Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Life in the NICU

Since Baby Grant Henry was born two weeks ago on Sunday, March 23, I have been "living" in the NICU to be here for our sweet little baby boy.

What is life in the NICU like? Well, it varies moment to moment… from tender to tearful, from happy to hopeless, from lovely to lonely. NICU parents find comfort in one another, rejoicing together when complete strangers are taking their baby home finally, and supporting one another when the road seems to have no end in sight.
One answer to prayer for us was learning that our hospital has the option for NICU parents to "board" in hospital rooms. The rooms are subject to availability of course but in over two weeks here I have been able to stay every night save for one. Since this hospital is 45 minutes from our home at Fort Leavenworth, it is nice for me to only be sleeping one floor away from Baby Grant.

One of the most difficult aspects of our situation is that not only do we have a new baby boy in the NICU who needs his mommy and daddy, we also have a big brother at home who needs us as well. Michael and I are so blessed with not one but TWO moms who dropped everything to come help our family so that mommy and daddy can be available to both of their children. We are so very thankful to have our mom's here. 
Speaking of big brother Parker, he has been able to visit me about every other day, joining mommy for lunch, nap and dinner. This has worked well giving me time with Grant in the morning and then time with Parker in the afternoon. On the days that Michael comes with Parker, he can visit with Grant in the afternoon while Parker and I nap. However, having our family in two locations is very hard on our hearts. We cannot be in two places at one time and both of our boys need us. We are working to find the best system to make sure that we are able to meet the needs of our family but it is very tender territory.
I miss my little Parker Bear so much that it brings me to tears on a regular basis. I am comforted by the fact that he is having such a good time at home. As I was sharing this with a nurse she asked if it hurt my feelings that he doesn't miss me. Well first of all, he's not even 2-years-old yet so he doesn't know how to "miss someone" and secondly, NO! I am not sad that he doesn't miss me. I am thrilled that he is having so much fun! I would be miserable if Parker was unhappy over a situation that I can do little about. I am so thankful that he has been having fun with his grandmothers and that he can't fully grasp this situation.

I also miss my husband. When Parker was in the NICU, Honey and I were together every step of the way. But this time around is different. Not only does he need to be close to home to help with Parker but Honey is in school. Taking several weeks off is not an option for him. He has been able to come stay overnight in the hospital with me a few times but not having him here with me sure does make it lonely at times.
But no one said it would be easy. Having two babies in two locations is surely the hardest part of living in the NICU. Having our family divided is heartbreaking. Sometimes I wonder how I have any tears left. 

We are so very happy that Grant is here and have so enjoyed getting to love on him for the last two weeks. We are thankful for a happy, healthy, baby boy. It's hard to believe that eating is the only thing keeping us in the NICU but when you take a look around the floor, it's hard to be anything but thankful. We have a healthy baby. We are certainly in the minority of families who have babies in the NICU alongside our little Grant.
Each day I long to take him home. I can't wait to have our family under one roof. I look forward to having two babies in my lap. I want so badly to be reunited!!!

Thank you for reading and for the love, support, and prayers. We are blessed with such a wonderful support system!

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2 comments:

  1. Lots of love to you. <3 I can't imagine the emotional roller coaster you're going through, but I'm holding you in my heart. I will cheer from Georgia when you get to go home too!! :)

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