I was talking with my favourite of Nyana’s doctors the other morning when she asked how Don and I were coping. When I admitted that it was all getting just a bit tired, she told me that many parents hit the wall around the one-month mark. Ironically, she said, this is right about the time the baby is starting to get better.
At the same time that we’re passing the 30-day mark, the NICU as we’ve known it is changing. In the past week, 3 babies, who are near Nyana’s age and whose parents we’ve come to know, have graduated to the intermediate nursery. New babies—small babies—have arrived. We’ve become the veterans of the special care nursery.
Watching our friends doing well, its hard to see them thriving and moving forward while Nyana has plateaued. I hate knowing that the only thing holding us back from that intermediate nursery is a ventilator. A ventilator she doesn’t seem to be in any hurry to get herself off of, unfortunately. She had an x-ray yesterday afternoon, and her doctor today told me that he was not happy with what he saw; her lungs looked “sickly”. She is suffering from chronic lung disease and has a risk of developing BPD (bronchopulmonary dysplasia). It’s a situation that will sort itself out over time—as she grows and gets stronger, her lungs will, too—but it sure isn’t easy to sit idly by and just wait for that to happen.
So we’ve hit the wall. We’re tired of it all and we’re ready for it to be over. We’re doing our best to sit patiently and wait, knowing that there’s nothing we can do but sit and wait. But knowing doesn’t make it any easier.