I saw a comment on a blog post today (life with jack, I really admire this mommy and her son, I can’t imagine that journey) that really made me pause, and reflect.
“If the NICU is like a roller coaster ride, then I’m never going to an amusement park again.”
Like a roller coaster, there are peaks and valleys and grand adrenaline rushes and moments of stomach dropping fear. The difference? You know that eventually that ride is going to end, and you are going to walk away unharmed.
When you’re the parent of a baby journeying through the NICU, you don’t have this knowledge. You have no idea when this horror ride is going to stop and let your family off.
Hope. That’s the light at the end of the tunnel that is the NICU. The hope that one day your child will fight through the medical issues surrounding them and you will be able to take them home. If you’re very lucky, you don’t end up with further battles to fight.
Drake is undergoing treatment for clubfoot. He was diagnosed as moderate and his orthopedic doctor is using the Ponseti method of casting and bracing for correction. My son should be lucky enough to have both feet planted firmly on the ground by the time he is 4 if all goes well. It’s hard to watch my baby be put in cast after tiny cast, but I know in my heart that things could be so much worse.
I was there many hours a day for the 34 days my son was in NICU. I know our “roller coaster” was shorter and less painful than most. I thank God for it, but I won’t forget the beeping of his tiny neighbors. I won’t forget the hours of Kangaroo Care when his heart or breath would stop and nurses would rush over to look at him. No amusement park ride has ever been so horrifying.