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Hold your baby, Hold your breath

It was very surreal to be home just the three of us at first after really just spending her first day in the hospital. We were able to get unpacked and settled in before my inlaws delivered our dog and stayed to cut our grass and a bit later my parents brought home That Little Girl following her ceremony at preschool. I remember just sitting in our chair holding That Baby and both of us falling asleep before the reality of being home really set it. There is so much I don’t remember about those first few days. Some of that is likely attributed to the normal mom of a newborn haze of constantly nursing, pumping, little naps, and lots of laundry. I felt a little like I was on the outside of my life looking in and trying to remind myself to be present. Knowing I need to really take it all in and enjoy, since this is the last newborn we are going to have. I was always wondering how long I will be here to know her and her to know me.

I had been given a week to really be mom before my treatments started up and give my body a chance to recover. We had our first appointment at the pediatrician, a couple of blood tests to follow up with the jaundice, and weight checks to be sure she was getting enough to eat. During that week, I was juggling the normal newborn things and also had to have a few tests done.

The full day of testing included an echo of my heart to be sure that it was healthy enough for the drugs I would be given and to establish a baseline. The second of those tests, the PET scan, required me to be distanced from the kids for quite a while following since it required a large amount of radiation to be put into my body. So obviously, it also required that I pump and dump. So I had worked during the week to not only feed That Baby, but to have extra on hand to ensure she was getting as much breastmilk as possible during these first important days. Since I needed some moral support, we were fortunate to have close family and friends who might as well be family available to watch the kids.

The echo cardiogram was basically an ultrasound of my heart. My husband was allowed to go back with me to have it done which was very reassuring. I was fortunate that all was well. We left that area of the hospital to go to the next test. It seemed like such a long wait in the waiting room, but it likely was not. I had no idea what to expect about the PET scan, other than they would be injecting me with radioactive material and it involved sugar which would show any cancer or highly reactive cells. The how and where this would be done had not been discussed. You can imagine my surprise when they led me out of the waiting room and back into the main hallway, to a back exit, along a construction scaffold enclosed walkway to a trailer in the parking lot. Apparently, they were between permanent homes. Well, it was a cold windy rainy morning, which seemed kind of appropriate, but made for a chilly time in this open trailer. We had to take a lift to get up and in. That Guy and I headed up and into a little room with one chair, a few magazines, a thick door with a warning triangle, and thick walls. The people working in this area were very kind and thoughtful. I was obviously on edge as this would kind of be the tell all we had been waiting for. Once I had an IV started, some magazines and a blanket to try to stay warm, I was injected with the material. Everyone had to leave the room. I had to sit and be alone with just my thoughts and anxieties for the first time in a long time.

So I did what any girl would do. I sent a text message to a few of my dearest girlfriends asking for them to tell me a joke. They were surprisingly prepared! I couldn’t tell you a joke on a whim at this moment, and I think I got one back from each of them! The jokes ranged from the preschool variety to a literal snapshot of a joke out of a certain notorious magazine that has inspired bunny costumes like Elle Woods wears. Eventually the alone time came to an end. Then came the scan. Then I was able to leave. They had brought That Guy back from the waiting room. They really were kind people and I tried my best to read the people who greeted me when I came out of the scan. I could not figure out what they had seen. They even sent my husband to get the car since we were now at the far end of the hospital from where we had parked. Apparently, someone remembered I had just had a baby, because it seemed like it had been years before.

Since we were banished from our own home, we were able to go grab lunch. We made one quick stop to look at new cameras, since ours was newly broken. We had planned to run some errands that had been put off between the diagnosis and the baby, but I had forgotten any sort of car adapter for the breast pump. We had to go back to my parents house to pump and dump. I had to toss all the bottles and pump parts that I used that day. After a couple hours at my parents house, we ran a few more errands. Once the kids were in bed, we returned home to relieve my parents. Seemed like we had been waiting all day and holding our breath, and I knew the results may be in the next day. That night, we had overnight help, and it seemed like I should have slept well. I did not. I woke up and felt like I had been holding my breath since I had first learned of my diagnosis. First to know that That Baby was healthy, and now to find out what the scan showed.

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  1. […] I did not get much sleep waiting for the scan results, but I was the mom of a newborn, so it was really just part of life just not the normal cause. The […]

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  2. […] snuggling and happy and sleep deprived from her, not worry and anxiety. Instead of the joy, I was Holding my Baby and Holding my Breath. If you want to go back to the beginning, here is my very first post or you can always go to the […]

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