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...|
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...