Warning: rant follows. Feel free to turn away.
One too many people have said how nice it is for us to be in Salt Lake, and how much harder this will be for us at home – like Dave and I are on holiday and relaxing in the mountains. NICU time is not “easier”. As much as we joke about having 150 babysitters, these months have been hard and long. We’re living in someone else’s home under their rules, and we’re only there to sleep or do laundry. Grateful, but that’s how it is. It takes 30-40 minutes to just get in to see our kid, with driving and scrubbing in. Our ability to be with her is limited, and is always more than just hanging out with the baby. Add insurance issues, adoption legal stuff, medical updates, worry, days when she won’t eat or burp, days with test results that just don’t quite make it, expectations dashed… all without the comfort of family and friends around us. We are missing 70 days of our lives as of today. It 100% worth it and we would do it again in a heartbeat for this beautiful daughter of ours! But it’s like being taken out of your life and not knowing when you can get back in. We know that time is creeping closer, but it’s slow. We won’t get a lot of warning. There won’t be a countdown, so we can’t give you one. One day she’ll click on eating and another day her eyes will be mature or she’ll no longer need oxygen – and, like that, we’ll be out the door. From here to there though are many more NICU days, with expectations and hopes and exhaustion. Yes, by the way, working every single day around a hospital schedule to meet our hours, to thank our bosses for their understanding and make sure we don’t let anyone down, means we are not taking great care of ourselves. It’s temporary and we will be absolutely fine, but don’t tell us this is easier. Don’t tell us we will be good parents. We are good parents. Good and tired.
Phew! Sorry. I had to get that off my chest. Back to beautiful Tess. See? I do get mad. (No one I’m related to is surprised.)
Tess is joyfully a feeder and a grower for the most part. Becca, you were right. That is the best way to go through the NICU! Today, she just blew my mind with her fabulousness. People, she’s off oxygen. Off. Completely. Room air! Even through a feeding and a spit up! We’re hoping it’s permanent, but have been warned that she may go on and off for the next week or so. Still, seeing that little face without the cannula is so stunning I’m still in shock. She seemed pretty surprised too! She kept pawing at her cheek, probably wondering where her favorite handhold went. Lol!
One of the most remarkable aspects of long-term NICU time is how just when you think you might scream from frustration, something amazing happens. This morning, I was frustrated to the extreme – hence the rant. This afternoon? Blissfully pleased. Our little girl is growing and learning, and we couldn’t be more proud of her. 5 pounds, 3 ounces!
Awesome Pictures and captions today. I like the beer choice anything that is blue and has elephants on it is good in my book.
Keep up the good work. Parenting is hard, being a way from home is hard, and having a sick child is very hard. You two are doing all of that at the same time. And even though Tess is on the mend it will be way easier when you are at home with your support system (friends and family) available to you.
Find time to go for a long walk
Exercise can help you relax
Life is long And pretty wonderful
you are all loved and missed.
Share your joy and kindness with someone you meet who needs a smile in their day
Enjoy the beauty around you and the love in your life. We all can’t wait for your return
Much love, sassy mom
Dave and Maggey; as I am reading about your feelings about your departure from Salt Lake City, it dawned on me that you seem to have experience all of the feelings that expecting parents would feel during the last few weeks of their pregnancy. Thereâ€™s frustration that itâ€™s one more day still pregnant (in your case, still at the hospital), the joy of one more step towards the arrival of your new child (Tessâ€™s progress towards leaving), the fear of branching out into the unknown when the baby is finally born (you guys leaving the umbrella of the NICU in Utah), the anticipation of your lives being changed once you get home. All of these things are felt by parents who are expecting, and now you have experienced them, too. And I think itâ€™s fantastic that you guys were able to feel that like many of us lucky ones have. /hugs-a-ton
Hi Mags and Dave,
I’ve been following you and Tess from afar and have enjoyed every story and milestone. Hang in there, you are doing a fabulous job! Cannot wait to see you again and to meet Baby Tess!
Tube-free is such a great look for Tess! And 5 pounds, 3 ounces – huge! We should skype again some time soon. Very glad that D&V will be out by you guys this weekend. Have fun 🙂
How could anyone think that what you are doing is easy?! I find it absolutely amazing! Me: HUGE fan of the two of you. And of course it will be easier at home once you have established your little routine. Look forward to it! You are almost there… With a start like this, everything else will probably feel like a stroll in the park to you. :))
I love your rational rants!
Although I joke about the very expensive babysitters and make fun of the premies who are “just there to grow” I’ve always said NICU sucks. Whether it is a week or a month or a year it is sucky beyond words. Rant away!