The next ten days of Adrian’s stay in the NICU were an incredibly difficult rollercoaster, made even harder by my physical state. I broke my tailbone delivering Adrain and was in agony, unable to even walk around the hospital where Adrian was staying. I was either in unbearable pain, or sick and dizzy from taking the Vicodin needed to manage my pain.
On July 30, after kissing Adrian goodbye and leaving him in the hands of the surgeon, I was desperately trying to figure out where I could stay while we waited for Adrian to come out of surgery. I could not sit because of my tailbone, and I was exhausted from the trials of the last 24 hours. Eric searched fruitlessly for a couch or somewhere I could rest. I began to cry, not knowing what to do.
Just then two nurses came up to us. “Are you ok?” One of them asked.
“No!” I said and quickly explained our situation.
The nurse nodded. “We walked by you, but then I thought, ‘that woman was not ok. She needs help!’ Something told me I needed to come back and help you. I am the nurse manager, and I’ll find you a room where you can sleep and wait for your baby’s surgery to be over.” Within minutes, we were in our own room and the nurse had brought me tea and an ice pack for my back.
She had just “happened” to walk by just as we needed help and noticed our need. Thank you to her, and thank you to God!
Here are more of the ways God blessed us during that time:
• Peace and strength in our marriage—this was a high-stress time in our lives, and I was in incredible pain. Usually, times like that put strain on even the best relationships. But there was so much love between Eric and I, and he was an incredible support to me. We got along perfectly, and felt very connected to one another. Instead of our marriage struggling during a difficult time, it was a bedrock that helped me get through it. God showed us what marriage is supposed to be like when times get tough. We were absolutely stronger as a team than either one of us would have been alone.
• Adrian’s early arrival allowed Eric to still be on summer break throughout the time we were in Denver, so he had no stress and could focus on the family
• My instinct about Adrian’s birth meant that Eric had his school laptop, which we relied on extensively while in Denver
• There was room at the Ronald McDonald house close to the hospital, so we had a cheap (but wonderful!) place to stay throughout our ordeal (and rooms there are VERY scarce)
• Eric lost the ambulance when he was following it to Denver, but “happened” to find it again on the interstate
• My parents, Julie and Rex, and Amy being available to watch Stephen (thanks, you guys are awesome!)
• Adrian had no difficulty nursing even though he couldn’t start for 5 days and had to be bottle fed at first. My milk also came in with no problems despite the delay.
• Adrian’s leg infection being found quickly—usually parents do the “cares” every 3 hours—changing baby’s diaper and taking his temperature. I was almost always there to take care of Adrian, but I just “happened” to be running late for one of his cares. Since I wasn’t there yet, the nurse changed his diaper instead of me, and immediately noticed the cellulites beginning in his leg. I don’t think I would have noticed it if I had been changing him. She called the charge nurse and he was started on immediate antibiotics so the problem could be taken care of before it got worse. If I had been on time and changed his diaper like I was supposed to, it probably wouldn’t have been noticed until it got worse.
• No post partum depression! I struggled after Stephen’s birth, but despite the hardship of Adrian’s birth, I have not had any post partum depression.
Although Adrian’s initial surgery went very well, he continued to have setbacks (severe jaundice and an infection) that prevented us from returning home quickly.
Despite all these hardships, God’s blessings were plainer than I have ever experienced. Eric and I were continually amazed at how God provided for us again and again in one of the most difficult journeys of our lives.