Today was day two in the NICU, and we are slowly starting to get the hang of things around here.
If you’re wondering why I’m wearing that scary-looking face mask, it’s because I woke up in the middle of the night with the feeling of a cold coming on, and it’s way better to be safe than sorry — Ambrose doesn’t need to be fighting off a cold in the middle of all of this!
I decided to take the morning off to work on healing myself. My kid may be gravely ill, but I’m also in recovery. Birth is no walk in the park on its own (let alone with an infant as huge as Ambrose!), and having to take an emergency flight to Utah and bop around the hospital all day yesterday really wore me out. I’ve also been working on establishing a milk supply for the nurses to use, which means a lot of pumping. Fun fact: they’ve been swabbing his mouth out with my colostrum! Not to feed him, but just to prevent things in there from drying out too much, but the fact that they’re using my colostrum means that he gets the added immunity benefits from it.
As for Ambrose, he’s stable and making continual albeit very gradual progress. He’s slowly being weaned off of the sedatives and ventilation that he’s on, which means that he’s starting to wiggle his limbs around. He even briefly opened his eyes today. If all goes well with the weaning process, we’ll be able to get him in for an MRI within the next week to further assess the damage to his brain.
Another exciting update: I might get to hold him soon! So far I’ve only been able to lay my hands firmly on his chest and head (as in the picture above), but as soon as he’s off the ventilator I should actually be able to hold him in my arms. I can’t even imagine what a mess I’ll be that day.
And speaking of ugly crying: The Little Engine That Could is the most ridiculously, unexpectedly poignant children’s book in the world. After I asked about reading to Ambrose this evening, the nurse on duty brought it in to me. A random selection on her part, but I know that as of today, it’s officially Ambrose’s special book.
For anyone concerned about our family’s financial situation in all this, don’t be. I try not to talk too much about J on here as per his request, but rest assured that the military is treating us very, very well, and we are sincerely grateful for the support we’re receiving. Not having to think about how our finances are taking a hit with all this specialized care is a huge load off our backs.
Another organization we’re grateful for: the Ronald McDonald House Charities. Funny story: we actually just volunteered at the Las Vegas house for the first time a couple months ago — we helped a group of church school kids make dinner for the families staying at the house. We had no idea until we got there and were given the grand tour of the place what the organization was. And now here we are, ourselves benefitting from the incredible generosity of RMHC. Just a floor down from Ambrose is a place for us to relax in any time. There computers we can use, cell phone charging stations, showers, a laundry facility, hot meals on the regular, snacks and fridges for storing our own snacks, and — get this — nap rooms. Hospital burnout is a real thing, and it’s nice to have a place to decompress when we need to.
Anyway, tomorrow is a new day that we hope and pray will continue to see Ambrose improving. In the midst of all the cords and tubes, I look at him and I see such life. He is the Little Blue Engine. And we all know he can.