Sunday, December 26, 2010

Out of the mouths of babes

Part of the bargain in getting to take Liam home is that we give him subcutaneous Lovenox (blood thinner) shots twice a day. In the (nonexistent) fat of his thigh.

I've given myself thousands of shots. They sting, sometimes they hurt. When you are a baby, however, they make you cry. Not long, 30 seconds or so, but as a parent, as a mother, I know Liam's pain cry, as opposed to his "I'm mad" cry or his "I'm tired, hold me," cry. I can do the shot, but after I'm pretty much crying with Liam. Well, I feel like crying.

Jeremy HATES giving the shots. He curses the hematologist every time, questions his training and medical opinions, and if I don't remind him to do it with me, he won't initiate the shot-giving.

I've figured out a way to give Liam the shots myself. I still hate it though. I've contemplated not doing the shots, but then I think about the clot, and I do the shot.

Brody is fascinated with the process. He wants to be there every time, wants to watch the shot go in.

Tonight he asked, "Does Liam need a shot?"

Me, sighing. "Yes, we should go do it. I hate giving him the shot."

"Does he need it?"

"Yes, but he cries. He doesn't like it."

"He doesn't like da shots? But, mommy, does he NEED da shot?"

"Yes, he does."

"If he needs da shot, den we have to give it to him. Come on."

I know it doesn't seem like much, but Brody somehow validated my sadness and gave me strength to do more shots.

Or I'm sleep deprived and grasping at straws.

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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

40 before 40

What a strange year. I was so obsessed with my 40 before 40 list. I was planning my own birthday party.

Instead, I am sleeping with two, sometimes 3, different boys. And I'm celebrating my 40th without any planning or lists whatsoever. 2010 has been quite miraculous so far regardless of my best predictions, so I'll let it ride out the same way.

Except for 1. I've had this one thing on my secret 40 before 40 list since about June:

1. Give birth to a healthy baby.
Status: complete.

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Saturday, December 18, 2010

And then there were two...

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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Close the shades

Too much. Too much. Too much.

Liam's here. I have anxiety dreams that I didn't really give birth, that I was never pregnant. But he's here and I love him love him more than I thought I could.

He was born and fine then had meconium, then fluid on his lungs. But then he recovered. We were supposed to go home December 6.

But we didn't. Well, I did. Liam stayed in the NICU. Because during a renal ultrasound - which he got because his brother has renal abnormalities- they found a blood clot. On his aorta. From the feeding tube in his umbilical line. They also found his kidneys work well, but they have reflux like Brody did.

So today is his 2 week birthday and he's still in the NICU.

At first I was terrified. The doc told me when I was by myself and it was out of the blue and I started crying and when he left I curled up in the fetal position and sobbed in my hospital room. Not again. Not again. Not again.

Then for a few days I got it together and was grateful they found the clot and hopeful and positive and oh how the universe works because if Brody had healthy kidneys we never would have found the clot, etc etc.

Then I lost my hold on perspective and just wanted my baby home. The NICU staff wasn't communicating accurate or timely information and I just crumpled into myself. Jeremy went there one night and the next day everyone was overly, like Stepford wife level, ingratiating to me. But I prefer that. And suddenly we started hearing of home.

And the last two days have been a flurry of the NICU changing Liam's IV heparin into injectable Lovenox that I will inject at home- cause the clot isn't gone yet- and us waiting for labs and ultrasounds and discharge paperwork. The Lovenox needs to be in such a dose that it has to be compounded. Which means a special pharmacy that doesn't take insurance because "most" insurance doesn't cover compounding.

Today I watched them stick Liam repeatedly trying to get blood for the labs- 3 separate sessions of screaming pain- but I hung in and was stoic & comforted him without breaking down because, hell, I'm a mother who has lived through watching her first born deal with 14 surgeries and countless sticks & blood draws & pain & casts & blood & stitches & scars....

Then they told me they didn't get enough blood either time for the labs so we couldn't go home tonight.

And I still held it together because it is tomorrow, only 24 more hours, and we will be home. I can keep it together. Right? Right?

Then the compounding pharmacy called me. The cost of a 3 week supply of Lovenox for a 6 lb baby? $410.

And that, dear readers, is the straw that broke the camel's back.

Have you ever tried not to cry while talking to a pharmacist? It's quite lowering.

And I have officially left the land of gratitude and entered the land of angry-I hate the world-the NICU is hell-why us-why MY babies-why right before Christmas-why can't anything EVER be easy-why can't we EVER get ahead-self pity is my middle name.

And I feel like I'm going to stay here a bit. Extend my tourist visa. Maybe I'll stay here illegally. I googled how not to feel sorry for oneself. "Be grateful" "get some perspective" blah blah blah.

I'm done. I want my son home. NOW. I want meds covered by insurance that we pay for. I want a happy birth experience. I want to hold my child whenever I want. I want privacy when I care for my child. I want to breastfeed my son without leads and alarms going off. I want to feel like it's Christmas. I want to take my son home when I get discharged. I want to be ignorant of pulse ox monitors and medical expense tax deductions. I want two nurses who have 50 years experience between them to be able to draw .9 ml of blood without torturing my child with repeated, bruising, excruciating needle insertions. Save your fucking apologies and do it right. I want my sons to MEET EACH OTHER for chrissakes. I want to not have my 4 year old catch me crying in the fucking laundry room. I want to scream, and rage, and hug my boys at the same time and not have to worry about their life expectancy and how we pay for all of the medical bills and how we make our sons happy and healthy and secure. I want a longer maternity leave.

I've become a sociopath. I have no ability to feel sympathy or empathy for anyone but me. And I have a great amount of rage. Directed at .... What? Everyone? Everything? Nothing at all?

It's just too much too much too much.

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Sunday, December 5, 2010

The first 3 days

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Location:E 14th Ave,Denver,United States

Friday, December 3, 2010

Early Christmas gift

Today was rough. Liam is still in the NICU, and Brody is completely scared that I'm in the hospital. He won't climb on the bed with me, but he doesn't want to leave me either. This is added to the disappointment that Brody hasn't yet met Liam because Liam is in the NICU, and kids aren't allowed in cold and flu season.

And we havent held Liam yet because he had the CPAP headgear on.

So it was very upsetting to me tonight when Brody broke down tonight. Jeremy was taking him home and J told him they'd have a "boys night" and Brody crumbled. "No! I don't want to have a boys night! I want us all to be together! I don't wanna leave!" and then, sobbing, he crawled under the chair in my hospital room and closed his eyes.

Then I started crying, and when we hugged he cried those body shaking sobs and I had absolutely no words of consolation for him. He doesn't understand and I miss him too.

Then they left, J carrying a wet-faced, sniffling, bereft Brody, and then I was alone. One son needs me to cuddle him and play with him but I can't and a new son needs me to feed him and cuddle him and I can't.

After crying some more, I went to the NICU and sat with Liam, holding his hand through the window of the crib.

Then the nurse asked if I wanted to hold him. She took off the CPAP gear, and I got to hold my Liam.

And all the months of worry and fear and hidden love came out and I started crying all over again and told him all the things I'd wanted to tell him for forever and he looked at me and squeezed my fingers and his hair feels like velvet and I can't even tell when I'm touching his skin he's so soft and he fell asleep in my arms and I fell asleep in his and for those two hours, all was right in the world.

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Thursday, December 2, 2010


5lbs, 9oz, 19 1/2 inches, loved and loved and loved and loved

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Location:Forest St,Denver,United States