On our second day here, the Nurse Practitioner who put in WA’s PIC line very much warned us that life in the NICU is often one step forward, three steps back (cue the humming of “Opposites Attract” if you will). I didn’t like that progression of numbers, nor did I want to believe her. And actually, for the first week of being here, I really didn’t have to believe her. But then Week Two began and we smacked into our feeding plateau and now we’re on Day 13 which is turning out to be very much a not-so-great day following the excitement of yesterday’s biggest-to-date independent feeding sessions.
Apparently this too is to be expected. Often after a big day of exertion and progress, babies in Willa’s position can revert a bit on their feedings and stamina. So nothing about this day is surprising the specialists around us, but I’d be lying if I said it has been easy to have poor numbers come up again on the scale and not instantly feel responsible. Seriously – how do you not feel the literal weight and importance of every blessed feeding when every single one is being marked and monitored and MATTERS in terms of the weight gain + endurance that are your ticket home??
It’s all a bit too much, especially when it suddenly doesn’t go as well as hoped or as it did previously, even when people tell you that that’s OK and even typical, and so today has very much been A Tuesday. I guess there’s probably some comfort in that, though, because it means Wilson already understands how our family rolls and that this is the day of the week that brings us the most confusion (and delay, for you Thomas fans out there) and frustration.
And if I’m being really truth-y, it’s not so much her that I’m worried about right now. I know she’ll get it, and everything is going to click and we’ll get home. It just looks like it will be more of an “eventually” than a “soon” and we’re doing our best to make peace with that and are more than happy to let her call the shots because it is best for her.
What’s truly bothering me about the unknown timeline of this all is the time and distance from the rest of the kids.
Day 13, man. Day 13. How did we already get this far? And how exactly are we supposed to just keep going until we hit that magical, totally unpredictable leave date? Because I have never been away from the rest of my babies for this long, much less however long this whole thing actually turns out to be, and it is breaking me right now.
Originally I thought there was zero chance of me leaving Omaha while Wilson was here but then Sunday came which put us a week out from the church Christmas program (you guys, we were supposed to be Mary and Joseph and Baby Jesus) and I had teary Bigs back home suddenly very concerned on the phone about us being there for it and while I couldn’t promise Little Sister being there, I could tell them that Ben and I would be there because this is clearly a bit too much for all of us at this point. The guilt of leaving Wilson here for that time period is insane, but I just can’t right now with the being away from them either.
If it comes to that, which as of today looks like very much the case, I’ll tell you right now that I’m going to be a hot mess. As in, a holding my toddler, snot and tears running down my face while we watch our music-loving Bigs belt out their songs at the front of the church Hot. Mess. Because sometimes that is as much a sign of strength as the stiff upper lip and it’s just all we can do when everything remains up in the air.