Friday, November 25, 2011

Bad Dreams, Blessed Memories

As if this journey wasn't hard enough to endure by itself, dreams sneak up and make it all the more difficult. When Jordan was still in the hospital, Michael had a dream that Jordan was released, even though he still required the occasional hand-bagging. We all went out to enjoy a celebratory meal. Then, like a monster sneaking up in the night to say "gotcha", Jordan started gasping, begging for air. Michael desperatley tried to hand-bag Jordan back to life, but couldn't. It was too late.

Michael awoke, startled and heart racing. Seems like such a silly dream but, given the circumstances, it took a good ten minutes to calm down again. Dreams still plague Daddy - sending him back to the hospital to experience familiar sights and sounds from the last month. It happens when we're awake too. The sound of a restaurant's heater kicks on and sounds like the steady rhythm of the oscillator. Aromas remind us of the smell of Jordan's baby skin.

Other parents of babies with severe CDH at CHOP had similar experiences. It is such an overwhelming and tragic experience. Hard not to walk away with some sort of trauma. What do we hold on to that will counteract these bad dreams? Blessed memories... The deep peace Brandi felt during labor and pregnancy. Jordan opening his eyes and looking at us for the first time. His big, warm infant hand clenching our finger - showing us how strong and determined he was. The unexpected peace he felt when we embraced him in our arms for the first and last time.

Life has a rude way of nudging people forward. Reality comes crashing in, thrusting you back into every day events. It never even crossed our minds that we would have to plan a memorial for Jordan. His body is not expected to arrive in Hays until tomorrow; possibly the same time as us. The memorial will be in Hays; however, a date and time have not been set. It will be difficult to enter our house, to see the baby room without our baby. We are thankful for everyone's support and wish to see everyone who would like to visit. But, it will take time to adjust. We have a lot to do and our focus will immediately go to planning the memorial. There will be much more time and closure after the memorial.

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