Friday, May 22, 2009
We are back home!!
Hello everyone. We are home once again. The surgery went well, and now it's time to heal and recouperate! Yesterday morning when we handed our baby to the OR nurse I lost it. It was so hard to do. Once the surgery was over the doctor came and talked to us and said that Evan did perfect with his anesthetic, and with the surgery. By the time I got to go to the recovery room Evan's breathing tube was already out, and man oh man was he screaming. It broke my heart. We were both wheeled up in a wheelchair...me holding and comforting Evan. He did really well, and then just after lunch he was having trouble with his breathing and his respiratory numbers were low and sporadic. So he was watched closely. And that's where my mental breakdown began. It was so hard to have him back on monitors and listening to the beeps again. My wonderful mother came and hung out with me once more throughout the night. I finally got a few hours of sleep...but I don't think my mom got any! We knew there could be some breathing issues with Evan due to his history of apneas and brady's...so we we should have been mentally prepared, but I had had NO sleep the night before the surgery so as the day had progressed I broke down more and more. Everything was hitting me, and I was beyond overwhelmed. Through the later day and evening Evan's breathing got much better. By this morning we were ignoring the monitor completely. I stopped by the NICU to say hello to some of the nurses and a couple of the moms that I have come to care about. I had a nice chat with everyone, and a few of the nurses came to Evan's room to see him!! It was so sweet!! I wanted to smuggle Evan out of little Ped's and take him back to the NICU. It is SUCH a different atmosphere, and little ped's is so much more independent. At one point I didn't see Evan's nurse for a couple of HOURS!! It was a good thing I didn't leave his side or I don't know WHO would have been paying attention to him!! It was just frustrating after having such care in the NICU. But we managed. Anyhow, just after 2pm we got the word that Evan had been cleared for discharge. It was GREAT!! Before we left we stopped by the NICU one more time and saw some of the nurses, one of Evan's neonatologists and the resident neonatologist. Everyone was so happy to see how well he was doing. The ride home was nice! Nice to know we were heading home and nice to know that for the most part, we are done with the hospital. I will be happy when Evan is right back to his old self and not dealing with healing. His surgery was done laprascopically, so it was less invasive and the incisions are so hard to even see! Pretty cool! Today Evan's appetite has been huge! But yesterday he hadn't eaten anything for 11 hours. He had an IV, but no milk for 11 hours. So he is making up for it today! Right now he is sound asleep in his bed with the occassional grunt and squirm. He is on Tylenol for pain control, but he doesn't seem to be too uncomfortable so that's good. We met a young mother last night who just blew us away. Her daughter was born with a spinal disease, and with this disease children aren't expected to live past the age of 2. She had come in JUST to have her daughter's nasal prongs changed, but in receiving saline, the fluid entered her lungs and began a spiral of downward events. We watched as this young (and I mean young) mother doted over her daughter, patting her back, adjusting her positions (she can't move on her own), suctioned her daughter's mouth and throat and rocked with her daughter in her arms. Today something big happened and they were whisked away to PICU and then brought back to the isolation area of little ped's. She saw my mom and told her that she was told that her daughter had maybe hours, days or weeks left to live. She signed a DNR because she no longer wants her daughter to suffer. She and my mom had a good talk last night while I slept. My mom shared my story with her, and she said to my mom that of all the animals lambs are the only ones to sacrifice themselves in the place of another member or their herd...and that Zac sacrificed himself like a little lamb for the life of his brother Evan. As my mom shared this story with me (while we were drinking our starbucks in the main mall), we both broke down in to tears. I miss my Zac. I prayed the whole time Evan was in surgery that Zac was looking over his brother once more. I truly believe that Evan has his brother right by his side every minute of every day. Evan has an angel that knows his name. I am still so broken that Zac is not right here with us. That we don't get to look in his crib and see those beautiful searching eyes looking up at us. That Evan will never get to be with his brother again until heaven. And as we watch others with their sets of twins and see the joy the get...it hurts knowing that our little boy is missing from the picture or our family. We only get to hold him in our hearts. And then I get angry. Angry that God gets to enjoy him while we continue to mourn for him. I'm angry that such a big sacrifice had to be made by my first born son in order to protect his brother and his mommy. And I don't understand why such a huge thing would be asked of such a little angel. I know he doesn't want me to be sad or to be angry. And for the most part I do my best not to be. I am grateful for such a special little boy who saved our lives. I am grateful that one day we will all be together again. I was blessed with 28 precious weeks with him, and then 3 days to love him and to be able to say goodbye to our amazing little boy. I am such a mix of emotions right now. I know that I will continue to feel like this. All the confusion, all the changes in our lives and adaptions we've made. I have spent the past 3+ months of my life in the hospital, and now that we are done with it...I feel almost lost. I miss the wonderful people I met in NICU, and miss the friendships that were formed even through the circumstances. I feel like I have to readjust to life from today on. Like today is the beginning of the rest of our lives. And I almost don't know how to deal with it. I am excited from this point on to be focused on Brett and Evan and all that life has for us. I am excited for Evan to be completely healed and just getting to enjoy our healthy, strong little boy. I guess right now I am just tired for all that has gone on. And realizing that from today on we have a "fresh start" so to speak. I am realizing just how exhausted I am!! I think I could sleep for a week!! Thank goodness Evan bottle feeds too...I think Brett will be on feed-duty tonight!! 2 nights of no sleep is no good!! I'm excited for June 22nd!! That marks 6 weeks of Evan being home, and the time that we are "freed" to be out in public with Evan!!! I've had lots of people ask what they can do to help us out...and I'd like to throw something out there. The NICU has become a very special part of our lives. The babies in there are special children and people who have never experienced the NICU will never understand what goes on in there. I would like to ask that if any of you feel led, the NICU desperately needs sleepers of small sizes (ESPECIALLY preemie). If people feel led I would love to ask that if you have the means to purchase a sleeper (either yourself or as a group) and then get them to me, I am planning to gather as many sleepers as I can and they will be donated to the NICU in memory of Zac! I want Zac to be an angel to carry on something special to others in need in the NICU. This will also be a request made once Evan's baby shower is organized...that for every gift Evan receives that a sleeper will also be brought for donation to the NICU in memory of Zac. The anit-scratch mitties would be a good item as well! I will take the donated sleepers/mitties to the NICU at the end of June or beginning of July. Anyhow, I suppose I should go. Evan is beginning to stir so I should be ready for him! Thank you so much for all your prayers before, during and continuing on for Evan regarding his surgery...well...his life in general! You are all angels to him!!