I've been here at the hospital for six weeks today.
The first few days were very (VERY) hard on me. I had to have an I.V. put in to dispense the antibiotics that we needed and, although it was just a simple I.V., it was really effing traumatic to me. Not only was I having to deal with the emotional roller coaster that comes along with your baby's life being in major danger, I was brought right back to that mental mindset of a being a cancer patient. The I.V. pole. The medical tape. The bracelet printed with my name and medical record number. The way the antibiotics made my pee smell (chemo pee has a distinct smell and the antibiotics were similar). My I.V. pole was tethered to me, like a ball and chain follows a prisoner. I had to unplug it and wheel it around with me where ever I went. The hospital gowns and the smell of the bed linens, so sterile and unhappy. Being here put me right back to the place of sickness and sadness and death. I kept waiting for the doctors to come in and tell me that my body was full of tumors and there was nothing that they could do for me. It was seriously rough.
After only a few hours of sleep the first night -- our next door neighbor had a crying, screaming newborn who wouldn't let up -- I was a WRECK. I cried all day long and was experiencing major fight or flight feelings. I wanted to fly. I wanted the baby out of me and I wanted to run away from the hospital and not look back. I didn't care if my butt was hanging out of my hospital gown and I had medicine dripping out of my I.V. line. IN those first few days, I didn't care if Teddy lived or died, I just knew that I needed to get the hell out of that room and get that I.V. out of my arm. Away from that place, the place where they would keep me and pump me full of drugs. The place that would take my hair and my appetite. Where I would lose not only my unborn child, but my life as well. I wanted out.
Looking back, those few days were not among my proudest moments as a mother. Something kept me here, an unseen string holding me down. I just kept swimming - I made it one minute, one flashback, one I.V. pole bathroom trip at a time. Full breaths, Dustin by my side and major amounts of distraction. Some part deep down inside of me was not ready give up on this little boy who had not given up on himself.
One of my nurses, Joanne, changed my mindset. She, through her words, made me fight for Teddy. She made him more real, made my whole outlook more positive and helped me reach down inside and find this love for Teddy that I knew I had, but was hidden by my own fears and memories and experiences. Teddy deserved more from me than giving up. He was worth more my desire to leave this place that would be our only hope for a good outcome. Teddy loved me. He believed in me. And I owed him just as much, if not more because I am his MOTHER. Might he die? Yes, there was a very good chance that he might. I had accepted that as major possibility, but in my acceptance I had pushed him away so that it would hurt less if he did. It's one of my defense mechanisms. I am only a human being, and I hope Teddy will forgive me for not being strong when he needed me.
The next few days got better. I told my doctors that after the I.V. antibiotics were finished, I wanted it removed from my arm. All of my doctors and a few of my nurses voiced their opposition, but I knew that if I wanted to be here long enough to make a difference in Teddy's life, I had to get this thing that was causing me such mental trauma out of my damn body. It's crazy how a place, an object or a smell can be so traumatic to one person and be nothing to another. It felt safe to me to have the I.V. out of my arm. I felt more secure, more in control in a situation in which my control was very limited.
These past few weeks have become much more mellow. I have a semi-routine that brings me much comfort. I get to see Roman about three times per week, once with my parents, once with Dustin's parents and once with Dustin. Roman stays with my parents Sunday to Wednesday morning, with Dustin's parent's Wednesday to Friday evening and Friday evening to Sunday morning with Dustin at our house. On Saturday nights, Dustin and Roman come for Family Dinner -- the highlight of my whole week. They pick up dinner on their way over here and we sit around my bedside table/tray and eat together. It's the only time all week that I get to watch my baby have a meal in person. See him use a fork and dip things into sauces. Give him bites off of my fork and make his plate. Family Dinner is the only time (besides when I take a shower) that things feel... normal. If only we had enough room for him to stay the night with us!