It is late.
Corrigan was up only a few hours after going to bed and crying differently than normal. It was clear that he was in pain. He was limping, or I don’t know, walking differently than normal. Keeping his left leg stiff and hardly bending his right. A Frankenstein sort of walk-then barely walking at all, only to get to the couch to rest.
On the surface everything looks fine. His knees are not swollen, his ankles seem okay, the bottoms of his feet are not wounded. It seems to either be his hip or his groin. Whatever it is woke him from his sleep. I hate that he cannot tell me what hurts. I hate that he hurts at all.
He is back in bed now, after some late night Netflix and some Mommy snuggles. I rubbed his little legs with arnica gel and watched carefully if any of my ministrations caused him to flinch in pain (they did not). A dose of ibuprofen, a kiss on his forehead and his blankie and he was soon back asleep.
Earlier, while he was watching Dora, I sat on the couch beside him and opened my email on my phone. This video was in my inbox. Corrigan, curious as to what I was watching, moved onto my lap and I whispered, “This was you, baby. This was you.” and tried not to cry.
I remember this moment so clearly. Only the second time I was able to hold him since his transfer to Johns Hopkins. Each time felt so brief. 24 hours in a row would not have been enough time for me. He was slowly waking up to the world, the trauma of his first 6 or 7 days of life behind him. We were still in the PICU, where Mark and I sat for hours on hard metal chairs. Barely speaking, just staring at our baby in his bed.
I watched this with sound tonight but I do not think I need to watch it with sound again. I know all too well what happened to that little boy I can hear crying in the background. All of it…all of this breaks my heart.
I hate that this was his start. I hate that tonight, because of that start, he is unable to find the words to let me know what hurts. That today he sat in therapy and worked on activities that a 12 month old can do. I hate that my baby struggles.
But my God, am I so thankful that I have him beside me.
(if the video does not show you can view it here on Flickr)