There's a kid around the corner screaming his/her head off out of anger, or pain, or something terribly upsetting and I really want to join him/her.
So Alicia's back in the hospital. And if you read my last post, you'll know that our new hospital is a bit clinical with how they deal with parents and family members. Now clinical isn't necessarily a bad thing, because it protects the kids, but if I'm to be honest, I don't like it.
Last night as I was writing the latest post I was able to joke about our current situation, but this morning coming back to the hospital and walking back into that corridor, my funny bone quickly left my body to be quickly replaced by prickly spines of annoyance.
We were a little late getting to the hospital, so by the time we got to the NBC, visiting hours were in full swing. When we got to Alicia's window another family was already there loosing at their precious bundle of joy. So we had to wait patiently for our turn at the window. The feeling of needing to vie for time at a window really did not sit well with me. And then to see my daughter lying in her plastic bed, all wrapped up and sleeping, I ached to reach through the window and pull her into my arms, to squeeze her tight and kiss her and tell her that everything was going to be all right. I'm tearing up right now just thinking about it. Instead all I could do was just stick my head in and call out to her and just try to use my voice as best as I could to comfort her.
My first inkling that Alicia's two-day hospital stay might need to be extended came when I asked the nurse how she was doing. Instead of giving me a straight answer, she looked at Alicia's chart nd then said, "The doctor will be over in a bit to explain things to you." Ok.....
Well a few minutes later, Alicia's pediatrician did come over and explained that after taking an X-ray and doing some blood tests it looks like Alicia has a slight infection. Apparently her white blood cell counts and certain protein levels are higher than normal which is an indication that her body is fighting something. In a way, I am thankful for what happened the other night, because I think this condition has been in development for a few days now. Alicia has no fever, so there's no way we would have known about any infection if Alicia hadn't been sent to the hospital.
From what I've gathered from what the doctor has said, Alicia has been having some feeding troubles and the milk probably ended up where it wasn't supposed to go, resulting in her blacking out and now having the infection. They've got her on some antibiotics and want to keep her here for a week for observation. Linda's in there right now feeding her with the nurses so they can give her some pointers on how to feed Alicia better.
One thing you can pray about is for Alicia to eat better. The doctor told us today, and we kind of knew this already from our own experience, that Alicia takes a long time to eat. Instead of drinking her milk all at once, she has to stop quite often and take breaks so she can catch up with her breathing.
Also apparently over the past few days Alicia's oxygen levels haven't been ideal. She's still within the normal range, but not as high as healthy people's levels should be. She's been at 90-95% when ideally she should be at 95-100%. But doctor doesn't seem too concerned? She believes things will stabilize in a few days.
One other struggle I'm having is with feeling like a second class citizen. I mean I know that there are fathers who don't really give a darn about their kids, and the mothers are the primary caretakers. But does that mean that all fathers should be relegated to the sidelines?
Today after visiting hours, the head nurse came over to talk to us. A friend of ours knows the nurse really well, so she asked her to look out for us during visiting hours today. When the nurse came over, she was really sweet and told us that if we liked, we could stay behind and actually go into the NBC to hold and feed Alicia. She said that she could watch as we fed Alicia and give us some pointers if needed. My heart started to swell with excitement, but then promptly burst with defeat as the nurse said, "But I'm sorry, I can only let one of you come in at one time. So Mommy why don't you come in, we'll show you how to feed her, and maybe Daddy can wait outside." Linda told the nurse, "But Dad needs to learn how to feed her too, because he feeds her sometimes." The nurse responded by saying sure that maybe in the future I could go in, but they would still give priority to Linda.
Now I definitely understand the logic but I want to go in and see my little girl too! As we walked to the waiting area, half out of exhaustion, half out I'd frustration, I just started to tear up. I wonder if this is how God feels being separated from his children.
So here I wait . . . again. Alicia, Daddy misses you.