OK, so this is a picture of the wreath I made for Zac's gravesite. It meant a lot doing this, and even though it sucks that this is the reason for making this, I felt Zac very much present as I chose ornaments and then put them all together. I love you Zac.
Yesterday Evan had his first of 5 rounds of RSV vaccinations. FORTUNATELY it was 2 nurses (one whom was one of Evan's NICU nurses that cared for him!!!) doing the shots. Because Evan is over 16 pounds he had to get a double dose, so a shot in each leg. Each nurse did a shot at the same time so that Evan just had to go through the realization of "one" poke. He cried for a few seconds, but then I showed him himself in the mirror and he was all smiles again!!! He did soooo good!!! What a trooper I have!! He is so brave!
After the shots we went up to the NICU to visit with some of the nurses. I was also asked to introduce myself to other parents in the NICU waiting room and to share my story with them to encourage them. And you know...it was actually "nice" to be able to share our story, share the boys and our loss of Zac and our blessing with Evan. To encourage them as best as I could with them seeing Evan today and hearing how tiny he was and how early the boys had been.
During my talking to them my absolute most favorite and special nurse came out to see us. I had hoped and hoped she would be there, and fortunately she was able to sneak out quickly. Oh did I give a shriek of joy and did we ever hug...and it took everything in me not to fall to pieces. She held Evan, and my heart was full of joy and love!
After our visit there I went back to my old hospital "home", 4th floor antepartum, where I spent those 5 weeks carrying the boys. I had made plans to come visit one of the many special nurses who cared for me and the boys while I was there. It was so good to see her, and she was so happy to see and meet Evan for the first time!
Evan had a very full and busy morning, and by this time he was WAY past his nap, so I laid him in my arms on our walk back down to meet up with my dad (my parents had come with me that morning) and poor Evan feel right to sleep!!
I got to end the morning nicely by having my hair done while my parents hung out with Evan.
While we were getting Evan's needles done the one nurse brought up how important this season is for all our little preemies. That lots of people won't understand how nervewracking this year will be for us as parents, and how important it is for everyone to understand how very cautious we must be with Evan. Yes, Evan looks healthy and to this point we have been VERY fortunate...but we have also worked VERY VERY hard to keep him healthy. And now this time of year we have to be even MORE cautious and careful. He may look healthy, but our "fight" to keep him healthy this season has only begun. RSV is soooooooooooo common, and so easily transmitted without a carrier even knowing they have been exposed. But to Evan...it could cost him sooooo much if he contracts it. I have seen enough of the inside of a hospital to last me 10 lifetimes, and with the way RSV works on these little ones we would easily end up back in there if Evan were to become ill. So we are working even harder to keep him safe. I have begun to hibernate again with him, and will cautiously take him on outtings. If I don't have to, we won't. We won't even be attending church this RSV/flu season. That will be a bit tough, but God knows where we are, and He knows what we've been through, and He supports our efforts to keep Evan healthy and safe. Yes, people pray for Evan, and we appreciate that more than words, but we also have to be responsible parents and know that we still have to do what is in OUR power to keep him safe and healthy. I guess after going through what we did with Zac...it's hard to not feel somewhat tainted and cautious. I am just being honest here...not disrespectful of prayer or God. But I've also come to learn a very hard lesson that our prayers are not always answered the way we cry out and beg and plead. However, we still pray for our little guy!!!
I remember when I read the book "The Shack". I dog-eared one page because I appreciated one particular paragraph. It reads: "Mack, just because I work incredible good out of unspeakable tragedies doesn't mean I orchestrate the tragedies. Don't ever assume that my using something means I caused it or that I need it to accomplish my purposes. That will only lead you to false notions about me. Grace doesn't depend on suffering to exist, but where there is suffering you will find grace in many facets and colors."
I always think about this passage.
Anyhow, I suppose I should get going. Evan has been napping soundly, but should soon be waking up to eat. So I should get myself organised. When he realizes he's hungry, it's an instant need to eat! He is too funny!!
Evan goes for round 2 of 5 RSV shots again in December. Please pray for Evan during this time of high risk RSV (until May!).