We have a date.
This date is better than your average, run-of-the-mill, dinner and a movie date. This is better than a wedding date.
This is a date for surgery.
For over two weeks we have been in ICU limbo, where he is too stable for surgery, but too unstable to go home. So, we have sat here, day after day, asking the doctors: when? When? WHEN?!
Finally, the surgery gods have opened their doors, and pulled out their calendars. It’s tentative, but even written in pencil, it’s THERE.
Friday, May 30. As in, this Friday. THIS FRIDAY! I can’t believe that after Friday, he will be on his way to breathing like a normal baby should, without his chest being sucked in so hard, every one of his ribs stand out. The horrible bobbing of his head due to how fast he is having to inhale will go away, and every meal will be fed by a bottle, instead of that obnoxious tube.
Yes. YES! So many wonderful things to come!
It’s still only the beginning, however. After surgery, and barring any additional complications (which, being Jackson, is a huge possibility!), he will spend a week or more in the cardiac ICU. He will then come back to the regular NICU for two weeks, so they can make sure he is breathing, and eating, and having regular bowel movements, and gaining weight– basically making sure we take home the best possible version of Jackson we can.
Ballpark range for his actual hospital discharge would ideally be before the 4th of July. Now, that sounds really far away, and would mean that in total, he will have spent nearly three months in the NICU, but just knowing that there is a light at the end of the tunnel is good enough for us. The open-endedness of this situation so far has been driving us insane. To know there is a way out of the abyss makes me want to break down into tears… which is exactly what I did when the neonatologist told me we had a date (FRIDAYFRIDAYFRIDAY).
Come Friday, I will be a mess. I will be a sobbing, emotional, hands-wringing mess. I will be in the OR waiting room wondering why I was wishing for this to happen; why would I want this for my tiny, tiny baby. But, in my rational mind, I know why, and I can see it on his monitor right now– he’s breathing at 79 breaths/minute.
That’s not normal. It’s hard on his heart. It’s hard on his body. And, it’s not going to go away. Surgery is inevitable, and it has to be now. So, let’s do it, and start the road to recovery.
This is what we have been waiting for since he was flown in on Mother’s Day, and it’s finally going to come to fruition.
WE. HAVE. A. DATE!