My day of departure has finally arrived. After five days bonding to Luke, and learning how to care for him, I said goodbye, but only for a short while. I rose at six, ate three eggs and toast, prepared Luke’s medications and headed downstairs once I heard my stirring little prince over the monitor. Luke has grown more accustomed to my face being the first he sees each morning, a welcome sign that he recognizes me and has found some comfort in our new arrangement. I carried Luke from his bed to the rug, changed his diaper, dressed him, and prepared to administer his medications.
Luke receives medicine through a Mic-key button which has been surgically inserted into his stomach. The button has a six-inch long extension through which food and medicine are delivered. Removing the Mic-key button actually causes the contents of his stomach to leak out. (I half expected to hear a hissing sound like that of a deflating bicycle tire.) The skin between his stomach and outside of his body has healed in a similar fashion as a hold for an earring closes the surrounding skin.
One important step in the process of administering medicine is remembering to clamp the extension tube before removing the syringe from the tube. This morning I forgot and ended up with a mess of medicine and last night’s bottle formula on my hands. I joked in a pretend Luke voice, “Dad, you’re making my stomach leak.” I didn’t make the same mistake for the next two syringes.
After giving Luke his meds and morning enzyme, I scooped up the little prince, plopped down in the rocker, and fed him a bottle, the last bottle for a while. The time was 8am. My ride to the airport was scheduled to arrive at 8:40. Luke made me proud and finished 5.5 oz of formula from his bottle in 30 minutes, a rare feat. I combed his hair, attempting to tame the curly mane, and accidentally pulled once. He let out the saddest of small cries to let me know his displeasure, his little lips quivering in pain. I kissed him, rubbed his head, and continued on. No more tangles.
8:40 arrived and my phone buzzed with a text message simply reading,” Here”. My heart sank. Giving Luke to Mikki, I darted upstairs with my luggage. Mikki and Luke followed. Showering the two with hugs and kisses caused the tears to well up. I played the rock all week-long, but continuing the trend this morning proved difficult.
On my way out the door, I stopped and gave a big hug to Foster Mom, thanked her for her love and hospitality. This will not be the last time I see her, as we’re going to meet in the middle to transport Mikki and Luke home by car, a long day trip, but an easier journey than shipping Luke’s clothes and toys and other personal belongings, reserving oxygen and refrigeration for Luke’s medicine, clearing TSA with his feeding pump and oxygen, etc.. It’ll be far cheaper and Mikki will not need to face the early Thanksgiving air traffic.