It’s been a while and it will probably be a while

I am currently sitting in a giant yellow gauze gown next to the window of a 7th floor hospital room. Outside it’s a balmy 75 degrees with clear, sunny skies. Inside it’s the view of my teeny-tiny almost 3 month old attached to an IV, sleeping in a little bassinet made of rolled up towels. 

I may actually take the idea home with me. It’s working well here. 

She’s slept most of the afternoon- which is nice, because she didn’t sleep last night. Ive taken the opportunity to have breakfast, brush my teeth, make my “bed”, have a quiet time, answer emails and mindlessly browse Facebook and play games on my phone for a while. I should try to nap but I’m a little listless right now. 

What’s wrong with the baby? Well… good question. Adenovirus, for one. Vicious mouth sores for another. Still not sure of the source. Lack of appetite. Diarrhea on the mend, we hope. And vomiting coming to an end, if only because she’s not eating that much today. 

Every day is a new plan around here. That’s fine- I get it. It’s been that way for the better part of the last 3 months as we tried every solution under the sun for colic and general crankiness. It was almost grasping at straws for a while. 

Of course, I’d like to move on to a plan that works. 

But there are things I’m grateful for:

-my wee little one being sick and in pain has allowed her to let me comfort her in a way that couldn’t be done during the intense colic stage. This is a giant balm to my soul that I can’t even express, to finally have the right touches and timing to help her. Being able to do that gives me a big peace. 

-my other bundle of joy is able to run around, be loud and obnoxious and enjoy evenings with all the lights on in the house. Even from far away, that gives me joy as our evenings over the last couple of months have been spent in minimal lighting and silence and frayed nerves. That’s hard on a 3 year old. 

-We comfort those with the comfort we’ve received– it’s a new understanding of what parents with little ones in the hospitals go through. I don’t honestly feel our situation is dire, though it’s not good and there are a lot of unknowns, but I have a new understanding of the emotions that you feel when you go back through “the doors”, back into the halls where your little one lies in pain and not knowing what will await you. When you leave for breakfast when everyone else is bringing in their lunches and you’re bone tired and don’t feel like thinking. The quietness of a hospital room when your little one is finally resting and nurses and all the rest of the world is about their business. The anxious waiting for the visit of the doctor to hopefully find out more or discuss the next plan. 

I had compassion when I was single. I had a more tender heart when I became a mother. Now I have experience– or at least a little of it. More than I want. But my heart has new compassion and yearning (??) for friends who recently or are currently going through rough rough situations. 

Well. I’m tired of vomit and diarrhea and mystery sores. On to some amusing anecdotes. 

-the doctors and nurses are in wonder at the white and pink noise tracks I use almost around the clock to calm baby. “What is that?!!” They ask. I think they think I’m weird. 

-I didn’t have my name stamp (you use that here in Japan for official documents) when I had to fill out hospital admission paperwork. So, instead they had me use the red stamp ink on my forefinger and sign with my finger print. Isn’t that interesting??

-in general, most Japanese are entranced by the Boba baby wrap carrier that I use with our little one. It’s the only way I’ve survived the last couple of months. But no one I’ve met has seen it before and I always get a crowd when putting it on and tucking her in. The Ergo baby carrier is most popular here but I’m waiting for Eliana’s neck to be more stable before I switch to mainly using that. 

-it’s a dollar a day to use the teeny tiny refrigerator in our room. (They use a prepaid card which also works in you want to use the tv). I also cannot eat or drink in the room or use the room’s bathroom here. There are rental beds but they’re out of them right now, so every night I arrange three chairs and sleep across them. It’s surprisingly not too bad!

-you also bring your own diapers, wipes, throw away bags for diapers, and towels here. Every diaper is weighed and added up in a room down the hall and then thrown away. I’m not sure, but I think we will have a trash charge on that account. 

-my husband won a special husband of the year award when he brought me a pillow without me even thinking to ask for one. He also packed a chocolate bar and usually brings me a new goodie. 

Well. Baby is stirring. Probably time to go. It was nice talking “at” the outside world for a while. Blogging is often a relaxing activity for me. 

And it’s nice to have a feeling of normalcy when you’re siting in a giant yellow gauze gown.