Nothing Comes Easy

This sweet baby boy has been on this planet for two whole weeks already. Nothing about those precious hours and minutes has been easy, but I wouldn’t trade one of them for anything.

Looking back to his delivery and the days that we have spent in the NICU, it is hard to reconcile how quickly and yet at the same time slowly time passes. Two weeks ago, this little miracle, who was supposed to be an early Christmas present, was born. That night, we were presented with the most harrowing statistics, but we refused to think of our child as just a number. The odds are against Garrin, there’s no doubt about that, but he is a fighter.

Today was another day fraught with complications. It has seemed lately that the difficulties have significantly outweighed the improvements, but even in the darkest hour, we will not give up hope. Today, Garrin was moved to a new type of ventilator as he was no longer responding to the oscillator which he had been on for most of his NICU stay. He was tapped out on the support settings and on full oxygen yet was still desating. Additionally, his blood gas analysis indicated ongoing issues with his lungs’ ability to move oxygen into his blood and carbon dioxide out of it. These issues spurred the decision to move Garrin to a more traditional type of ventilator. It was a little overwhelming watching the nurses and respiratory therapists unhook one machine to replace it with another as this process required the nurse practitioner to use what is called a Neopuff to keep Garrin alive. Every second or so, the nurse practitioner would push a button which forced air into his lungs, giving him oxygen.

The ventilator change was completed successfully, and the manual puff of air did the trick. Garrin seems to be responding slightly better to this ventilator as his last blood gas analysis was “beautiful.” It’s evident that he can tell the difference as he is moving around all over the place inside his isolate tonight. But the best thing about the ventilator change is that I will get to really HOLD HIM. Barring any major complications, we will start SKIN TO SKIN, kangaroo care TOMORROW. This is seriously amazing news, and I cannot wait. I did have the chance to pick him up today, which I am more than grateful for, but I am elated at the idea of having my sweet miracle lay on my chest.

I know the doctors are hoping for faster progress in terms of respiratory support, but Garrin is doing things at his own pace on his own schedule. He has been since he was born. Even the nurses say that he is the boss. Garrin sure thinks he’s the boss. Even at 2 weeks old, he thinks he needs to help the healthcare professionals do things like insert a PICC line, move his breathing tube, and adjust his NG tube. Last night, he even pulled off his temperature probe. He was holding the temp probe in his hand, which caused the bed to think he was cool and heat up. When we did his cares, he was toasty warm. This kid, I tell you — so much personality for someone who isn’t even supposed to be born yet.

Garrin’s birth, although much earlier than expected, has really helped us to re-examine our priorities. It goes without saying, but life and love are such a precious gifts, ones that should never be taken for granted. This experience has also helped us to strengthen our relationship with God, and it has challenged us to dig deep within ourselves to be who both God and Garrin need us to be. For these reasons, we will be forever grateful. This quote from by Caitlin from Poems Lovers hits the nail on the head: “Sometimes what you want isn’t always what you get, but in the end what you get is so much better than what you wanted.”

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