Preemie Life Changing


I thought as my baby grew I would not have memories so strong of the NICU and that experience, but it stays with me and keeps coming back.  I think it is a reminder to myself of how far we’ve come.  My child is having hearing problems (sometimes common with preemies) and we are going through the testing period now.  So my mind goes back to all she’s had to endure so far.

The first time I saw my child, since I saw her for about 1 second at the delivery and then she was whisked away, the first time I saw her, a nurse wheeled me to the NICU.  I was not allowed to touch her or hold her.  She was in this isolette with a quilt on top.  She had a ventilator, tubes everywhere, a little thing on her eyes, for the jaundice treatment.  She was small, but not really small.  It seemed surreal.  Here I was the mother of this tiny baby and I couldn’t even touch her, why would that ever seem fair or right in the world?  There was a nurse practioner or a doctor droning on about her condition, but I couldn’t hear anything, I was on some other level, my already high pressure was surging within me.  I am used to instant gratification-blame it on my generation and the invention on the internet.  I wanted to hold my baby, to take her home and show her the lovely lavendar room I had for her, with the dolls from my childhood lined up on the shelves.  I wanted her to see her crib which was her brothers before her.  I wanted her to smell the scents of our home and to meet our pets.  I wanted to grab her, my husband and my son and run to some place where babies don’t come early and the NICU didn’t exist.  I didn’t want this for us.  I was over emtional.  I asked to be taken back to my room, I couldn’t handle it.  I knew I should be strong, but I was scared, I called my grandmother and asked her if I should have the baby baptised in the hospital.  I laid on my bed and didn’t answer the phone. didn’t watch tv, didn’t read the US Weekly and Glamour my friends brought me, didn’t see friends, didn’t eat my reese cups.  I looked out the window at the city skyline.  I imagined the exciting places the planes from the airport were going.  I thought about how everyone I knew was going about their normal daily lives and yes people were thinking and praying for us, but in reality people have to do what they have to do.  Life moves, unless you are stuck in a hospital bed which a child in the NICU, then life doesn’t move.  You think of all you may have done wrong, should I have skipped the soda when I had morning sickness and nothing stayed down but soda, should I have eaten more vegetables, excerised more, slept more, not pushed myself so much???  Should I have listened to my body and not chalked it up as aches and pains of pregnancy? I wish I was like my husband, he lives in the moment and just goes.  He has congentital heart disease and has had countless surgeries in his life, so he knows precious gifts, he knows you can’t dwell on the past. 

I wish I could say that it was better when she came home, but like any baby it takes time to get used to having a baby in the house, and preemies need more than some babies.  It was so good to have her home.   I think that God knows that preemie parents need to go through the NICU trials in order to get through the growing up stages, because as with most preemies, there are usually other issues as they grow. 

It’s taken me sometime to be able to think about and write about these things without crying my eyes out, so now I find it soothing and kind of cool that someday my child can read about my experiences in welcoming her little life into this great big world.

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