Friday, July 24, 2015

After the NICU triggers: "Are you coming home tonight?"

Last night, Katie and I traveled to Mason City to finish up birthday gift shopping.  We also started and finished shopping for a BIG, BIG change coming to our family this weekend. Stay tuned Monday for that post. :D IF I can wait that long to share!

I was leaving Mason City, it was 8:41. I received a text from hubby. I called him and told him, I was hoping I could drive the 33 miles home before having to feed Katie, but I was going to have to pull over and nurse our girl. The boys wanted to say, "good night" since they were getting ready for bed. Their voices are so sweet. One of these days, they will have deep, low voices - I am realizing how fast this is coming with Jacob halfway to 18 this weekend. Jacob got on the phone after Bennett, "Hi Mom!" In a cautiously positive but bracing for disappointment tone, he asked, "Are you coming home tonight Mommy?" ....PANG in my heart and THUD in my throat .... It was one of those unexpected moments that happen and I don't know how long they will continue to happen. When they happen, I have to let it out. I choked and said, "Yes honey. Katie and I are on our way home. I have to stop to feed her first though. We'll be home when you are asleep, and I'll see you in the morning." He was satisfied and put his dad on the phone. I was crying. My boys and hubby will never know the physical pain I felt not being in two places at once for those days and nights from November 2 to February 9. My mom knew. I would cry with her on the phone - and she could feel through my sobbing. I remember her crying with me several times because she could feel how much it hurt. I explained to the boys during this weird reality -  we couldn't leave our littlest, newest family member 2 1/2 hours away from all of her very own family. Of course, I left for Thanksgiving and Christmas and the occasional over night. But at the end, I went 21 days without seeing my boys. That was the longest stretch we'd endured without seeing and spending time together. The weather was too unreliable for travel. Also, as Katie progressed, on her feedings, I needed to be close for breastfeeding, not to mention, simply producing.

 I don't regret how we dealt with the birth and hospitalization of Katie Beth. We did what we knew to do. We did our best. I have to say, not all wives could rely on their husband to take care of two little boys for 3 months. He did it. Only 8 months into a brand new job, he was cutting out at 3pm to pick up the older one from school , the younger one from daycare and spend the evening keeping it somewhat "normal". I am crying again. It was hard. Steve is the best husband and daddy, simply because he put down everything else to do what needed to be done and he loved on our boys which is what they needed. I wish every kid was blessed with such a daddy.

We will celebrate 10 years of marriage this Fall. We heard Daughtry's song, "Home" on the radio Sunday afternoon. I asked Steve if he knew what that song made me think of. He didn't. I told him, "You. Wherever you are, is home."

This was our very first "Family of 5" picture. Katie was 2 months old.

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