For reasons unknown to the medical professionals who have assisted me during my second and third pregnancy, I am officially part of a very important club known as the "Premie Baby Club." Being part of this club means I had my third child early, after having my second child early also. And because of that, I came home after giving birth without a baby, I pump every three hours, make multiple visits to the NICU whenever I can, and am once again with dry hands and a hopeful heart.
The sounds of the NICU are so familiar to me. The beeps and alarms that go off, the constant humming of the monitoring, the little shriveled up cries from the babies lying all around, and the shuffle and hustle of the nurses that take care of these little angels. The sting of the dryness that has become my hands have become numb as I am eager to wash my hands, the first thing I always do before signing in and going to see my baby girl. But the trips have become increasingly painful as the wait to bring her home becomes more drawn out each time.
At first, the emotional and hormonal whirlwind of just giving birth had me sometimes crying about the fact that I didn't have my baby girl with me. Thoughts and confusion about why me, or what had I done to, repeated themselves over and over again in my mind as I reviewed all the events leading up to my hospitalization and then labor before the medication had sunk in (magnesium and steroids). Why was I stuck with such a cruddy cervix? Could I even have another child knowing they might be stuck in the NICU again? Perhaps this is how most people think when hardships are upon them, wondering why me, but I've learned it's not helpful. It's really damaging and useless to think about such things. Instead, turning to the silver lining, being grateful for all that you have, a baby girl albeit it in the NICU, but healthy and coming home eventually, family and friends pouring out support and love, a hospital nearby, technology for my to be hands free during pumping, and the financial means to pay for this very expensive but necessary hospital stay. I am indeed grateful. It's just so easy to forget when in the midst of something difficult. But this too shall pass.