Sunday, May 14, 2006

Mother's Day

I'd been waiting until Logan had all of his tubes removed before posting a picture, but it's been almost three weeks now, and at least he has the ventilator out. He's a little on the skinny side, but otherwise he's looking pretty good.

He continues to make progress; his signs remain good, he's warming up to the idea of nursing, and I'm guessing that by Tuesday he'll be able to crank his crying up to 11.

Obviously we would have preferred to spend Mother's Day in some other way than in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU). On the other hand, we have a happy, healthy three-year-old plus an infant who, thanks to modern medicine, stands a good chance of surviving. Members of my wife Shannon's great extended family have been dropping by all weekend long, often with food in tow (and no day that includes blackberry pie ever be that bad).

Shannon has been incredible throughout this ordeal, as has her mother, who's been here almost the entire time since Logan was born (my mother is unfortunately recovering from surgery herself, but she's been almost militant about her therapy so she can get up here as soon as possible). I knew my wife was tough, but I had no idea how much.

To some degree one is toughened by spending day after day in the PICU, where it becomes clear that there are so many babies and children with as many or more complications and far worse prospects than Logan. A few weeks ago I couldn't have imagined writing that, but it's true. We've had the pleasure of meeting the mothers and fathers of several of those children, and the way they seem to handle these difficulties is amazing. While they obviously would have preferred that their children had been born healthy, they intensively love them as they are and are willing to do anything to keep them safe, comfortable, and happy--a very tall order in some cases.

And then there are those whose children don't make it. We've run into a few of them as well. Many of them have endured weeks, months, or years tending to their children only to lose them. As I'm rather anti-social anyway, my initial impulse is to avoid becoming too familiar with the other families, because it's hard enough to deal with your own child's situation without also becoming involved in another's, but as the days pass you can't help it--despite the fact that in an instant what is so often a place of miracles can turn into a house of horrors. I don't know how the doctors and nurses--many of them parents as well--bear it day after day, but I greatly admire their skills and dedication.

Today was my wife's day, and I can't speak for her. But at least from my perspective, what had initially seemed like a terrible holiday for her to have to endure at this time turned out not so terrible after all, and instead a good deal more special.


Blogger Cathy said...

Logan is so beautiful. Next year, you and your two children can do something really neat for Mom on Mother's day.

I Pray that he continues getting better daily.

12:23 AM  
Blogger Erin Monahan said...

I found your blog by chance... checking my stats, and somehow ended up here. I am well aware of how difficult it can be to see the other families when you're so immersed in your own child's struggle, but trust me, they become a source of strength and comfort after a while.

You, your wife, and Logan are in my thoughts and prayers.
I've added a link from my blog, I hope that's ok.

1:54 AM  
Blogger Michael said...

Hi I just found your blog through Erin's (above comment).
We are in KC, I assume you are as well. My daughter's blog is at We are approaching Sophia's 3rd major heart surgery. Please let us know if we can help in any way. Email me form the link on the blog if you would like.

6:59 AM  
Blogger Matt, Christine, Elijah, Joseph & TBA said...

I also just found your blog through Erin. I have a son who is 14 months, who was born with TGA, as well as an almost 3 year old. Feel free to check out my family blog. I wrote Joseph's story in February, I think.

8:57 AM  
Blogger David Baker said...

Good heavens, L, he's beautiful! Congratulations again. And it sounds you've got an amazing wife. Most of them are, you know. I had three of them, and I blew it each time. But I'm learning.

In any case, thanks for your writing. Best to you and yours.


9:49 AM  
Blogger Bob said...

This Mother's Day you were in PICU, but consider: The Jews have a saying at the conclusion of Passover - "Next year in Jerusalem." You can amend that a wee bit - "Next year at Cracker Barrel" (or wherever y'all go for Mother's Day).

12:13 PM  
Blogger Rob said...

Cute kid, Lein.

12:51 AM  

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