Yesterday we had the terrifying experience of returning for the first time to the hospital Jairus was born at.
Hazen had some problems with his intestines and we needed to have him seen at the ER. He's fine. He was actually better by the time we arrived at the hospital but we wanted him seen just the same. And the Doctor assured us it's not a big deal, that we can treat him at home if there are any future problems. Praise God for his healing.
With the panic I felt that something was really wrong (and the fears of hospital stays, surgeries and other unlikely possibilities that a parent immediately fears when their child is ill) I never for a moment second-guessed where we would take him. I still strongly believe the Children's Hospital is the best place for your little ones, they specialize in tiny patients and have top rate facilities for tiny bodies. Away we went.
It wasn't until we walked out of the hospital that the emotions of being there really hit me. To get to the car, we had to walk past the doors that go into the Birth Center. And I remembered how we ran in that early morning in December, the fear mingled with an evaporating twinge of hope that we still had. Emma and Hazen were also born there, and we've experienced the joy and anticipation of coming in pregnant before leaving that place with a new baby. I tried to remember the feelings and memories we had with our first two deliveries, but the most recent experience crowds most of them out, makes those first memories more bitter-sweet.
Then we walked the same hallway to the parking ramp we had December 29th, again with empty arms. Again leaving the hospital without Jairus. It all flooded back. We saw a new father bringing the carseat into the hospital, about to bring home his new son/daughter. We remembered the empty carseat in the back of our van, never to be installed. I remembered the shock and fear and numbness of leaving there without my child. My surprise to see all the lights that night, as I had completely forgotten that it was still Christmas time. The end of one life and the beginning of a new one for our family. A more painful and confusing journey than we'd had in mind.
It was inevitable we be back there someday. They are an amazing hospital and their staff is fantastic. We'd recommend them to anyone and never bring our children anywhere else when they are in serious need of medical care. Its just a hard place to see so soon.
Sometimes I wonder if the first time doing something is the hardest, and you just have to get it over with to help conquer your fear of it. I tell myself that a lot this in this first year without our baby. Like a mental checklist of things I have now done (Easter, check...Mothers Day, check...first trips to grandparents homes with only 2 kids in tow, check...) We've gone back to the hospital now. Which means if we have to again, I know we can. We've done it before.
But I hope its not for a long time.