When I last left off, Linda and Alicia were at home, and I was waiting for news about whether or not anyone would be able to come replace me on my job assignment.
Well, unfortunately, the one person who would have been able to take my place had recording today, so she wasn't able to come down and I wasn't able to get back up to Linda as soon as I had hoped. Thankfully, God gave me an incredible peace and joy as I went through my day, knowing that he was taking care of them.
Thinking back on my day, I can't help but note the contrast from the last time I was in the exact same predicament. Last time I was away on business and Linda called me, I also couldn't get away as soon as I had hoped. The difference was, last time, I spent my entire day wracked with anxiety and worry. This time, I just received God's promise to be with us and his promise that he would take care of Linda and Alicia, and I went through my day without too much worry at all. I just knew in my heart that things would be OK.
Even now as I sit here typing this, in an empty house with just me and my wife, I'm at peace. I know everything is going to be fine and actually, I'm kind of amused. More on that later.
But first, let me address the "empty house" section of my previous paragraph. Yes. Right now, our house is quiet. My wife is downstairs taking a shower. I'm upstairs writing on my computer. And our daughter. Well, she's back at the hospital.
Don't freak out.
Here's what happened.
Last night, after getting home from the hospital, Linda called the NICU back at the hospital where Alicia was born. It just so happened that Alicia's primary physician was on call last night. Linda explained the situation to her, and the doctor assured her that things would turn out OK. But if Linda wanted more peace of mind, she recommended that Linda take Alicia to see her current pediatrician for a checkup just to make sure everything was all right.
Well, Linda took the advice and quickly made an appointment to see our pediatrician during her hours. Our doctor, Dr. Chang, looked Alicia over and confirmed what the doctor in the ER had said that Alicia had probably asphyxiated on some milk last night. After looking her over, she told Linda that everything checked out and that Alicia was probably OK, but just to be on the safe side she wanted to admit Alicia to the hospital for observation for a couple of days.
So around 1:00 this afternoon, Linda brought Alicia up to the NBC of our new hospital. Sounds like a TV network in the states, but, NBC stands for Newborn Center. It's the equivalent of the SBR in our old hospital.
So once again we need to adjust to a new environment with new nurses and new policies. I think that's the hardest part of it all. Every time we are admitted to a new facility, I feel like we have to start over again warming the nurses up, getting used to the new ways of doing things.
Today after work, I took the High Speed Rail back up to Taipei and got there in time for visiting hours at 7:00. Thinking that they ran things similar to our old hospital I was expecting to have half an hour to visit with my daughter, to sing to her, to hold her and talk to her. Yeah. Not really. So before I got to the hospital, Linda broke the first bit of news to me. We didn't have half an hour with Alicia, we only had 15 min. Fifteen minutes! OK. Well, fine. I'll take what I can get. At least I'll get to hold her.
I get to the hospital, and as it's getting closer to visiting hours, I notice some odd behavior happening around me with the family members. At our old hospital when it got to be about 6:45, 6:50 family members would start congregating at the door waiting to file in as soon as they opened the doors.
At our new hospital, the family members didn't crowd the door, instead I noticed they were all moving toward some large windows and that's when I got my first hint that I may not be able to hold my daughter as I had been longing to do all week.
My suspicions were confirmed at 7:00 when instead of the main doors of the SBR opened, a side door opened, leading to a hallway with another set of windows and family members started filing down that corridor.
As we were walking down the corridor looking for the window that was marked with our daughter's bed number, I couldn't help but feel once again like my daughter was in prison and Linda and I were going to see her during limited visiting hours. This feeling was compounded when we finally found Alicia's window, and I saw her lying in a plastic bassinet wrapped up in a green hospital towel and wearing blue pinstripe pajamas. I mean seriously, it was almost comedic. Add on the fact that when we got to the window a nurse greeted us by sliding a 1 foot x 2 foot opening in the window to talk to us and that there was no way for us to touch our daughter because there was a thick concrete wall separating her and us, and you could seriously almost half expect Tim Robbins or Morgan Freeman to walk down the hallway in full Shawshank Redemption prison garb.
Now please don't get me wrong. I'm not bashing this hospital by any means. Each hospital does things differently. And this hospital is really doing it's best to keep any germs and infections from getting near the kids, so I respect that. I just couldn't help but note the odd similarities between incarceration and hospitalization. =)
So I titled this post "blessings in disguise" and there's a good reason for that. While it's kind of sucky that my daughter is back in the hospital and I'm not able to hold her and kiss her even though I've been so wanting to do that for nearly a week now, I do believe that it's a big blessing. In a way, it's a good chance for Linda and I, well particularly Linda, to get some much needed rest while Alicia gets some good care. Also, while I don't like the feeling of being segregated from my daughter, and I don't like the fact that we can't hold her, at least if there are guests, we aren't limited to two visitors at a time. We can all look but not touch together! Yay!
Please continue to pray for us. Everything is fine with Alicia, I really believe so. She'll be back with us soon and very soon. In the meantime, Linda and I are going to do our best to rest and get recuperated so we can get right back to taking good care of Alicia.
Pray that Alicia will also be able to rest. She's quite aware and sensitive to her surroundings, so I have no doubt that she knows that she's in a different place. Pray that she can sleep and not be anxious or worried in anyway. Pray for favor with the nurses and hospital staff, that they would fall in love with Alicia and take good care of her.
Pray the Linda and I can once again be salt and light in this new place and that we can be a blessing to everyone we come in contact with. Also pray that we'll have patience with the various personalities of the hospital staff. As much as we are thankful for everyone, and as much as we want to love and respect people, sometimes the way people talk about our daughter just rubs me the wrong way. I know people don't mean to offend, but sometimes I just wish some of the nurses wouldn't be so cold and clinical. Anyway, I'm sure they'll warm up as they often have in the past.
Well, I keep talking about rest, I think it's about time that I go and get some.
Thanks for continuing to walk with us friends.