Monday, June 25, 2012

My NICU - By One-Day Hubby.

My NICU experience can almost be defined by the passage from the Tao de Ching :

When people see some things as beautiful, other things become ugly. 
When people see some things as good, other things become bad. 

I say almost because my experience was actually the complete opposite to this.

I was plunged in to the ugly and dark reality of seeing my daughter, my flesh and blood, being pulled from the safety and comfort of her womb where she was exposed to an existence of constant pain and suffering. For her every breath was a battle, she had to work for every aspect of this new thing called life. As her father, that was supposed to be my job. I could only stand aside and helplessly cry the tears that she was yet incapable of shedding.

And yet through the ugliness the beauty could not help but shine through.

My Smidge was in the second best place she could have been. By some amazing stroke of sheer coincidence I had been born in the twentieth century so by the time Smidge had to face into her trials she had the full force of twenty first century technology on her side. I was blown away by the precision with which her care was administered. Years of study and fine tuning carried out by thousands of dedicated men and women around the world meant that everything she needed could be given to her when she needed it. The doctors and nurses didn't stop for a second to make sure everything went as well as it could. Not once did they expect me to thank them for it, they didn't even send me an invoice for their trouble! Even I can't comprehend how deep my gratitude towards them is.

Likewise, we were faced with the ugliness of having our family ripped away from their home. Yet faced with this potential disaster, beauty shone through again. People who didn't even know who we were stepped in and offered us their homes. They didn't even waver at the prospect of having a whole tribe of hippies, kids and german shepherds invade their house over christmas. I am deeply humbled by the beauty that shone from their kind souls.

If it hadn't been for the bad, I would have never seen the good.

And I saw in Leanna a strength I had never seen before. She transformed from being the girl I loved to hang out with to being my warrioress. Not a single day went past when she wasn't fighting for our daughter at her side with a steadfast determination.

Leanna did everything she possibly could for our daughter. Woe betide any of the medical staff whose standards of care slipped even slightly! She expressed milk every three hours and through the night even when we felt our daughter would never take it. She persisted even when tears of agonywere streaming down her face. (expressing milk can be pretty painful or so I'm told)  Then she would ensure she was promptly with our daughter by 9 am for the doctors rounds and to be involved in her regular cares.

I will always be in awe of what she did for our daughter in that time. She fought with the power of a true mother. I have no doubt that it is because of Leanna's strength the our Smidge is alive and thriving.

And none of that compares to the most beautiful thing of all.

Tomorrow as the sun rises I will be awoken to the wonderful sounds of "Da da". I will raise my head and look over and there in the cot with her little head peeking over the top will be my Smidge calling me to action and reminding me that no matter what today throws at me, somewhere in amongst the chaos there will always be beauty.

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