Sometimes I wonder if the past 3.5 years really did exist. Did we really just go through the birth AND the loss of our child? Of all places, did two of the best pediatric hospitals around really become our homes away from home? Did we actually join the club that no one wants to join?
Damn straight we did. (I think…it did happen right?)
These are actual thoughts that go through my mind every now and then. Starting with how the hell am I even old enough to be married, never mind have been pregnant and have a child! Aren’t I still an immature 20-something year old, leaving my house at 10pm to start my night, driving to Boston to spend way too much money on drinks and dancing (and maybe some sort of meat on a stick on the way out of the club)? I mean, I was able to sleep until noon the next day. And really my only responsibilities were to make sure I made it to work on time Monday morning and not forget to pay my cell phone bill. My good old flip phone. Those were the days. Those oh so long ago days.
I always saw women who were pregnant and could only imagine what that must be like. Such an amazing time in your life. You’re growing a human! Like an actual human with arms and legs and a head. Then you get pregnant and you can’t wait to actually be showing so you can flaunt it to the world that, yes, I’m going to be a mom. But then you get so big that you can’t wait until you no longer have this protrusion sticking out of your stomach. This alien life form that is poking and prodding your insides day and night. You want it out! Not just because you don’t know how much longer your ribs can take the kicking and punching, but you want to see this creature you are creating. Will it have your eyes, your husband’s nose? What color hair will he or she have? All the questions. Oh but wait, the only way that this alien life form is going to get out of you is to go through….labor! It’s intense and painful, you’ll cry, maybe throw up, but it’s also the best day of your life.
I’ve really experienced that? Yup.
I’ve also experienced seeing my baby, who I didn’t even get a chance to look over and inspect from head to toe be placed in an incubator with IV’s and wires coming out of him. So helpless, taking his first ambulance ride at 24 hours old. Not knowing what they will find in the MRI on his teeny little head. Sleeping the first 3 full nights in the parents room of the NICU, after having just given birth. Oh my, the emotions.
On the other hand, I’ve lived through a 6 week old who actual was sleeping through the night. Crying only when hungry. Being the most patient, cuddly and loving little human you can imagine. With the cutest laugh and laughable yawn. He was damn near perfect.
And then I ask myself, did I really experience a 10 month hospital stay for my little human? Seeing what no parent should have to see. Making decisions no parent should have to make. Becoming so comfortable at the number one pediatric hospital in the country that I almost felt more at home there than at my actual house. You always hear about Boston Children’s Hospital and how amazing they are, but to actually be a part of that community, to know more than you actually thought possible about that hospital (to actually miss being there sometimes), it’s surreal.
These aren’t even thoughts I’m writing down just for the sake of creating a blog post. These are all legitimate thoughts that have been going over and over in my head since that world ended on January 30, 2017 and this different world began.
It’s sometimes hard to comprehend that those times were the basis of our life. Did we really live with nurses in our house a majority of the day? Did we really have to monitor our son’s oxygen levels, heart rate, and formula intake 24 hours a day? Did our outings with Quinlan really consist of packing up a suction machine, oxygen tank, ventilator and food pump (among many other things)? Referring back to a previous post, how the hell did we do it?
At the same time I am also pondering, why are we the ones who are so blessed to have been given this child to learn from, to become so in love with that it hurts this bad to not have him with us anymore? One that was so perfect in his own way. That is also something I sometimes can’t wrap my mind around. Why were we chosen to be the lucky ones to call Quinlan ours?
As you can tell, it truly does not seem real sometimes. Which sounds crazy since I talk about it so much. But I have had to occasionally sit back and take in the fact that for 2 years 5 months and 1 day, my life was so much different then it is today.
Today I can go to the store without thinking twice about who can stay with Quinlan if Bear isn’t home from work yet, or if my sister isn’t around to help. Today I can leave the living room and not have to make sure the volumes on the alarms are turned up in case his oxygen was dipping and his ventilator was alarming. Today I can go home to an empty, quiet house with no machines taking over the living room.
But I would experience it all again, one thousand times over. I don’t like the quiet anyways.