Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Baby Bubbles

Toddlers get hurt. While it is sad to see your little one bump and scrape themselves, I think all parents know going into toddlerhood that there is likely going to be a bit of blood, a lot of mess and possibly some stitches.

What we don't expect as parents is to see our tiny new baby in any pain or through the clear plastic walls of an incubator. We aren't warned about the possibility of tubes up our newborns nose. No one provides us with any sort of buffer about this horrible place called a NICU. We go into the whole thing thinking the labor is going to be the hardest part and then poof! a baby is here and all’s well again.

I've made no secret of my history with the Hopkins NICU. I try not to dwell on it, but there is something about the NICU experience that stays with me- always. When I meet another mom who has gone through this hellish place, I instantly feel connected to her.

I have 3 friends who I have known for a very long time. These ladies were a part of the shelter I surrounded myself with, after P was born.

On Monday, one of them had her second son- he was 3 weeks early. Eighteen months ago, when she was delivering her first son the labor and delivery part was horrendous. I will spare the details, but the girl had an insanely difficult go of it. This time around, the delivery is what you see in movies- three pushes and POP out came the babe. Easy breezy.

As I was on the phone trying to coordinate a sitter for P, so I could go meet the newest little tyke, I got a call from my friend's husband. The baby was sent to the NICU. He had stopped breathing at some point through the night. I'm hearing this news and asking questions as P and a friend of his play in our melting blow up pool on the deck. They are splashing around and fighting over bubbles and sunglasses. I am fighting back tears.

In these moments of desperation and helplessness, I always try to observe what is going on around me. It's like I want to capture the moment in my head exactly the way it happened. I want to remember everything, which is ironic because when P was born, I just wanted to forget everything.

Parker and his friend were so busy in their toddler world, sliding around the pool and inhaling bubble solution because they sucked in instead of blowing out.

In the moment, they were delighted and I was devastated.

As I hung up the phone with my friend's husband with promises to pass the news onto our other friends, I saw something profound. Well profound in Parker's world.

After months of trying, Parker successfully blew his first set of bubbles. Once all the solution was out of the wand and P’s bubbles were floating all around the deck he looked at me with a, "DID YOU SEE THAT!?" expression.

It made his day. It made my day. Thanks buddy, I needed that.

**Baby update: It looks like major acid reflux is the culprit, but we will not know for sure until some more tests are done. The baby is doing better today, but will likely be in the NICU for about a week.

** Welcome to the new followers! I'm not always this much of a downer.


Nancy C said...

It stays with you, but there are the bubbles and smiles that keep you in the present.

I'm so sorry that your friend is dealing with this.

Lesley said...

I can't imagine, I don't want to imagine. I feel for your friend (and you, all over again) - big time - now more than ever, with this miracle of my own growing inside me. I will think wonderful thoughts for her and her family...