Thursday, August 4, 2011

Familiar Environment, Part 1

We arrived at the NICU. It was certainly busy. There was no doubt Lincoln was a top priority. Before he was transported, they were going to do an ECHO of his heart. We knew this was coming. His blood test had come back abnormal - more than once - and they wanted to ensure his heart was ok. Although they were confident it was, we weren't easy to convince. Savannah already had a heart defect and although Lincoln had been "cleared" of any heart issues at his level two ultrasound, it wasn't necessarily 100% accurate. So it was ECHO time.

There's nothing worse than waiting. As we hung out in the NICU, we realized just how immune we'd become to it all. One of nurses asked how we were doing...she commented that we seemed really calm. It wasn't the first comment that had been made. When I'd arrived earlier that day to sit with Lincoln, they had informed me that they were going to draw Lincoln's blood. They had asked if I wanted to return after they had done so or have them wait until I was done visiting. When I told them I would just sit while they drew it, they seemed surprised. My response - it couldn't be any worse than watching the drainage tubes being pulled from my daughters chest after open heart surgery - the same tubes I had even learned to help drain prior to their removal to keep the fluid moving away from her heart. The nurses had shaken their heads in response, unable to respond verbally. I wasn't trying to be smart or even funny, just stating a fact, as I seated myself to watch and wait.

The beeps, the cords - we could honestly say it didn't phase us much. They all served a purpose and, unfortunately, we knew what most were for and could even re-attach the non-invasive ones if our boy wiggled them off. As we waited for the ECHO to be completed, we struck up conversation. For the nurses and docs who were just coming in, they asked if this was our first and Rob and I looked at one another and smiled. Nope, Lincoln was our fifth. After they picked there jaws up off of the floor, we proceeded to answer the usual questions - sex, name and ages...which we followed up with the various health issues they had been born with.

We watched them. The wheels were turning in their heads. They were curious - how did we handle it? How were we doing - really doing? It's in that moment the door swings open - wide open. We share...everything. The ups, the downs. The good, the bad and the ugly. As nurses and doctors, they see one side of things. But as the parents of these children with quirks, we see the other side. As we wait, we talk. We also get a small glimpse of what God is up too and our grumbling begins to subside, at least a bit...and time passes just a little bit faster.

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