I always thought this picture was Mona Lisa-like. They say the Mona Lisa is enigmatic in nature. Knowing it was taken on a dreary cold Saturday morning in the parking lot of Wal Mart makes me chuckle. How is it you look so poised, graceful and durable. Your piercing, knowing eyes looking on straight through me.
If you look closely, Tommy had a ng (nasogastric) tube that ran from his nose to belly. The nurses had showed me how to insert it using a measuring instrument & a stethoscope. The tape use to aggravate your cheeks & when I would insert it you would sneeze. Sometimes, the tube would stay in for one week, other times the tube would come out 5 to 10 times a day.
This is also the time I was hung over from not sleeping. Feeding you religiously every 3 hours meant getting up on the dot at 1 am, tube- feed you for 45 minutes, and be lucky to get some shut eye at 2 am. Then wake up at 4 am, 7 am, 10 am, 1 pm, 4 pm…. 🙈😴Most nights, your older brother would wake up in the middle of my 2 hours’ stint of sleep needing a rock or a bottle. That’s when I knew Id be screwed for the day.
Scott found my old notes of Tommy’s time feeding chart the other day. Hands covering my face, I started crying instantly. I could see the meticulous care I had taken writing down to the near millimeter the milk intakes. The unconditional devotion in my tired hands, heart and brain was lodge in between the line of that old graph paper pad. With it, my raging hope for Tommy to grow big and strong. Reading the notes, I had forgotten that he did regurgitate most intake. We were dealing with much worse things than feeding him every 3 hours during this time, one of which was the other tube that ran from his brain to his belly. But this story surely is for another essay.
Taking this picture of you in the Wal Mart parking lot, I was so wrecked. I was so miserable. Yet I was widely and deliriously in love with both my sweet babies. I wouldn't change a thing. And really, maybe the enigmatic reflection in Tommys eye is mine: poised, graceful and durable.