No Tubies

Posted Sep 26, 2012 5:22pm

For a while right after Oscar was born Colton would relentlessly ask when he could hold Oscar. I would say, “When there are no tubies left.” When Colton had to have an IV to test him for Von Willebrands Disease (the bleeding disorder we discovered I had after I lost Axel) the nurse there explained to him that he wouldn’t have a needle in his arm all day, just a tubie. So we have been counting the tubies. And today, the last one came out. Oscar’s feeding tube is gone. Its gone unless he needs it back. Meaning he loses too much weight or takes too long to finish his bottles.
It made a big difference today. Oscar fed even better than usual. I suppose that makes sense if you imagine trying to drink something with a tube up your nose and down your throat. Oscar is liberated and its great. I gave him a real bath, a scrub off all that nasty adhesive and get rid of your stinky foot from the pulse ox strap bath. I love washing his hair, making his little black curls pop and fluffing them just so. He is beautiful.
Another baby went home today. Javon. 6 days old. Hates to be burped and cries the whole time. His mom is chronically late. I know the scoop on most things in the NICU at this point. I congratulated his parents as I always do. Politely and genuinely wishing them well, and silently wishing it was finally our turn. We are that much closer today.
I have so many feelings about Oscar’s homecoming. I know I have described him as our happy ending in an earlier post, and he is that for sure. But I am so focused on Colton right now. And Lucca for that matter. For Colton Oscar is a balm. At 5 years old Colton knows far too much about loss. He asks me all the time and at the most random moments why Mormor died. Mormor is swedish for ‘mother’s mother” and is what we call my mom. He is so smart that he extrapolates this into a whole conversation about my death or anyone’s death. Its very heavy and hard to extricate myself from once he starts down this road. My policy is honesty but age appropriate honesty. Often, as all mothers know, the answer is simply “Colton, I don’t know.”
I have said many times to close friends that the hardest part of losing Axel was Colton’s experience. He was so crushed, so confused. He just couldn’t understand why mommy went into the hospital and came home with no baby. He was nearly 4 and far too bright for his own good. When I came home and put the pieces back together my hardest moments were those with him in his dark room at bedtime when he would say, “Mommy, why did baby Axel die?” or “How did he get to heaven?” or “if we have another baby is God going to take that one too?” Its not hard to imagine that those were my very own questions. Nothing more complex than “why?” or “how?” or “what if?” As I struggled to answer my wide eyed, innocent first-born, I was fighting my own battle to understand something so nonsensical.
So when I found out I was pregnant with Oscar, I was so very afraid to tell my children. Afraid that Colton would ask me the very questions that haunted me each night as I tried to sleep. That is a real loss, as anyone who has lost a baby knows. Its never a simple, happy announcement again. At 16 weeks we told him, and he said “really mommy??? You didn’t just eat too many french fries like you told me last week? I was RIGHT!!” Pure elation. It was simple to him. After all the honesty, all the turning my head away from him so as not to let him see me cry as I answered his painfully stark questions, he had healed. It was a triumph for me as a mother.
See I needed Oscar. Matt needed Oscar. But Colton needed him too. He needed to believe that our baby was coming. And he is coming.
Oscar weighs 4 lbs 10.3 oz as of 9pm last night. He gained over 1oz in 24 hours.
One less tubie. One more ounce.

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