i have seen more in the past few weeks here in the NICU than i have in my short 25 years on earth...more than i ever wanted to know. so many babies are sick. this isn't what i signed up for. this isn't what i saw on tv and in the movies. there, everyone has healthy babies. they make jokes out of getting pregnant. they make comedy movies about pregnancy and delivery. comedy! there was nothing funny about Charlie's delivery. there's nothing funny about what is going on now. america's funniest home videos has funny stuff about babies all the time. the thought of laughing at anything baby-related right now makes me want to vomit. i feel physically sick everyday. Charlie is getting sicker and sicker, and nobody can tell me what is going on, and whether or not he is going to live. today i finally asked one of the doctors point blank, "is he going to die"? she said "i don't know. it is a possibility".
a lot of the babies in this nursery have come and gone. they come in because of a relatively minor issue...stay as little as one day, or a few days, then they move on to the next nursery, and the next thing i know i don't see their name on the NICU boards anymore...they have now moved into the "NICU graduate" category. they've gone home....gone home to be with their families and be held and rocked and loved.
there are only a couple of us left here that were here when we first started out. david is one of them. i feel like such a bitch looking back on my behavior...at the time, i didn't think about him very much. i always saw him because he was right next to us, but i was so focused on Charlie that to be perfectly honest, i didn't care much about what was going on with david. now i realize just how sad his situation was. no one ever came to see him. he had absolutely no one in this world. here is this tiny baby who has no one there to love him and look out for him. big C has been amazing to him...she seems to have tried so hard to give him all the love she possibly can, while still being a professional and also taking care of Charlie at the same time (since they share a pod). david had an MRI the other day and big C was visibly upset that day. i don't know too much...only what i can pick up from the hushed conversations. but from what i gather, the MRI showed that he has significant brain damage from the stroke that he suffered just before birth. a very nice lady came in a couple days ago and spent some time with david because she was thinking of adopting him. i heard the doctor talking to her, and david will never live a normal life. they said that she may be able to take him out in public when he's older, but they just don't know. it sounds like his brain will slowly just deteriorate and shut down piece by piece, and eventually the areas that control his vital functions like breathing and heartbeat will also shut down. i never saw the woman again. i know big C was very disappointed that the woman didn't adopt him, but she was an older woman and i think that she probably felt that it was just too much for her to handle. i admire her for just even trying in the first place. i think it takes an amazingly kind and selfless person to even contemplate taking on such a feat. i think of david often. he always had very stable vital signs, so he was moved out of our nursery and up to the next nurseries. from what i know he was released after a month or so in the NICU to a long term care place. i wish i knew what happened to him....well, that's not entirely true. sometimes i wish i knew, but other times i'm glad i don't. his story makes me so sad that i'm too scared to ask anyone if they know what happened to him. i don't even know if he is still alive.
a few days ago a new baby was brought into our nursery. it was a transport from another hospital. i think the woman delivered at her local hospital and the baby was stablized and then brought to this hospital. they kicked me out when the baby first arrived so i wasn't able to hear anything about its diagnosis or prognosis. i don't think that it was a premie though because it's really big. most of the other babies are absolutely tiny and i could tell that this one was much bigger. i don't know what, but something is very wrong with this baby. you can just tell by looking at it. its abdomen is extraordinarily swollen and big. i try not to stare...(big C will yell at me again if i do)...i just pass by quickly when i first come in the room. yesterday, jay came up to visit at night. we were getting ready to leave RMH and go over to the NICU. i decided to call first just to make sure that they weren't doing a procedure or anything where we wouldn't be able to go in. the nurse on the phone asked me to wait about a half an hour before coming over. i asked if everything was okay (i always do because i'm always terrified that Charlie is the reason no one is allowed in the room). she told me that the baby at the front of the room died. died. it was there just a few hours ago, and now it is gone. i hung up the phone, told jay what happened, tried to hold back my tears as hard as i could, but broke down within a matter of minutes. i didn't know this baby, i didn't know the parents, i had no connection to any of them whatsoever....but i did have a connection. the connection that is somehow formed between NICU parents that have never even met. i felt their pain because that could have been Charlie. i have been in shock for weeks now, and everything just came crumbling down with that baby's death....a baby i didn't even know. that could have been Charlie. that could have been Charlie. when we finally went over to the NICU we saw the father coming out of the family room. i tried to ignore him as best i could. he looked lost...a vacant expression on his face. i think that the rest of the family was in the room with the baby....their final moments together. i couldn't even imagine at the time what they were going through and how their lives would change.
how can there be so much pain in this world? how could i have missed this all along. i feel so blind-sided. i didn't even know that babies died anymore. i have never been a very religious person, but i do have some faith. this entire experience is shaking that faith to its core. if there is a god out there, how could he possibly take the life of a tiny baby. a baby who hasn't even begun life yet. how can he make these babies suffer like this. i don't understand any of this.