Right before I tried to leave the NICU to get lunch, you were wide eyed and active. But then, as I was walking away, your blood oxygen levels fell rapidly. 70 percent. 60 percent. 50, 40, 30. All of the lines on your vitals monitor began to swing about wildly and the alarms blared. Your heart rate plunged to merely half of what it was before. I could see you breathing, but for some reason, the oxygen just wasn't getting through to your lungs. The nurses and respiratory technician raced to your isolette. Still, your blood was suffocated of oxygen. I watched helplessly as you wiggled and thrashed about and that soft pink color began to leave your face. And then you started turning blue.
Strangely, my adrenaline didn't kick in and my hands didn't start shaking until after the color came back to your face. The episode has passed, but the damage is done. Your oxygen has doubled. All your hard work this past month has been wiped away.