Friday, May 2, 2014
The Seasoned Veteran
Today is the day. Probably. Hopefully. We're at the hospital now. You need to pass one last test and with luck, you'll be in the car and on your way home in an hour!
We came into the NICU this morning, went to the back, and I saw that you were in a different kind of crib. I thought this was odd, but I walked up and started cooing at you anyway: "How's my Ellie Bellie Wellie."
"That's not your baby, sir," the nurse said. Indeed, it wasn't. Oops. In fact, you were nowhere to be found. As it turns out, you were instead in the full term nursery!
Weird. I mulled that thought over in my head. You weren't in the NICU anymore. Indeed, I took a few quick strides out of the NICU, looked through the window of the newborn, full-term nursery, and sure enough there you were, sitting in that place I'd walked by at least a thousand times. Next to all of the other fatties. I went in and there was only one nurse watching over 10 babies. "Just one nurse?" I thought, panic rising in my chest. "What if something goes wrong?"
Then I realized that nothing was going to go wrong. They weren't going to stop breathing or choke on their food or have their intestines explode. They were all normal babies. And you were one of them... But not really. Weird again.
You don't quite fit in with the rest of those newborns. Yes, they are roughly your size and they are gestationally and anatomically the same age as you, but you aren't really a newborn, are you? You've been in this world three months already. When I see the "true" newborns glance around the nursery, they look confused as their senses explore an alien landscape. But you? You're already a seasoned resident of the outside world. You look around with a certain kind of familiarity and wisdom. Your eyes don't flit about wildly, but focus and contemplate before moving on. Loud sounds and noises don't alarm you or spurn you to cry.
I'd like to say more, but we're off now to give you your final test!