the days in the nicu are so long and yet so short at the same time. we are feeding and pumping every three hours, learning about new meds, monitoring heart rates and respiratory rates and talking to doctors that honestly i have very few moments to sit in the quiet with our son. i am so grateful for the care and attention that he is getting here and take comfort that his every breath is monitored but at the same time just yearn to take our sweet boy home.
i can say with absolute certainty that this has been the most trying and difficult week of my entire life. filled with so much joy and so many back steps and then promises again. i know i have said this a million times but we do not take your prayers lightly. we need them, we value them, we simply could not go on without them.
as we are coming up on the minutes of ottos first full week of life i think about where we started and to where we are now. there are few things i will not forget ever. the moment i felt his little head move away from my ribs the pressure of that release. making eye contact with my husband as we went from a family of two to a family of three. hearing our sweet otto’s first cry of life and hearing the words “you have a son”. something changed within my heart and my soul. so many people have told me “your life is about to change” and i always thought yea yea i know. but i understand that now. i feel like our little otto is still within me as much as he is in my arms.
from there he was moved to the nicu where we hoped that he would spend but a few brief moments there. as that reality diminished i am grateful for the nurses who put me on a stretcher and rushed me right up to that room so that i could be with him for a while longer before getting to my own room.
my recovery in terms of the c section has been amazing. within a few hours i was up and walking (wheeling it to the nicu) making hourly visits to hold and kiss otto. i seriously couldn’t be away from him. maybe it’s because my attention has been so much on him i haven’t noticed really any pain. in fact if it wasn’t for my fancy girdle and occasional tinge of the incision i wouldn’t have even felt like i had surgery.
it’s different getting bad “what if” news now that otto is here rather than when he was within me. there were days i sat in the mothers lounge covered in breast milk, pee and blood from his little pricks and pokes and i just wept. just had ugly cries begging and pleading with God to make him ok. my faith has definitely been tested but with all of this our Lord prevails. I sit here and wonder how we would even make it through any of this without the comfort and protection of knowing that our God has this. he knows already how this is all going to go. we just have to have faith in his teaching and his plans. i know that is easier said than done. trust me. in the middle of the night i battle against my brain to stay out of the dark places, the scary stories, the what ifs and try to remain positive and optimistic and faithful knowing that our sweet otto can sense our tension and anxiety.
we are so blessed to have a great support system. not a day has gone by that we have not been surrounded and encouraged by friends and family. constantly making us eat and drink, shower, force us to be optimistic and cheering us on. holding baby otto so i can physically leave to get starbucks. (have to have that). i don’t know how we would have made it without all of them.
and finally my sweet sweet joey. i look at him and am amazed at his strength. he has taken such good care of otto and i throughout all of this that i feel i’m constantly reminding him that he needs to be taking care of himself. the first few days after my surgery he would wheel me up to see otto any chance i wanted. when he was falling asleep in the chair of the nicu center he understood my need for just five more minutes. when i feel myself going to the dark corners of my brain he snaps me out of it. he has been so amazing and hands on with ottos feedings throughout the night while i pump that i’m just in awe of him. i absolutely adore watching that man talk to our son about all the things they are going to do together someday. (which reminds me we better start saving our pennies for an airplane i guess). joe has been my rock and my biggest cheerleader and the more wonderful of a father than i could have ever imagined.
we are closing in on a full week of being here in the nicu and i am so grateful to the nurses here who are absolute angels. they keep such a watchful eye on our son and teach us along the way. i am grateful to one nurse in particular who really pushed us to take control of our sons care. i firmly believe that it is because of her that we are equipped leaving here confident and in control of the days to come. she taught us to feed, change diapers, take vitals and i found myself wanting to keep going to make her proud of us (if that makes any sense). i will forever be grateful to this team.
i am going to do my best in the coming days to keep you all updated. we are hoping to go home tomorrow if everything checks out correctly. we have begun the official discharge exams that will continue into tomorrow. stay tuned!
abby joe and baby otto