Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Encouraging clues

I went back to work yesterday. It had to happen sometime. They pay me.

It was very strange and hard leaving Mo to do the daily heavy lifting of watching little Hope in her crib all day, dealing with doctors, changing diapers, taking temperatures, bottle feeding and sneaking off to watch "Gilmore Girls" reruns.

But it's good to get into this routine. Docs aren't saying for sure, and we're naturally cagey, but Hopesy may be coming home fairly soon. Clue No. 1: We were told to bring in her car seat to make sure she can sit in it for long periods. Clue No. 2: Most of the conversations with nurses now involve care techniques, not questions that start, "How worried should we be about ..." Clue No. 3: The doctors say she could come home fairly soon.

See how we put that together? We're going to start a detective agency soon.

Naturally, we're ecstatic and nervous. We're so proud and humbled by this strong, fussy and cuddly little thing we've produced. She seems to face a challenge -- like how do I drink all this milk without choking myself? -- take some time to figure it out and improve. That's encouraging. So is the fact that our daily, little worries on Saturday are never the same on Tuesdays. I guess that's progress.

We're not holding the doctors to a date and are reluctant to jinx ourselves by announcing it (Quick: Everyone knock on wood.) We know things move slow in the NICU. We know dates could change. More than a week ago, one of Hope's pod pals was ready to go home. They had the car seat, the date and camera and were almost out the door. Now, he's back in an isolette. So we're not going to get too ahead of ourselves.

But we'll take it for what it is: A seeming endorsement of stable health.

It doesn't sound like much. But it is to us. And soon, the really hard work begins.

(PS -- We weren't kidding. Knock on wood. Now.)


Lisa said...

We're standing outside with our fingers and toes crossed wearing our lucky socks while hopping on one foot - rubbing a rabbit's foot - all the while knocking on tons of wood. (That's easy for us because we've got 22 trees in our yard). Ooh, just found a Four-Leaf Clover and I think there's a horseshoe right around the corner.
Liz is looking at us like we've lost our minds, but that's OK. She'll get used to it, and I'm sure the neighbors will too. : )
We're trying to send all of the good mojo to Beautiful Hope.
Lisa, Brian and Liz

beth said...

Knocked. And once more for good measure. See you in two days! We're excited!

Anonymous said...

I live near metro beach where there are very large areas of woods and so I'm picking up my grandaughter,Briana and we'll hit the woods and start knocking.....kidding I am picking up Briana & we'er going to Paco's for a bite to eat.
But Joel & Maureen we have been saying prayers daily for you both and Hope,when we get in at night we call each other re:your blog so tonight we celebrate with taco's.
She really is beautiful and we all are so happy to hear the good news but of course we will continue to keep saying prayers as you keep sending pics and your inspiring, real and sometimes humorous messages.Thank you for sharing so much of Hope's journey we will continue to follow your sweet little one's path & her very loving Mommy & Daddy and all of her big wonderful fam......you guys are the best. Kathy & Briana

Pam said...

I knocked and knocked...so much that the neighbors called. You go Hope-inator!! (your mom was Mo-inator, you've taken the reigns!)
love and hugs!!
Pam & Lar

Grandma K said...

Knocked, and knocked, and knocked again.

Go, Hope, go!

Brooklyn Salt said...

I love the picture of you and hope.

We'll be doing whatever we can (including knocking on wood)to send some good karma your way.

Anonymous said...

Joel -

You're just about the best damn writer I've ever read.

- Charlie

I'm running through the woods with my arms flailing about...