Friday, December 03, 2004

Inspired sloth

As we’ve mentioned before, you’ll never go hungry for clichés or casseroles when you have a child in the NeoNatal Intensive Care.

We’re blessed with many good friends who’ve become food fairies since Will’s birth. We’ve stopped counting how many times we’ve returned home to find Corning Ware on the front porch. We love it all, and it’s exactly what we need. The last time I cooked dinner, we had pistachios and American cheese.

We’re also aware that no one knows what to say at a time like this, and clichés became clichés for a reason. For a while, it was: “Everything happens for a reason” or “God wouldn’t give you anything you can’t handle” and “Special kids need special parents.”

Increasingly, we hear, “You’re handling this so well.”

That one’s always made us chuckle. We certainly wouldn’t use our behavior as a model for how to handle this stuff. We cry a lot. We bicker. We watch too much reality TV, fight the urge to run far away, and have eaten every brownie in sight since Oct. 15. Short of spending our days curled into fetal balls and sucking our thumbs, I’m unsure how we’d have to act for people to whisper, “Y’know, they’re just not handling things well at all.”

Mo and I were talking about it last night. Sometimes, we fear our matter-of-fact approach toward discussing Will could be misconstrued as callousness. As usual, I launched into some lofty psychological talk that didn’t make much sense. As usual, Mo cut through the bull and found the right words.

“It’s easy! That’s all it is,” she said. “It’s easier to be matter-of-fact and accept things. I don’t have the energy to worry all the time, be frustrated and cry every day. It takes too much out of you.”

Mo, my beautiful, wise wife, you nailed it: Our laziness has finally become a virtue. The same urges that leave our pantry peppered with potato chip crumbs and living room covered with newspapers and magazines have better prepared us to handle Will’s ups and downs.

We still cry. His setbacks still break our hearts. We still get angry at nurses when they don’t seem to know what they’re doing. Day-in, day-out, however, it’s easier to go with the flow than chew your nails into stubs.

Today, we feel like going to town on our fingernails. Will had another small setback. He was doing fairly well with the antibiotics. He had more trouble breathing today, though, so they cranked back up his ventilator settings. Will also weighed in this morning at 4 pounds, 2 ounces, which would be cause for celebration if he didn't look so swollen.

Some good news: Recent tests have shown that, unlike a lot of preemies, he doesn’t seem to have damage to his eyes. Also, his brain activity seems normal, so seizures aren’t a concern.

Oh, one other thing. Like a lot of other people these days, Will now has his personal trainer. An occupational therapist is coming in now once or twice a week to stimulate his arms and senses. It’s fairly common for babies who lie around all day and are too young to watch “The Apprentice.”


Blogger steve_kurth said...

That's great news about the eyes.

12:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

B'ham says: Will is teaching us all a graet lesson. We are with him all the way!!

6:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Personal Trainer??!!!??? I hope Will has been saving his pennies. I heard on the news today that when handing out Christmas bonuses, the personal trainer gets 2 sessions worth o'cash. Big spender. ha ha.

About the due date...take it easy on yourselves this weekend.


7:04 PM  

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