As the nurse ran out of the room, I remember just seeing Caleb's little feet peaking out from underneath her arm and feeling terrified that I would not see my son again. And I lost it.
Just minutes later Jes walked back in the room and had no idea what was going on. I could only get single words out but managed to communicate to him that Caleb had been taken by a nurse somewhere because he was blue. I can't imagine what it was like for him to walk into a situation like that, but he ran out of the room faster than I've ever seen him go.
I'm not completely sure of the events of the next few hours but I do remember my mom and dad showing up again and the chaplain coming by my room. It was at this point that I thought that Caleb had died. I hadn't seen my husband or my son for hours and had no idea what was going on.
When Jes came back to my room he sat down and began to sob. Now I really had no idea what was going on. What I did find out was that Caleb was alive but under an oxygen tent with all kinds of tubes and such in the NICU. Jes forbade me from seeing Caleb at that point, I'm not really sure why even now, but something about his demeanor told me that I should do what he says.
I just waited and waited. My mom and dad waited with me and I'm so thankful that they were there because I can't imagine sitting through that time alone, even though I don't really remember a lot of it. Around 10:00pm on Sunday, I was given the go ahead to go see Caleb in the NICU and you have never seen a woman freshly from surgery move that fast. I practically ran down that hallway.
After getting all the rules and regulations, my mom and I were lead back to the area of the NICU where my son waited for me. Caleb, being a full term baby, was put in the area of the NICU where the sickest and smallest babies were, with the theory being that he wouldn't need as much care as they would. When I first laid eyes on Caleb, I knew that he would be ok, but I just didn't know what we would have to go through to see him through.
I was able to hold Caleb that night and it was all I could do to hold it all together. Thank goodness my mom was there because I would have lost my mind if she hadn't been with me. That night we were introduced to the wonderful nurse that would care for Caleb most of the time he was there and I felt confident enough to leave him and get some rest. The next morning I was the first mom in the NICU and did not leave his bed side except to pump breast milk or for shift change.
Throughout the following days we recieved very grave news from every doctor that saw Caleb in the NICU, telling us many different things but all resulting in some pretty serious surgeries that would need to be done to correct his airway issues, not to mention the issues that they thought were causing problems from his umbilical cord coming away from the placenta. At one point we were even told that he would have to undergo surgery to basically redo the whole skeletal structure of his face. Not something that you really want to hear from a doctor about your 2 day old.
On Tuesday night, I had had a particularly difficult day, getting a lot of really bad news all at once. That night as I was leaving the NICU I was really upset by the nurse on duty who I felt like was being too rough with Caleb (now I know that she wasn't, she was just doing her job), but it all just put me over the edge and I broke. That night I spent the whole night in my bed crying out to God to heal my baby and get us through this ordeal. I'm sure the nurses probably thought I had finally lost it because everytime they came to check on me that night I was weeping and or speaking out loud.
I finally just told God, as I passed out from exhaustion, that Caleb was His and that I had no hold on him or control over the situation. I distinctly remember saying, "I can't fix him, but you can. Please heal him."
The next morning, Wednesday, I awoke to sunlight streaming through my window and a sense of calm and peace in my room. This was the day that I was to be released from the hospital, without my baby. I dreaded this day but also felt in the depth of my soul that it was going to be a good day. That morning I got a visit from the neonatologist who gave us some news that we were not expecting to hear.
Just to give a little perspective, Caleb had had numerous x-rays, CT scans, MRIs, and even a scope passed through his airway and sinus cavities throughout the proceeding days, all coming back with the same information, that the skeletal structure of his face, airways, and sinuses were not compatable with life.
Wednesday morning the neonatologist told us that, after one more scope, it was determined that it was soft tissue swelling. No one knew what had happened in the course of the night, but I did. My God healed my son.
Caleb was kept in the hospital for about 48 more hours in order to complete a round of steroids to lessen the swelling, have his feeding tube removed and to get everyone comfortable having him off the monitors. He came home with me on Friday morning.