Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Babe in ARMS

When I close my eyes and lean back, I can imagine I'm sitting on the way-too-comfy couch at home, the familiar heft of a baby in the crook of my elbow. Baby wiggles deeper into the hug, and I open my eyes to look down at him. No, we're still in the alien world of the NICU. Still being waited on by nursing staff. I'm glad that they let me hold this beautiful bundle of wonder.  Did I just write that? How unnatural for a mother to need "permission" to hold her own son. And now that I am holding him, they buzz around me like so many busy bees on a warm summers' eve, the jailers of my Baby. 
Stop. I must remember they are NOT the enemy. They are blessed by G-d to help others. To help us.
At this point in our story, things get a little hazy: did I head back to my ward and call Daddy with an update first, or did I speak with the speak with the surgeon first? 
Loyal readers, I will tell it as I recall it, if not exactly as it happened. Bear with me - we soon get to more recent events, still crystal clear, and less clouded by the lack of brain birth brings on. 
Baby was happily sleeping, and I was falling asleep too, jerking awake every few minutes in a chair made for sitting. Can you believe they had no chair to sleep in at Baby's bedside? At one point, I gave it up, and left Baby for the (slightly) more comfortable confines of my own bed. I was not given the chance for sleep (oh no, what with vital signs to check and stool softeners to administer, the staff just had to wake me ever hour or so). At some point in this half sleep, Dr. K our familiar pediatrician showed up with Dr. B, an unfamiliar chief of pediatric surgery. They were also accompanied by an RN on Dr. B's staff whose name eludes me now. I use only the doctors' initials to protect the innocents involved.
Dr. K in his usual long winded, thinking as he speaks manner put me at ease with his assertion that Baby seems healthy in the usual Baby way. Then Dr. K. launched into his plan of action. Baby would be needing three surgeries just to correct the presenting ARM. Surgery Number One, which needs to be preformed post-haste would separate Baby's colon into upper and lower segments.The upper would end in a bump protruding from Baby's lower tummy (surgeon's wording here, hope y'all can follow!). That is where Baby would pass stool from. Once that surgery is shown successful, Baby can be fed.
I stopped listening at that point, deciding it best to take this all in step by step. Step one: check out baby for other often related complications. Step two: Surgery Number One. Step three: feed the baby, change the baby, turn the baby over. Step four: well, that's enough to digest just now. 
We waited with baited breath for test results to come in ruling out any other issues. Kidneys, check. Heart, check. Liver,Stomach,Small Intestines, check,check,check. Scans of the spine and pelvis. Bloodwork. and more bloodwork to double up on some suspicious results. 
A friendly gastroenterologist, helping us navigate the muddy waters of medicalese summed the situation up: "What it all boils down to is a bit of plumbing." Thank G-d no other organs were affected. No syndromes present. A healthy baby, as Dr. K said, with a "fixable problem" Dr. B added. 
And so, less than twenty four hours old, our Baby was wheeled to surgery. Daddy and I sat in my room and prayed.

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