Look Mom! No tubes (shoved down my throat anyway).
Day 4 was a crazy day...
Aunt Jeanne and Uncle Mark came to visit and got here just in time to lend a helping hand with Mom who was finally discharged! Good thing they did to because beside accumulating a room full of baggage and some "It's a boy" congratulations, the hospital sent us away with a bunch of diapers and a car seat as a parting gift! I'm beginning to wonder if it even was a hospital because with Mom recovering so quickly and feeling so well in recovery it felt much more like a hotel stay than a hospital stay. We thank the entire staff at Hollywood Pres for being so kind and helpful.
We got to see Carson just in time to watch them remove the ventilator! After awhile when Aunt Jeanne and Mom were with him they ask, "would you like to hold him?" Umm, yea! Quick switch to get Dad in to enjoy this first with Mom. We took our turns and were just delighted as we got to enjoy these goals just falling left and right. After spending the morning and early afternoon enjoying him they are ready to take yet another step and let Mom try to feed him (he was too tuckered out though). What a joyous day!
Then in the hallway, after all this joy, I find Mom weeping with Carson's nurse consoling her. One of main doctor's in charge of the neonatal unit had told Mom, "I fear Carson has brain damage."
How do you react to a phrase like that? Its the kind that sits on you for the rest of the day and haunts you even as you try with all your might to reason it away. I went back to speak and try to get more details with the doctor as Mom was caught off guard and just devastated instantly and didn't get much further into the conversation. Apparently, the doctor was expressing more of a worry than an assessment. That's a relief... sort of. They said that it was due to his sluggish response after having been off sedation since yesterday. Carson wasn't starting to take his own initiative for what the machines were doing for him and that's why the worry was there. My mind said give the little guy a break as he has known more torture on his body so far than comfort. Mom and I are just getting to the point where we can give him regular stimulus as we had to fight sedation early and hospital schedules later. I also believe the doctor was not yet privy to the advancements we had seen in him after the ventilator was removed...
I could go on and on reasoning and fighting those words in different ways but the truth is it wouldn't matter. My gut really questions them at this stage, but I don't want each precious moment of Carson's life to be measured as an opponent or an ally to their truth. It is an utter and complete waste of what these moments are to be. The measuring stick that does matter is that even if completely true, God knew. He is still on the throne and He still has a good and perfect will for Carson's life that no earthly limitations he may have can erase.
We returned to Carson in the late afternoon to retry getting him to feed since he was too tired earlier. Soon after we arrived he was chugging down a bottle and the nurse put together a plan to get him switched completely over to that from a feeding IV.
As the day wore on it became more exhausting. The limitations of the hospital schedule and restrictions were gone but that makes the day all the more of a toil for a Mom still in recovery. We stopped by the Ronald McDonald house that night and were blessed to have a free dinner supplied by a local Brazilian Baptist church. They took on Carson for a prayer request for their services tomorrow! Shortly after meeting them we were called back down to meet another great couple staying at the house who happened to have a three year old little girl who also has spina bifida. What a little blessing she was and just the right blessing for Mom and I to see on this night. God demonstrating His masterful hand yet again. We are so thankful that at many different key moments encouragement is supplied.
We ended the day with one last visit of Carson later in the night. The shift had changed so we went in wondering if the getting to hold him option would still be available with the new nurse. Not only did we get to hold him, we got to feed and change him for the first time. These firsts were easily trumped by him not only flashing those eyes, but keeping them open trying to process the four glowing eyes of his parents staring back at him. What a blessed God we serve! What a wonderful boy we have been blessed with! Thank you for the blessing that each of you have been as your words and messages to us have been such a comfort.