Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Abel and the NICU--Part 2, "Breath"

Abel literally means "breath" or "vapor."  We gave that a lot of thought before deciding to give him the name.  Though Abel was given his name for the faith and righteousness of Abel as demonstrated in Genesis and commended in Hebrews 11, we thought that rather than being dismal, the meaning was a good reminder of what we truly are.

However, as Ryan and Abel left the birthing center and headed to Doernbecher's where Abel could be given the specialized care he needed, I remember thinking "oh God, no.  We didn't mean it this literally."  His name means breath--and Abel's breath was literally being taken from him.  I hadn't meant that I wanted his life to be a fleeting vapor, and then gone.

I returned to my room to finish packing up to be sure I was ready for the early morning discharge I'd been promised, then tried to get some sleep.  I hadn't slept at all the first night.  The long-lasting morphine in the spinal causes me to itch so badly I'd rather be in pain.  However, sleep was hard to come by.  After an hour of fitful slumber I awoke, and after determining that they should be to Doernbecher by now, gave Ryan a call.  They were there, and Abel was being set up in a warming bassinet.  Nothing had really changed. His respirations were still at 150 per minute and he was in an oxygen tent.

By now it was after 2am.  Ryan said he'd been told he could try to sleep in a pumping room (yes, a room for mothers of NICU babies to pump), and though he didn't want to leave Abel, thought he should try.  I knew I needed to try to sleep as well.  So, after pumping I settled back in to try to catch some much needed rest.

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