December 17, 2010 is a day I’ve been looking forward to since April 8, 2010. Exactly one month after I’d been unjustly let go from my job, one month after Don and I had decided to stop trying for kids for a while, I peed on a stick on April 8th and our lives changed forever. And yesterday, December 17th, was Nyana’s due date. It was an emotional day.
We’ve placed a star on the IV pole atop Nyana’s crib as part of our Christmas decorations. This, along with her N-Y-A-N-A hanger, are the first things I see every morning when I walk into to the nursery, and yesterday, sadly, was no exception. My heart sank a little seeing that star. Being her due date, I was really hoping, though trying not to expect, that this would be the day she’d get her marching orders into room 44.
Conceding that she hadn’t been moved yet, I headed toward her crib. I saw the monitor of the CPAP machine before I saw Nyana, and immediately noticed the right side of the monitor was displaying data. I sighed. She’d been reverted back to biphasic support overnight. Knowing bad things happen in threes, I scanned the room for nurses, fully expecting to see one of only two I have on my naughty list. I was thrilled to see a nurse I liked—who I was later able to snag as a primary nurse—looking after Nyana instead.
Although I hadn’t been anticipating the change back to biphasic, I wasn’t completely surprised to see it, and was almost a bit relieved, to be honest. Nyana had been overly lethargic since changing her to CPAP and her respiratory rate had been up into the 100+ (breaths per minute) range. Even I could see that she was just working too hard to keep up. The sooner they give her a chance to catch her breath and try again, the less likely that she’ll be too tired to keep up next time. I expect we’ll keep her on the biphasic for a week or so, to ensure she’s really ready. She had a chest xray yesterday to check for any progress from last time we checked three weeks ago, the results of which should give us a clearer idea of how she’s doing without the ventilator and without the steroids.
I tried to put the disappointing morning behind me and took our Princess out for a cuddle. Even though her oxygen is a bit higher now than it had been while she was on her steroids (as high as 30%), she was determined to call the attention of the nurses at every opportunity and spent the better part of the afternoon beeping at about 82% saturation. And when she wasn’t beeping, she was farting, pooping, or puking.
I must interject here that while all of this alone was enough to ruffle my feathers and leave me slightly agitated at the day’s events, I also had in the back of my mind the knowledge that yesterday was also Don’s office party. I was acutely aware that there was a very good chance that he’d be, uh, in a festive mood when we finally reconnected with each other at midnight. Fully anticipating the need to look after an overly drunk and potentially puking husband, a puking baby was not how I’d hoped to spend my day.
I left the hospital late in the afternoon and headed home long enough to grab some take-out and a glass of wine. After a quick shower, I turned around and headed back to Nyana’s bedside for the rest of the evening. Her pooping and puking spree continued—puking her way through two blankets and two brand new sleeper outfits—and our evening cuddle was another beepy disaster of fussiness and desaturations. I held back tears as I chatted with our primary nurse about how I had hoped December 17th would be.
I have a clay hand/foot impression kit that Grannie bought for Nyana when she was first born. Unable to use it in those early, fragile weeks, I had thought that it would be a good activity on her original due date. See, Nyana, this is how big you were supposed to be, if you hadn’t decided to arrive three months early! I didn’t even bother with the arts and crafts last night. I just didn’t feel like it. Feeling dejected and frustrated about the day that wasn’t, I headed home across the city around midnight, and was relieved to find Don at home, inebriated yet sober enough to look after himself.
You’d think that after 90 days here in the NICU I’d have learned to not get my hopes up, not to expect or assume anything, either positive or negative. For some reason, though, I thought yesterday would be different, that the stars would align for a day and give me what I’d hoped and planned. Just one more affirmation that I have zero control over anything in Nyanaland until we bring her home.