I’m not having A Good Day today. My days alternate between being bearable and excruciating and I apologize profusely for anything I ever complained about having to wait for before. Living and waiting until Thursday to breathe again is nothing compared to how irritating it is to be pregnant for 9! whole! months! or wait an hour! for a pizza! THE NERVE! Waiting for a surgery that will result in a 3 day PICU stay is even more annoying than waiting for the next episode of American Idol!

I spent the first 3 weeks home cleaning like a crazy person, which is probably what I’ve become (crazy, I mean, not clean) as I’d been unable to move without creaking audibly before Amelia was born. Plus, the way I handle stress is to try and use my muscles. I find it quiets my brain and allows me to relax. It’s also breastfeeding safe, unlike the pharmaceutical alternatives I’d prefer.

Not really much point in the entry, I confess, but I wanted to thank each and every soul who has prayed for us. Honestly, it’s kept me afloat during these weeks and through all of the turmoil, I know I’ve got a friend in you, Internet. And that’s saying a lot. Thank you doesn’t begin to describe how much I appreciate and am humbled by your support.

(BONUS! No one has called me an idiot in a couple of weeks! HOORAY! A shout out to my trolls who are taking a break for now. It’s appreciated. When it’s all over, I’ll rejoice that I have trolls and you can go back to mocking me. It’s cool. I like the trolls.)

Today I will continue to float by, hoping simultaneously that it will pass quickly and not end because it’s one day sooner to the day I don’t want to have to live through. I honestly do not know how I am going to get through those hours of surgery where I’m stuck in a waiting room wishing I could claw my skin off. I’ve even enlisted my father to come sit with us so that Dave and I don’t have to talk to each other. Distraction is key here.

(anyone who wants to join us, please email me becky at dwink dot net)

And what the hell am I going to do in the PICU for 3 straight days? Any ideas of what I should bring/do to avoid rounding with the residents and taking over some of the patients for the nurses? Because no one would appreciate that.



57 thoughts on “What Kind Of Fuckery Is This?

  1. Pingback: What Kind Of Fuckery Is This?
  2. I don’t know if there’s anything that could distract you, unless a concussion counts?

    Still thinking about you and petting your virtual head. hmm…that sounds kinda dirty. I think I like that.

  3. Bring your clown noses and lots of tissues and ya that’s about all I’ve got. My past experience of my large headed son in NICU who looked so not like all of the tiny babes in there 5 whole days thought it would drive me mad but we came through it ok and now he is a healthy normal size head teen it all seems so long ago… good thoughts and wishes comin at ya from moi

  4. I looked at flights. I arranged to get the time off. Unfortunately, the damn flights were 3x my mortgage payment.

    Knitting. Learn to knit.

    I have your home phone, send me your cell, and I’ll call and tell you dirty jokes.

  5. What to bring?

    Got a book? Or 3? We actually own an Amazon Kindle, which let’s just say saved me from complete breakdowns during our hospital stays. Buying new books from the bedside chair when you find out the one you’re reading has something about sick/dead/dying children. Priceless.

    Got a laptop? Does the hospital have free wi-fi? Also, a good use of time. You can blog, IM, and email, to have all your friends, family, internet peoples and trolls join you in your misery. If not, you can still bring the laptop and organize all your photos and files into very specific categories.

    Food. Bring. Food. Hospital food sucks; hospital food sucks MORE when you have to leave your child, stand in line, etc, etc. Even if you can’t eat in the PICU, you can eat in the hall outside the PICU.

    That’s about all I’ve got for you. Hang in there. Thursday is both far too close and much too far away.

  6. Oh, sugar, I wish I COULD come sit with you, hold your hand or pat your head, teach you a nifty crochet pattern, and distract you with stories from the racing world (there’s this one about the hood ornament that one time….snort…). Sadly, I can’t be there in person…and believe it or not, I hate that.

    Instead, I guess I’ll have to resort to lighting a candle on my altar and asking all the gods of healing that I know for their intercession, and all the gods of mother/father sorts to be with you and lend you calm, strength, and peace for as long as you need them.

