Friday, July 10, 2009

Short and Sweet

Parker is short.

I am sweet.

That is all.

I kid. I kid. This will be a short entry though, I have pools to swim in, beaches to lay on, boardwalks to walk, markets to market and wine tastings to attend- they worry if I don't show up.

So yesterday was the one year anniversary of Pmoney's graduation from the NICU. That is what they call it- a graduation. There was cake- strike that there were several full double layer sheet cakes, clowns, face painters, photographers, it truly was a celebration. He even got a diploma with his name on it! Too freaking cute!

Of course I am going to frame it, duh!

I was hoping I would see a few other parents from the NICU who were there the same time as us. There was a baby named Brent, his mom and I seemed to always go to the pumping room at the same time. The pumping room is a closet like space in the NICU portion of the hospital where mom's go to pump milk. There are curtains, bottles of sanitizer and many pages of brightly, boldly printed directions on how to properly pump breast milk in this room. Brent's mom, Jenna, and I would talk through the curtains as we pumped. Sometimes we laughed, sometimes we didn't, sometimes we exchanged recipes and suggestions for good nursing bras.

When Parker left, I remember looking at Jenna's husband as he sat in the "louge" area, and gently whispering, "Your turn is coming." But their son took a bad turn that day and I'm not sure how their story ended. Jenna's husband was in the military, so I'm not even sure where she is. They were not at the graduation.

There was another lady with a little girl who had heart surgery the day Psizzle was discharged. The mother had high hopes and she said the doctors did too. She was not at the graduation either. This mother also had 2 other kids, so maybe they had other things going on yesterday and couldn't make it.

However, we did see a family who was there the same time as us. They had a little boy named Tristan who was so small in his incubator that you could not even see his bitty body from 4 beds away. Tristan spent a grueling 93 days in the NICU and is going to be a big brother in October.

Not to get all emotion, I swear I have more going on in my life than reliving the NICU experience, but it was a day of smiles, thank you's and fighting back tears. I was in a room full of people who understood exactly how I felt. To them, I was even the blessed one because my son was only there for 15 days. To some, Tristan was lucky for only being there 93 days. For all NICU parents, time is a black hole.

I did get to see some of the nurses who helped make Parker healthy and here are some of the comments I heard:

(He's not really- except for his feet- but when she last saw him he weighed 9 lbs and now he's 24lbs).

"You are glowing!"

"I TOTALLY remember Parker!" - This may seem insignificant, but these nurses see a ton of babies and when someone sincerely remembers your baby, that is awesome.

The previous comment was followed by, "You cried a lot. That broke my heart."

The nurse who said this was one of my favorites. She told me that last October she was diagnosed with breast cancer and is still undergoing radiation. I plan on doing one of the 2 or 3 day breast cancer walks next spring as a thank you to her. I'm serious, who's in?

The best thing I heard all day was from a nurse who should be an Drill Sergent in the Army- meaning she is not a sappy, flowering, huggy type person. I don't think I ever saw her smile. Not that there is a lot of smiling in the NICU, but it does happen. She is the one who wheeled Pman out of the hospital on July 9, 2008. She looked right at me and said, "Diaphragmatic Hernia babies DO NOT leave the hospital a week after surgery. I hope you realize that you are truly blessed."

I do, scary nurse lady, I promise!!