Why does it feel like every time I let my guard down, have a little faith, and think positive, the world rains on my parade?
I know I said my Mother’s Day was nice, and it was, until I walked out of the hospital. Eric needed to run to his office, and we drove separately, so I walked out alone. And as I walked through the parking ramp I felt the tears coming. There was just something about leaving my daughter at the hospital on Mother’s Day, my first Mother’s Day. It wasn’t how it was supposed to be… But it wasn’t just that. It was the fear building inside of me that needed an outlet. I constantly feel like I’m carrying around this huge burden. Like if I worry enough God will know I truly love Nora and he’ll make her well. It’s exhausting, this constant fear and worry. I have these flashbacks of the two mornings when Nora was found really sick, her pale, limp body just lying there, unresponsive, struggling to breathe. No one deserves to see their child like that, and for the life of me, I can’t get those images out of my mind. Anytime there is even a slight hint of something wrong, I automatically assume the worst, even when logic tells me it could be nothing. As I was driving home yesterday, crying, I told God I was mad at him for allowing me to meet Nora, to see her, to love her, if I wasn’t able to keep her. There is still so much a part of me that fears something will happen to her, another infection, the doctors will find something… Something that will end this dream I have of a happy life with her and Eric. I’m sitting on the floor in her room typing this, in the mist of her clothing, which I’m supposed to be sorting and washing, but instead I’m wondering what becomes of all her ‘stuff’ if she doesn’t end up here with us.
So why am I so worried…
- Yesterday when I was feeding her she choked and her heart rate dropped. I sat her on my lap and patted her back and within a few seconds all was well, but it scared me. No, terrified me. I saw the heart rate turn to red and blink and ding on the monitor and the nurse came running in… When I told her I thought we were okay, that Nora just chocked a little, the nurse said, oh that happens and that if we were at home without the monitors it wouldn’t have even phased me. Okay, maybe so, but when Nora was so sick her heart rate was dropping a lot, the nurses kept running into the room to stimulate her, reminding her to breathe.
- Nora had a harder time holding her temperature the past few days. Okay, it’s been 36.4 C and they want it to be at least 36.5 C, so barely low, but still. Yesterday we added another layer to her, a onesie under her sleeper and then her temperature was just fine. But I still worry as I know not holding her temperature is a sign she is struggling.
- The past two days Nora has lost weight, 20 grams and then 25 grams. The doctor today told me we’ll just watch her, but I’m terrified. In my head I know the reason could be that I am breastfeeding her more, and thus more of her feeds are straight breast milk rather than my milk with calories added, but still. And maybe this is completely normal… I’m wondering if they will want me to stop breastfeeding for a bit so we can give her more fortified bottles. Not the end of the world if we do, but… We had a great day breastfeeding. I decided to try without the nipple shield and she took her entire feeding without it, 20 minutes! And maybe it was my imagination, but she seemed to suck more continuously than she does with the shield, not falling asleep and stopping throughout the feeding as much as she does with the shield.
So yes, these all could be nothing, and maybe I just need to realize that Nora is still a preemie, we will still have small setbacks, but with discharge so soon, I don’t need something like weight or temperature keeping us there! Things we never had issues with in the past! Or maybe I’m just panicking because discharge is approaching, and it terrifies me. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think that fear and motherhood would be so closely linked in my brain. I had hoped Nora’s birth would bring me joy and peace, but sadly, those moments are few and far between.
Tomorrow is another day, day 57 in the NICU… I’m praying for some sign that Nora is well.