Jessi, a mom over at Life with Jack, wrote about the NICU and the mark that it leaves…..I’ve been thinking about it so much since I read it.
Being a NICU mom is something that never leaves you. You might let the memories slip far into the corners of your mind… but anything can trigger “that feeling”. A sight, a sound (especially beeping sounds, I’ll have to tell you when Pootie was in the ER following his diving accident and they had him hooked up to those damn monitors – his heart rate would drop as he would doze off and the alarm would sound and I was a nervous mess.). News that someone else has had a preemie/micro preemie is REALLY hard. To think there is yet another wee baby going thru so much is heart breaking. You realize, that part of what you lived thru will never go away.
Fade? Yes, but slightly.
Being “there”. Watching your baby. Praying for you baby. Waiting to hold your baby. Waiting to touch your baby. Crying. Thinking. Wishing. Promising. Dreaming.
We were so fortunate to have a family that we “knew” from soccer reach out to us. They were NICU parents with their son, Luc, who was born at 32 weeks (3 lbs 11 oz). Luc was 7 when Bubba was born. He had a TON of health issues. He had horrible lungs. (The doctors waned to remove one of his lungs! His mom and dad knew better and actually had him moved to a different hospital.) He had a brain bleed. He almost died. So when Ryan came along – they were there. Both Kerri and Marc reached out to us and listened. And understood. They shared their road traveled with Luc. We were so lucky, we could see that it is possible to survive the NICU rollercoaster. Luc is just the cutest little guy running around the soccer field, hugging and kissing on his parents…watching him gave us hope. All the speed bumps we’ve had recently, they have been right there with us. They are some of our best friends and I am so thankful for them.
The December after Bubba was born, Kerri’s cousin-in-law, Nicole, gave birth to a 28+ week baby girl here in town and Kerri put me in touch with them. I was more than happy to “pay it forward”. Carolyn was 6 months younger than Bubba and they were walking down the same road we had just walked. Nicole and I still talk, not often because we are both busy moms. But when something comes up, great milestones or small hurdles, we are there for each other.
Thru the different blogs I read I stumbled across a prayer request for a family that had just had a micro preemie. I read their blog and I just cried. Those emotions just raced back in. Even though their little guy arrived even earlier that Bubba – I knew.
I know what it’s like to be told your babies brain has (had) a bleed, a bad one. To wait every week for that head scan. To be told it’s ok. To look everyday to see if your baby has gained a % of an ounce. Anything. The nerves, the anxiety. And again, the crying, thinking, wishing……My heart just breaks knowing that they are going thru what we went thru, plus some. Oddly enough this family lives around the corner from me! Their sweet baby is in the same hospital that Bubba graduated from! I had to reach out to them and let them know that I KNOW ! I GET IT! I’m HERE!
I know our scars are very mild compared to what other families have gone and will go thru. I know Bubba is doing great. He’s the most talkative 2 year old, EVER. He is so smart and so strong and so determined. Be he still has hurdles…..
Jessi is right….the NICU does leave scars….
But the NICU connects you to people who you would otherwise not be connected. We’re the only ones that really understand what (not all) of what another NICU family is going through.
We can all compare our scars and help each other band-aid the wounds