Monday, February 2, 2009

Becoming a parent in the NICU

Becoming a parent to a baby in NICU is so very different to becoming a parent in the comfort and privacy of my own home, I find it difficult to act and feel like a parent when so much seperates me from my newborn.

From the very start I wanted to touch her, to stroke her face and her skin, but I was afraid of pulling something out, I felt like I had to wait for instructions from the curses. I so desperatly want to be involved. I pumped milk from day 1, have seen her every day, touched her and held her, Ive read stories and sang lullaby's, but still there is that empty feeling when every night I go home to a babyless house, there are flowers and balloons and cards and gifts from friends and family but no baby to wake up several times a night, the only thing I awake to is a breastpump..

Suddenly I was no longer pregnant and yet I am far from being a mummy again, where did all of this fit into the glowing dream of motherhood, where did I fit into it? What can I do for my baby but look at her tiny body, covered in wires and tubes and tell her I love her and Im sorry I couldnt bake her longer.

Sarah is doing remarkably well, yet day in day out I watch over this child, always frightened, always waiting for something to go wrong, wondering what the next day will bring, always just one step ahead of exhaustion, hoping today will be the day where I feel like her mother, wanting to be able to do more for Sarah, wanting to feel like I am worth more in her life than a couple of bottles of breastmilk.

At night I go to sleep and dream I am pregnant and wake up full of hope - and then remember I am not, I lay in bed at night wondering if she is settled and peaceful, is she calm or is she agitated, does she need her mummy or daddy and instead of peeping in her cradle which is all set up next to my bed, I have to call a nurse and ask.

Each evening I blow my child a kiss through her plastic house and walk away, every nerve in my body is screaming at me that this is wrong, this isnt what it should be like, every fibre in my body wants to hold my child and never let go, and yet night after night I leave.

I just look to the light and hope that one day that I do get you pick you up and never let go comes around soon.


Clarinda said...

this has brought tears to my eyes. must be so incredibly hard for you.

Being Me said...

Very real. Very, very real. Every word you have spoken is a memory for me, of my firstborn. I guess I knew no different than my shock induction to parenthood.

I hope you can stockpile some rest throughout this most arduous journey.

journey said...

Kat, i sit here crying as i read this post cause this is exactly how i feel, but have not been able to express like you have. How do you get these emotions out so perfectly? is like your reading my mind but then i realise that there is another mum out there feeling and living this horrid life of the NICU mummy and make me cry for you too. You and Sarah have been a huge inspiration for me and Noah and i follow your story knowing it is still a hard jounrey but you are doing it and doing the best for your daughter. i knwo you use this blog to document everything but i want to say this post alone has touched me and made me feel less alone, affraid and alienated. thankyou...

Kat and Sarah said...

Oh Kris Im glad that my blog and journey is helping you in some way. When I started blogging I didnt know how things were going to turn out and this blog became my sounding board in a way. On the outside I didnt want to be scared because I didnt want to show people how frightened I really was. Just write from the heart, dont hold back, use your blog as your "sanctuary", once you get your emotions out it allows you to take one more step, or sleep just that tiny bit better.