Christmastime is here... here in the PCICU that is. Josiah won't be making the trip to Greenville with us when we leave tonight to head back up the road. When we complete this holiday week, we will have made the 3.5 hr trip 6 out of 9 days. We spent 2 hrs over lunch the other day arranging our most complicated Christmas schedule ever.
He turned 7 months old on Sunday, and I guess somehow we had begun to feel entitled to leave here or something. But the reality is, we don't want to leave this unit until our little guy has reached the goals necessary. Goals like...
Maintain ventilator settings of 40% oxygen or less
Breathe on a trach collar (water vapor and oxygen instead of a vent) for at least 1 hr a day.
Stabilize his glucose (sugar) levels to a safe level of 70.
Tolerate his feeds in a way that doesn't make his belly swell into a Jabba-The-Hut-like pose.
(it would appear that he is sneaking in a ridiculous amount of donuts every night)
So, while we were beginning to feel sorry for ourselves and our crazy busy Christmas, we were reminded of an incredible story you may have heard of before. Through this process we have gotten to know a family on the other side of the United States. Their little baby is named Rudy, and this is what Rolf had to say Christmas Eve 2008 when they didn't make it out of the hospital:
So this is our Christmas and, the more I think about it, it’s all very appropriate. As I’ve shared in a few settings over the past few weeks, we tend to associate Christmas with preparation and organization. We shop, plan, decorate, dress and clean up. All this to commemorate an instance that was anything but. Mary and Joseph had no time to make plans and prepare but found themselves caught in a setting that bordered on deplorable. A birth in a cold, stinking stable. A baby placed in a crib that was far from cozy, sterile or hypoallergenic. No, a manger coated with dried spittle and decaying bits of cud from the livestock that dined there. Had they even the opportunity for the slightest bit of planning it would have seen them far away from anything like this. Yet it’s into this dirty setting, populated by frazzled and unprepared people, that God comes bringing life and hope. And that’s a tremendous comfort to us here in Room 5439 because it means that Christmas will come to us, regardless of how much we’ve prepared for it. Not to say we haven’t done a bit of planning, but our primary wish was to be together as a family. With this in place, we’ll let the celebrating begin.
Perspective strikes again...