    Bring a blankie, some handheld games, and a gimongous book of puzzles…or a coloring book and crayons (seriously – that’s art therapy at its finest). If you know any of the yarn arts, bring yarn to work – you’d be amazed at how time can pass when you’re counting stitches.

    An iPod or such with audiobooks is a good time-passer, too.

    I don’t suppose anything will be as good as holding your Wee Miss close, knowing she is safe and well, though.

    Shade and Sweetwater,

  7. The only thing I found helped distract me was my PSP. I wasn’t clear headed enough for an action game, but a good puzzler (Lumines was my drug of choice) distracted me sufficiently to get sleepy.

  8. Word seek puzzles – time wasters that do not require actual brain engagement. A deck of cards…I know, an anachronism. I guess you could play solitaire on a laptop or phone, but with a deck of cards you could play with Daver or your dad. Or, you could just sleep while you’re on down time – not restful sleep, but the I’m retreating from the world kind. And knitting is good too. Take up knitting and make a stole/shawl – my aunt always said it didn’t matter how many stitches you drop – it looks the same anyway if you just keep knitting.

  9. I can’t think of anything that I would be able to concentrate on! Whenever I have been in the hospital we played a lot of cards. Other than that I pretty much read books. The laptop suggestion is a good one if you have one. Just don’t google in the hospital, it’s a no-no. xoxo

  10. Becky- It’s going to be a complete out-of-body experience no matter what you do. But I love the knitting and coloring ideas. You will meet other parents. You will talk and share. You will sing songs to your baby and she will hear you because your voice is the voice of the angels and the universe to her.

  11. I wish I could be there with you. I could entertain (read: bore) you with stories of my mentall ill family members, tell you very un-PC jokes and make fun of other people. After you punched me in the mouth to shut me up, I’d sit quietly and hold your hand.

  12. You need to knit. And blog on the laptop. And do some sudoku puzzles or something. And really? You need to take a deep breath, and another.

    Thinking of you.

  13. I’m with everyone when they say a book and if you can use your laptop in the NICU that would be a good time sucker too.

    FOOD – if you have friends that can bring food on rotation take full advantage. Hospital food is vile.

    I hope that you have a chance to cuddle Amelia after the surgery – we were really lucky to be able to hold our wee one a day after his heart surgery – nothing better than long long snuggles if you can get them.

    Also, if you have to pump – see if they have the industrial pumps you can use at the hospital. They are freaking amazing (ok I know that sounds off the wall, but really, it is much easier than having to try to bring any pumping stuff to the hospital).

  14. Now, you know I’d be fun in the hospital setting. I’d be all Shirley in Terms of Endearment, yelling for drugs or whatever, banging on the nurses’ station. Me getting arrested might distract you.

    First, it would be catch me if you can, suckas, and then I’d kick, punch, pull hair and scratch so I could drag it out for a very long time just to entertain you. I’m freakishly strong, you know.

    Sound like a plan?

  15. dude. i have no idea. but i will be praying. and i could call you an idiot that day if you think it would distract you. i wish you at least ten seconds of peace between now and then. xo.

  16. I’m with silly games (I’m now a Ken Ken addict) and food and iPhone apps a gogo. Cold call your blog friends? Should we all send you phone numbers? You could Prince Albert in a Can the lot of us! Bring your own water container, pillow, books to read aloud (she won’t care if it’s Beatrix or Harry Potter).

    Waiting, waiting, sighing with you.

  17. Aunt B-I don’t know what to say. Firstly..thank you for your support over at my blog..Im not going through near what you are and yet you still have support for me..Thank You. I wish I could be there with you even just to hold your hand..Much love!!

  18. I wish I could be there with you, too; don’t know what good I’d do you, but I’d be there all the same. In spirit, in thought, and heart – I will be. (((Becky)))

  19. I haven’t any suggestions, but all the ones so far have been good ones, but if you’re like me you won’t be able to concentrate anyway so yeah basically staring at the walls and waiting. You and your family has been on my mind daily and I light a candle and say a prayer for Amelia daily too. Praying things go smoothly on Thursday and the NICU time will fly by for you. Take care and be well.

