Monday, April 11, 2011

I'm home. He's not.

Since Callum had a "boring" day yesterday I decided it was time for me to go home and spend some time with the girls. Kevin and the girls picked me up at the hospital last night. When I stepped out of the elevator and saw my three sweet girls yelling "Mommmy!" I realized just how much I missed them and how much they needed me, too. This was the longest I have ever left any of our girls, especially Clara. When I left for the hospital on Thursday, I thought I'd be gone one night....maybe two, but definitely not three.

When we arrived home, it was weird. How could the house feel as though something or someone were missing when Callum has never actually been "present" in the house? The swing was empty. The car seat empty. When I unpacked our hospital bag Callum's clothes were still folded neatly along with his unused blankets. The house was eerily quiet - and the routine was too normal. We should be hearing a newborn screeching, kids yelling with Kevin and I trying to juggle the girls and a newborn who wants to nurse constantly at bedtime. Kevin says he tries to think of it as Callum still being inside of me - I wish I could think that way. If he were inside of me, I would be feeling him kick and know he were safe inside of me. I wish he were still inside of me because I'd still have him all tucked away nice and safe, feeling his little heels dig into my right side making me jump or see his little bum making my belly lopsided - something the girls loved to watch.

Another difficult thing we are dealing with is the girls. Of course, they are confused, and concerned, especially Mairead. Mairead saw Callum's birth, so she is very aware that he is here, just not with us. When Lilah saw me last night she blurted out "Where's your belly!!!???" - and she was able to express that Callum was no longer inside of me. Mairead knows he has sick lungs and needs help breathing. Before bed last night she was crying saying she missed Callum and wanted him to come home. She clearly needs to see her brother, but right now, its a bit intimidating for adults, let alone children. The oscillating ventilator is very loud with that "car engine" noise. There is a machine for the nitric oxide, IV polls, monitors, his bed, another ventilator (for when he transitions back over) and countless things coming in and out of his little body. I think once he transitions to a regular ventilator, I will bring her in and let her spend time with Callum. She needs to see him...

Before Kevin and I went to bed, I called the NICU to be sure Callum was doing okay. His nurse told me he was doing great and they had been able to shut off his blood pressure medication, dopamine at 9pm. This was great news because if his blood pressure is stable, it means his pulmonary hypertension is under control, and things are getting back to normal. We went to bed, and I awoke at 4am. I called the NICU again to check up on him, and was told he was having another good night. Finally, at 730am, I called again and was given a similar report, except they were able to turn down his oxygen settings a little bit and were trying to adjust some settings.

NICU, Day 3 (Monday):
It's almost like groundhog day - except there are subtle changes throughout the day. Good and not so good ones. This morning we woke up and got ready to head in to see Callum. I called in and got another good report. His oxygen settings are a bit lower this morning and his blood pressure is still within normal limits, but I know these things can change at any second.

Callums room - 2 ventilators, nitric oxide, IVs, monitors and his little house...
I walked in to his room and every time I do, I am in disbelief he is here - the sweet little baby lying there with all those tubes and machines is our little boy. He is pretty jaundice today but they won't be starting the bili-lights quite yet. They were able to reposition him again and he tolerated that very well - something he couldn't handle at all on Saturday. His blood pressure medication has been turned off since 9pm last night and his blood pressures have been normal. They've had to go up again on his oxygen settings, and while they were "normal limits" for a normal baby, they have to keep them on the higher side to help control the pulmonary hypertension, so for now, they are requiring him to have higher levels.

My milk is starting to come in and that has been tough, too. I hate pumping and none of the girls ever took bottles, so, having to pump just sucks...but, I will do whatever it takes for little Callum. I just wish I could be nursing him instead of having to hook myself up to a milk machine every few hours. Since I am still nursing Clara 1-2 times a day, she is actually doing her brother a favor by helping with the milk supply for him. I guess you could say I've put Clara to work. When she gets older, I will have to tell her what she did for him.

So, as I sit here feeling helpless, looking at my sweet little boy, I pray he will start to make a turn around with his breathing. He has come far since Saturday, but, I am selfish, I want him to come far enough so we can enjoy him, hold him, hear him cry, nurse him and bring him home. 

*If anything changes, I will update this post throughout the day...


  1. Thanks for taking time to write this all down. I am praying for this all to become a distant memory VERY soon. Oh, for Clara to know how she is helping baby brother....what a beautiful thing. I am thinking of you constantly dear friend and praying for you.

  2. Steph and Kevin...I am so sorry to hear that Callum has had so much trouble and that you are going through all of this. It has to be tough seeing him lying there and feeling so helpless. One saving grace, perhaps, is that you understand what they are doing for him as he goes through his ups and downs, one time when knowledge is a beneficial thing.
    I know that everyone is thinking of your family as you go through each day waiting for the moment they tell you that you can take your precious little boy home to be with his sisters and where you can hold him close and watch him suckle and gurgle and even scream 24 hours a day.
    In the meantime, please know that you are in my thoughts and prayers and that I look forward to learning that he has been able to go home to be with his family. I so look forward to meeting your "newest addition" and getting to hold yet another "Colotti" baby...for they are the best!

    With much love,

    Sue aka Joey's mother in law, Carley's Mom and Landon's Gma

  3. Thinking of you all - we lit a candle for little Callum and all of you in church on Sunday so we're sending the prayers over the Atlantic to join all the others. I know they'll work and the little family will be together soon.
    Best love
    Susan (Alison's sister) in Dartmouth, Devon


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