Friday, July 5, 2013

Duking it out

 Since the moment that helicopter left for Duke I knew emotionally I needed to get there ASAP but the rational me wanted to wait until we had a plan that made sense. I was ready to leave right then, but played with the idea of leaving in the morning. A quick call to Mom and it was settled, we would go home to pack and head up.
 We got in around 9pm and walked back to see him. Through the door we had to get buzzed in to, a stop at the sink to scrub, a quick right and a glance later we were together again. It was magical. One of the students sat holding my guy in her arms. Something must have told her that is what I needed to see! It was reassuring for sure. Definitely let me know he was being loved even when I wasn't there. Of course I couldn't wait to get that nugget in my arms again.

  We met a couple next to us with the sweetest little 1 1/2 year old, Hunter. His dad was military and his mom had a baby girl a day after I had Hudson. They were from Ft.Bragg so he offered some much appreciated guidance to Shane and I on leave and insurance information. There wasn't a day that went by that we didn't think about that little man. So much so that as we were out picking up new blankets for Hudson we came across the perfect hospital friendly toy for Hunter and without a second thought brought it back for him. They took our first family photo (of 4) for us. Occasionally, we would run into his father in the hall and catch up on each others babies. It's amazing how quickly your heart grows to make room for these families facing the same situation.

 I thought as we walked in everyday that this was officially the saddest place to ever. Sick babies crying, toddlers with IV poles racked with meds and children crying for their moms at night. Witnessing the effort put forth for these sick kids just to walk around the unit, 3 nurses pulling machines and pushing poles, acknowledging that was all the equipment that was keeping them alive. Even with PIC lines in their neck, masks on their faces, they almost always had smiley eyes. So happy just to be out of that bed, in that room where they spend so much time.

  After talking to the Dr.'s our plan was to get our boy to gain weight. Our mom, dad, sister and Emerson came up the next day, it was rough for them as well because they had all been able to visit him in the NICU everyday whilst at Cape Fear, but this new move meant less visits. There was a memorable moment in this move..after two weeks Em was able to meet her brother. She loved it and I know it did me wonders.
Having both of my loves in my arms.....Something I started to think I would never get to experience.

    There were no major procedures or revelations so after a week in the PCICU (pediatric cardiac intensive care unit) so we were transferred to a step down unit. I was able to hold and love on my little as much as I wanted. We were able to sleep in the same room and could actually have family time without worrying if Emerson was bothering anyone or being concerned about how many people were in the room with us.

I wouldn't have made it without my mom and sister. They have become an extension of me, knowing what I need when I need it and being there. Phenomenal ladies right here.
Though all of those perks didn't come without a price, the care was completely different. No round the clock nurse always feet away. Hudson was basically totally alone when we had to go eat or make a trip to Fayetteville for paperwork. That made me feel extremely guilty but it wasn't like I could pack him up and bring him with. As much as I thought about busting him out...that just wasn't an option.
  The one night we had to spend away we came back to a bad report. Hud had been inconsolable. My heart hurt and my mommy brain said it was totally my fault for not being there. As soon as I scooped him up all of his stats improved so that didn't help my guilt at all, but at least he was doing better.
The next morning at around 4:30am Hud had a fever and was experiencing an increased difficulty with breathing. The nurse had the rapid response team called to his bedside. Basically, the PCICU Dr's and nurses come over and access the patient and decide on whether or not they will take the patient back with them. Of course, Hud made the trip. We moved out of our room in the step down unit and waited to go back to see him in the PCICU.

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