  20. i’d suggest masturbation, but i’m betting your girl parts aren’t up for it. plus, the doctors and nurses keep busting into those rooms.

    glad your trolls took a break.

  21. Bring a laptop so you can update us!
    Seriously most hospitals have WiFi now.
    I would say bring a book, but since my mom has been sick, I can not concentrate to even get one started.
    The knitting is a great suggestion, however it requires concentration. I have a Lion Brand Learn to Knit kit, and guess what-even though the damn thing is probably made for pre-teens, I still can’t get my concentration together enough to figure it out.
    So my laptop has been my best friend, because I can play solitaire or Otto’s Magic Blocks or Bejeweled, or see what my blog friends are doing.

  22. Like always, I don’t have any earth-shattering advice to give, but just wanted to say that I always enjoy your posts, you are fucking hilarious and I’m wishing the best for your little baby girl and your family! 🙂

  23. Oh, I feel so much for you. You’re in my thoughts. *hugs*

    As for distraction… how about the first four seasons of Lost and a portable DVD player? Would that work?

    Take care!

  24. I think everyone has given you great suggestions. I was going to add that DVDs on your laptop would be great (but I think Lannie beat me to it). I find that coloring is the best thing for me during times of stress. I wish I could be there, but, unfortunately, I can’t (stupid stipend!). I’ll be praying for you guys.

  25. Um, wear scrubs and blend in. Make yourself busy. You won’t be able toconcentrate on ANYTHING.. (I could handle coloring, that was about it. Colored pencils and intricate geometric designs) but no one questions a lady in scrubs, so wear a pair, steal a set adn blend in. Even if you can’t DO anything, you can go places and hear things and keep your mond busy… and maybe get info that takes your mind off your own troubles. Plus, you look so damn cute in them, I am sure!

  26. If someone had asked me what you do when you’re in the NICU for 2 weeks, I’d have no idea. But time stops when you’re there. You don’t notice that you’ve been awake 48 hours, that you haven’t eaten in 3 days. You just forget to live.
    You’ll make it through this.

  27. Becky,
    When we spent out 2 months in the NICU we couldn’t hold our baby because they couldn’t completely close up her abdomen and chest so it made for a lot of boring time. It helped to pass time by using the laptop. Most hospitals have wireless that you can use. We also spent some time writing snail mail letters to people such as birthday cards etc. that could be sent through the year when we were busy again. I know this is hard and worrying is all you do, so I wont say not to. But, keep your faith and your family close and you will come through it all just fine. Your baby is beautiful and she will come through this like a champ~ I am sure she is tough like her mom.

  28. I agree with the book and laptop suggestions. I buy games for my laptop that turn my brain to mush and take up hours of time. They are the games that you find all the hidden stuff in them. It is just level after level of pictures wtih a ton of crap in them, and you find certain things. It passes the time. I did it when I was going thru my miscarriage. It kept my mind off everything…. I am thinking of you, and sweet Miss Amelia. Love and Prayers

  29. Puzzles. Lots of Puzzles. In a family riddled with heart disease and diabetes, we’ve had our share of hospital waiting room waits. The key to survival? Puzzles. HARD puzzles. They occupy your brain, your hands and are somewhat addictive. We finish them, tear them down and leave them behind for the next family stuck in that limbo called waiting room hell.

  30. Seconding the trashy gossip rags, trashy novels, laptop and mindless puzzle games suggestions. Also, your own blanket and a small pillow. Hospital bedding sucks.

  31. I sat and stared at the incubator until I passed out. I can’t remember what I even did those three days we were there. And Ryan was only 6 days old and Leigha by then was 6 months old the first time and 8 the second…I’m useless for you.

    Learn to knit little hats for the NICU/PICU will give you something to swear at other than the residents who will give you non commital answers of “she’s doing great”. Im thinking of you. Hang in there a while longer.

