Thursday, July 19, 2007

Hospital memories

Here's something interesting: I can't stand seeing photos of Hester in the NICU. Even good photos, pictures where she's resting comfortably or taking a bath (her favorite NICU activity) make me cringe. The ones where she looks sick make me want to throw up.

It's not just Hester in the NICU, either--it's all NICU images. I first noticed the aversion while watching Grey's Anatomy; I almost had to stop watching when they had that first NICU scene where Addison and McDreamy discuss the fate of a teeny tiny preemie. Hester wasn't a preemie but the unit had so many tiny kids like that. I'll never forget seeing a poster on a baby's isolette that read "Hooray! R. is 3 lbs. today!" My heart skipped a beat and I felt guilty yet grateful that Hester was so healthy in comparison.

The kids in Hester's NICU were mostly stable, so the few times we did see real medical action freaked me out bigtime. There was one great tragedy while Hester was there and it affected the staff profoundly. Thankfully, Hester herself was never in danger; she just needed extra TLC and lots of meds to help her recover from her illness. We took things day by day. It was only when Hester started to get better that we realized just how very sick she'd been. As the old saying goes, ignorance was bliss.

Now that the whole hospitalization experience is behind us and we see Hester growing and thriving, it's easy to gloss over how very difficult it was to have her there. She was in the hospital for 7 weeks, a hell of a long time. And she was very sick, too. And we couldn't be with her all day. And it killed us to leave her, though we did the very best we could. It's easy now to think of Hester's hospitalization as nothing more than a bad dream, but seeing photos of her there makes it real again.

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Anonymous Jenny PP said...

Poor you guys! It was so hard and you were worried about whether you'd make it but you did and now look! Hester is so happy and you're a great family and I think it's OK to think of it as a bad dream. And you don't need to revisit old pictures there if they make you upset. Just take more today. I won't mind if you post them either. ;)

3:21 PM  

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