Graham and I spent the night in the hospital last night in a room called the Koala Suite. It’s located right next to the ICN and it’s used for “rooming in,” which many parents do one or two days before going home. With a monitor inside the room that hooks into the central monitoring system, parents can practice taking care of their baby while still having the watchful supervision of the nurses from somewhat afar.
We didn’t room in with David. Not last night anyway, but that day is quickly approaching. I’m now breastfeeding David on a real mom, round-the-clock schedule, so we were given use of the room to have a place to sleep between feedings. He’s primarily nursing now, and taking only two tube feedings per 24-hour period to help supplement him with calcium and other growth goodies that preemies especially need.
Long long ago when David used to live on the critical care side of the ICN, they told us that once we caught even just a glimpse of the end, it would suddenly come in a flash. Just like that. After today’s doctor rounds we realized we’re in the midst of that flash. If David keeps on the trend he’s on, they told us he’ll be nestled in his own bed at home by the beginning of next week.
But as it goes, I had just finished typing that last happy homebound sentence and posting that blissful picture above when the doctor walked in and asked to talk with me. David just had a final discharge echo about an hour ago to check the status of his PDA. It’s now very very small, which is good news. However, the doctor wanted to let me know that in the results of the echo they found something else, something unexpected, right behind David’s heart. They can’t identify it because it’s not something that they routinely see. It could just be a lymph node or a herniation in his stomach, or just something fleeting that has mysteriously shown up to stretch us to our very limits. I like to think it’s that: something benign and fleeting, and that as unexpectedly as it has appeared it will suddenly fade away.
We won’t let news like this get us down, not when we don’t know what this news means. That’s a waste of energy. And we’ve learned from David that it’s not worth wasting energy when you have only a little energy to waste.
Many of you have asked about my dad. He’s still in the ICU, still weak and quite sick, but he IS on the mend. He was extubated on Tuesday, after my sister told him David was beating him in the oxygen weaning race, and he’s slowly getting his voice back. My aunt and uncle and cousin have come over from England to be with him this week and my sisters are still there too. My brother drove back to Virginia from South Carolina today, so he has all the support he can get. And as an entire family we continue to spend eventful day after day in the hospital. But at the fast approaching end of all of this I know I’ll finally be telling you the boring news, that my dad and David are both happy and healthy and home.
J & G & D