  32. My 1st born at 5 months underwent a 9 hour neurosurgery with plastic repair (essentially,due to his “soft spot”closing prematurely in utero, all his facial bones were wonky and needed “rearranging”).
    Longest hours of my life, I can tell you.
    Since then, between 4 kids we have sat thru over 20 surgeries (yeah, you do loose count), but none was as scary as that initial neurosurgery.
    And my answer to getting thru them all may seem odd, but it’s the only thing that works for me.
    I leave the hospital (and whomever is with my husband) and walk. Anywhere. Everywhere. I can’t, nor want, to talk to anybody. I’d bite their heads off if I even tried. And I refuse to allow myself to even think about what is going on in that OR. So I pace the Manhattan streets ignoring everything and everyone. It’s the only way I can keep myself from climbing the walls. Of course I do use a pager for any emergencies, but it has never gone off.
    And I do fine. Head back to the hospital to be there at the exact minute given that surgery was suppose to be over.
    And then every minute after that I am a complete wreck until I see my babe in recovery.
    I realize that this will seem odd, perhaps even uncaring to some – but hey, you gotta do what you can to get thru it, right?

    I’d also like to share one other thought.

    When my son was diagnosed, and we learned what had to be done, it was devastating (as you have learned yourself).

    So when the time came for the surgery and handing him off to the nurses (the absolute hardest thing you will ever have to do in your life!!) I was floored when they cooed over him, saying how sweet he was and they were so glad he was going in for “something so simple”. WTF?? The surgeons were about to literally slice his skull open from ear to ear – and they were calling it “something simple”?? I got the reply of “Oh honey, if you saw what we see every day you would know what we mean”.

    And know what? They were right.

    Back up on the floors for PICU and then Peds I met and bonded with many mothers there.

    It was quite an experience, how we helped each other over the rough spots, even if it was simply to get a coffee or offer a shoulder.

    And I quickly realized that I was one of the lucky ones. I knew that once he got thru he post-op and recovery, I was bringing my baby home.

    Some of the other Moms there were not so blessed. And my heart still breaks for them.

    And as crazy as it seems, that set me up for dealing with all the other problems and surgeries that followed. I was always aware that there were others far off worse, no matter how bad I felt our situation was.

    So I wish you good luck, good thoughts, and hope you find your way to deal with it all.
    And oh – from experience I can tell you not to be surprised if the PICU stay is shorter than the anticipated 3 days. Ours always were from what was expected.
    And you will be amazed at how quickly your little one bounces back.It’s honestly incredible!
    (My apologies for the length of this …. I just so know where you are at right now!)

  33. I watched High School Musical whilst my son was in surgery – not recommended but toolk my mind off things. Otherwise I paced halls endlessly and annoyed the nurses by asking questions. Books were hopeless, gossip magazines were about the tolerance for myy attention span. Thinking of you. x

  34. Beat me over the head repeatedly with a stick. Wait, that won’t kill all that much time. Clean up the mess afterwards?

    I’m sorry I can’t be there for you. I’m thinking of you and your fam. Call me anytime. We’ll discuss annoying people.

  35. OK, so I have this silly little “thing” I do ALL the time! Whenever the digital clock reads 2 or 3 of the same number, I wish for something. Lately ALL I’ve wished for is for you to get through the waiting period and for Amelia to get through her surgery PERFECT! It’s something small, I know, but I want YOU to know that you have not been out of my thoughts for WEEKS now! I can’t be at the hospital with you in person, but I’m with you in spirit. HUGS!!!!

  36. Wow- passing the time for three days is going to be insane. I would probably take some fill in puzzle books or cross-stitching to do. Maybe I would also take my laptop and a good book. I wish that I could come sit with you and distract you, but I live a little too far away (Georgia). Anyway- I will definitely be sending up prayers for you and your little girl!

  37. It’s weird isn’t it? Eagerly anticipating a day you don’t want to live through? I’m not sure if it’s like this for everyone, but I found that once we’d checked in at the hospital, my dread and anxiety were somewhat relieved. Not eliminated, mind you, but less intense. I hope you’ll find similar relief when you arrive. A “Fuck it – let’s do this” sort of a thing.

