On Wednesday, October 24 at about 8pm I arrived at the ER with you. You had a fever of 101.5 which calls for a mandatory ER visit when babies are under six weeks of age. So of we went. I got us checked in, sat down and started crying; the tears were two parts worry, one part sleep deprivation. Another lady in the waiting room asked me your age just as the water works started and I replied, unashamed of my tears, “10 days.”
“Oh honey, he’s going to be in great hands. He’ll be just fine. They are really good at their jobs.”
We get called in before anyone else in the waiting area. Again, with newborns, they don’t mess around with fevers. I’m told you will get the full work up: blood drawn, urine taken, and a spinal tap. I cringe at the thought of all of it, especially a spinal tap, but straighten my back and prepare for the worst of it.
I sat there with you massaging your legs as they pinned your little arm down to get an IV in. First poke was in the right hand and took but then they lost it. Second poke in the right inner elbow but was no good. Third poke was to the left hand and took and they secured it. I hated the way your little arms turned purple so fast with the armband they use to draw blood. I hated having to listen to you cry and not be able to hold you and nurse you. I was so disturbed I nearly passed out actually. I felt my head start spinning so I grabbed for my water bottle and chugged. I must have been pale and desperate-looking because the nurse wisely offered me some juice to pick me back up from my adrenaline plummet.
Next up was the urine sample. This one done by catheter and was terrible to watch. I nursed you while she put it in. You cringed and the look on your face was so disturbed, sad, and mortified all at the same time. That was worse to watch, but at least I got to hold you and comfort you more.
All I could think after both those two procedures were done and I looked down at your sweet face, was how much I wished I could have taken the whole burden from you: the IV, the catheter, the spinal tap, all of it. I realized in a new way in that moment how much Jesus’ heart must heart for me when I’m in pain and suffering and how much more he wants to step in and take the pain away but can’t.
Then the doctor came back in and talked me through the spinal tap. Myles, I was so scared. Sure, it’s a procedure with very little risk and is super straight forward, but it’s your spinal cord we’re talking about here. When the doctor left the room I dissolved into tears again. The nurse tipped the doctor off about my state and he came back in to reassure me, “I know this is scary. He’s in very good hands and we will take such good care of him.” Then he dismissed me from the room to wait in the waiting room. Thankfully the procedure was fast, uncomplicated, and apparently you slept through all of it.
Five and a half hours after our arrival in the ER we were finally walked up to our room. At 2:30am the nurses finally let us snuggle up for sleep. We are here for three nights, provided all the labs stay clear, so we’ve got one more to go. I’m exhausted because, though you can sleep through all the comings and goings of the nurses and other staff, I’m roused for each visitor. Between your sleep cycle, the routine check in for vitals, the antibiotic regimen, and the necessity to eat and use the restroom, apparently leaves very little time to try and get some rest for myself.
Despite being scared for your life, the lack of sleep, and missing the girls fiercely, I am thankful for being forced to rest these past couple days and heal the rest of the way myself and that it’s showed me just how much I truly love my life at home taking care of our family. I knew I had the dream, a job I loved that I can do largely from home so I can raise and care for you kids myself, but now I feel this experience will color even the hardest of days with grumpy kids just a little bit lighter. I so can’t wait to get back home and on my feet to play with you guys at the park, to care for you, to dance with you, and to snuggle all of you in my favorite bear hugs. I even can’t wait to get back to my daily cleaning, tidying, and cooking responsibilities I want to be home so bad!
I love you so Myles and am so sorry you had to go through all of this.