Squink was only in the NICU for about 11 days.
Those days were really hard, but they were only 11 days.
Malcom had been there for months, other babies were looking at staying there for months. I have always felt like Squinks' 11 days, in comparison, were nothing, not even worth calling him a preemie... at least out loud to other people. Least they say something like "he was only there for 11 days, that is nothing".
Yeah, I know it is an internal struggle... no one has ever said anything about my claim to be a mother of a preemie as not being valid. Even the mommies of babies that had been there for a while never say that... but there is something that hangs out there in the air like a nasty noxious fume of a cloud that says "but your baby was only there for 11 days".
I can't see a picture of a baby in an incubator without tears welling up in my eyes, my heart feeling a little tighter, my brain getting muddled in recalling those days. those 11 days.
o, I have been trying to read this wonderful blog called sweet|salty for a while... she captures those feeling of sitting in the "pump house", the vocabulary you have to learn... but the truth is that every time I try to read her wonderfully put together story on this journey... but my heart gets tight, my eyes water, and I have to stop... only because there is a certain pain in recollecting those days when we were asked if we wanted last rights done, or as he was semi-intubated, as he was moved from middle care to the NICU... I don't know how parent's survive it, those days are bleak, hard, filled with beeps and dark hospital wards with tons of itty bitty bodies in different sizes with their own corresponding beeps... where you notice anyone else wearing that color coded hospital bracelet that means someone they love is a little baby in the NICU. Faces that imprint in your memory and have no names, where strangers provided little reassurances, and you are so grateful, where setbacks that others have give you almost as much pain as if it were your own partly because you are so glad it isn't you but know that there is no guarantee you won't be next....
I dunno, read her words if you want to know what it is like to have a premature baby in NICU, even though her twins will be there for 3 months, she is describing exactly what those 11 days were for me. At least what I have managed to read so far, before my eyes well with tears and my heart gets that tight feeling and I have to stop.