NICU journey with my son

From my personal experiences

As a mom who has had to deal with her child having to stay in the NICU, I have heard some disturbing comments. From people telling me how tiny my son was to some saying that I was lucky to be able to sleep while my son was being taken care of by someone else. When I heard these things, I did not even know what to say. I understand my son is small, but I hated when people pointed it out. And about the other comment made....I'm not sure why anyone would think that way about a mother being seperated from her baby. It is honestly one of the worst things that I had to go through in my life. You carry a baby inside you for months, give birth to them...and you have to go home without them. Now I am going to share with everyone what I went through with my son & his NICU journey. Hopefully with this story, everyone can see how strong you have to be for your baby and your self sanity to get through this kind of situation. You feel empty and you wonder why you were not good enough to keep your baby safely inside you until it was safe to come into the world.
    So let's start from the beginning. After I had my son at 34 weeks pregnant, they put him on my chest and then quickly took him away after a second. Me and my boyfriend got to gaze into his eyes for a SECOND, and then he was taken from me. Of course I understand the reasoning behind it, he was born way too early and they had to make sure he was okay. But that still did not make it okay in my mind. Once they cleaned him up and wrapped him in a blanket, they brought him over to me and I got to hold him for a minute (that felt like a second) me and his father fell in love and just wanted to keep him by our sides. But, they took him again into the NICU room to get checked out, while the NICU nurse told me when I could go see him..and that they would let me know if anything was wrong with him. She told me I had to wait to see him for about an HOUR or two. I was not happy and I instantly started to cry. It was not fair.
   She told me that I needed to eat something and shower before I could see him, while they made sure he was okay. So I ordered food from the hospital and ended up not eating anything but some sweedish fish that my boyfriend bought me that I wanted while I was in labor. When I was done taking a shower, we immediately went to see our baby boy. We had to wash our hands and put hand sanitizer on. My boyfriend had to put a plastic gown on over his clothes before we went in. They walked us to our son, we were so happy to finally come see him after what felt like forever...but I started to cry because I just wanted to hold him and let him know that mommy and daddy were there. I started to feel guilty, as if it was all my fault that I did not have a full term pregnancy. I felt like it was my fault he was going through all this.
   He had a tube in his nose to help him breath, and a feeding tube down his throat and a golden heart on is chest to keep him warm. I hated seeing him, and I was also so happy that he was okay. So many mixed emotions, but we could not help but be so incredibly grateful that nothing was seriously wrong with him. The doctor came in and explained everything to us, my first question was..when can we bring him home? Obviously because he nurse already explained to us that he was doing fine. But when the doctor told me that he had to stay for atleast 2 weeks I lost it. I was thinking...how am I supposed to go home without my baby that I just carried for months and have bonded with and gave natural birth to? I did not understand why he would have to stay that long if he only needed a little assistance breathing. I mean obviously the doctor knows more then me so I did not question him, but I was still very upset.
   That night, I couldn't sleep and just kept waking up crying and walking from my hospital room to the NICU to see my baby. I kept feeling like he was lonely and he needed his mommy. Also, I felt guilty being in a completely different room from him when he should have been by my side. When morning came, I went to go see him..and I was having very bad anxiety because I knew I had to go home the next day. I cried all day long and could not sleep at all. My doctor came in the next day to see me and I was crying when she came in. I also had my lunch sitting on my stand not touched, she told me that I had to eat something. I told her that I did not have an appetite, I can't sleep and I have been crying all the time. So she gave me a Post Partum Depression test, I took it..and I got a really high score, which means that I did have Post Partum Depression. She was explaining to me that I need to try to calm down and that he was being well taken care of in the NICU. She continued and said that I needed to take care of myself so that I can take care of my son when he comes home. And that was pretty motivational, it didn't make anything all better...but it did lighen things up for me a little bit.
   Babies can sense that you are upset, and then they can get upset. So I tried my best to not cry when I went into the NICU to see him. When the day came that I had to leave the hospital I was a mess, and I cried all day long. My boyfriend got out of work and came to get me, I packed up all my stuff and we went to go see him before we went home. I cried the whole time I was in there, I just could not control myself. No matter how many times my boyfriend told me that we can come see him everyday, or the nurses telling me he is in good hands...nothing made it better. And nothing was going to make it better until he came home with us. I mean, I am his mother after all...I should be the one to make him stop crying, change his diaper, and care for him. But instead, all of these strangers are taking care of my son while I sit at home alone, wondering if he is really being taken care of as well as he should be, or if anyone is even paying attention to him.
   It was the worst feeling in the world, and it made me stronger and appreciate my son being with me every single day even more.

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