Pics yes please

So I had sever pre-eclampsia and HELLP. My baby was born early, she was whisked off to the NICU and I saw her for all of 5 seconds before they took her away and work on me and my pressure. Like other moms who deliver early for any number of reasons, I did not get to hold her, or feed her or touch her. We actually didn’t meet for 2 days and at that time I was in a wheelchair and she was in an incubator all hooked up to machines and wearing some kind of eye mask that made her look like Doris Day in one of those old movies at night. I held her on day four, but she was still hooked up to everything and had to go right back in her little healthy baby incubator. I wanted so much to touch her little hand or tickle her little leg, but I was told no you can’t do that, preemies are sensitive and it basically bugs them out. Ok, so I couldn’t meet my kid, couldn’t hold my kid, couldn’t feed my kid and basically couldn’t touch my kid talk about anger, sadness, frustration all rolled into one. The one thing that made it a fraction easier when I was confined to bed in the maternity ward watching everyone else enjoy their new bundles of joy was pictures. Thank goodness we live in the digital age. My husband and friends went up to see my baby when I was being medicated  and put on bed rest. I never got a good look at her, I thought I saw a tuft of blond curls, but did not know. Then my husband and friends brought back their cameras and there she was, my little girl. So tiny, so cute, and such a little fighter. It was awesome. In my own experience with the NICU, I was having highs and lows of emotions. When I was finally able to go to see her on day 2 in my wheelchair with a nurse, I had to be persuaded. I couldn’t stop thinking about how sick she was and how small she was and I was scared. I was scared of getting attached and something really bad happening. I was sad because I didn’t know why this was happening to us. I was angry because I wanted to be like all those other moms on the maternity ward, with their little babes in their rooms and people oohing and ahhing instead of people feeling awkward and not knowing what to say. I finally had a breakdown one night, after I had cried for a whole day. None of the nurses asked me if I was ok, my husband finally called and said he wanted someone to come and talk with me. They sent me a counselor and she was very nice, had experience with her own sick child. Then I had the most wonderful angel of a nurse. She sat and held my hand, let me cry, gave me tissues, asked me what I felt and why I was scared and talked me through it. She told me I had to be tough for me and my baby and then convinced me she would go with me to meet my baby. And she did and I saw her and I was shocked. It was way more dramatic to see in person. Over the next several weeks, my pressure was still all over the place, the baby was still in the NICU and it was 100 miles round trip from our house and I was depressed and angry. At one point my pressure was so high, I couldn’t really see straight so I drove myself to the ER, it was then I realized how bad I was. Everyone kept saying relax, you need to relax and calm down and I finally said, how the h*ll do I calm down, my baby is in a hospital far away hooked up to tubes and machines and there is not one thing I can do about it, you tell me how you would be calm. My husband was a trooper though, the hospital was close to his job and he would go see her at lunch or after work and hold her and feed her as she got stronger. Then finally we brought her home and we were a family. I was still a nervous wreck, but over time it got better and easier. But if you have a preemie or a baby in the NICU, you have the right to have your emotions. Talking helped me a lot and so did praying. I got through and so can you. The other thing I loved beside the pics when I couldn’t physically go see her, was I uploaded them online and made a little photo book of her NICU journey. That was very healing months later to see how far we came and I hope to one day share that with her.

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