Cash, Zane, and Cade

Monday, July 12, 2010

Are we there yet?

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.


Anonymous said...

Welcome to parenthood! The guilt and fear is overwhelming ....and I just had one healthy baby. I can't imagine x3!!! I think you are having a normal reaction that 99.9% all parents have - your scared! there is no manual, no insturctions, just instinct. And you are proving to be a great parent...the fact that you went all over the doctor was a primal want to protect your young at any cost...however, you have reconized that maybe it was a little harsh, but that is the instinct coming out. Don't be so hard on yourself. And I'm sure if you ask your wife she is just as scared and having all the same feelings you are. Can I do this? am I doing the right thing? could I be doing more? Moms just seem to have a caretaker gene that most men don't, but that doesn't mean she isnt second guessing herself. Trust me that it does get a little easier...but not much. You constantly worry about them, think about them, dream about them...whether they are in the NICU or at home with grandma or home with the other parent while your at work. My daughter turned 11 on Thursday and there is not one time in those 11 years when I went out and my thoughts haven't been at home with her. Not to say I don't have a fun time without her, it is just there is no other place on earth that i'd rather be than with her.

Even though we never have met - I was told by Laura to check out your blog - I have totally enjoyed getting to "know" your little family. I've shed more than one tear reading this blog and said many prayers for you, Carey, and the boys.

Anonymous said...

Don't have too high of expectations of yourself. NICU life is hard, and this is a stressful time. You may not even realize HOW stressful until later. It's sometimes even harder on the Dad because the Dad is expected to be "the rock". It took me until my multiples were 3 to get over all stress of the pregnancy, the emergency c-section, the NICU, coming home on monitors, the whirlwind sleepless first year, all the PT and doctor visits they had that first year, etc. Their third birthday was a big deal. I was finally able to let go and take a deep breath and move on. It was a new chapter in my life. We were done w/ the crazy NICU newborn scary part. I think I may have had post-traumatic stress syndrome, and I noticed that their third birthday was such a milestone. I finally knew they were going to be ok, and I was ready to put all the stress of all of that behind me and look forward. Good luck, and don't be too hard on yourself is I guess all I'm saying. You will make it through. This is your life right now, but soon your life will be different, and better. :)

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