Monday, May 10, 2010

35 Weeks.

4 more days after today.

This is it. If I can even hold out that long. Late yesterday morning, the pain got too intense, and I had to call the doctor. I was advised that I could take 2 Percocet at a time, up to every four hours as needed. I was also told I could go to L&D and get myself checked to see if I was dilating, and if not, he would not keep me. Honestly, why bother? So I stayed home, took my drugs, and lay in my little nest I have built for myself in the bed. I tried to read a little, but it took all of 15 minutes for the drugs to soften the edges and I was out. I spent the whole afternoon that way. I would wake for a few minutes before I had to take more of the pain medication, then out I went again. So much for Mother's Day.

We have this beautiful little plan for the week. Wednesday, I go for the amnio for lung maturity. Thursday, I get those results and my pre-op instructions. As soon as I do, I am to call J's Mom and she is starting her 4-hour journey here. This is also the day I am to call the home health company and arrange for the pick-up of the thousands of dollars' worth of equipment I have in my house. Friday, E will stay out of school so he can be there, and we will all head to the hospital to meet Zachary. J is excited beyond words. Me too, for that matter. But I am also Debbie Downer for the moment. The idea of days more of misery, then the pain of the c-section, is clouding that excitement. The amnio, the spinal, the IV, the Foley catheter, the incision, the Pitocin...all of it painful for me. Then I turn to a bitterness that I haven't felt through the whole horrendous experience: Why me? How is this fair? It isn't.

Last night, J woke me to watch the special from 19 Kids and Counting on TLC. They were bringing their grossly-premature baby home after 4 months in the NICU. And I cried. I just sat there, with my hand on my belly, feeling Zachary kick, and watching their family's struggle on television, tears literally streaming. And J made comments on the baby's appearance. It was then that I realized that he just didn't know. He hasn't seen or held these tiny preemies in the palm of his hand like I have. That knowledge, that burden, was mine also. As the NICU staff was saying goodbye to the family, he honestly thought I was crying because that is what I do for a living. In a way, he is right. Patients come and go from my life like minutes on a clock. The successes are the ones you never see again. They go on to live their lives with their families, not needing your help any longer. The ones you can't fix are somehow more tolerable because of them. When people realize what it truly is that I do--that I have to be the one to pull the plug when the family has decided it is time, to be the one who tries to resuscitate people who are trying to die on me--they ask how I can do it, and that is what I tell them. Because for everyone you cannot help, there are ones you can. So yeah, J was a little correct.

But did he really think that was all? Did he not realize that their story was almost our story, not just once,but twice? That both of our boys are stories of near-misses? He has to know. He was there, holding my hand and crying with me when the doctor came into the room 9 years ago and told us I was actively miscarrying E. It's hard to make the connection that the little boy who knew what hypothermia was at 3 years old, who likes planes and computer games, almost never was. Maybe he does know, and this is his way of blocking it all out, of making the disconnection in his mind. If so, I will not take that away from him. I wish I could do the same.

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