today was the first day that we had a chance to begin even thinking about establishing some sort of visitation routine. in many ways, we’re profoundly lucky, in terms of how easy it is to go see eric. some of you know, but most don’t, that the house that we bought for the snowdeal show ® is a mere 4 blocks from the nicu. we really couldn’t have planned it any better. when we were looking for properties with our co-purchasers ( sister-in-law and her partner ) we discovered that one of us ( sister-in-law ) was actually only interested in looking at houses in a very specific 8 block area in the historic district ( where, of course, we eventually found a house ), but the rest of us were leaning towards getting some land outside the city. many long and heated discussions were had where we tried to get gina to be reasonable and move up to an hour away . she wouldn’t have any of it. we were on the verge of dropping the entire plan when we found the house we bought before it even went on the market. so we literally can take a brisk walk and see eric in 10 minutes, ultimately because gina was stubborn and uncompromising about where she wanted to live. strange, but true.
today, felt like the first day where we could sit back and try to relax in the nicu. however, relaxing involves trying to find strategies to cope the fact that on this particular day as you walk up to his bed, his nicu nurse is calmly, but with firm expedience, shutting off a beeping monitor and, if you look close, you’ll notice that she’s simultaneously getting him to remember to breath.
“hi!” she says, with an oddly cheerful tone given the circumstances. “he’s a great night. a few bouts of apnea and bradycardia this morning, so we’ll let him calm down for a bit after he starts remembering to breath again. all very normal, of course. amazing how well, he’ll slid into 26 weeks.”
right. it’s all very normal. so i decide that i’ll catch-up on some light nicu reading while my son remembers to breath, hoping that his brain stem continues to develop at a good clip over the next few weeks so he doesn’t have a to deal with forgetting for long. i find myself having to remember to not casually flip around the nicu “doorstop”. the first thing the nurse will tell you when you get the book is that you really shouldn’t just flip around to random pages and to just stick to what’s relevant to your current situation, as “you’ll just worry yourselves needlessly.”
after things settle down, eric’s nurse tells us excitedly that she thinks he’s ready to get his first feeding. and a few moments later, she’s attaching a syringe filled with colostrum to his endo-tracheal tube.
he quickly starts to wrap his hand around his air mask and feeding tube, looking quite content and breaking your heart at the same time.