Feelings From A NICU Mom

March 3, 2019

My son was born exactly 31 weeks and 4 days into my pregnancy. I remember that my body went numb as the room erupted into doctors and nurses. We had been watching my blood pressure spike all day and we had run out of options for treatment. The only option left was to deliver. It was too soon, he was too early and I felt so guilty.

Guilty because I felt like it was all my fault. I worried too much, worked too much, tried to control everything too much. Everything that was happening was happening because I couldn’t calm down and just go with the flow. I felt like I failed my baby. Like I disappointed my husband. I wouldn’t be carrying my baby to full term because I was to worked up.

I know now that it’s not my fault. I understand now how sometimes pregnancy can just completely change your body’s chemistry. Not that knowing it makes me feel better. Just gives me a reason why it’s not my fault.

That first day when I was in the ICU, I felt like a toddler put on a time out. I couldn’t see my baby. I couldn’t relax or stay calm. I felt like it was a punishment. My body kept freaking out. I would wake up from nightmares. I couldn’t do anything on my own. I remember forcing myself to think about puppies and just breathing in and out.

I thank God for the two nurses who held my hands as they prepared me for an emergency c-section due to serve preeclampsia. I thank God for my husband who slept on so much uncomfortable furniture just to be by my side the whole time. Who always came back with pictures and videos of our baby. And my little sister who became our family representative when we couldn’t handle our phones and all the requests for updates.

I’m grateful we’re all doing well and I feel blessed to have my little one.

This pregnancy has been life changing. Dealing with an incompetent cervix, bed rest, high blood pressure, preeclampsia and now having my son in the NICU. And to think, there’s still motherhood to conquer.

I have so many emotions about everything, I cry every day. I’m physically and emotionally exhausted. And it’s frustrating when other people don’t understand. Because people say some pretty outrageous stuff to you when they think their being helpful I mean, you’d think that people would say comforting things but no.

They say things like “At least you get to sleep through the night!” Really, who thinks that a mother with a child in the hospital is sleeping well?

When you are a NICU Mom you don’t get to dress your baby in all those adorable onesies. Instead, you take vitals, do cares, and stick your hands through holes in a glass box to touch your precious baby. You carefully move wires, arrange chairs, and sit still for hours with your tiny baby tucked into your sports bra when you are finally allowed skin to skin contact.

I feel like guilt, happiness, sadness, and fear are on constant rotation. And I feel like I’m always in two places at once.

The hallway to get to him seems like it goes on forever. It’s very sterilized, you need to be buzzed in to see your baby, and you must use a code when you call in to find out how they are doing. Your hands are so dry and cracked from washing them, no amount of lotion helps. You hear those beeps from all the machines even when you’re at home. Night time and times when you are alone are the worst.

It was nothing like what I expected when I was expecting. In a 10 minute span, my sweet baby went from being in my belly, safe where I controlled EVERYTHING. To, an emergency delivery where I controlled NOTHING.

When people told me parenthood was gonna take me by surprise. They left out the part about it coming from behind and yanking my ankles out from under me.

Not that I don’t enjoy it, or adore every moment he’s been in my arms. It’s just so much, and through it all you just have to keep going because life keeps going. I can’t wait to bring him home. To nurse him. To love him. To just be a family.

I can’t wait to raise him.

 

 

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