13 months ago, I went into pre-term labor that I thought was just Braxton Hicks contractions. I mean, I was only 34 weeks pregnant! And then a few hours later I started pushing a baby out and was rushed into surgery because of his position. A nurse with purple gloves flashed his tiny body by my head while my husband snapped a photo with his cellphone, and then my son was rushed out of the room.
My thoughts were “WHAT THE HECK JUST HAPPENED???”
(well, those are my *edited* thoughts)
It didn’t feel real.
(I think we’re fully bonded now though.)
And then, while I’m griping about my experience, there was another sweet NICU baby next to mine that had a banner saying “Happy 100 Days” on her crib. So let’s add some guilt into the mix. Here I am, struggling with a 28 day NICU stay….and this other baby was over 100 days into her NICU journey. HOW DARE I FEEL SAD ABOUT MINE.
Back to today: I walked into the hospital. The same route that I walked 48 times. I took the elevator up to the NICU. I walked by the room I stayed in. I walked past Pod 7 (the “graduation pod” that Ransom was discharged from). And MAN….I realized that I have NOT processed that experience at all!!!
Everyone says to me “Well, healthy mama and healthy baby, that’s all that matters.” They say it in such and black-and-white tone and it annoys me. And yeah, DUH, healthy mom and baby are the most important thing. But the experience still matters! IT ALL MATTERS!!! You can’t just dismiss experiences like that!
I am so thrilled that Ransom is healthy and alive. I feel that gratitude EVERY SINGLE DAY. But it’s okay to feel sad about his entrance. About that month he spent hooked up to wires and IVs and not snuggled warm against my chest. Every time someone says “healthy mama and healthy baby, that’s all that matters” I want to pinch them really hard and say “I’M ALLOWED TO FEEL SAD ABOUT THESE THINGS!”
Growing up as a young punk, I would shrug and tell my mom “that doesn’t matter”. And she would patiently, consistently, and simply reply “Everything matters.” I’m 32 years old now and I’ve known she’s right for a few years. Everything matters!
Lots of emotions and thoughts happened to me today. When I found out my friend had her baby last night, and that it was an emergency C-section, I cried myself to sleep. I mean, just a little bit. I had to wipe my eyes a lot. And it dragged up all these FEELINGS. I wanted to slap myself in the face all day today! PULL YOURSELF TOGETHER SARA.
13 months later and I think I’m still in shock.
Ransom is so different than he was then, 13 long months ago. He gives THE BEST hugs. They’re so solid for a one year old! He loves to be held and tickled. He has delicious leg rolls and if you squeeze them, he dissolves into giggles. He has my teeth (which means they’re big and gapped!). He’s agreeable. He loves bagels with cream cheese (me too!). He’s so fun!
People ask us if we want more kids. And…I do. But man! I am terrified at the possibility of going through this again. So yeah, I want a homebirth VBAC and I’m not afraid to put that out there. If it has to be another C-Section…okay. But please, please: I want to give birth to a baby and then have them with me. On my chest, in my arms.
(Note: no more kids are happening any time soon!).