Although Jack has worked so hard to continue to try to cough and swallow on his own, PICU doctors decided today that it would be safest to intubate him to prevent his secretions from entering his lungs as the muscles in his throat continue to grow less coordinated. So now he is resting under sedation, once again relying upon a breathing tube. While this carries risks such as pneumonia, his neurological status was fragile enough that breathing and swallowing were getting scary- something had to be done. While we knew that this was coming, it is terribly hard to witness.
There is still no news on the pathology report. So, as of this moment, we are still somewhat unsure of the plan, though everyone is prepping for surgery on Thursday.
Since there is now little for me to do other than write, wait for doctor visits, and watch over Jack’s drain and his stats, I thought I’d share a happy story with you. A story about Bonanza.
The first month of the boys’ life was definitely the most stressful period I’d experienced up to that point. And Jack… well, he just would NOT sleep! He wasn’t colicky, but he was guaranteed to be wakeful and fussy at the exact moment that the rest of the house was about to turn in. We tried everything in those early weeks. We tried keeping him more awake in the day, we tried keeping things un-stimulating at night. We tried all kinds of feeding configurations. We tried rocking chairs, shushing, different swaddlers, all kinds of lullabies… everything.
One day, John had put Sam down to sleep, but Jack was objecting to our bedtime plans, as usual. I was with Jack- walking, swaying, singing, shushing, pleading, and finally, an hour later, very near tears. John asked to give it a try, and I gratefully handed the baby over and sat down in a heap at the top of the stairs with my head against the wall, completely played out. I heard John downstairs walking around… and around… and around the house. First, “You are my Sunshine” drifted up the stairs from below. Then I heard a few rounds of “The Ants go Marching”, then “The Little Drummer Boy”. Finally, I heard a new melody. It went Bum-Diddy-Bum-Diddy-Bum-Diddy-Bum-Diddy-bum BUM, and Jack was getting quiet. It was the Bonanza theme song, which was one of John’s grandfather’s favorite TV shows. Who knows why it popped into John’s head at that moment, but it was like magic. Jack fell asleep to it every time.
Whenever we needed to get Jack to calm down before drinking his bottle, we’d sing it. Whenever we needed to get Jack to calm down before bed, we’d sing it. We’d sing it if he got scared. We’d sing it if he screamed in the car. We’d sing it when he needed to get a shot at the doctor’s office.
We sang it to him all day today, too…. and I hope that I’ll be singing it to him for years to come.