Day Two: Admitted to the Hospital
The ambulance man in the white shirt asked me to promise one thing as we entered the emergency room garage - that I not take the baby home again until the nursing agency found a new night nurse. I promised. Then back doors opened and hospital fluorescent flooded what had become a calm space.
"Are you Mom?" someone asked.
"Yes," I replied as a quickly forming entourage made its way to emergency room #4, but the label seemed unfamiliar and odd associated with the child on the gurney. I wanted to add, "Mom for less than a day," to qualify my lack of knowledge, but didn't.
They moved the baby from the stretcher to the bed, his thirteen pounds and fair skin lost against the white sheets. I crawled onto the bed myself, sat cross legged, and held him. "Is this ok?" I asked a nurse as my new friend from the ambulance gave important information just outside the sliding glass door. In foster care. Placed with this family yesterday. Mucus plug formed in trach tube while sleeping. Foster parents did an emergency trach change. Private duty nurse ran from the room.
The ambulance man stuck his head back in the room, "Remember your promise?"
"Yes," I replied.
Rich arrived and took over holding our baby while I started to process information with the medical team building around us. The private duty nurse arrived, still determined to administer morning medicines. She asked a doctor to get her a cup of coffee; he asked her to leave.
"Would you be willing to talk to a pulmonologist about one of his medicines?" they asked me. "There is a chance it may have contributed to the mucus plug formation."
Without looking at each other, Rich and I nodded our heads in unison. Anything to avoid what we had just experienced from happening again.
Those gestures resulted in transferring our baby's care to this new pulmonologist, changing a medication, and agreeing to a twenty-four hour admission for observation. All weighty decisions less than a day as parents.
"Can I do this God?" I prayed repeatedly that day. Not questioning my willingness, but my - our family's - ability. Our first night with Nathaniel scared all of us. Could we provide the care he needed through these sort of life and death situations? How often would they happen? There were so many unknowns.
But despite the unknowns I watched our teen boys step intimately close to tubes and machines and alarms so they could love their new brother. The setting wasn't where we expected, but the bonding moments happened anyway. Witnessing my sons' bravery confirmed what I knew in my head: God had not called us to this job because we were fully prepared, but rather as we stepped forward in the call, He would supply what we would need. He would help us become Nathaniel's family.