The Night Before

Call?  Don’t call?

They said they’re on it.  But what if he falls through the cracks?

A week of irrigating his bowels, morning and night, to help his little plumbing finish the job.

Irrigating Bowels
The Irrigation Setup


They call–results are in.

Can we do surgery tomorrow?

Ironically, instincts all week were that it would be tomorrow.

So I’m ready.

Except I’m not.

The childcare falls together pretty quickly, at least for the first day or so.

They said to allow 2-4 days, so planning is nearly impossible.

From this point on, only feed him Pedialyte, they say.

It’s not very filling so he’ll be hungry more often.

It seems cruel. Nourishing breast-milk for my newly hungry son–perfect food–so close
and I pump it away.

Nick says he’s not leaving the hospital once we’re there.  He’s not leaving his son.

I’m not leaving either.

But we have two other children.

Beautiful healthy ones, who need us too.

So thankful the hospital is less than two hours away
but wishing the hospital was closer
that we could straddle our family a little more easily.

Many are willing to love our children
but they aren’t us.

Will they feel pushed aside in the wake of Tyce’s need?

This newcomer, now demanding all this attention.

Or have we raised secure children who will handle this as well as we hope?


Shoot–what’s for dinner?

Oh right, there are leftovers.

The oven is still on.

I turned it on an hour ago, when I thought I was making brownies for the family dinner.

Then when I realized I wasn’t going, I was still going to make brownies
and eat some of the batter raw, with a big spoon.

Stress eating maybe.  I ate a salad earlier so I really don’t care.

Throw the leftovers in the oven.

Dax is hungry.  He wants fruit snacks and I give them to him.

That’ll buy me time.

I wonder what I’ll do for the three hours they say his surgery will take.

Jesus, is there enough grace in Your entire heart for three hours of a mother’s heart?

For once I wish I didn’t have such an active imagination.

Feed Tyce another 4 ounces of Pedialyte.

It’s only been an hour since his last four and he’s confused to be hungry so quickly.

I ache to hold him close to me and feed him until he’s full.

Steady on, Diane.  In and out.  Finish well.

The floor inside the front door is coated with salt residue from the snow.

But I walk over it to go pack for the hospital.

I didn’t know getting ready for this would be so complicated.

Or maybe my mind is just full to capacity so everything seems complicated?

Thank goodness we did laundry earlier this week or there would be literally nothing to pack but dirty clothes.

Tyce cries and I move him from room to room, talking to him as I go.

Mama’s here, buddy. My handsome, sweet boy. Do you hear my voice?

A lump in my throat.  Do you hear my voice?

Almost out of diapers for Dax. Sigh. I should have potty-trained him by now.

Do I get points that he peed in the potty this morning?

Move on, Diane. That isn’t for today.

Dax cries up the steps, hungry. Yes, son–supper is almost ready.

Tyce seems to settle and go downstairs to feed the kids.

Eat some too–no appetite to eat, but my stomach is hungry.

Back upstairs–suddenly I want to bathe my son.

I draw perfect, warm water into his little blue tub and more into the big tub for
my laughing toddlers, bounding up the steps.

They will be with Grandma tomorrow–I should send them without crusties behind their ears.


They hop in the big tub and I submerge Tyce in his little one,
running my hands over him, cleaning each part, gently.

The kids laugh and splash in the background, a blurred soundtrack as I sit here,

Memorizing him.

He enjoys it, warm and soothing.

I dry him and bundle him in the fuzziest, warmest sleeper we have.

I rock him into a sleepy trance and coax him into a nap.

He hasn’t been truly content since his last real feeding at lunchtime
but he sleeps and I feel myself relieved.

I wash the kids, dry them and hope the suspicious red patch on Aly’s hand
is just chapped skin and not something more complicated.

I smear coconut oil on it because that’s all I have the capacity to think of.

Tuck them both in, kissing them extra long.

It may be a few days until I see them again;

Why do I feel guilty?

Steady, Diane. In and out.  His wind, His breath, Peace–in and out.

It’s His breath in my lungs.

Steady.  Steady.

I catch myself talking to myself, coaxing myself through each task.

Carefully controlled, lest a single lie pierce through and dismantle me in an instant.


Finally get the salty mess cleaned off my floor and I tidy up, as much as I have energy for.

Nick is home, Tyce is awake and together we irrigate his bowels for the last time.

Nick feeds him, ounce by ounce of Pedialyte until he is full–however temporarily.

Ironically, I know I will sleep well tonight.

I know I am walking through something that is already done, but yet incomplete.

Incomplete because the movement of a son in these places is necessary for their reality to reveal Him, and bring His completion to them.

I am not afraid, at least not predominantly so.  I am surrendered.

He Who began a good work will most certainly finish it.

Tomorrow is coming quickly.

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