I woke up first at 6:30 am. I had set my alarm – It was advised that we get to the hospital in time for rounds at 8:30 am. Although sleep was sound I quickly realized the weight of the previous day’s events. I immediately began to cry again. Get up… get showered… get dressed… I need to see her, hold her and see how she is doing. I pulled myself up to sit and pain seared through my body. Why on earth did I hurt so bad? I realized I didn’t take my ibuprofen before falling asleep. In addition to the regular pain you feel after childbirth, I had been sobbing so hard it felt like someone punched me in the ribs and I felt a pulled muscle in my back. Whatever, it doesn’t matter. When I see Morgan it will all feel better.
Through tears I manage to shower and get ready. Anxious to see Morgan, I don’t bother to do anything with my hair. Jeff jumps out of bed, eager to get on the road for the same reason. It’s amazing how everything becomes secondary that used to be important. Nothing was important except her. My mind narrowed – everything else in life was blocked. I know I love my family but all of a sudden Morgan was my center of gravity. I have a helpless child who probably feels abandoned by her family into the arms of strangers, who are poking her… prodding her… and not giving her the love she deserves. She’s goes from being a baby who is loved to a science experiment.
We have to go NOW… I need to let her know we are here for her… we needed to make it to the NICU in time for rounds. We have to know what is going on….
Luckily, traffic was not too heavy. We were quiet during the ride. We talked a little bit about how we were feeling but I was too scared to tell Jeff how I really felt. Voicing my fears out loud to another person – especially him – would jinx the outcome. But he knew… he sensed it. I know he knew it. He already understood, without me telling him, that I needed to shut down. I needed to focus on Morgan. I needed to focus on making sure I would recover from childbirth – which is very difficult with all this stress and hysterical crying. God I love this man…. he is my rock…
Getting to the NICU a second time was just as confusing as the first. We turned a few wrong corners and then finally found the entrance. We need a map… have I mentioned this place is huge?
We scrubbed in and entered the West Nursery. What bed number was she again? I can’t remember… what kind of mother doesn’t remember….??!!
There she is – bed 64. She is asleep. We have a different nurse. Katie…
She is no longer in an incubator, she is in a crib. The nurse said she was doing great. She’s eating like a champ (which is not common for cardiac babies). Because she is eating well, they stopped her IV fluids. That is great – right? She doesn’t look sick… why is she here? This isn’t fair…
I sit in the rocking chair and I hold her. Oh the sweetness…! She curls up in the crook of my arm and I just stare at her. She fussed when the nurse moved her over to me but immediately fell back asleep when I had her. I cry… again… for her. She shouldn’t have to be here!!!
Daddy goes to hold her too. Tears… I see that his pain is just as raw as mine. But I knew that… he is just stronger than me.
Katie was amazing. She had her hands full… she was tending to a 24 weeker in the isolette next to us. It’s hard to divert your eyes – in the NICU respect for privacy is top priority, at least that is how we felt. We didn’t want to bother her – this other baby was critical, Morgan was “normal”….
Rounds started and we had no clue what they were talking about…. but after all the medical jargon was discussed, the resident physician on staff, Stephanie, was great and put it all into lamens terms for us parents. Another echocardiogram will be ordered so they can map out the heart’s structure and get a more detailed view for the surgeon. As far as being stable… everything was great. She was so close to being a normal functioning newborn. So what’s the deal? Why is our baby here?? How frustrating….
We stayed for several hours to hold and love on Morgan. Daddy got to feed her. She is sort of a lazy eater – she falls asleep right away. We didn’t want to leave. But we needed to pick up the kids and spend some time with them. Jeff talked sense into me – he said we need to keep some sort of “normalcy” with the kids… they cannot be consumed with this, as hard as it is. He is right… which makes me upset, because all I want to do is be with my baby…We kissed her goodbye. We will see you tomorrow Morgan… I love you.