Sunday, May 20, 2007

Preemies

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.


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3 comments:

Patricia Tryon said...

Oh, Blair, that makes my heart hurt, too.

Pain is pain is pain, and I think comparison isn't really possible. Maybe all we can hope is that it helps us open our hearts to each other. To me, that's what your post suggests.

Hugs to you.

Blair said...

Patricia, it was painful and as I tried to read her stories, I just kept thinking Squink was there for only 11 days... at the very same time as I thought about how awful those days were, feeling grateful that humans had been able to increase survival rates such that my son had a greater than 80% chance of surviving (even without a guarantee of disability as a result of the prematurity)... it was about my struggle with almost feeling like a fraud for those 11 days but knowing that it was incredibly painful and that would always be a part of that story and how I would never trade my experience for hers because I could not imagine doing that for even one day more, let alone 3 months... but you are right, when I am near the hospital with the NICU I look for people with those bracelets so I can tell them that there are success stories and I know how they might be feeling, my heart is wide open for them.

Agnes said...

awww Blair. be strong.
i believe the experience made you stronger and appreciate everything a little more.
will pray for the baby..
Hugs~