to go or not go
not fun decision to make
It’s the time of night where I have to decide – am I going up to the NICU? If I am, I have to leave now so that I’m there for the 8pm feeding. That way Ike-a-saurus can have a go at breastfeeding before the gavage. I was up there this morning and he nursed for ten minutes straight and then for another five. He did great. In between those two bouts, though, he had two consecutive heartrate drops, turned pale and blue and FREAKED MY FREAKING SHIT. He was fine, but damn if that didn’t shave about five years off my life.
Now I have to not let that scare me from feeding him. Obviously, he has to learn how to eat. And obviously, he is not ready to just chow down. He is getting stronger everyday and sometimes I forget that things are still perilous. But today reminded me. "This is why he’s still here and not at home," the nurse said and I nodded my head vehemently. Yes yes. I totally understand.
In the evening, when I am so tired and the drive to the hospital looms and the mile-long walk to the elevators taunts me, and I am afraid of nearly killing him with my boobs, I know it’s a good night to stay home, regroup, catch up on TV and relax. But I feel tremendously guilty.
I want to be there with him tonight. I want to try to nurse him. I want to scrub the germs from my arms and fingernails. I want to hold him and smell his head and pepper him with staccato kisses. I want to whisper in his ear how strong and amazing he is and how he’s going to make it through the night with no Brady’s or apneas or de-sats. I want to tell him that he’s perfectly capable of breastfeeding and surviving, that this is just the training period now. He is like a triathalon athlete, training for the big race, and he will improve his stamina the more he practices. This is what I say to him in the mornings when I visit and in the evenings, and all the time. I’m sure he’s probably tired of hearing it.
I hate to not be there tonight to have our chat. And my husband is too tired to go, too. I know the two of us need quiet time together, too, but still. I miss the little dude, and even on good days I only spend about two hours out of my whole day with him. I hate to not be there. I hate to be tired.
The nurses will take care of him, though. They will give the bottle a whirl if he’s alert and awake. Maybe they’ll even give his stinky butt a bath. It’s nice to know they’re there for him, but it hurts my heart to not be the one doing it.
The TiVo better hold some magic for me tonight, because damn if I’m staying home to just watch crap TV and feel inadequate.