The red and blue lights silently bounced through the room, and the beeping alarms were a constant reminder of just how critical she was. The saturation levels flashed nonstop, tempting us into a pit of despair.
Whenever we go back to a hospital room and I hear those beeping noises, I always think back to those days. That, and the smell of that green hospital soap.
By this time we had placed the MP3 player inside her incubator to hopefully silence some of the racket going on in that depressing place.
I pecked away at my HP laptop which rested on one of the mobile NICU nurse desk stations and Pete was wrapped up in one of the Left Behind series books. He read through them quickly those days. I was convinced it was possible to find a miracle cure like the dad on Lorenzo’s Oil did, so I steered clear of negative stories and did TONS of research.
The doctors came in a flurry, dripping with frustration. They always had important papers in their hands, that had almost no words on them, just charts. As they spoke they pointed at the chart. “We are going to have to try Y medication, because the X meds are just not having the affect we hoped they would have.” The distance they maintained from being emotionally attached to such a small life always amazed me. I don’t blame them at all, but I honestly don’t know how they did/ do their job.
“Okay… where do we go from here?” almost without hesitation Pete and I were ready for the next thing to try to get her well.
We could tell by the looks on their faces (though we never verbalized it) that the list of ‘things to try’ was getting shorter and shorter.
I can’t remember what medicine they suggested to try next but I learned a lesson that day.
“We can try this new medication, but you must know that there is a chance she will suffer brain damage… permanent scarred tissue in her lungs… blindness…”
The list literally went on.
By this time we had heard this speech about 3 times. “This one has a side effect too?” How much more could we risk?
“Every medication has a side effect.” the doctors were almost surprised at my ignorance. “Every single one.”
They say healing takes time. And in most cases it does. You know – with a scraped knee, a c-section scar, or even a lung transplant.
But often healing becomes confused with having no pain at all, and no side effects anymore. Healing is not erasing what happened, but rather learning to LIVE with it.
Healing in and of itself is a pure indicator that something devastating has happened. Something painful, maybe even life-threatening.
Healing – with time – becomes possible, but always always leaves a scar.
On the first flight home from Blissdom (yes, I had an ah-maaazing time!) I don’t know why but tears began fall. Even after the conference, and meeting some seriously inspiring women… I still want my Plan A.
Plan B is not and never will be my first choice.
I want my little girl. I don’t want pity, or tears. I don’t even care if other people remember her anymore. Because too many times I’ve been disappointed by my expectations of others. I just want her.
Knowing that plan A is impossible, I rest in hope today. Hope that her story is breaking down this taboo, and shortening the gap between child loss and support. One in four pregnancies end in a loss – whether it is early on or shortly after birth. My hope is that her story, our blog – is making a small ripple effect to reach out to someone today.
I am going to make the most of my Plan B.