This time around the entire pregnancy was different. Not because things with my son were polar opposite than with my daughter, but it has been different because I am different. I am not the same mother that I was four years ago. Sure, I was monitored more closely and checked out on a weekly basis by specialists, nurses, and an incredible OB, but when you have had things go wrong before, you tend to be on guard constantly. Despite all my fears, the Lord gave me a very specific word for my son. It was not a promise of perfect health or even an easy journey. It was a promise that gave me great peace. God reminded me that this little boy would be ‘laced with His glory.’
Everything is much to raw to tell and honestly my friends, it might always be that way. So, in lieu of a birth story, I thought I might shed some light on the some of the heart-wrenching choices that NICU families have to make. Whether you’ve spent a few days in the NICU or more months than you’d like to count, please chime in and add to this list. I hope this can be a place where you feel heard, honored, and loved.
10 Questions NICU Mommies should never have to ask:
How can I even begin to heal physically when my heart is so terribly broken?
Should we bring our daughter to the hospital today, so she can forge a stronger bond with her brother, or skip the pain of hearing her cry on the way home about how much she misses her little brother?
What should I say when people mistake my post c-section pooch for a 3 month baby bump?
Who should sacrifice getting to hold him today, his Mommy or his Daddy?
My husband’s paid time off won’t last forever, should he take time off now or when our baby finally comes home? How will I decide when I need him more? Will he be able to even focus without thinking about his family constantly throughout the day?
Should I stay with my baby who should still be inside me or go home to my daughter who knows the minute I walk in and out the door?
Why don’t people understand that a NICU is an intensive care unit? It’s not just a special daycare where babies hang out, it’s a locked unit, it’s a germ-free space, there are children fighting to stay alive inside.
Why do people think that having a baby in the hospital means you can catch up on sleeping before your little one comes home? Could you sleep if someone you loved was hooked up to wires, tubes, and working to simply thrive in open room air?
How will I keep from crying as I watch babies go home with their families day in and day out?
When friends share how much they ‘can’t wait’ to hold my new baby, do they know that I didn’t even get to hold him when he was born? Do they know that I didn’t even get to see him for hours?
This list is meant to shed light to a journey that no parent should ever have to embark on. I hope it will bring awareness to a tribe of people who are bonded together by a traumatic start. I would never wish this kind of beginning on any family, but I know that through honesty and grace we can emerge stronger. I know that the promise that the Lord gave me for my sweet son is engraved in all of our hearts we were made with great love and laced with glory!
All my love,