A Letter to My Husband, On Father’s Day
You did not become a father in the beautiful way we imagined. It happened 4 months too soon, and instead of feeling the normal scary feelings and excitement you experienced pure terror, concerned for the life of your wife,and your daughter who was born weighing 1lb 8oz. We will never forget what the doctor said to us that night, "If you don't deliver, she will die, and if you don't deliver, you could die" I'd like to say that was end of our trauma as parents, but it was truly just the beginning.
You will wake up today and instead of just rolling out of bed and enjoying your breakfast made by mauh, you will do your normal medical morning routine while I take the dog for a walk; disconnecting tubes, emptying bags of stomach bile, flushing gtube, jtube, cleaning, flushing, and locking her central line, and most likely cleaning up a massive poop explosion. Happy Father's Day babe. Medical Dad's are often unmentioned, underrepresented, and underappreciated. But today, I want to share some of the kick ass things you do to take care of our medically complex girl.
You can change a central line dressing better than anyone I know, including medical professionals. Many people need nurses to do this, we need Dada.
You've handed your baby over to a surgeon 11 times and put her under anesthesia more times than we've been able to count.
When Adeline started to walk but was not strong enough to carry her feeding pump, you invented a feeding tube cart to follow behind her.
You've given up all your vacation days, we can travel out of state for better medical care.
You take care of her medical needs in the morning, because it's your time to bond with her.
You have cleaned up throw up at least weekly for almost 3 years.
You have swallowed your pain, hidden your stress, and kept our life afloat while our daughter has gone through tough times, been sick, or when everything is falling apart.
You've listened to me each night at dinner give you medical updates, share changes to the plan, and tell you which early intervention things we are working on now. (and you've followed through with the plan!)
You work after she goes to bed, so you can come home at a good time and help me with her cares.
You are always positive, looking for the bright side of things, when we are surrounded by darkness.
You have spent 100's of days in the hospital, countless nights in the ER, slept on chairs, "beds" or held our baby all night long just so she could sleep.
You make us laugh in some of the worst of situations.
You've had the extra burden of not only having to provide for our family, but also take care of she and I.
You've spent every night waking up throughout the night for vomit, tube issues, retching, cord tangles, etc. It's like we have a newborn, except she is almost 3.
You've almost lost her, a few times. She stopped breathing in your arms and you've had to really make sure you know CPR.
Dada, you are a warrior, just like Addie Belle. I am so proud of how you handles the triumphs and tribulations of this incredible journey. We could not do it without you. Happy Father's Day.