It’s been what seems like a long time since I’ve felt that heart-being-ripped-out-of-your-chest kind of fear. Unfortunately, it is back tonight.
After what seemed like a really good day and a great week (I mean, the boy is now wearing diapers that you can actually buy at the store!), Garrin’s oxygen needs increased dramatically for no apparent reason. I put him back in his isolette after kangaroo care and was getting ready to walk out the door when I noticed that he was having a hard time settling in. After more than 20 minutes, I sent my guests on to supper ahead of me while I waited to make sure that things were okay.
Every time the alarm went off and every time the nurse upped the oxygen concentration to no avail, my heart ached more. The NNP, who has been on this journey with us since the beginning, thought maybe Garrin was pulling a Garrin and wanted to give him time. So we gave him time, repositioned him, retaped his tubes, and took a blood gas and a chest X-ray, and nothing worked or revealed what might be causing this sudden need for more respiratory support.
After almost three hours, Garrin was back up to 85%+ oxygen and barely maintaining his saturation levels. At that point, the NNP and I decided I was doing no one any good as stressed out and upset as I was, and for the first time on this journey, I decided to tap out and tap my husband in. He and the kids are in town for what was supposed to be a fun weekend. We had planned to have them come see Garrin before cold and flu season shuts down the NICU to kids. Unfortunately, the NICU roller coaster does not care about our plans. You’d think I’d be used to that, but tonight’s nose dive hit me especially hard. Having my husband take my place by Garrin’s side is one of the hardest things I’ve done in the last 58 days. I mean, Mary watched her son be crucified, and she didn’t walk away. I am not sure why I was —okay, am — having such a hard time dealing with this surprising change in Garrin’s condition. I can only tell you that it has taken me back to those early days of helping Garrin survive each hour so he could survive the next, days that I thought were long gone. Regardless, you can bet that l will be back by his side first thing in the morning.
But for now, my husband is at the hospital, and I am at the hotel. He is updating me via text. Garrin has finally started to maintain his sats consistently, but even after the increased vent settings ordered by the NNP earlier tonight, the nurse has not been able to wean Garrin’s oxygen. As of now, they have stopped his feedings and are giving him fluids. The NNP noticed a spot on an X-ray in Garrin’s abdomen that looked slightly different from his previous X-ray. It might not be anything, but they put him on an antibiotic in case. The nurses spent 45 minutes poking and prodding him to collect blood and urine for labs. We won’t have results for 24-36 hours, so we wait.
This prayer. This prayer continues to be my crutch, especially during these very challenging days.
“Almighty God, bless this dear child, born before their time, yet made in your image and perfect in your sight and Father, we ask that if it be Thy will, that this beautiful infant grow stronger and healthier with each passing day. Give us, O Lord, the strength to entrust to your care, this precious little one so very much beloved, and grant us the grace to pray as Jesus taught us, that ‘Thy will be done.’” ~Unknown