Saturday, March 12, 2011

Baby Fever

I will admit it, I have baby fever. People are having babies all around me and it makes me want to have another. I had always wanted three children. After TRex was born, I had convinced the Mad Scientist that three was the way to go (before that, he thought two was the perfect number of children for a family). I pictured it in my mind. We would have TRex, the Dancing Queen, then baby Tierdan, a perfect little boy to round out our family.

All of that came to a screeching halt at some point after the Dancing Queen's diagnoses in utero and before we brought her home from the hospital. Despite being in deep denial regarding the Dancing Queen's prognosis, the Mad Scientist knew we couldn't handle more. There were too many doctors appointments, too much added expense, and too little time for a family of four, so adding another child would not be wise or fair to any of us. And, of course, the fear that this could happen all over again was crippling to the Mad Scientist (even if he won't admit it). At the end of the day, he has his two amazing children that make the perfect family.

I agree with all of that. Personally, I think fear of the unknown is something we should stand up against, but practicality won out. And of course, I do have the perfect family already. I mean, look at those beautiful children.
The Mad Scientist was snipped almost two years ago. No more babies for us.

Still. That doesn't stop me from wanting another baby right now. My cousin has two boys around the same age as TRex and the Dancing Queen. She just had her third. Many of my sorority sisters have had babies recently. Two heart mom friends just had babies in the last month. One was born a couple of nights ago. I just want to snuggle a new baby and kiss them. Fall asleep with a newborn in my arms.

I know many women go through this from time to time. I recall my mom saying she needed a "baby fix" on more than one occasion. But, I think a lot of my wanting a baby is that with TRex, I took the snuggles for granted. I remember clearly how he would fall asleep in my arms and how much I loved it, but I still don't think I appreciated it enough. I long for that feeling again.
I never really had that with the Dancing Queen. The way I was able to first see my sweet baby was a picture on the Mad Scientist's cell phone. As soon as she was cut from my body, she was swept away. I learned that she had red hair from nursing students in the recovery room. I had sent them on a mission to learn how my girl was doing as my vital signs were being closely monitored following my c-section. Hours later, I was able to hold the Dancing Queen for five minutes before she was transferred to the children's hospital. By that point, she was on oxygen and hooked up to many IVs and had already had her first echocardiogram.
Hours later, after she was settled in, I was rolled to her room (there were connecting tunnels between the hospitals) and we couldn't hold her any more, she was on a ventilator. The next day, the Dancing Queen had her first heart catheterization. At three days old, the she was scheduled to have her first major heart surgery. Instead, she spiked a fever and had an extraordinarily hard day. Through all of that, all we could do was rub her head and try to hold her hand. I didn't get to snuggle with my newborn. I got to sit on an office chair and look at her hooked up to many IVs, a picc line, a ventilator, and she even had a 15 lead EKG on for her entire third day because she had episodes of SVT (really fast and dangerous heart rate). There were no hugs.
On the Dancing Queen's fourth day, she had a miraculous improvement and the ventilator was even able to be removed. We were able to hold her (and felt guilty doing it in the NICU surrounded by other parents who could not hold their newborns). Friday, Saturday, and Easter Sunday, we were able to hold our newborn.
On that Monday, she had surgery and she remained intubated (on a ventilator) for about a month. We could not hold her during any of that time. To get her to calm down and stop her silent cries (you can't make sounds on a ventilator because no air can move the vocal cords), we would rub her head and hold her hand. She laid in a hospital bed and most of the time, she was heavily sedated and on pain meds. We couldn't even allow her to wake up for more than a couple of minutes because she would work too hard and cause herself damage. So, no falling asleep in mommy's arms. There was no falling asleep really. She was knocked unconscious.
Even off of the ventilator, the Dancing Queen was still in a hospital bed until she was 2 months old. While we held her, it wasn't all that comfortable because she was still hooked up too many lines and tubes. The Dancing Queen was fed breast milk, but I pumped and then she was fed through a feeding tube. We didn't get that closeness. When she finally came home, she didn't really want to be held. She preferred to be in her swing or bouncy seat.
Today, the Dancing Queen loves to be held. There are many times she doesn't want to be put down. I'm grateful for those moments. But, I can't help but mourn the fact that I never got to make the special memories of holding her close as a newborn. I was never able to make her feel safe and comfort her in my arms as a baby.  I long for those moments that can never happen. For that reason alone, I have baby fever. I know it won't satisfy my longing , but it sure would be fun to snuggle with a new baby once more.


  1. My older spent the first two months of his life in Texas Children's Hospital, and my younger has some heart defects, thankfully not too serious. Both are "high functioning" autistic. So I sort of know what it's like for you to deal with all of the stuff going on. I say "sort of" because I know that no one really knows unless they are going thru it. I'm a single mom, and I find the quickest way to cure baby fever is to just imagine what it would be like if one my children were twins instead. If I had another one of these guys I'd have to run away from home! Or start drinking! ;)

  2. I just came across this post and I know which babies you were talking about! ;) You are welcome to come snuggle with my sweet Emmett any time.


Having a child with a CHD is like being given an extra sense---the true ability to appreciate life. Each breath, each hug, each meal is a blessing when you've watched your child live off a ventilator, trapped in an ICU bed, being fed through a tube. Each minute is a miracle when you've watched your child almost die and come back to you.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...