Final Goodbye

A lot has happened since our little Miracle Man was two pounds and in NICU fighting for every breath, for every heart beat. It is almost hard for me to remember where it all began as I look at our healthy, bouncing twenty-six pound boy. Our son who came home with more wires attached to him than most TV’s have is now completely cord and monitor free for the first time in almost eleven months. Hallelujah, and yet I am terrified. It is so hard to let go of the security those machines provide, especially when you have been able to depend on that technology from day one.

Miracle Man came home on oxygen 24/7, a heart rate monitor, an apnea monitor and a pulse ox monitor. First thing to change was the amount of time he was on the monitors, then the oxygen left during the day, then the oxygen left a night, then the heart rate and apnea monitor left and now we are finished with the pulse ox monitor. No cords, ever? No numbers to verify how healthy he is at the exact moment I want them? How does that work?

Monitors, Monitors Everywhere

Monitors, Monitors Everywhere

Preemie Parents

Preemie parents are a different breed, those first few glorious days, weeks and months with our little ones are colored by the constant worry about their bodies not being ready for this big world. Every breath is precious, every obstacle overcome is headline news in our lives, even the simple ones. We gain ridiculous amounts of knowledge in a short amount of time. I use words and acronyms now that I forget are not commonplace for most parents. Few parents can tell you the typical heart rate, respiration rate and saturation levels of their babies at sleep, play and while eating. For most parents, once the baby starts sleeping through the night the parents are able to sleep through the night as well. Preemie parents are setting alarms to get up and check the various monitors all night. It is just a different life. Not better, not worse, but different.

MY

Goodbye Hurts

I know when we first came home from NICU I was so upset that our monitors at home did not display numbers like the monitors in the NICU. While sitting beside our Miracle Man’s crib in the hospital I could watch the numbers and the pattern of all his various vitals and I could see alarms coming before they started and sometimes intervene before the event occurred. I did not have that luxury when we got home. I had to wait for the alarm to sound. That was my first sign that I was hooked on the ability to instantly check in on my son’s vitals and health. No wondering and less worry I could look and know in a second.

Each machine leaving was an adjustment. We would go to a specialist appointment (Can I get an Amen Preemie Mom’s? We see those specialists more than our husbands sometimes) and leave one machine short and I would be simultaneously happy dancing through the parking lot and fighting off panic. It would take a few days of me feeling like I could not take my eyes of Miracle Man for a second before I would relax and adjust to the new limited machine configuration.

Now we are down to zero machines and I am in the middle of my happy dancing panic. Miracle Man fell asleep easily and now comes the hard part; I am supposed to sleep with no verification that he is doing well. I know he is doing amazingly well and that he will be fine. I will just have to remind myself that about a million times between now and morning.

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