Monday, May 5, 2014
The Things We've Seen Change
Be careful what you wish for. Your mother and I were hoping you'd spend a few more days in the NICU so that we could get over these nasty colds before you came home, but now that we are better, we can't get you out! The date inches back, day by day. It was supposed to be Friday, but when Friday came, it was bumped to Monday. Now that it is Monday, it's been bumped to Wednesday. There is nothing explicitly wrong with you, except for a few small things here and there. A few days ago, you needed some "blow by" oxygen when you experienced some reflux. The likely cause of the reflux episode? You eat too much. Most preemies have issues with eating too little, so the staff didn't really bother to give you a "feeding cap" when they took you off of the milk fortifier. They just let your appetite be the guide, to which your appetite replied, "OM NOM NOM." The good news is the reflux episode hasn't repeated itself and all of the things that once appeared like problems (your heart rate, for instance) have slowly disappeared.
I don't mind so much that you are still stuck here for the time being. Since we've been sick the past few weeks, this time will give your mother and I an opportunity to reflect a bit on our stay here. The three months we've spent in the NICU with you have been dilated in my mind. It feels like a lengthy chapter of my life has come and gone.
Over these three months, we've called two new places home, yet in all the years your mother and I have lived together, we had only ever lived in two different places until you were born. It's as though we've suddenly added two mile markers to a long journey that only ever had two before.
We've seen you go from barely over a pound to nearly six. It typically takes years to watch a child double in size, but we've seen you quadruple it in a fraction of that time.
We've been through more worry and emotional turmoil than the total sum experienced during the previous thirty years of our lives.
It feels as though I just spent four years off at college or that I'm returning from a decade long life overseas. And why shouldn't I feel that way? The way that we measure lengthy periods in our minds is with how much has changed in that time. And so much has changed.