Born @ 27 weeks
2lbs 7oz

Thursday, January 22, 2015

The Last Day in the Garage

I don't have a video of Shaw coming home from the hospital.

There I said it.

I can't find it.
Worse. I can't even remember it.

Okay, so there are thousands of people who don't have videos of bringing their children home from the hospital (many because it wasn't an option) and they survived just fine. I know this is trivial.


Both boys are so curious of our videos and seeing themselves as wee people. They cackle when someone says, "I pooped!" or to see themselves in a diaper. It's unimaginable to them, sheer comedy.

We have watched over and over again the video of bringing home our 10 lb. baby Nash. The music is pumping. Daddy driving five miles an hour. I'm sitting in the backseat beside our sleeping baby. It's Norman-Rockwell-esque.

Having a coming home video was a right of passage. (Just like when new parents walk through the door for the first time with their baby and say, "Now what?")

I can find the photos. I vividly remember when our two babies met, four months after they both existed.

I remember walking out of the NICU with Shaw (like breaking out of place you loved, needed for survival and hated all at the same time) to have Nash and Michael and our nurses there.

The rest is fuzzy - so fuzzy.

This is likely because we had another day planned for Shaw's homecoming, three weeks prior. The emotions and excitement were astronomical. Nash (and the video camera/flip something) were tee-ed up with loaded words of meeting your 'mysterious brother' that lived at the hospital and you would meet momentarily. This is the photo we took the day prior to 'this' planned homecoming:

The doctors called while we were driving our torturous TWO miles to the hospital to tell us Shaw could not be released. "In fact,," they added,  "Shaw would need emergent surgery on his airway, as it was closing."


So, I remember that 'homecoming' and the devastation that followed.  It was the ultimate blow after an already erratic roller coaster ride.

NOTE: Thank GOD (and Deb Darbee) our 'release' was deferred that day or who knows what would have happened if we had been home with our frail little guy and his airway had closed completely without an OR in sight...


So, it's that time of year again. Shaw's birthday is approaching and quite honestly, it makes me crazy - every year. The emotions are different, but something I'm not proud of surfaces.

The first year, it was 'isolation'. Our world was so small that we celebrated Shaw's birthday with only his NICU nurses. It still is one of the most precious memories we have. It was a herculean day that we relish - but emotions were high.

The next year, I was sad. Of course not for Shaw's birth, but how my body had failed him. We celebrated all he had achieved (and defied) but I began to mourn that I could not do what mothers are created to do and carry him to term. I wallowed in the world he was now living from therapy to therapy, doctor appointment to doctor appointment. I know now from so many preemie Moms that guilt and inadequacy are natural feelings resulting from extreme prematurity. These emotions surface like clockwork around his birthday.

Last year was a mix.... We literally 'started over' in Colorado where very few people knew our story and Shaw was writing his own: thriving at school, making friends, again defying the odds. Shaw; however,  fell very ill last year (1/18) and he was in intensive care for over a week. His looming birthday was a barometer check of 'You can run, but you can't hide...' Despite his leaps, Shaw's lungs were still frail and we were shaken to our core.

This year - number FOUR - comes with a different set of emotions and anxiety.

I can't flipping find a video of him coming home from the hospital. It's self-torment, I know. It is small and unworthy of time and energy, but I am fixated on it. Determined to see it again. Longing to show Shaw not the tubes and wires and alarms from inside but the rejoicing we did when he came home, when he met his brother, when we were a family under one roof.

So the self-deprecation begins.

Shaw has asked me to make a special cd for his birthday. I'm proud to say that in addition to 'The Itsy Bitsy Spider' (by O.A.R.), his compilation also includes:
- Superman (REM)
- The Littlest Birds Sing the Prettiest Songs (amen)
- Rocky Theme (thanks to a recent suggestion)
- Three Little Birds (due to the fact our son used to sleep with a Bob Marley doll)
- Home by Phillip Phillips
and more...

It was actually while I was digging through old music that it dawned on me to look for the video of Shaw's homecoming. It's just not like me to not have it. Our home is adorned in photos. I have 60,000 photos and videos on my computer.

It's like a blackout. I just don't remember that time in our lives.
Isn't that surreal?
We functioned. We loved our boys immensely. We mourned a great deal. But I can't remember.

It was that hard.

I wrote this post over two weeks ago. I talked to Michael about the videos and why we wouldn't have made the effort. My Type A couldn't let it go (again, back to 'this time of the month' or 'year' rather).

And I found it.

In the exact place I looked originally and again and again and again.
I promise it wasn't there.
Just one night, it showed up. And we have it. All of it.
Too much of it.  (hence Type A)

We have video of getting Nash ready to meet his brother.
We have video of driving to the hospital.
We have footage of going up the elevator and of course, Shaw and I walking through those elusive doors....
Nash meeting his brother.
Saying goodbye (through tears) to Meredith (or primary).
Getting in the car.
Driving home.
and onandonandonandonandonandonandon...

I didn't forget and somehow that gives me a false sense of affirmation and peace.
And I CANNOT WAIT to show Shaw tomorrow when he wakes up!!!!

Shaw's birthday is so close, I'll share his homecoming video very soon. However, this was just one of the videos we took that day.

For all of you that have battled the parking garage, this is for you....

1 comment:

Lucia Dawkins said...

you found it!!! can't wait to celebrate Shaw's 4th!!! xoxo