
Jeff must be having his own reflections as well – he is obviously upset too (um…. who wouldn’t be…??) but he is now also tasked with having to calm down his emotionally distraught wife. I’m so sorry… I can’t keep it together. “You have to focus on the 90%”… But I feel so negative. I try to picture Morgan coming home with us but I can’t. All I can think of is impending doom and my world crashing down all around me. How would I cope if I lost her? Surely there would be no way – my heart would stop beating. My brain would explode… something.
There is that fear again.
I start to think about Gavin, Taylor and Brooklyn. They need mom too… Morgan is special in her own way, but I have to pull it together right? She isn’t the only one who needs me! Jeff makes it clear that he needs me around too. I have to recover from childbirth successfully so I can be there for EVERYONE. That is true – I have to agree with that. So I eat. There’s no taste. It didn’t taste good, bad, salty, nothing… there was literally NO taste! What an odd sensation. It must be that shock. For someone who loves food it sort of takes the normal purpose out of eating. It wasn’t food for enjoyment, it was food to fuel my body. It had been about 12 hours since my last meal (which was breakfast in the hospital – which was pretty small and not that great) and I would have imagined that I would be starving. But I understand the importance of that tasteless baked potato and grilled chicken sandwich – so I ate the whole thing.
I decided, after dinner, that I should try to look up Truncus Arteriosus and try to learn more about this heart defect. I Google the name and a bunch of medical websites come up on the screen. I choose the most “medical” looking site I could find – I just wanted facts (not interpretations or stories yet). It was overwhelming. Truncus is extremely rare, and all of the sites looked at emphasized this point. I don’t know why the reason it was “rare” bothered me so much… maybe it is because it’s out of the ordinary… it’s super special…. heart defects only affect 1% of the population of babies born and Truncus only happens in roughly 300 babies per year in the United States according to the CDC website. That is extremely rare…because just about 4 million babies are born each year in the US.
That was enough to make me close my laptop and decide to get some sleep. It was about 10pm and I was more than ready. I didn’t think I would sleep though. I was so mentally, emotionally and physically exhausted but my mind was still racing with fears. I walked up the stairs, limped really (it’s been less than 24 hours since giving birth… I was pretty achy and sore…). We both crawled into bed…cried…prayed…and then, a gift from God, sleep came over me.