On the car ride home, I listen to my parents mumble back and forth as I stare out the window at the night sky. It had been a long day, a long week. It was strange to be outside the hospital. It was even strange to be sitting up. Most of the night before I lay awake in my hospital bed afraid to be alone. The hospital was filling up and the staff had moved me to a different floor away from the specialists who took such good care of me after the traumatic delivery.
My high-risk nurse told me to not take aspirin because it can thin blood, which was definitely not good for my condition. So to my surprise the first thing the nurse in my new room did was give me some aspirin. I told her my other nurse told me not to take this because of x,y,z and she rolled her eyes as she walked away and said she would get me something else then.
If this nurse didn’t even know about not giving me aspirin, what else did she not know?? Fear gripped me and I prayed they caught all of the problems my body was having. I prayed they weren’t moving me out of high-risk too fast, just to make more room. If something happened I prayed I wouldn’t die. It now seemed like something that could happen at any moment, even though we were out of the woods. Through tears I told Dave I didn’t want him to leave me. What if they missed something? What if something happened and no one was here?
But I wanted someone with Collin, too. We decided I would call him first thing in the morning. It didn’t change anything, but for some reason that made me feel better. Dave left and I tried to will my body to relax. Breathe. Relax the right arm. Breathe. Relax the left arm. And so on until my body wasn’t quite as tense. I can do this, I thought, I’m alone, but I could do this.
The fear of being alone again made it easier to be discharged the next night.
“You need to rest. You have been very ill.” They said.
“Your body needs to heal.” They said.
There’s no better place then at home… and at least I would be in my own bed with Dave. If something went wrong, he would definitely know. And this way I could at least see Collin before he left for school in the mornings. That would be good for both of us; I missed him!
The night I was to be discharged, there was a school function for Collin and we decided that Dave should attend. My parents would gladly drive me home. Poor Collin. Although he didn’t know the entire situation at the hospital, it still threw his world for a loop. We really needed to bring him some stability. It was the right decision, but made the drive home so surreal. After the grown-up struggles of my little family and here I feel like a kid again; sitting in the back seat telling my mom and dad that I want a burger and fries as we go through a drive-thru.
It was weird. Stranger still, I’m driving away, leaving my teeny baby, the one I have prayed for for 6 years, to be cared for by strangers. Trained as the NICU nurses were and healthy as he was, they are strangers.
And he is alone. Not one thing about this situation seems to make sense. I want something to make sense, but our family’s adjustments are just starting.