Nora is doing fantastic! She’s gaining weight, they increased her feeds again, and best of all, her spinal fluid is now free of infection! In the back of my mind I’m still worried about long-term issues from the meningitis, but for now, she is doing awesome.
Me on the other hand, I don’t know. Physically I’m fine, well, exhausted, but my uterine infection is all healed, and I pray it doesn’t come back. My body resembles itself before I was pregnant, which is a plus, but I’d obviously take some extra weight now if it meant Nora had been born closer to her due date. Funny how it was so hard to get her in (IVF) and then so hard to keep her in. I told Eric I want a surrogate next time… His response, “Well, it would be cheaper than this NICU stay…”
I felt far more guilty today than I have other days, not exactly sure why. I’m trying to keep a schedule, a routine I guess, to make my days feel purposeful. I always pump around 7 am and then shower and head to the hospital to see Nora. I usually get there around 9, in time for rounds which are anywhere between 9 and 11. I usually pump again in her room around 10 and then grab lunch. Today I met two friends I used to work with, and it was soooo nice. I felt like a normal person again! Then at 1 pm it’s back to her room to pump. Normally I’d stay there until 4 to pump again, but on Wednesdays Kona, our chocolate lab, goes to playcare, so I left Nora before 4 today so I’d have time to get Kona and get home in time to pump there. Looking back on my day though, now I feel really guilty, like I wasn’t with Nora enough today. Granted, she was sleeping most of the day, and when I was in her room I held her hand, stroked her head, gave her back her binkie when she lost it… But none of that seems like enough. I’m honestly not sure if I’ve really bonded with her yet. I’ve held her for about three hours total since she was born. I don’t feel like she knows me, as she responds to me in the same ways as she responds to the nurses. And really, being I go home to sleep at night, she is with the nurses far more than she is with me or Eric.
When I got home today I grabbed a bite to eat and watched an episode of “Secrets and Lies” on our DVR, but I turned it off halfway through, feeling guilty again that I was doing normal stuff while Nora is alone at the hospital. After I ate I cleaned a bit, did a few loads of laundry, vacuumed, as Kona’s hair is everywhere, and even managed to dust, which I personally think is way overrated, but none the less, the place looks better. I’ll admit, it was nice to be home, to relax a bit, to pump in the privacy of my home, to walk around in bare feet… But again, it’s not the same, Nora isn’t here. I long to just be at home, I mean, don’t most people get to relax at home after they have a baby??? I miss my home! This just isn’t how I pictured the first few weeks with my daughter… What if she doesn’t get to know me as a baby should know it’s mother? Do all NICU mom’s feel the way I do? I look back on my life two weeks ago and wonder how in the heck everything changed so fast… I feel this overwhelming sense of responsibility, but then I remember that for the time being, I can’t really act on that responsibility. When she eats and how much isn’t up to me. I can’t hold her on my own, I need the nurses help with all the wires. I look at her and feel so disconnected… When will I look at her and only feel love?