When thinking about Ryan’s time in the NICU, I don’t even know where to begin.
Do I start when we almost lost him?
Do I start when I was almost lost?
This one needs more time and thought.
Updated – 3.19.12
For the last two months, I’ve really wanted to post about Ryan’s NICU days…but I’ve procrastinated on posting for one main reason. It was NOT fun. When having a child, it should be happy and exciting…and don’t get me wrong, I was happy and excited when he was first born; But it was awhile before I have not wanted to dig into those emotions again. I was full of all sorts of them! Excited, lonely, ecstatic, happy, emotional, …….depressed. Very. Depressed. So forgive me if this is not as detailed as his birth story has been so far.
After seeing Ryan for the first time, a nurse brought me back to my room. Between nurses checking up on me and me getting blood work done, I called the NICU to see how Ryan was doing. I also tried to get as much sleep as I could to charge up for the next day when I could spend the whole day with Ryan and work on recovering myself! The first few days were very painful! Looking back and thinking about it, I had 2 major surgeries within 12 hours. Who does that and is excited for the next day?
I was ecstatic. I got to see Ryan; and with me being in the same hospital, I could go see him at anytime!!
Britney was able to come and see me, but it was still a bit iffy if they were going to allow a 6 year old into the NICU since children under 8 were not allowed. When she came to visit me, I would talk about how strong her brother was and how excited I was for her to meet him. She would ask questions, and I would be cautious but honest about everything she asked. I just can’t imagine what was going on in that little head of hers. She was a smart little girl and I was very happy to hear she was still doing very well in school.
Finally, 2 days after her brother was born, Britney was able to meet Ryan!
After much discussion, the Director of Nursing, Ryan’s doctors and nurses, Britney aged two years in a matter of hours…only for the visits to see Ryan of course.
She was mostly excited to hold him but after seeing him in ‘his box’, even when asked if she wanted to hold his hand, she declined. She said she was afraid to but also said she would someday. That “someday” ended up being the day after he came home from the hospital.
The day Britney came to visit Ryan in the NICU was a very good and happy day! The nurses encouraged her to talk to Ryan. She was very shy but when she did talk, he reacted to her voice. She thought that was one of the coolest things.
Because I was still in the hospital and saw Britney once a day, her dad had explained to her a little bit of what to expect when visiting Ryan. She knew it was going to be for the best and the doctors and nurses were only looking out for the best interest of all of us, Ryan especially.
Ryan was on a ventilator, feeding tube, heart monitor, pulsox (pulse oximeter), and was still one of the best looking babies I have ever seen in my life! He had an IV as well, for medications – one specifically I remember – caffeine as it would help his lungs and stimulate him to breathe on his own.
When Ryan opened his eyes, it literally melted my heart causing instant tears of joy. The deepest darkest blue eyes stared right into my soul; Eyes full of stares of hope and encouragement. It was during one of those moments where Ryan and I were staring into each others eyes that I realized I needed to fight and be the mom I was intended to be; for him AND Britney.
To be continued…