While I was thinking my infant looked dead, we were walking with the resident, a nurse, the social worker, Geo, my friend and I, to the CT Scanner. If you have not seen a CT Scanner up close they are pretty large. They are HUGE next to a five month old baby who weighs 15 lbs. They slid him in and scanned his head. They did not seen anything unusual in the scan but would let the radiologist look at it and let us know.Next stop~Infant ICU aka NICU aka Neonatal Intensive Care.
They set Brennan and his IVs and respirator up in a room with only 2 beds. There were 2 other rooms in the ICU area, a huge room with 20 babies and a small room which held only one baby. The room we were in also held the ECMO machine(A heart/lung machine for critically ill babies awaiting surgeries usually). Brennan had a nurse just for him and one other baby that first night.McHub had to go home and deal with the older boys, his father who happened to be visiting(OY VEY!), and call my parents and his mom and sister. My friend C, needed to get home but promised to come back later. She had to take care of her boys and husband and would bring me supplies back, as I was not leaving my Brennie's side.
I settled in a rocking chair right next to Brennie's metal crib bed. I kinda rocked and stared at him. I cannot remember a single coherent thought going through my head. The resident who had asked me about Brennie's medical history came up and kept me company for awhile. Dr. Deb was 25, a 3rd year pediatric resident who went through med school at University of Michigan(My favorite all time college on earth). Even though she had not slept in 2 days, Dr. Deb stayed for over an hour, which helped me to calm down.
I was calm on the outside the entire time but inside I think my stomach was full of heavy lead and somewhere in the very far back in my mind, I knew this was all a very bad scene. As if a teeny black cloud floated above me and Brennie, I could feel a terrible knowing this was not going to have a happy ending.
I kept getting asked if I was hungry and was offered a voucher for a meal in the cafeteria. I wasn't hungry. I don't think I was hungry for the next 6 months. They did kick me out as per their policy. It was for 30 minutes every so many hours I think. I can't remember now. I wandered down the hallway with the names of children who had died there on glass plaques on the walls extending for seemingly forever. I mentally flinched. I could not look at those names. I could look out of every window I passed but I could not make myself even glance at those plaques(perhaps knowing my child's name would be on one someday?).
I was 33 when this happened. I looked about 20. No makeup, no sleep, hair short, like a boys. When I was in the crash room rocking and praying they had to ask who I was, none of them thinking I was old enough or hysterical enough to be the mom. I'm pretty sure I was wearing an oversized t-shirt and an old pair of my hubby's sweats. That was my usual thing to sleep in. Yup, I was dressed for success. Like I cared.
I skipped the cafeteria and wandered into the gift shop. I bought a People magazine. It was their worst dressed celebrity issue and that was a stretch for my attention span. I went back into ICU and settled back in my very uncomfortable rocking chair. The sun was setting because I remember the slant of light in the room. The very quiet room except for respirators, monitors and IV pumps.
I rocked and stared at my still, silent beautiful baby and brushed his hair back or held onto his leg. It made me feel better to feel the warmth of his body. No matter how high tech weird all the stuff going into him looked, underneath, it was my baby boy.
I did not allow my mind to settle on anything. I would not let it wander into the dangerous territory of what was wrong with my son and what did it mean. Nope, I refused to go there. At this point, I just wanted my baby to get better so I could take him home. So my wandered, within the limits I set for it.