It’s late Tuesday morning when I make my daily phone call to the NICU. I’m always nervous to call; I want to know how he is doing, but I don’t want to hear bad news over the phone either.
“NICU Seventh Tower,” the nurse answers, “This is Michelle.” I haven’t met Michelle yet.
“Hello, this is Laurelyn Rosenberger, Benjamin’s mom.”
“Hi! He’s doing very well […] The surgeons just did their rounds and […] he can come home this afternoon…”
Whoa. What? We weren’t prepared for that news. I feel more panic than excitement at first. Michelle gives us a list of things to do before he can be discharged so that we’ll be prepared when we arrive at the hospital.
At the hospital, there is more prep to do for his homecoming. A member of the surgical team shows us how to change the dressing on Benjamin’s chest wound*. The nurses review a few other things and give us the list of follow-up appointments they’ve made so far….
That was 3 1/2 weeks ago. Benjamin is home and doing well overall. Jonathan loves being a big brother too!
I wouldn’t quite say we are back to normal yet – a “new normal,” perhaps. The first week in the NICU, when we were concerned about the initial fluctuations in Benjamin’s heart rate, Clarence (the nurse) said, “It’s normal.” Then she corrected herself – “It’s not normal, but it’s expected after the surgery.” That expresses our life pretty well – not normal, but expected.
Some of the best advice I received throughout this pregnancy was to focus on the positive. As Jason and I were driving home from one of our many appointments – so far we have eight specialists to see over the next three months** – we were discussing the then-overwhelming road ahead. Jason commented, “I will say this. I am in no way feeling ‘woe is me.’ There are people who have gone through so much [harder …] We have a lot to be thankful for.”
We certainly do. The grace of God is written all over Benjamin’s face. We are enjoying having him home and watching new developments each week. 🙂
I’ll share some specific blessings later, but we are overwhelmed by God’s mercy, and grateful for the help and encouragement from so many of you.
*Clarification: his “chest wound” is a scar from his right side close to the middle of his back. They did not go through his chest for surgery.
**Since writing this, we’ve seen three of the eight specialists (actually, four, counting the weekly casting appointments for his clubbed feet). We are thankful and feeling slightly less overwhelmed now.