January 30, 2017 by CassieCravings
If you missed part 1, you may read it here.
While in the ICU, I spend most of my time asleep. During that sedation doctors parade in and out. They discuss options with my husband. I stir just enough to hear him ask, “What are her chances?”I will myself to not hear the answer. I don’t want to know. I concentrate only on healing and on my children. When I do wake, I call out for my baby. I don’t know if anyone can hear me. I don’t know if I am even making noise. But the sheer act of calling for my infant reminds me of who needs me to fight.
Family and friends visit. I don’t know how long they stay. I feel their hands on mine. I hear their comforting words to my husband. I hear their tears. They come. They go. But my husband stays. He doesn’t leave the room. I feel him near me. I feel his worry, and I feel his strength.
When the people have left, and there are no doctors or pastors or family or friends, when it is just my husband and me, he pulls a chair to sit close to me. It scrapes across the sterile, tile of the ICU floor, and he sits as close to the bed as possible, pressing himself against the plastic side-rails. He wraps both of his hands around my frail one. For a while he sits without speaking. Then he begins to pray. He prays for my healing and for things to be better. He squeezes my hand as he chokes out the words.
“It’s going to be okay,” I lie. He doesn’t respond. Perhaps I wasn’t convincing enough. Perhaps my voice couldn’t carry the lie loud enough to be heard. The effort is exhausting. I fall back into my dreamless, fitful sleep.
People begin to come in and out again. I assume it’s another day. I don’t know how long I have been in the hospital. Time doesn’t move while I am there.
A friend I have not seen in way too long walks into the room. As I hear her voice, I strain to see her. My husband says her name, but I already know. I can feel her spirit, that unmistakable energy that electrifies a room when she enters.
I begin to weep.
I weep because she is here for me now and for the times that I so casually said “We should get together.” without any follow-through. I weep for missed lunch dates and for what could have been. I weep for what we almost lost and for what we might still lose.
She does the same.
Neither of us speak. She strokes my hand, and I long to reciprocate. However, my hand still doesn’t move. So, I allow her to comfort me. Inwardly I vow to not let us waste time anymore. Outwardly She does the same. And I smile. She doesn’t need my words to know my heart, and this is why we are friends.
I awake again to find that friend gone. There is another energy in the room. It is one of excitement and anticipation. I fight to open my eyes and to see what could cause such a stir.
My body is jolted from its sedated state. I feel my respiration increase. My weak right arm pulls heavily, inelegantly towards the bundle that has been laid on my chest. My mind tries to process. Could it be? Is he here? Is this my baby? It is him. Delicate and perfect. His two week old body folded neatly onto my breast, exactly where he belongs.
For the first time since the night of the seizure, I recognize sound coming from me. It is an open, unabashed wailing. My entire body tremors with the weight of this eight pound infant lying on me. He sleeps without stirring, completely at peace even in my brokenness. I bury my face into his and inhale his scent and his peace. My warm tears drip from my face onto his.
“It’s going to be okay,” I whisper hoarsely and fiercely. This time it is truth, and I believe it with every fiber of my being.
Thank you again for all of the support. I have now successfully reached 1 month past my stroke! It’s difficult to believe that a month has already passed. So much has been accomplished in just that one month. We still have quite the road to go, and we will follow it with grit and gratitude.
Part 3 will be up soon.