Archive for January, 2008

It’s eating me up

The night before Lina got sick, I didn’t go to the hospital. It was Tuesday, January 8th. It was her due date. I had gone back to work the day before. That morning I went to the NICU, because I wanted to meet the doctor. Greenwich has 2 doctors who alternate weeks being “on”. I had met the other one the previous Friday when Lina got up there and over the weekend, and I wanted to touch base with the 2nd one.

I went in. I can’t even remember how long I stayed. I can’t remember if I held her that morning or if I just watched her and then spoke with the doc. The doctor and I had a long conversation. I asked him all my questions. The same ones that I’d asked the other doctor, and the same ones I’d asked before we left NY Presbyterian. It helped to keep hearing the answers over and over.

The doctor told me how well he thought she was doing. She was making such good progress, he thought she might even be ready to go home the next week, in the best case scenario. Well, I wasn’t so sure I was ready for that, but it was great news. One of the questions I asked him was that since she’d had the bout of NEC, whether there were complications we might have in the future. He said it was unlikely. Since she hadn’t needed surgery and seemed to be doing fine now, he didn’t think we’d have any issues (though of course he added the disclaimer that you can never be sure).

So I went to work feeling great. I told everyone how well she was doing. I was probably beaming. I had been planning to go over for her 9:00 feeding. But I was feeling really tired. I thought I might feel a tiny itch in my eyes and nose, and I thought the LAST thing I needed was to get run down and get sick, especially if she really was going to come home as soon as they thought she might. I’d just gotten over a cough I’d had for over a month (bronchitis and I don’t know what else), so I thought I’d play it safe. I called the nurse and told her I wasn’t coming in that night, but I would come in for her 9:00 am feeding and go to work late.

Well, that never happened because we got the call at 6:30 am the following morning. I rushed over, and she looked SO different. Just 24 hours earlier, she was a perfect, sweet little baby and now here she was, her belly HUGE, lying naked under the warmer on a ventilator. She looked so week and uncomfortable.

I keep reliving those moments. Why didn’t I go in that night? Would I have noticed something about her that might have hastened the diagnosis and treatment? Actually, I doubt it. I might have just said “oh, that’s just Lina’s belly”. And that early, it might not have even been noticeable. But the nurses did say she was irritable. At least I would have seen her before she got so, so sick.

I just can’t believe I wasn’t there.

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The bad thing about vacations…

…is that they end. Actually, I always start feeling depressed about the end of a vacation by the 2nd day. It already starts to feel like we’re winding down. Crazy. In this particular case, I’m especially depressed about returning to the real world.

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Am I a snob?

A roller coaster snob that is? I don’t go on roller coasters often. In fact, I probably haven’t been on one for 10 years. But the Disney ones failed to impress me. I went on Space Mountain, Big Thunder and Barnstormer in the Magic Kingdom. Barnstormer is a kiddie one and truth be told, I might have liked that one best. I like a coaster with long, steep drops and these don’t have them. Space Mountain & Big Thunder just have lots of twists and turns. And they just hurt my back. Harumph. (I guess I’m getting old.) People all around me were yipping and yelling and all I was thinking was “ho hum”. The sort of thrilling thing about Space Mountain is that it’s all in the dark. Not sure what to say about Big Thunder. I had an extra fastpass ticket (to ride without waiting in line) and I didn’t even bother. The other day we went on one at Epcot. Or was it Animal Kingdom? A Mount Everest/Yeti theme – can’t remember the name of it. That was a little better – for a good portion you go backwards. Still, short on thrills if you ask me.
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Anyhoo. We’re having a nice time. Annika’s favorite thing is meeting the characters. We’ve met Pooh & Piglet, Peter Pan & Wendy, 3 princesses, a fairy godmother, Donald & Daisy, Minnie, Jo Jo, Leo from Little Einsteins…can’t remember who else. She gets so excited and that is fun to see. She keeps talking about it afterward, too. We watched the big parade today too, and she loved that.
She is beyond tired though. At home I try to stick to a schedule and get her a nap because she does better, but I don’t worry that much if she doesn’t sleep during the day. Here it’s so much stimulation she starts to melt down around noon. We don’t usually make it back to our room until mid-afternoon, and then she crashes. She’s doing pretty well though all things considered.She talks about her sister a lot (and sometimes her brother). We rent a stroller every day and at first she really wanted a double one. I told her they were for 2 kids, so we had to get a single one. She said “but we have 2 kids. Annika and Lina. 2 kids”. Every time she sees a double stroller she points out that they are for 2 kids, and says “Maybe when my sister comes home we can get one of those”. Clearly it will take her awhile to grasp what happened.

Why we came here

 

This smile says it all.
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The Happiest Place on Earth

We’re going to Disney World. We decided that after the grueling year we’ve just been through (without a vacation) we needed some time to get away and heal as a family. We leave tomorrow. I’m really looking forward to a little “magic”. I hope they have a magical forgetting potion. Seriously though, I think it will be good for us.

Annika is really (REALLY) excited. She can’t wait to meet Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and all the princesses. I’m glad that we’re going to be able to do something really special for her. All year she’s heard way too much of “sit still, be quiet, be good” and so on. She’s 3 for god’s sake. We’ve expected a lot of her and she’s been a real trooper. Yes she has her moments, but she’s been so good for the most part.

The weekend was crazy. She had two birthday parties. I’d also given away most of her summer clothes from last year, so I had to run around to buy her a mini-wardrobe. I was very efficient, if I do say so myself. She has some very cute new dresses. Shopping is hard though. After Cole died, I had the hardest time going into baby clothing stores. I’d have to look away from the little boys section. More than once I practically hyperventilated. Now I can’t look at either side. I have to plow through infants to get to the toddler section. Yesterday in Carters there was a really cute little blue fleece outfit on a sale rack. It was all I could do not to buy it. Then I felt sick to my stomach. I managed to hold it together while paying for Annika’s dresses, then stumbled out the door in tears. Sigh.

The nurses from Greenwich NICU called today. I talked with Debbie and Rikki who took care of Lina while she was there. I was so glad they called. Neither of them were there when I stopped by the other day. I got to thank Rikki for helping me nurse her the one time. That is one of the most special memories I have.

Well, I better get some sleep. We’re flying early to the Magic Kingdom.

On not scaring kids

I managed to go to a birthday party for one of Annika’s friends without scaring any children (by crying – kids really freak out when they see grownups cry. I know, because I caused a fair deal of upset at daycare the other day). And without embarrassing myself. And one of the nurses from the Greenwich NICU, who helped out with Lina on the day she got sick, is the future sister-in-law of Annika’s friend’s mom (did you get that?). Seeing her there did make my heart hurt a little. But I knew she would be there so I was ready. And she is very, very sweet.

Can I make it two for two? Tomorrow is another birthday party.

The world’s most depressing blog

I think I have the world’s most depressing blog. And I think it’ll be that way for awhile.


About Me

I'm a grieving mom. I have one beautiful daughter, Annika, who's 3 years old now (born 12/28/04). I also had twins, Lina and Cole, on 10/04/07, born at just 26 weeks. We lost Cole after just 23 days due to complications related to his prematurity. Fiesty little Lina overcame so much and just when she was getting ready to come home with us, suddenly had a complication unrelated to her prematurity and passed away on January 11, 2008. This blog is about getting through it. More...