Thursday, February 08, 2007

A difficult evening

Last night the dam burst. Here's what happened:

I drove up to the hospital right after work and got there just after Hester's feeding. She was awake and calm when I arrived just after 7pm, and I held her, talked to her, and read to her until she fell asleep. She was peaceful and relaxed, and I fell asleep immediately with her in my arms (this is strictly verboten in the hospital). I covered when her nurse came to give her some meds at 8pm, but a few minutes later I fell asleep again.

Some 20 minutes later, I came to and realized I needed to get on the road in order to be safe to drive. Also, I didn't want to get busted sleeping with the baby. I absolutely hated to do it, but I put Hester in her crib and got her settled before telling her nurse that I needed to get on the road if I was going to make it back to Worcester in one piece. Unfortunately for me, Hester's nurse last night was Karen, a rather cold person who seems to be suffering a bit of compassion fatigue. She said, "Oh, you're leaving so soon? Are you going to be back tonight?"

Way to pour alcohol in an open wound, Karen.

I'd already been feeling really sad and guilty, but Karen's comment touched off the tears. As I wrote a little note in Hester's journal wishing her a peaceful night, I couldn't hold off the flood. I managed to get off the unit and into the elevator before the sobs came, and I walked through the long empty corridors of the hospital shaking with sadness. By the time I got outside I was crying out loud, those tired little kid sobs that take over your whole body. When I got to the car I just put my head down on the steering wheel and cried and cried.

I called Petunia several minutes later and she helped calm me down. I drove home safely (though on the phone with Petunia for most of that hour), and when I got home I crawled right into bed with a flannel blanket of Hester's I'd brought home from the hospital to wash. I fell asleep immediately, thank goodness. I slept hard and let myself sleep in a bit this morning.

Of course, when I woke up today my eyes were black from sleep deprivation and swollen from crying so hard. I caught Petunia's cold during the night as well, so I spent several hours this morning coughing and blowing my nose before the cold meds caught up with me. I felt like ass, physically and emotionally. Not a pretty sight.

I called the NICU around 8:30am this morning and spoke with Debby, Hester's day nurse. I started crying again during our conversation, but I felt loads better when Debby reassured me that Hester'd had a good night. I know she's in good hands with Debby, too. (She's in fine hands with Karen as well, but Karen doesn't talk with her and love on her the way that Debby does.) I just called again a few minutes ago and Hester's doing much better, eating well and going down on her medicine. Truly, what a relief.

Tonight my plan is to stay with Hester for a few hours at the hospital, then come home to our flannel sheets and doggy and kitties. Petunia will be there as well. It's always better when both of us are there with Hester, so I'm glad for all 3 of us that we'll be together tonight.

Despite last night's meltdown, I'm feeling optimistic again right now. Tomorrow at 5:10pm Hester will be 4 weeks old, and she's the very apple of my eye. I try to remind myself that this is what we have to do to get through her stay in the hospital: take things day by day, go easy on ourselves, and know that Hester grows stronger and healthier all the time. In 3 weeks or so we'll be bringing her home, and what a happy day that will be! Perhaps it will be all the sweeter for the tough times we're experiencing now.

Fingers crossed, anyway.



Blogger Sparkly Spiral Girl said...

(delurking to say...)
Hang in a parent you'll always have one person or another trying to make you feel guilty for your choices. Keep doing what you have been. You need to stay healthy and alive for Petunia and Hester.

Congrats on your beautiful family. You are all in my thoughts.

2:55 PM  
Anonymous Jenny PP said...

Oh no, poor Clementine!

I can imagine how this must take its toll but of course Hester is in good hands at the hospital and she's not going to hold it agains her Mama for going home and getting some sleep, I promise!

I'm sure you're counting the days when you can have her all to yourself all the time. In the meantime try not to let yourself feel guilty... not that you have much control over it. But there's no reason you should. You'll have lots of time to Lennie her to pieces at all hours of the day and night once she's at home with you.

Not that you would do such a thing.

2:56 PM  
Blogger Canada said...

Thinking lots of good thoughts and sending lots of love to all of you.

3:40 PM  
Anonymous Round is Funny said...

I'm shaking my head as I read this only because I can't believe you haven't melted down sooner. Hang in there, girl. This must be hella hard, but it sounds like there's an end in sight.

6:34 PM  
Blogger art-sweet said...

I can't wait until little Hester is HOME and you can put all this stress behind you. I am sending you big virtual hot baths and chocolates...

9:38 PM  

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