Where to begin?
First of all, pumpkin is a complete and total joy. He’s a typical second child: completely laid back, hardly fusses, sleeps through the mayhem that is his older brother playing. He has a repertoire of faces from Buddha baby to the old man look to the sleepy smiles as he drifts off in your arms. I think he looks completely different from his older brother, although many of our friends say he looks just like him. He nurses like a champ, gaining four ounces overnight when we had to go in for a second weigh-in at the pediatrician’s office. He’s got the most adorable triple chin and the skinniest little legs. He hates diaper changes and gas. He loves the swaddle and sucking as a soother. He makes a lot of squeaking noises that make peanut laugh every time. He has insane neck control for a two week old. He’s a serious snuggler. I even think his new crop of baby acne is cute.
I’m completely and utterly smitten.
And then, in the midst of our newborn bliss this week, I landed in the emergency room with a heart arrhythmia. I was rushed back before the hubby could get back to me after dropping off the babes with a neighbor. I was alone and hooked up to monitors, IVs, oxygen. Drugs were administered. A crash cart was wheeled into my room and stared at me for hours, “just in case.” Tears were shed as all I could think of was my boys. My little men who I realized I hadn’t kissed good bye in the midst of my fear and rush to get to the hospital.
Thankfully, the drugs worked. Thankfully, my neighbors are the best and shuttled my children from one house to another to the dinner table to bed until the hubby could pick them up later that night. Thankfully, the hubby is a strong man who managed to support me, care for our children and never question or doubt what he needed to do to care for our family. Thankfully, our family was supportive from afar and all gassing up their cars and mentally packing their bags to make a last minute trip from NC if we said go. Thankfully, I was home the next afternoon. Thankfully pumpkin took the bottles of formula offered him without a problem while I was at the hospital and for the 24 hours following as the drugs I was filled with metabolized in my system and were pumped and dumped. Thankfully, he returned to nursing with no problems. Thankfully, Dr. U, Dr. K and nurses Kathy, Catherine, Meredith, Whitney, Kurt, Chrissie and Felicia were attentive, caring and supportive. Thankfully, the diagnosis is more of a lifetime annoyance than a serious problem.
But God help me, those 24 hours alone in a hospital hearing words from a cardiologist that made no sense to me in the moment while being physically separated from my children were the worst 24 hours of my life. I have never felt so helpless. I have never felt more like a mother who just wanted to protect her cubs and was powerless to do so.
As scary as the whole experience was, it does shine a light on the blessings in my life. I am married to a wonderful man who took action, who has held me, who has wiped the tears that continue to spring up, who is a strong and steady father to pumpkin and peanut. I have two beautiful children, the oldest of which jumped into my arms and kissed my face “to make it better” when I was released from the hospital. I have fabulous friends who rushed over dinners this week when they heard the news. I have salt of the earth neighbors who I can’t even begin to repay. I have enjoyed the most delicious moments snuggled in bed with the hubby and the boys each morning.
These are all blessings I was aware of and thankful for before this moment, but somehow, the harsh lights of the Emergency Room have turned them all technicolor for me.
Lastly, I am thankful to have this space to simply write it down, get it out of my head and begin the process of mothering in forward motion. Something I have to start tomorrow when the hubby’s paternity leave ends and he heads back to work.
That reminds me of one more thing to be thankful for: my first week of solo daytime parenting is only three days long thanks to the holiday! Here’s to an uneventful week three!