It’s been a wonderful, exhausting, amazing and scary few days.
We brought J home on Wednesday afternoon. We had been talking to the discharge nurse for almost two weeks, but none of us were prepared for this to actually happen. I don’t mean that in a general sense based on what J has been through, although that is true. I mean that in a specific sense, as in James’ nurse on Tuesday night as I left to pick up Max saying “Uh, Mom? You guys are leaving tomorrow. You sure you don’t want to start taking some of this stuff home tonight?”
“Oh crap. Yeah, I guess I had better.” (The room looked like we had been keeping it as our second home.) After a moment, “Um, do you have something I can put it all in?”
Out came a pile of generic large brown shopping bags. Apparently I was not the first person to have this problem.
Don’t worry, we were prepared in the practical sense. I had made sure all of the baby stuff was delivered to the house the week before (all we had left from J’s one week at home was a box of newborn diapers that we barely used). The medical supply company brought everything we need. The apartment was spotless.
But there is a major difference between becoming accustomed to IV poles in the hospital over six months, and seeing one in your living room. There is also a major difference between being the parents of two, and being the parents of two at a time.
On Wednesday night, we ordered pizza for dinner. ICU Dad, his parents, Max and I were all sitting around the table, and James was beside us in his bouncer. We were all chatting away, and looking at J from time to time. Halfway through dinner, I looked over at him and noticed his eyes wide, turning his head among the voices. I realized that while James had spent plenty of days and nights with every single person at that table individually, since being admitted to the hospital, he had never really had been part of his family, all together in the same room.
It sounds unbelievable, but I have 3 other adult witnesses: he smiled, and kept smiling for several minutes. There are times when I’m afraid I’m not getting through to J, that at times he may just be unable to respond to me no matter how much I might wish it. But for that moment on Wednesday night, I am certain he knew something great had just happened.