Nothing hurts a mother more than seeing her tiny brand new baby be taken away. Especially before I got a chance to hold or kiss my sweet baby. As I laid there on the table unable to move while the doctors spent another 30 minutes repairing the damage that was done to my body, I wanted so badly to follow my baby and his father. As Ethan was taken away Joel came to my side, kissed me, and followed suit. There goes my family. At this point I was alone and left to listen to the doctors conversations while feeling all of the pressure and pulling behind the blue sheet that blocked my view. I don’t really remember what the conversations were about but I do remember that the topics were weird for me to be overhearing.
As I was heading to the recovery room, Joel arrived by my side. He reassured me that Ethan was doing fine and set up in his new room but that he was more worried about me, since he did got to see behind that evil blue sheet. On the way to my new room the gurney stopped and the lady transporting me handed me a phone and told me, “Push the green button.” What? You want me to make a phone call? Ummm, what? To who? I was so confused but I listened and pushed the green button. As I was trying to bring the phone to my ear the lady grabbed the phone back from me and we were back on our way. What just happened? I can’t remember who told me but apparently I called Ethan’s birth announcement over the hospital intercom. I don’t even remember hearing the little chimes.
Once in the recovery room and settled in, I wanted nothing more than to rush to Ethan’s side. I told Joel I wanted to go see him right away. Of course Joel knew Ethan was in good hands and being taken care of. But I had no idea what had happened to him, where he was, if he was hurting or for sure if he was okay. I needed to go see him. Which meant that I had to get out of the bed after being cut open. Secret time, I’m terrified of getting hurt. If it causes pain and I wasn’t in charge of the pain being caused, I want no part of it. All I know was I had a huge incision across my belly and all my stomach muscle were ruined. I haven’t even taken the time to look at it let alone ask what kind of bandage was covering it or how I was closed. Stitches, staples or glue? Sitting up and moving was going to hurt like hell. Every inch and every twist burned but I was determined. I was going to get to my baby one way or another. Luckily for me, I had the help of my strong husband and the nurse to help me into the wheelchair. Which I think was Joel’s favorite part about being in the hospital, pushing me in the wheelchair. Every time Joel wheeled me to Ethans room and back, I had to remind him not to go to fast or I’d throw up, watch out for the bumps, and stop making me laugh.
First time going to the NICU felt so surreal. The hallways seemed to go on forever, the sounds coming from the other rooms of babies crying, nurses talking and machines beeping all blended together. Then there it was, room 345. As we walked up to the door, we were greeted with Ethan’s nurses. They were so kind and egger to meet us. Then we enterer room 345. The room was big with a bay window, a recliner, a sofa, and a big covered isolette in the middle. Seeing how big his room was, was not what I expected. Bigger than I expected. You always see on TV the rooms with multiple babies together, that’s what I was expecting.
Seeing my baby in his isolette hooked up to so many wires. The nose cannula, his feeding tube sticking out of his mouth, the wires taped to his chest monitoring his vitals, a shiny little gold heart stuck under his armpit monitoring his body temp, the cords running into his belly button and the censor wrapped around his foot keeping track of his breathing. His body skin and bones with a thin layer of skin. This was my first real moment with my son. As I watch his chest rise and sink with every breath he took, I know we was strong and a fighter. I learned then how little he was. 2 lbs. 4.2 oz. and 13.5 inches long. He was so small.
At this point I was a lost mother. I didn’t know how to handle taking care of a preemie. I wasn’t sure if I could or how to touch him. How to move his little body to change his diapers. When it came time, I was so scared. During his first care time, we watched as the nurse showed us what to do and I kept getting distracted with his tiny hand as he grasped my finger. His hands were so small they could only grab the tips of my fingers. Ethan’s grip was strong and I never wanted to let him go.