As I sit here on the couch while my son takes what has now turned into a 3 hour nap, I catch up on my laundry, cleaning the house, thinking about what to make for dinner and as most days go, think about what I was doing this time last year.
This time last year, sitting on my couch was the furthest thing from my mind. In fact, I couldn’t have cared if I ever even saw this couch again as long as my baby boy lived to see another day. As long as he lived one more minute so that I could look at his face, touch his tiny hands and make sure that he knew I loved him. This time last year I was spending every waking moment by his incubator at the NICU. This time last year, I’d be lucky if I was able to hold my son for a couple of hours.
I had heard the terms NICU and preemie from time to time. They didn’t mean much to me other than a sadness that I was unable to relate to, since I really didn’t understand the depth those words held. I never knew what it was to have a baby. This would be my first one. I felt joy, excitement, anxiety and most of all, I was scared out of my mind! I had no idea how to raise a kid!
We spent a lot of our time looking for just the right crib, color schemes, themes for his room, what the best kind of baby shampoo and lotion was, do we need this butt cream? What about that butt cream? What is butt cream? What kind of diapers are best…and on and on our preparation would go. The littlest things would cross our minds and we hoped that we would do it all right.
Those little things that we thought we so important became the least of our worries when my water broke at 25 weeks pregnant. The mobiles and binkies would have to wait. The stuffed animals and rocking chair would sit vacant with no newborn baby to rock to sleep. Those little things we worried about were replaced with a 1lb 12 oz micro-preemie baby boy, fighting to just breath.
We didn’t read the book on this NICU thing. Where was the chapter on micro-preemies? No one prepares you for this possibility. Can you even be prepared for this? My answer…NO. No one will ever be able to prepare you for the months you’ll sit and wonder if your baby will come home. If he will have some kind of life changing disability. If he will ever be able to breathe without O2 tanks. The only way to understand is to experience it first hand. And the only way that I can help anyone facing the inevitable hell that is the NICU, is relay my experience and what worked for us. I’ll post such things as they come to mind 🙂