What a difference two years make.
I’m sitting here giving Zo her breathing treatment and praising God that her respiratory system is stronger now than it was December 18, 2015.
On my “on this day” two years ago, I made a post asking for prayers because we were waiting on a call from Zo’s doctor regarding next steps. I remember that evening well. It wasn’t time to take her to the hospital yet. She still had some fight in her. But as those of us that have watched our child(ren) struggle through RSV, it.is.terrifying. I put her to bed December 18, 2015, and just hung out gazing into her crib. Was she going to keep breathing? She had an angel monitor under her mattress (one of those monitors that sets off an alarm if the baby stops breathing and/or the heart stops beating). But that angel monitor did not keep my mind from fearing that was the last night I’d put her to sleep. Her breathing was just too labored….I feared she wasn’t going to make it.
But with RSV, that is the journey. You watch and wait. Will the immune system fight…or will the baby want to give up.
The next morning we’d wake up and Zane would take her to the doctor. I would watch him buckle her in and pull away, then I’d put my back to the front door as it closed and cry. I’d cry because I knew….she was giving up.
I’d soon receive a call from Zane telling me that he was heading straight to Vanderbilt. “The doctor didn’t want to wait for an ambulance, Emmie. He said get to Vandy now.” I would then begin calling local friends to see if anyone was free to take me and the other two kids to Vanderbilt, and meet Zane there. (Thank you, Kim, for taking time out of your morning to do that!!!) Zane made a 30 minute trip to Vanderbilt in…not that much time…and would bypass triage. Those next moments were a blur to him. He remembers Zo being taken from him, him not even going through security checks, 3-4 nurses deep suctioning her and trying to find a vein, and ultimately telling Zane that she was in good hands. She was going to be okay. He got her there in time.
Before I’d even make it to Vanderbilt, our Pedi would call us and ask if Zo made it. If she was admitted. If he had made the right call in not waiting for an ambulance.
I can’t remember for sure, but I think when I made it to Zo’s room, our Pastor was already there with Zane. I remember seeing two bruised hands where the nurses had blown her veins and the nice clean line in her foot where they had found one. I remember the constant beeping of the monitors throwing my heart and mind back into the NICU days. And I remember several people coming around us and showering us with comfort and love.
Cat showed up within minutes of us getting into our PICU room, with the first hot coffee I had ever enjoyed from Starbucks. Our then neighbors, Jason and Heather, came to visit us and pray with us. Ryan and Gloria showed up with food for us so we wouldn’t have to leave Zo’s side to go the cafeteria. Jacky showed up with food also and stayed a while for a visit and made us laugh. Emily was in town for a short period of time so came to visit. Papa stayed with the kids several days at home while Zane and I tried to figure out a rhythm. And that is not all of the compassion and love that surrounded us…just a touch.
I remember listening to “Noel” by Lauren Daigle again and again and singing it into my sweet little girl’s ears. I remember that song playing in our room as the boy across from Zo’s room passed and was wheeled away for organ donation. I remember grabbing coffee outside Zo’s room and overhearing one of the boy’s family members saying, “who knows how many people’s lives he is going to save. How much his life means! He was always helping others.” <–and he was joyful and sorrowful simultaneously.
It was 5 hard days. 5 days I never want to revisit again. 5 days that I’m reminded of every time Zo catches a respiratory illness that lands her with “Bubbles the Face Mask.”
She is in bed now.
The in between of that December 18 night, putting my girl to rest and wondering if she’d keep fighting, and now is obvious. She has grown stronger. Her body is growing and she can fight better. She is more equipped. And being older and being able to take medicine for congestion is SUPER NICE. I don’t know what you have in your medicine cabinet, but I am soooo thankful to the Lord that my baby girl is over 2 years old for this fall/winter season.
She has had a rough day but her congestion remains loose and ‘suctionable.’ I put her to bed while she smiled back and said ‘night night.’
She has grown. Immensely. There is still growth needed, indeed. Her respiratory system can definitely learn to step it up several notches. But all in time. All in His time. In the in between whatever is to come, we will still learn and fail and try and succeed, and lean on Christ for grace and patience and endurance.
The in between….we miss the beauty that is happening if we are focused on the end goal. I don’t want to miss the in between.
Even if the in between means eyes are closed and not all are smiling and it takes way too long to get the camera to focus. I don’t want to miss it.