Our awesome little girl is a week old today. I think in NICU-speak, this would mean her corrected age is -12 weeks? After taking the week off, Don had to go back to work this morning, and I had to figure out what normal now looks like in a typical episode of The Karen & Donners Show.
After a morning of bureaucracy and paperwork, I made my way onto the bus and up to the hospital by around 10:30. I hate that long hallway, between Oak Street and the NICU. I get excited as I walk the length of that hallway, knowing I’m steps closer to seeing her. And at the same time I feel myself getting anxious as I get closer to her, nervous that the nurse will have found something between last time I saw her and now.
Just a quick visit this morning—when I got there the nurse advised that Nyana’s oxygen levels were still down and that it’d be best if we tried not to disturb her too much. I sat and watched her for about 45 minutes before the nurse reminded me that I’d do much better for Nyana by going home and getting rest than I would just sitting and watching her, even if she is the best channel on TV right now. I begrudgingly found a bus home.
Trying to time after work visits for Don means that we can’t eat dinner at eight o’clock anymore. Strange as it felt, I puttered in the kitchen during afternoon hours and had dinner ready for Don when he came home. We were fed, kitchen cleaned, and on our way by 8:30.
Not the best of visits this evening, either. It’s difficult to follow the look-but-don’t-touch rule. I’m her Mum; surely that doesn’t apply to me? I need to remind myself that we’re getting bonus time with Nyana right now… we’re not supposed to be able to touch her and smell her yet. I need to remind myself that not touching her, just letting her be, is the best thing we can do for her.
We said goodbye to her after a quick visit and made our way back across the city to home. I knew it would happen, but it feels strange: I spent a month in hospital wanting nothing more than to go home; now that I’m home at last, I spend my time at home waiting to get back to the hospital. And so it goes, every day until we bring her home.