February 27, 2011

Keep Your Arms Inside the Cart At All Times

From day one, the NICU doctors and nurses have repeatedly told us each preemie experience is unique, but they're all roller coaster rides of epic ups and soul-crushing downs. Beyond that, the roller coaster analogy simply breaks apart, because roller coaster rides are generally an enjoyable experience, whereas the NICU experience just generally sucks.

It's more apt to characterize the NICU experience as a manic-depressive journey you have no choice but to embark upon.

As you may have surmised, Zoey took a few steps back today from yesterday's unexpected and substantial advances. For starters, she's back on the CPAP, because she was having too many--and severe--apnea spells when wearing just the nasal O2 cannula. She can still go an occasional hour without the CPAP, but the longer term trial is on hold until she gets her strength back.

While going back on the CPAP wasn't completely unexpected, the impact to Zoey's strength is very disappointing because it means Kangaroo Care is also on hold. Now, while I enjoy Kangaroo Care, my wife depends on it. For her, holding Zoey is as necessary as breathing itself, so when she was told she couldn't hold Zoey last night or this morning, it was like kicking her in the stomach.

There's still some hope my wife will be able to hold Zoey tonight, but I'm dreading they'll say no, because it casts a shadow over everything we do until she's able to hold her again.

At least it gives us another "up" to look forward to, if nothing else.

Posted by Ryan at February 27, 2011 01:51 PM | TrackBack

Yes, holding Zoey again will give you and your wife an up to look forward to. If you don't have something to look forward to the days can look endlessly black and you don't want to get out of bed in the morning. Sometimes when the big things seem overwhelming it is often the little things that sustain us until we have ridden out the wave. One of the ways I cope with bad days is by keeping a goodie hidden in the house somewhere where none of the piglets in my family can find it. When I have a bad day I know I can at least count on something sweet and chocolatety waiting for me at home (there's been a box of See's truffles in the vacuum cleaner closet for over a month now and nobody's found it. They can smell the chocolate on my breath but they can't make me talk.) It's a small thing, but every little bit helps. With every day and every ounce Zoey gains she is getting bigger and stronger and some day she'll be tearing through the house whooping and hollering and you'll have a hard time remembering her fragile beginnings.

Posted by: Kirstin at February 28, 2011 12:44 AM

Looking forward to the day when you tell us that little Zoey is coming home with you.

Posted by: Keith at February 28, 2011 11:47 AM
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