Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Music Mondays

So I know it is Tuesday but yesterday, and pretty much the whole weekend, sucked. Emma is really sick. She has this cold from hell. I have never seen her this bad, she is all weak, coughing, runny nose, vomiting and she has the saddest, horse voice. She usually bounces back after one day but to see her only get worse day after day just breaks my heart. I actually cried on the ride back from getting our tree at Home Depot this past Sunday. We passed by some houses that had their decorations out and when she saw an inflatable Santa, she said in a very, very, soft and weak voice, "ho, pause, ho, pause, ho". It was too much to hear her so weak yet filled with Christmas spirit and joy. While I watched her sleep that night I was filled with a strange, dull, ache that reminded me of the first time I ever watched her sleep and which also happened to be the first time I ever saw her after giving birth.

I never really wrote about my first real encounter with Emma, I mean I have talked about my emotions as I entered motherhood but never really those first few days, four to be exact, when Emma was kept from me in the NICU. I could only see and hold her for feedings and it was rough. Emma was an emergency c-section. I was in a lot of pain during the operation that the first time I ever laid eyes on her wasn’t beautiful or memorable. In fact, I don’t remember that exact moment. In a way I feel I was robbed as I hear of other women talk about that miraculous moment of sheer bliss.

A few hours later, once settled in my actual room, Anthony came by. I was so anxious for him to go get Emma in what I called the baby shopping cart. Each room had one and each mom was given an index card with all their information on it so they could go grab their baby from the nursery. It really looked as if you were pushing a shopping cart filled with your baby. So I wanted Ant to get her as I was told I couldn’t stand up for the next 24hrs. When he came back empty handed I felt like a kid who wakes up to no presents at Christmas. He said something of how she was coughing up fluids but that it wasn’t serious as most C-section babies experience that. After his failed second attempt, he came back telling me they sent her to the NICU since they were busy and they felt the NICU could keep a better eye on her. I think Ant was trying to keep me calm because I still feel he knew more than he led on.

Finally that evening I was told that if I wanted to go see her I would have to come to her, which meant mustering up the strength to put myself in a wheel chair. The pain I felt was perhaps the worst pain I have ever felt to date. The best way to describe it is as if someone dragged a serrated knife from the inside of my stomach and out my vagina but I just really wanted to see Emma and hold her. It wasn’t until I turned the corner into the NICU that it hit me how I probably wouldn’t be seeing my daughter in a nursery and anxiety just took over my body. What would she look like, what would she be hooked up to? I wish I had been prepared. When I saw her in the little plastic box the room stood still and I became very cautious. I sort of shut down as this really was the furthest thing I ever imagined would happen to me. I could picture the C-section or giving birth but not my child all hooked up to wires. The funny thing was, she was clearly the largest and healthiest baby in the NICU and I just couldn’t understand why she was there. Her little arm was attached to a paddle so she could have her IV port stay in place and her face had scratch marks from where the paddle was hitting her face. Her little heels had wires that led to a monitor whose numbers and beeps eventually gave me a nervous breakdown and I could see where they had drawn blood from her and I just felt useless. I wanted to cradle her and comfort her and not have strangers prick and prod her. Every visit was filled with promises that today would be the day they would bring her up to my room only to be let down as we were told she had another “episode”. To this day I do not understand exactly why she was there, I know it had to do with her pulse oxide and her PFV or PVA valve not being closed, causing heart murmurs. She still has a small "hole", open valve, in her heart that actually a lot of people have and is of no consequence.

Funny how that little baby in a plastic box today cannot be stopped for even one second. I always look at Emma as a force to be reckoned with, but those first days, I felt she was as fragile as tissue paper, ready to tear at any moment. Last night I was reminded of just how fragile she can still be. I know all parents ache when their child suffers even the slightest sense of discomfort and for the first time I actually understood the old saying “I rather it have happened to me”. So all of this brings me to music Mondays as I was reminded of a song from the band Athlete called Wires that the lead singer wrote about the birth of his baby. It really is a lovely song and I kinda forgot about it until the day Emma was born. To have a healthy baby is a gift that so many people take for granted. I remember seeing tiny babies with such an immense will to survive that I was humbled.

“you got wires going in
You got wires coming out of your skin
You got tears making tracks
I got tears, that are scared of the facts
Running down corridors, through automatic doors
Got to get to you, got to see this through
I see hope is here, in a plastic box
I've seen Christmas lights, reflect in your eyes
You got wires
going in
You got wires coming out of your skin
There's dry blood, on your wrist
Your dry blood on my fingertip
Running down corridors, through automatic doors
Got to get to you, got to see this through
First night of your life, curled up on your own
Looking at you now, you would never know
I see it in your eyes, I see it in your eyes
You'll be alright
I see it in your eyes, I see it in your eyes
You'll be alright”

even tiny she was too darn cute

matching IV ports

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