We are home. Finally. Though, to be honest, this hospitalization was not nearly as rough on Corrigan ( or me ) as the one in August. The private room surely helped a billion percent but really it was mostly due to the maturation of Corrigan. Instead of being a tiny tiny baby that could only express his needs (and frustrations) through crying or screaming…he is now a little personality that can express what he wants more clearly every day. There was very little crying save for a few ugly hours, third day, when his tummy and intestines were rebelling a bit with the reintroduction of "food" to his system.
Blessings. If you are looking for them you can find them in any situation. Personally, I find myself deliberately looking for them…especially when things get tough. I believe that God never leaves us alone to handle whatever we are dealing with and often gives us tiny (and sometimes large) gifts in the midst of stuggles and strife. This time, at Hopkins, the obvious blessing was having a room to ourselves but the hidden blessing was that I got to spend three days with Corrigan.
I know, I spend every single day with Corrigan but this was nothing but time…time to get to know his every quirk…time to memorize every wrinkle on his little thighs…time to learn that he thinks it is hysterical to call him "sweet pickle"…nothing but time for he and I to bond. I was not distracted by the internet, by the three loads of daily laundry or by what bill is due today and what are we having for dinner. There was no homework that needed my assistance, no dog that needed to go outside to pee ten times a day and no floors to be scrubbed.
What there was was a 5 month old baby boy that was more and more aware of what pain every needle stick was going to bring…but also more and more aware that mommy was there to make it better the second that the nurses were finished. There were sweet moments that I would hold him on my hip, rocking back and forth, while craning my neck to see the local news on the near-ceiling mounted television…to suddenly feel as if I was being stared at intently…and looking down at Corrigan and watching his face break out in the most face splitting grin when I made eye contact with him. He loved watching me closely, sometimes quietly from his crib and whenever I would stop what I was doing to glance at him he would suddenly jerk with happiness and break out in slobbery grin simply because I looked his way.
He grew up a lot in three days. At home, prior, he was not the baby that you could put down and walk away to leave him play happily with his toes ( at least not for long ) but forced to spend more time doing just that due to IV's and wires he found happiness in doing just that. He would lay in his bed and sing to his feet…and would lay still as I rubbed his forehead and sang him the theme from The Adam's Family (don't ask , I don't know..I was tired )
I grew to enjoy every bit of time that he was awake instead of hoping for him to get some sleep…his contentedness ( a word, no? ) was a joy and I realized how smitten I was when he woke me at 3:42 am one morning and I did not even grumble…not once. You see, he was singing and cooing with great gusto that early morning and I grabbed my trusty flashlight ( my Ipod screen) to determine what exactly might be happening in the crib next to me…and as I peeked through the bars I saw a little baby boy that just discovered, in the dark of his hospital room, that his toe was glowing (ET style) from the pulse-ox monitor that was taped firmly there. I saw a chunky little foot held square on his chin as his glowing red big toe was almost propped on his nose…and listened to the delighted sounds of a baby that just discovered something completely awesome.
and a mama that just realized something completely awesome too.
This. time. was. a. blessing.
Mark says that it was time to "dig in" with him and it is true. It was a chance to get down and dirty without distraction, without expectation and without a time limit.
I missed my other boys, of course, and nothing about these last few days diminishes the complete love and adoration that I have for them but it allowed me to develop and equal love and admiration for Corrigan. One that might have taken months or years to feel so deep…but that grew so quickly in the least ideal of situations.
My boys. My heart.