I suppose this is quite understandable, but at some point since this whole thing began, I have become exhausted. I didn’t really notice it until this moment (of course, I’m writing this much later), but Tyce started crying to eat and I couldn’t even fathom the idea of getting up. I said Nick’s name a few times, but he didn’t hear me–so I threw a pillow at him. Not really my style, but it worked–and he changed Tyce, brought him to me to eat, burped him and returned him to bed. I was awake for maybe ten minutes of that whole process. I was so completely exhausted that as soon as I handed the little guy back to his daddy, I rolled over, curled up and was completely asleep again almost immediately.
Tyce ate again at 6:00am (also when they brought around his next dose of antibiotics, to prevent infection at the suture site since stool encounters that spot regularly). And I remember that a surgical doctor came to check in on us around that time too–but I remember very, very little of it. I do remember the surgeon commenting that we would probably go home Sunday or Monday–and me mentioning to Nick that I would have to find a way to do laundry.
A child has crying hysterically for some time, finally waking me up. As I came to, I remembered hearing it for a while in my sleep. Poor kid–being on a pediatric floor is sort of magical though. You hear childish chatter and sometimes little games between the nurses and their patients. All of the nurses ooh and ahh over our cute little man, which of course we agree and pretend that he’s the cutest they’ve ever seen. I packed Tyce’s Penn State sleeper and had it on him before I remembered the happy irony that he was admitted to Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital–so the nurses quite enjoy his solidarity and squeal over the Nittany Lion on his bum.
Tyce has breast-fed successfully since permission was given yesterday evening. They removed his saline IV, and now only use that port for antibiotics. A member of the surgical staff came in to examine him and his progress. She gave some instructions concerning his care, warned us that he would encounter diaper rash, and then off-handedly mentioned that he would have his final dose of antibiotics at 2pm and then, maybe later, head home.
Of course we were surprised–and not all together pleasantly. Of course we want to go home. Of course we ache for our children and our bed. Of course we want to yank the IV splint from Tyce’s arm, take him home, snuggle him close and pretend none of this ever happened.
But that’s not true. Somewhere in his body is a ring of stitches (they say it looks like a lion’s mane–isn’t that awesome?!) that connects healthy intestine to his sphincter. Every diaper carries a green tinge and the unmistakable smell of antibiotics. I can’t help but think if he stays here, if we just set up camp here forever, nothing can ever go wrong. The things they say could happen–infections, etc–would be immediately caught and treated, without fear that Tyce’s preoccupied mother could overlook them until he’s in danger.
Suddenly I understand why the mothers of one-time sick children hover sometimes, why they seem to never quite “get over” a sense of protective guardianship over the details of their child. Suddenly I am face to face with a fear I never thought I’d be susceptible to, the mother who once boldly announced that children should be permitted to encounter danger and face down their own challenges. And now, my words are laying here around the fringes of the newest battle of this journey: fear that I am no longer qualified to care for, or to absolutely protect, my son.
Of course, when I take a step back, and stop engaging this monster in my own sort of bravado, when I fall back and lock spirit with my Father and all of you, of course strength and courage are quick to return. I am renewed in the overwhelming reminder that Tyce has never been only mine, and he was meant for this moment. If this was meant for him, then to it was meant for me.
So, as I have said over and over since this started: one day at a time. So if we carry our son from this place today, I will do so with a gentle, calm spirit, with a real smile. Grateful that this leg of the journey has ended, and confident that He still finishes what He begins.
Tyce is getting his last dose of antibiotics now
We are cleared to go home.
Tyce had some visitors: 3 storm troopers and a member of the Imperial Guard. I turned into melty mommy in that moment, of course. How fun. The wife of one of the storm troopers (haha!) makes these little crocheted stormtrooper dolls and gave one to Tyce. This is the coolest thing that has happened today, so far.