It was last night at about 7 o'clock that some of the shock and chaos of the previous 48 hours began to wear off. It didn't surprise me when it came -- I knew that it would. I know that when our minds and bodies endure something like we did Thursday night - early Friday morning, that you can't possibly take it all in. You can't possibly understand and process what is happening.
I still believe that in those moments, I was protected by that peace that passes understanding. There is no doubt in my mind. But I also believe I have a human heart which, as much as it can contain, cannot contain the love I have for my son. This is part of why I share him with you -- this, and the understanding that is now as clear as a pinprick of light on a dark night: he isn't ours to begin with.
I thought about everything: How severe his heart condition is. How there was nothing we could have done to prevent it from happening. How so many people I know have had perfectly healthy little babies recently. How much my one-week old has been through in his first week of life: blood draws, transfusions, intubations, open-heart surgery, central lines, more medications running through his system than many of us have seen in our entire lifetimes. How much I love him. How much I want to hold him again, and for his daddy to hold him for the first time. How sweet and how fierce he is. How much I hope for those miraculous moments of victory, whether they come in inches or in miles. How much I understand that we're at the mercy of something over which we have no control. How much all of this throws into sharp relief how very delicate and tenuous life can be.
And I felt it all at once.
I understand that this doesn't mean a loss of hope or of faith -- in those scary moments where we thought we'd lose him, we had no choice but to live only in the moment we were in: no projecting forward, and no looking back wondering what could have been done differently. What I experienced was the dam giving way: the thing that kept us walking through the past 48 hours making those decisions that needed to be made with a clear mind. Now that things have been relatively boring for these most recent 48 hours, space was created for all those things to sink in, to marinate -- for me to have some stillness with them and to really, really feel them.
So for now, we are hoping and praying for more boring days. As Ewan's body hangs out at a warmer temperature (not quite body temp), as they slowly wean him off the support he's been getting from the ECMO machine -- we are hoping for nothing more than minor roadbumps. After you prayed, his lactic acid levels went down yesterday -- just as the doctors wanted them to. So keep praying that as his body warms, that as support is weaned, that he would handle it well -- his heart rate and blood pressure remaining stable and in healthy ranges, his body taking over for what machines are providing now.
So much to be thankful for, so much more to hope and pray for.
Video: I mentioned in an earlier post -- before we even knew that Ewan would be going in to surgery -- that I felt compelled to baptize him before we left the other night (which ended up being the night before his emergency surgery). I'm so glad we did -- I can't bear the thought of leaving that undone prior to those moments. These are BOTH the day prior to surgery.
And here's another video from the same day which is short but terribly sweet: