I am not too impressed with myself. I can't seem to keep myself or my emotions in check. The road we are on is fraught with peril. It takes a steady hand to guide oneself down the road and my hand is currently not very steady. I am going to have to do better. Earlier this week, Zane had a distended stomach, meaning that he was a bit bloated and we thought he was sick. Carrie and I both lost it, and I flipped out on the Doctor. I am sorry about this, and it something that I'm not very proud of. It turns out that Zane wasn't sick. Zane is fine. The next day the X-Rays of his stomach looked great. I am very thankful for that, but I am deeply troubled by how I handled the situation. I don't want Carrie to feel like I am too volatile to be involved when things get heavy.
Since the boys were born, and even before that, I have lived in constant fear of the unknown. Medicine is not my area of expertise. I'm not exactly sure what my area of expertise is, but it's definitely not medicine. Since this area is such a black hole for me, I find myself thinking about what's next. What am I missing? Is there a question I can ask or something that I could learn about that will prevent some bad thing from happening? Carrie and I have learned a lot about babies and pediatric medicine. We have learned just enough to make us petrified of what we don't know. These boys have been poked, prodded, had blood drawn, been given blood, had IVs, PICC lines, had X-Rays taken, samples taken, cultures grown, and been examined by all types of people in the medical profession. They have handled it like little champs and each one of them ALWAYS does something to let Carrie and I know that they are okay. Their simple acts of reassurance have literally kept me from losing my mind.
For me, being in the NICU is the most exhausting experience of my life. On Saturday we arrived there at 10:30 in the morning. By 2:00 p.m. I could barely keep my eyes open, and I fell asleep in a chair while Carrie was giving Cash his bottle. The very core of my being was absolutely spent. When we left the hospital I told Carrie that I had never been so tired in all of my life. I actually thought I might have some sort of disease. Sometimes I feel so detached from myself that I feel like I am actually just watching myself go through this experience. It's like my life is a movie that I am simply watching and I have little or no control of how the plot plays out.
On Saturday night, we went to a concert down in New Braunfels, Texas. It was our friends Micky and The Motorcars, Reckless Kelly, and Charlie Robison. Carrie and I had been to the hospital all day, and we felt like we deserved a night out to blow off some steam. We had a great time with our friends, but it was hard to relax. I would look over at Carrie and I knew she was thinking about our boys. I had a great time, but it was impossible to totally relax given our current situation. On the way home I was laying in the backseat even more tired than before thinking to myself, "What if the boys needed me right now?" Carrie was driving and she had it completely together. I don't know how much help I would have been if I was needed and that really bothered me.
All of this, and the boys are fine. They have had issues and we have had setbacks, but in the general, they have been minor. Knock on wood for us if you have any handy. They are all rapidly approaching the 5 pound mark. Cash is taking every feeding from a bottle, and the other two are just about at that point. Last Thursday, the Doctor said this:
"In about two weeks, they are going to be at the point where they will be thinking about going home."
This is awesome news. We are seeing the light at the end of all this and it feels great. We absolutely can't wait to have them here. Things will feel complete when they are home. It will be awesome. I can't think about it too much, because that will make each minute seem longer. Having them home will also be very scary, because at that point it's on us. I'm sure we will do fine and I have every confidence in Carrie. This mothering thing comes very naturally to her and the transition for her into motherhood has been so seamless that she hasn't noticed the change. I am amazed at what she has become. I am the one that needs help.
I look back at all this, and I realize that our time in the NICU has been a blessing. The boys are already on a schedule that they are fine with. This will make things at home so much easier. It has also taught us how lucky we are and really made us appreciate what we have. I see the lady across from us who has been up there with her daughter since January. She has two kids at home, and she has made the 60 mile trek to the NICU for over seven months. I have no idea how she has done it. When I get down, I think of her.
So...the baby room is done. The Tahoe has been outfitted with three car seats. We seem to have just about everything we need. Each day we get one day closer to the day that Carrie and I have decided will be the greatest day of our lives.
I promise I will film it.