Walking around a Children's Hospital is interesting. Sometimes it is sad to see so many kids with some pretty terrible conditions. Sometimes it is refreshing because despite being in a not so fun situation, so many of these kids still do what they do best, be kids. There is a kid on the surgical floor we are on that has been here for a couple months. MONTHS. Yet he was using his IV pole as a scooter and was rolling around the halls. Kids really can find the fun in just about everything.
Hey mom, I might be laying in a hospital crib but as long as you're here, I'm having fun!
And then there are the scenes that make me want to play the "this isn't fair" card. The Pilot and I did everything right. Megatron was very much planned. We even aimed to have him at a certain time of the year when I wouldn't be so busy at work (didn't exactly work but you get my point). This baby was wanted right from the beginning. I took every precaution, even the ones that probably weren't necessary but I didn't want to take any risks. I didn't have any caffeine or alcohol my entire pregnancy. I didn't get my hair colored. I didn't even get a pedicure until my 3rd trimester (and ultimately the week before he arrived). I ate healthy. I exercised. Yet my poor Megatron was still born with some missing/broken parts. That's how it goes I suppose. But then I walk around Children's Hospital and you see parenting at its worst.
I had an interaction with a man in the elevator. He looked like a meth addict. I hate to judge based on looks but he was filthy, smelled and had that meth head look. He then told me his little girl was mauled by a pit bull. Umm...ok. The Pilot rode the elevator with a large man who commented that it was ironic that he was going outside to smoke while his kid was about to start a breathing treatment. Wandering around the halls and all the different departments, we've seen parents who obviously have no interest in their kids. Parents who have done something (or not done anything at all --neglect) that have landed their kid here. And it's not fair. Why is is that we did everything right and we have spent 13 days here? And we will most likely be bringing Megatron here for follow-up appointments with a GI specialist until he's 18 or possibly 21 when he will transfer to an adult doctor. We did everything right but that is going to be our reality. It's just frustrating.
But then I'm put in my place. I see a child in a wheelchair who obviously has very little brain function and requires a nurse 24 hours a day. I hear parents being paged back to the pediatric intensive care floor. Sigh. My baby, while still sick, can be treated. It's going to be a rough road for us for sure but at this point, he can still be treated. I try so hard to focus on that. I try so hard to focus on those things I mentioned in my last post. We do have so much to be thankful for. I thought of something else to add to my list. I'll be going back to work in 2 weeks. Once we are all back home and we get into a routine that involves both of us working, and Megatron in day care or with my mom, our time will always be divided. We will be pulled between work, keeping the household running and caring for our little man and ourselves. Once we leave the hospital, it simply won't be possible to focus 100% of our attention on Megatron. When you are trapped in a small hospital room, it is easy to find yourself just staring at a sleeping baby. It's easy to tend to every fuss and cry within seconds of the sound escaping from that tiny body. It's easy to focus and entertain the short-attention span of an 11-week-old. Once home, his cry might have to wait another few minutes while a load of laundry is thrown in the wash. Once home, as soon as his blinks start to slow and his eyes finally close, it will be a mad dash to get as much accomplished as possible until he's ready to be entertained again. I'd give anything to take him home right now but I'm also trying to cherish the time we are getting to spend together because while nurses and doctors pop in from time to time, it's mostly uninterrupted family time. Not many people get that opportunity.
It hasn't been all bad. I haven't been confined to the hospital walls completely. The Pilot was gone on a 4-day trip last week when Megatron and I returned to the hospital. After being slightly traumatized by that experience and calling in the reinforcements (our families), when The Pilot returned, he sent me home for the night. I slept through the night for the first time in over 4 months. It was glorious. Between the past 2 months of middle-of-the-night feedings and before that, having little man pushing on my bladder while I was still pregnant, I was long long long overdue for a good night's sleep. I then also ran out to get my hair cut and colored yesterday! A task I had wanted to do before I had Megatron but his early arrival changed those plans!
Those small things (that felt like big things at the time!) helped me regroup. The timing was good because we are still in the hospital and The Pilot is getting ready to leave on another trip. I'm trying to pump myself up. While we have tons of help, when going through something crappy like this, I only want The Pilot by my side. We are both stressed out and our nerves are shot but sticking together has made it all a little easier. We've been pulling out all the stops to keep the mood light. Of course our sense of humor maybe misunderstood (especially if we happen to, in good fun, refer to Megatron as our defective baby) but humor is just about the only thing keeping me together at this point. It's the only thing keeping me from losing it completely and yelling out "it's not fair!"