Wednesday, December 19, 2012

On the other side of my privacy curtain

I have spent hours in the special care unit with Eli. I nurse him and snuggle him, but mostly silently praying for him.

The nursery is quiet. You hear only the beeps and alarms of the tiny babies monitors, the nurses whispers and their squeaky shoes shuffling around. If there is a baby crying, it isn't a loud cry. Because the babies that are in this unit, aren't big enough to cry that loud.

In all my hours behind my privacy curtain, I have eavesdropped on almost everything going on-on the other side of my curtain.
My view from my nursing chair

The other evening, I heard the nurses being paged and suddenly, I felt my curtain blow as they ran through the unit as the emergency doors welcomed them into the hall and into a delivery room of a mother who was obviously in very active labor. I heard her yelling and screaming and a flood of emotion raced through my veins. I knew exactly how she must have felt and I wanted to hear more. I made believe I was with her-- since I was alone in my time, she MUST have been to.(but probably not) I imagined myself holding her hand and telling her that she was tough and she could do it.

Last night, just after midnight a little girl was born. I saw her father's nike sneakers following the nurses into the nursery. I saw their feet surrounding the baby's new sleeping quarters and heard their whispers. The nurses stepped away leaving this new father with his daughter for just a moment. This new daddy was alone with him and I could hear him trying to soothe the baby as the baby was wailing out the strongest cry it could manage. I imagined the daddy wanting to touch the baby, but not knowing how to or if he could. I remember Marshall feeling like he couldn't touch his own baby, and I can tell he still feels like that with Eli.

Today, Eli is ONE week old. I have to ask my nurses daily what day it is. My days just blend all together without much sleep. I don't think my emotions can handle any more days inside this hospital.
I was told a couple days ago that there was a possibility that I would be able to have Eli in my room for the night, which is a sign of going home. They pulled Eli out of his warming bed to see if he could keep his body temperature on his own. When I went to nurse him, he wasn't his usual hungry self. He fought and cried and as I tried my hardest to be patient with him, his monitor started flashing and the alarms began sounding. He lost all the color in his cheeks and his body went limp. My heart stopped as his did. I immediately pulled him up and tried to shake him up a bit, a nurse ran in and grabbed him from me and did the same. I sat there and watched. I felt so alone. Again. I waited and in those small seconds that Eli's little heart stopped and his oxygen levels dropped I realized how fragile life truly is for him. I was reminded suddenly how I am never alone, and how Heavenly Father really hears your prayers, no matter how instant, muted, quick or informal they are.
 Eli quickly came to, and I grabbed him from the nurse and snuggled him close. I said a mighty prayer of gratitude and blinked away my tears. I was as strong as I could be in that moment in the late hours of the night.

Since that night, He has had a couple other scary spells with his stats dropping and there has been no word on when we can go home with our little fighter. I will be here with him here as long as he needs to be to ready him for the outside world.

We are waiting for him to gain weight and maintain a solid body temperature so we can move forward and plan to go home. Please keep Eli in your prayers.