    As for your PICU stay – a view of the Hudson River on the day an airliner crash lands in it is a fantastic way to kill a day. Perhaps Chicago can offer something similar?

    Actually, I think you’ll find it will fly by. You’ll be amazed at how much of your time will be passed watching Amelia’s stats on her monitors. If you’re an asshole – like me – you will also find yourself competitively comparing your kid’s vitals with her neighbor’s (if your nurses have split screen monitors in the rooms). You’ll eat up hours thinking things like, “Well, that kid’s heart rate might be better, but my kid’s 02 sats are kicking ass. And don’t get me started on that fine, steady-ass blood pressure. Of course, next door doesn’t have a fever…”

    If you’re NOT an asshole – like me – you might also enjoy trashy tabloid magazines, blogging about this unbelievable situation you find yourself in, and marveling at your lovely, lovely girl and her strength. We also ordered a few movies, and left Owen with his grandmothers while we ran out for a daily early evening vodka tonic (or three).

    Hoping, praying, crossing fingers and toes – all that stuff – for a smooth Thursday and the rapid arrival of Amelia’s “graduation day.”

  38. Becky,

    Hugs to you. I haven’t got anything to offer that hasn’t already been said. You’ll be amazed at how much you just sit and do nothing. I always take loads of crap, just in case, and end up doing none of it. The only thing I did religiously was log everythng in my little notebook so I could keep track of who came and went, ets.

    There is one thing I wish I had while at the hospital, and that was deodorant! Stress and worry stinks–literally! One hospital stint was two days with no deodorant. Don’t ask me how I managed to forget it at home. Anyway, it wasn’t pretty. Frankly, I think that was why we were discharged. I smelled the place up too much. I know this has nothing to do with what you can do to keep yourself occupied, but it is important. 🙂

    Sigh. I wish I could offer more, or even come sit with you at the hospital. Just know that I’ll be thinking of you and sending positive vibes your family’s way.

  39. Oh yes!

    1 bring wippies, you will shocked how much you will use them!

    2 Advil

    3 sweat pants are the best!

    4 A pull off sweater that you can put on and off.

    5 cross word book

    6 phone numbers of people

    7 Snack Bars and other easy to carry snacks

    8 tooth brush, I forgot mine

    9 double socks, dont know why, but it colder in there at night.

    10 AGAIN dont forget the Advil, you fine after 24 hours you will need some and no one will give you any. Silly nurces!

    11 LAST BUT NOT LEAST know that you and daughter are in our prays and we all will be thinking of you!

  40. Praying for you and Daver. Hurry up Thursday!
    Won’t matter what you take to the hospital, just don’t forget your Valium. Talking with the other parents and grands in chairs will pass a lot of time. Try to remember to eat something while you’re waiting – you’ll need your strength to keep your vigil.

  41. I’m thinking of you today, and praying that Amelia’s surgery goes wonderfully and that you will have the strength to make it through the next few days. It will be tough but I know you can do it. (((hugs)))

  42. Yes — laptop, books, games, FOOD, any craft you can do (knit, needlepoint). But you might be surprised how quickly those days pass. My twins were in in the NICU for over 2 months, and it was surprising how the days flew. If you don’t want to be there when the residents round, it will be easy. They are unmistakable if they do bedside rounds. You will see them coming easily. And you may find you actually DO want to be there. We found it to be the best time to get a handle on what was happening, and also a chance to share our observations of things if needed. And if things are under control, DON’T be afraid to go to the cafeteria and take a break or whatever. You little angel will surely be watched over. Hang in there Bex.

  43. Thirding or fourthing the food, puzzles and craft ideas. Heck, bring a soldering gun and make some jewelry or do some bodywork on the cars in the parking lot. Thinking of you and sending lots of love, prayers, and good wishes your way. ((((hugs))))

    PS – Your kids are too damn cute for words. The photos in your previous post are gold.

  44. You don’t know me, I have never commented here before. I have been following your story and have you and your family in my prayers. I just know everything will be fine.

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