And I will be soon. I just wanted to take a minute to say that I have spent a lot of time this evening trying to catch up with emails and blog comments and Facebook comments and the Ikeasaurus website (so beautiful to see Ike on there, Jenny), and to pay some attention to my other two wonderful children who we are working so hard to protect against the scariness of everything…. I have spent a lot of time doing all these things in a kind of fog because of everything that happened today. But even through the fog I know you are all out there.
Ike knows you're out there, too. As they were pushing him in his crib down the hallway to the OR and I was following and trying to sneak kisses on his soft soft head, I told him about all the people wishing him well. I told him everyone we know and people we don't know are all surrounding us and loving us and doing everything they can to help us. I know he heard me.
It is all just so difficult to process. Not just the trach and the uncertainties around it. But everything. I am not sure how we have ended up at the center of this fierce mama maelstrom of love and generosity. It is something that humbles me and even frightens me a little. We have become THAT family. You know? The one you read about or see on the side of a tip jar or something. How are we that family? How did this happen? I never thought anything could be worse than being hospitalized for 5 weeks with gushing amniotic fluid and a ticking time bomb sensation of not knowing when or how early my baby would be born. I never thought anything could be worse than watching my 2lb 5 ounce baby have bradycardias in the NICU.
But I was wrong.
All of that… all of that was just training for this. We were training for a race for life we didn't know we'd be in. And I am so thankful for those experiences now. I know how to live at the hospital. I know how to question doctors and sit in during rounds. I know what food is good in the cafeteria (chicken fried steak) and what to avoid (baked fish. shiver). I know that my heart will shatter for the wee one and the wee-er one, and I know that they are strong and resilient. I know that some nurses will break the rules to make all of us more comfortable. I know that some will not. I know other people in the hospital are worse off than we are. I know some aren't. I know our families will drop everything to help us and to be with us and to keep the routine as normal as possible with the kids. I know that I will cry a lot and that's OK. I know I will distance myself my husband because I am worried about worrying him and I know that that will worry him more and ultimately bring us closer. I know that my ten year wedding anniversary is on Friday and that I have the best husband, spouse, partner, that anyone could ever have. I wonder how I can deserve him. I know all of these things because of last year, such a trying year.
I cry and I tremble with fear and exhaustion because I worry that all of the determination and willpower and strength that I mustered and borrowed and stole just to get Ike out of my belly and into the world safely came from a finite source inside of me. I worry I don't have enough left to get through this. So much more time in the hospital. Seeing my baby with a hole in his neck. Learning how to take care of him and it. Having more doctors visits and possible surgeries to figure out why his airway is so narrow. Having to explain it to the wee one and the wee-er one. Having to be a 24-hour nurse to Ike when I can barely manage to not put his diapers on backwards – under perfect stress-free conditions.
I am freaked out.
Really, really freaked out.
But tonight I am also really really grateful. For friends who are family and family who are friends, and for strangers who are becoming both friends and family.
I am grateful for all of you and for what you are doing for all of us.
I am humbled.
I am frightened.
And I have to go to bed.