Sunday, December 28, 2008

The First Real Scare

And there we were, going along; waxing rhapsodic about diaper changes and then the house of cards comes down. I had only slightly understood what a house of cards is. I am now intimately familiar with this architecture. It’s funny, there’s no foundation.

I’ve been quiet on this page since the earliest December because we have been in the hospital. Our Willa, ever the adrenaline fiend, thought she would give us a good ole fashioned scare and teach us a Christmas lesson of love and gratitude. Didn’t particularly need the lesson but thanks anyway baby.

The morning of December 5th I awoke to the voice of my husband saying, “Oh my God.” This has not boded well in the past. For good reason. And now we had this sight to rocket us up and down to Philadelphia to Children’s Hospital at 6 am: she kicked out her g-tube overnight and the stoma had healed over. She smiled.

Long story short, g-tube was replaced in office by surgeon, sadly not in her stomach and the two feeds we emptied into her abdominal cavity combined with her meds produced a very unfortunate reaction. The baby went blue, her pupils would not react to light, she would not respond to me and she went very quiet.

She had emergency surgery to fix the tube and clean out her abdomen but by then she was a mess. She required a blood transfusion, she spiked a temp of 104 degrees, she wasn’t breathing and her heart rate was through the roof. She was also in terrible terrible pain.

It was the first time we were scared for her life and it was a singular experience to put it mildly. Colin and I stood like scarecrows at the foot of her bed while the doctors worked on her, tubes and wires leeched to her tiny frail body. She looked like a doll thrown into a thicket of brambles and just as unreachable. A piece of my heart broke off.

We then spent two weeks rebuilding, slowly slowly recalibrating everything. Her meds, her feeds, her calorie counts. Rather than bouncing back there were bouncelets. But she’s home, smiling again and she picked up a few new tricks in the hospital.

She’s yelling. Baby’s first vocalizations of any great volume. Willa yells, then looks at us with the greatest wonder. “Yes, you did that” we say and again, always, with her whole face, eyes and body, she smiles.

Our Christmas lessons of love and gratitude? Love your children and be thankful for them. They can be taken away. It’s that simple. The piece of my heart that broke off took its own journey this month. It came back to me carrying a suitcase plastered with foreign stickers of exotic locales. But it came back. We all did. And I am so very very happy.


Chrystal said...

That was scary to read, so I can only imagine your very real life feelings.

I'm glad to know that she's home and doing better. Your description of her smile sounds absolutely perfect.

Cate said...

Very scary. I'm glad she's okay.

anahita said...

oh no,i'm sorry for what happened.
I can't even believe things like this can happen.
I'm glad everything is ok now.