Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Our Bittersweet Goodbye

Dr. Conor with Dr. Schuschke at his last neonatal appointment!
By Jacob Hedgespeth

On March 26th 2013 we had Neonatal Follow Up appointment at Kosair Children’s for Conor. I don’t really know where to start writing this one. Our emotions flying everywhere as we travel the pedways and hallways that we had so many times before and the smell of that hospital, man that smell alone can take me back to every fear, every out reach of support, and every prayer we had sent for us. Some of the most memorable times, besides my son being born, were eating in Norton Hospital cafeteria with my dad the nights Taryn was still in the hospital. Just to be able to talk with him about normal things, and his reassurance of how this will all be fine will forever be in my mind. You see, my dad and I have a best friend style relationship and Dad has been a lot of things to me. He has been my hero, my caregiver, my superman, and most of all he has been my dad. I pray daily that I can amount to half the father he has been for me.

And we haven’t even got to the doctor’s office yet! The team of neonatologists that cared for my son while in the NICU runs this follow up program, so it is always great to see reactions from them on his appearance and size. Dr. Schuschke has seen Conor the last two times we have been in the office, and I remember talking to her late one night while on a milk run to the NICU and she was checking in on our little guy. Today she was just seeing how Conor was moving along developmentally and she was more than pleased with Conor’s motor skills and his muscle development. She showed us what Conor looked like on the percentile charts and his weight was 28%. ON THE NORMAL SCALE! I thought I would jump up and down! At his 3 month appointment he was barely on the scales at all!

Then she played around with Conor just to see what else our little man could do and Conor tried his best to crawl for her but he just can’t quite get it yet but he sure is trying! Then our bittersweet news came. Dr. Schuschke told us that she was very pleased with Conor’s progress and that she feels very comfortable in releasing him from the program. At that moment you feel joy, but then you realize that you won’t be seeing these awesome people anymore. Dr. Schuschke stayed in the room with us a little while longer, talked with us and took a few pictures with Conor and said “He is the reason we do what we do.” And that brought tears to my eyes, knowing that this woman really loved my son while in her care, and they all did.

Though Conor is still small for his age he has a huge story to tell one day. And he will be able to tell that story thanks to Neonatal Doctors like Dr. Schuschke and the whole Kosair NICU team. I will forever be in debt to these great people. So if you are currently in the NICU take the time to thank your nurses and doctors because they care so much about your little one.

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

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