What started out as a quick trip up north to a friend’s wedding last Saturday ended up as a visit to the ER, and a 4 day 4 night stay in the NICU.
Adria has been a really pretty easy baby (so far). So, even though she was two weeks old, we decided to take her with us up to Northern Indiana to our “old” (read 8 weeks ago) stomping grounds.
She slept the whole way north until we were on SR13 (a road that both she and her brother seem to dislike). The wedding went well and we got to see old friends of ours from college. But something was amiss. Her belly, which had been somewhat distended in the morning before we had left Indianapolis, now looked even worse, and we were concerned.
It was difficult to tell if she was eating less, but I thought she might be, and she hadn’t had a good poop since the early morning…NOT normal for her. She also seemed uncomfortable. We had even taken extra clothes with us because I was convinced we were in for a major blow out…that blow out never happened.
After talking to an on call nurse at our family Doctor, we decided it was best to take her straight to the Pediatric ER at Parkview in Ft Wayne. We got there somewhere around 8pm The Doctors and nurse there confirmed that what we were seeing and what she was experiencing was not normal.
We didn’t really realize at this point what we were in for…somehow we sort of hoped that we would be able to still drive south to Indy that night and get in really late.
It turned out they wouldn’t even let us take her down ourselves.
An X-Ray confirmed that her poor little belly was full of gas. She was so pressurized that then the live X-Ray barium enema (to see if she had an obstruction) was really difficult, and she screamed bloody murder for 30 minutes while Dan and I, both suited up, tried to comfort our tiny newborn. Listening to her scream and not being able to fix it was legitimately the WORST part of this entire experience (Yes, including our time in the NICU). After the test, they wanted us to see the only pediatric surgeon in Ft. Wayne to check for a bowl disease. After some conversing and at our request, it was decided we would instead go to Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis.
The next morning at 8:30 I was in a Parkview Ambulance with our Adria. She was less pressurized at this point (thank goodness), but the situation was still concerning. She was hooked up to an IV, They wouldn’t let me feed her until 4:30 that morning. Dan followed behind in our car. I tried to sleep some on the transport ride. I’m not really sure I slept at all.
Finally at Riley in our NICU room, I repeated our story to more doctors, residents, and nurses. The care we received there was unmatched. The nurses were caring. The doctors direct, professional, and careful of our daughter’s health.
4 Days passed…Sunday afternoon until Thursday afternoon. 4 nights on a pull out couch in her NICU room. I never left the Riley Hospital building even to just step outside. We showered in the NICU bathrooms, ate at Ronald McDonald House, and Dan took Monday off of work. Tuesday and Wednesday night I stayed with our girly. A friend and a family member each visited, each ministering us and providing great conversation. We kept other visits to a minimum. We felt the weight of the prayers of so many people in our church, family, and friends.
Finally, after a biopsy, decompression enemas, careful observation, we were finally discharged Thursday afternoon. Exhausted. We were home. We are home.
It still feels surreal…like, did that just happen? Did we really spend most of our week there? Was it only a week ago that we were getting ready to head out-of-town?
I’m so glad that today is Friday…that tomorrow Dan will be home from work, and that there will be some element of being able to regroup.
The emotion of it hasn’t hit me yet…it feels like another aspect of the adventure that has been life of late. I won’t go into all the ways life has felt tiring, weird, exhausting, surreal. Rehearsing all of it right now is really not necessary or helpful.
But I can remember what is good…the life giving things we gratefully accept with peace…
The sweetness of our little girl, even though hooked up to monitors.
The quiet room with food lockers and a fridge where we could keep our snacks that helped keep us going.
The Ronald McDonald House free breakfasts and lunches Dan and I enjoyed together…a step away from the beeping monitors and other newborn cries on our hall.
The patience of the nurses, the kind Pediatric Surgeon who showed complete confidence in caring for our daughter.
The fact that our girly doesn’t have a congenital bowel disease.
That they think this was just a viral reaction.
My mom bringing a suitcase of clothes and toiletries we requested.
The oversized reclining glider in room 4104.
My family taking excellent care of Nathan.
Our family doctor calling us personally to get the story of what happened and to find out how Adria was doing.
Laughing with Brittany and with Kristen (both people who have walked and are currently walking painful, difficult roads).
Finding out that we were truly going home.
The cards and gifts from extended family.
We are grateful.
The journey is real…it’s painful when things don’t go according to our timing or plan.
…When we know (or think we know), if it had been up to us, we would have written the story differently.
We wonder why its taking longer for things to happen. While we wait for our little house to sell, while we wait for a different job for Dan, for our little man to get well, and for our baby to sleep a little bit better after we make it through this 3 week old growth spurt…the waiting brings us to a place of surrender.
Surrender comes when we realize we wield very little control over our life and it’s surrounding circumstances…When we realize our hope really can’t be in something changing or getting “better” (as much as we would like the things I’ve listed to happen).
What is “better” for us right now is surrender. Because trust is the best thing…because hope is stronger and more weighty than this world can carry in it accoutrements of comfort.