"You, O Lord, will not withhold Your compassion from me; Your loving kindness and Your truth will continually preserve me."
I've turned into a "mushy mess" with tears trailing all over the place as Jude has endured three intense days. He is recovering well but obviously exhausted from all of the discomfort, poking, and pricking.
A PICC Line has been inserted along with other IV's to replace failing ones. One IV has failed on three occasions because his veins continue to collapse. Another should have been removed three days ago to prevent infection but due to the challenge, it is still in. His skin tone has changed from that beautiful pink baby color to a pale, yellow, peaked color.
It is heart wrenching to see him with dried up blood along with so many wires dispersing from every part of his little body. Some lines didn't work correctly so others were made to replace them and, oh, how this all just makes a mother melt!
Withdrawals from recent additional dosages of narcotics (called boluses) are setting in. Tremors and fits are frequent making it difficult to judge when to administer additional narcotics or to allow him to suffer it off. He's no longer in the mood for those cherished wake-times. Hard to digest.
Late last night, as I returned from the mother's lounge, I found Paul working intensely with two other nurses giving Jude a bath, changing his linens, and working on his "cares." I noticed his dirty sheets laying on the floor and I placed my hands over my mouth. The sobbing began as I expressed how I wanted those sheets! Paul immediately embraced me. On another previous evening, I had restrained myself as I noticed them on the laundry heap. The same emotions washed over me then but I had managed to remain focused.
The nurses immediately identified my grief as though they had witnessed this many times before so suddenly, a container of "scent hearts" were in front of me. I picked out two hearts; one to be placed against my skin and the other under his head. Each day we'll switch the hearts so I can savor his scent and he can have mine. I just imagine that sweet elderly lady tenderly making those hearts right now. May the Lord graciously bless her for what she has done...so selflessly blessing me!
At one point the nurse hurriedly thrust through the emergency door returning with a large home-made blanket. She informed us that once there's word these blankets arrive and have been laundered, the nurses scatter to retrieve them quickly, sometimes grabbing an extra to "hide" for later use for the baby they're caring for. Again, I pondered over what these church ladies had done. Do they have any idea how grateful we are for such special blessings?
The pictures from children and special items are collecting on Jude's pod wall, so sweet and cheerful. Yesterday we arrived to find a 4th of July footprint card the nurse had made for us. Only Jude's card had two right footprints due to the wires protruding from his other foot....kind of cute!
Everyone who has sent text messages, emails and cards , called, and come for visits, and those of you who are praying, you've been a breath of fresh air. Some of our Community Baptist friends were able to visit us for a couple of days, helping us in many ways. Their presence here made us feel so "connected" again. Even sharing the blessing prior to lunch was extra special.
I'm growing relationships with two of my own nurses and four NICU moms who are all keeping in touch with us. They've been such a blessing from the Lord. Please say a prayer for my new friend Amanda as she is beginning to be receptive of the Lord and is overcoming some great addictions in her life.
We are eager to begin this next phase with Jude because by removing the ventilator, we'll be able to hear his voice for the very first time! All of this work collecting milk will also begin to pay off...a mother's joy! ~Jen