Thursday, March 15, 2007

Nail, Head....She hit it perfectly.....

Over at Stirrup Queens and Sperm Palace Jesters, Mel wrote such an amazing entry that I just have to write about it. There are times when I read what she writes and wonder how she got into my head. This is one of those times.

We were in Iowa City yesterday for my Aunt's funeral. Any time we hear mention of Iowa City, it brings us back to our times there. We drove in and saw the sign for Bob's Your Uncle pizza, the place that made me feel sort of normal one difficult afternoon. We see the University come into view and it just takes us back.

Mel is right, Maybe wellness resolves prematurity, but it doesn't resolve the fears that accompany a NICU experience.

A week or so ago, someone asked on a message board that I belong to about her SIL who was diagnosed with IUGR and said that her SIL was 30 or so weeks along. She got all kinds of people telling her these great stories of how they know of someone who had a baby at 30 or 31 or 29 weeks and they were small but they are fine now. I know that she was looking for support, but I didn't think that was the right kind of suppport. I wanted to tell her about the issues that babies born that early face: RDS (respiratory distress syndrome), brain bleeds, intestinal issues, there are just so many things. She should be telling her SIL to be prepared. I think it's what saved me. If I had not known a little of what to expect (and I had been prepped by the nurses, I asked the tough questions.) I wouldn't have been able to survive at all.

See even if you KNOW that you won't be able to hold your baby, you still long to do so. Even though the nurses told me that there would be IV tubes in his stomach, tape over his face to hold the tubes in, machines everywhere, I wasn't prepared. I longed to see his face. Even though I knew he could have Brady episodes, the first time he stopped breathing and turned blue in front of me, my heart stopped. You can't be prepared enough. It's wrong to just tell the good stories.

Yes, Boo is fine now. He's funny and bright and a joy in my life. But we went through so much to get to this point. And we are lucky...so lucky that I can't help but wonder why. The things we have gone through will never be removed from our memory. The moment we sent him in that helicopter...24 hours old, not knowing what they would tell us when we saw him again, the calls in the middle of the night, bracing ourselves for the worst, waiting for test results, begging him to breathe, eat, LIVE... those things don't leave your memory, no matter how hard you try to erase them.

About a year ago, we took Boo for a HRI follow-up appointment. We decided to stop in the NICU. I walked in and just the smell overwhelmed me and brought tears. Not much had changed, there were poster of their miracle children on the wall. The smell was exactly the same. I decided not to go in, I couldn't quite do that, but it was good to go back.

See...Mel is right I think...We aren't meant to get over it. It's okay that it changes us. It's an experience that we went through that has made us so much stronger as a family.


I know you said
Can’t you just get over it
It turned my whole world around
And I kind of like it
Thanks for reminding me.

1 comment:

The Town Criers said...

Oh--I loved your take on this. It's so true. When we only tell the happy outcome, we're not prepared for the horrible journey to get to that happy outcome (or even worse, if the happy outcome doesn't arrive). I still go back to the NICU from time to time. When we were there, the doctor used to bring us out in the hallway to talk to parents whose kids had been in the NICU and now were there visiting. And never blew happy smoke up my bum, but it was enough to hear their story and then see their healthy children and put it together to know the twins would get better. It's interesting being on the other side and being the people in the hallway who the doctor brings out other parents to see.

Gorgeous post.