One month down. Two months to go, as the optimist flies. I am on auto-pilot in the NICU, a blur of meetings and rounds and charts and highway driving and fluorescent lights and insatiable boob-sucking robots that tractor-beam me from one end of the hallway to the other, wheeshing FEED-ME-SEYMOUR! in-and-out.
We sweat bullets in front of a dozen –ologists, grasping for a prognosis on Liam where none exists. Talking odds and desperately picking apart words like 'delayed' and 'affected'. The short of it: from now on, we watch and wait. Years of it.
The critical aftermath was easier than this, this nothingness of time during which worst-case scenarios spin in front of us, all possible.
We’re so drained. Our skin still smokes and hisses, fresh from the brand of tragedy, to the point where I wonder if we’ll ever be ourselves again. The only respite is holding them, eyes closed and head completely empty, just clammy and breathing. When we all come to, shifting and murmuring, I put them back and straighten myself. Go to pump and POUF! the baby-spell breaks and the bloody perfect storm of possibilities slams down on my shoulders once more and I am filled again with despair and rage.
Ahh, screw it.
They’re both rearing up on four pounds now, almost twice their birth size. The nurses are already speculating about transitional care and open cots. They have explosive poops and they squirm and grunt and hum and sing. They think I’m terribly clumsy, but they like how I smell. They know each other, heart rates and oxygen sats matching, face-to-face.
They are wide-eyed and shut-tight, cranky and peace. So am I, for that matter.
I’m sick of it all, this dreary, institutional beige. The world is the colour of overcooked porridge. I hope that goes away, lets us laugh again someday. Right now we’re too solemn for everything — even the panty raid scene in 'Revenge of the Nerds' on late-night cable. That's how you know it for sure: you are a humourless zombie.
Here comes the Lact-eze 3000
Noooo, not already
It’s got me
I am be*&@$%)(&*%^*#%$