Tonight I sat in my home office, diligently working away. Caleb was in the kitchen, armed with a bottle, feeding Zoe.Rewind to earlier this morning… A text message to the cardiologist notifying them that Zoe has not gained weight for the past three days – a difficult thing to swallow (pun intended) for me. The response we received, of course, included a threat of NG tube insertion once again. Being so close to the Glenn, I do not want Zoe in or near a hospital for this procedure. The last thing we need is for her to contract some (other) virus or bacteria. The cardiologist gave us the option to increase her caloric intake with fortification to 27 calories. We agreed, knowing in the back of our minds the increase in fortification also brings increased risk of reflux and gas. Reflux and gas or NG tube: simple decision, but also a catch 22. Increased reflux will likely prevent Zoe from eating the same volume and hence, a decrease of weight gain regardless.
Ok, fast forward to tonight… Caleb is in the kitchen feeding Zoe. Mommy is working in the den. I hear Zoe begin to cough. I cringe, knowing what typically comes next. Vomit. I hear Caleb frantically trying to calm Zoe. “Shhhhh, Shhhhh, it’s okay Zoes, Shhhh, Shhhh” (we call her Zoes, phonetically ZOZ.) I begin praying. Hard. I can hear my frantic plea in my mind, as if I'm speaking it aloud. “Please God, don’t let her vomit. Please, let her keep the bottle down. Please God.” I even begin a “no vomit” mantra in my head. At this point, I'm pretty sure I’m sweating.In that moment, I realized why I’m so anxious (and on edge and cranky and frustrated) all of the time; why my neck feels like cement most of the day. I’m praying like a mad woman that my daughter will not vomit, that she will take an entire bottle. How many parents worry about this every 2.5 to 3 hours during the day, 7 days a week? And this worry is just the tip of the iceberg. As I sit here typing this blog entry, I want to cry. How much longer can I endure this stress? Do I need to institute a meditation practice or get my butt back to practicing yoga in order to relax? Great idea, but when do I have time for that? I barely get work done and am lucky to get 5 hours of shut eye per night.
Now, I feel like I need to apologize to you and to Zoe for wallowing. I'm sorry.I'm sorry, Zoe. I love you and would endure countless loads of stress and worry for the remainder of my life. I wish someone could promise me a lifetime of such. I can't imagine the alternative.
I love you Zoe Madison. Please eat and gain weight. I know you can do it. You’re the strongest 3 month old I know.And, just so you know, my prayers and mantra worked. Zoe kept her bottle down. This time. Three hours from now, I’ll be saying another prayer and repeating my mantra – “no vomit… no vomit… no vomit.”