Finally we were moved out of recovery and into a room to wait for news of Vaughan.
Now, while we’d been in Triage, Nicole had assured me that, because our son would likely spend some time in the NICU, the hospital would try to get me a private or semi-private room, rather than place me in a ward with a bunch of other new Mommies and their robust, full-term bundles of joy. Of course, when we got out of recovery, all of the private and semi-private rooms were taken. Andrew and I were admitted to another window bed, this time in a Mother and Baby room….full of happy Mommies, Daddies and their new babies. While we waited to hear if our son was going to make it through his first few hours on earth, we got to listen to those other, full-term, healthy babies cry. We got to hear parents comforting their new sons and daughters, giggling at the funny faces they made. If I was ever asked to define ‘torture’, that night would definitely be my prime example…Andrew and I kept asking ourselves, and God, why all of these other families got to cuddle their new members while we were left alone, in the dark, wondering if we were again a family of two.
We waited….and waited….and waited…
The nurse came in to check on me twice an hour, and each time she pulled back the curtain Andrew and I took a deep breath and asked if anyone had heard news about Vaughan. We were disappointed time and time again…’Nothing yet’, we were told. Finally, after 6am, we started to become paranoid…maybe the worst had happened and no one wanted to tell us…maybe they’d found some other problem and he was too critical to leave and tell us the news…there were any number of scenarios running through our heads, logical and not, while we waited for someone to tell us something…anything!
Finally just after 7am the nurse showed up with a wheelchair, smiling and asked us if we wanted to go and visit our son. Andrew and I once again burst into tears (it’s a wonder dehydration didn’t come into play that night…I sincerely hope I never have cause to cry that much again in my life) before giving a resounding ‘YES!’ and practically tripping over each other on our way out of my ‘cube’. That wheelchair ride to the NICU was probably one of the longest of my life. We arrived at the NICU and were wheeled through the main doors, past the nurses station and into the ‘Back Room’.
The ‘Back Room’ is where the critical babies are monitored. They have one-on-one nurse care and are usually on ventilators, oxygen and numerous other alarms, buzzers, drips and wires.
They pulled to a stop beside a blanket covered isolette and pulled back the edge. Inside we saw our tiny miracle boy, cuddled up on his side. We could barely see anything about him besides his spindly arms and legs, he had so many wires and attachments! Vaughan had been placed on an oscillating ventilator and had IV tubes inserted into his umbilical cord, but he was still showing he had spirit by wiggling his tiny limbs. More tears ensued…and we were almost too scared to breathe as we looked into his plastic case. The nurse asked us if we wanted to touch him and we sanitized thoroughly before gently placing our hands into the isolette and laying our hands on our son for the first time. We got to feel his tiny body heat our hands and finally felt somewhat of a sense of peace. We sat like that, just touching him, for a while, before finally heading back to our room and allowing ourselves a few hours of much needed sleep.