Testing Our Courage

It has been more than a week since Garrin underwent his baby makeover.  We struggled this week – downright struggled – to deal with his tearful, soundless cries.  We knew it was coming, and we knew it would be hard, but we didn’t know it would be this hard.

Garrin has always been an even-tempered baby: He would cry when he was hungry or needed changed, but other than that, he was happy as a clam.  Unfortunately, that does not describe my sweet baby’s demeanor in the last couple of days. 

The doctor and NNPs are working to wean Garrin off the heavy pain and sedation medications that have kept him comfortable since surgery, and he is experiencing withdrawals.  He has spit up more than normal and is extremely irritable, crying and crying and crying.  Tears run down his face, but he doesn’t make a sound. Scott and I and even his nurse do everything that we can to calm him: we rock, sing, pat, swaddle, and more, and most times, nothing seems to cut it.  Tears run down my face when I can’t do anything to make him feel better and even more when I’m the one that upsets him.  Trach care must be done – I know that – but he hates it, and right now, that too is hard for me.

My husband and kids were up to visit this weekend. It was the first time I got to see my older kiddos for more than an hour in two weeks.

My oldest expressed that she is afraid of Garrin’s trach today.  She didn’t even want to go see her baby brother. I feel like I failed her and her brothers by letting them see my discontentment and concern rather than putting on my game face for them.  We took them to the hospital today, and I tried to talk with her about how the trach is something that we will get used to and that it is something that Garrin needs to come home.  It didn’t seem to be enough though.  She wouldn’t get within three feet of him and she didn’t talk with him at all.  She kept saying that she afraid of the trach and that she doesn’t like not hearing him. Ditto, baby girl.  Ditto.

“When we least expect it, life sets us a challenge to test our courage and willingness to change; at such a moment, there is no point in pretending that nothing has happened or in saying that we are not yet ready. The challenge will not wait. Life does not look back.” ~Paulo Coelho

***If you have any suggestions for helping siblings deal with a baby’s new trach, please message me here or on my Facebook page, My NICU Mom Life.