Monday, May 30, 2005

The breast police are going to cart me away this week. Maybe I'll wake up and find them on the doorstep with my morning tea, and they'll take me away to the station where LLL meetings are mandatory and little pamphlets are required reading on the benefits of breastfeeding and how my child is going to be traumatized and permanently emotionally scarred by my lack of this basic maternal instinct.

I just don't want to breastfeed.

It's not that I've had a bad experience so far. The handful of times (three) that I've put the baby to the boob, it's been a relatively innocuous thing. She's latched somewhat, suckled a bit, fallen asleep more. Given her preemie state, and that she's just now really getting mature enough to have the suckle reflexes, that's fine. I'm just all squicky at a person making wet, fleshy contact with my boob. Because once upon a nightmare, the husband of a friend of mine showed up on my doorstep in the middle of the day when he was supposed to be at work, and the compromise I made to get him out the door without anything worse happening was that he kissed my breasts. No one had ever done that wet, sensualistic type of thing before, and I didn't like it, and the fact that I didn't want to have to do it didn't help any.

And I'll be damned if I'm going to let my daughter trigger a semi-hysterical reaction from me doing what comes naturally to her and what should be a wonderful bonding experience for the both of us.

I'm so fucking tired of this shit. I'm tired of having been screwed over by the people I was supposed to be able to trust. I'm tired of having to deal with this fucked up crap while I'm living my happily ever after, while I'm embracing my new role as wife and mother. While I'm learning to deal with a premature daughter who is still in the hospital indefinately, who I'm only now a month after her birth learning not to be afraid to love. I can't fear to love her. Even if my nightmares hold her dying... in my arms, before my eyes, while I'm somewhere else entirely.

So I'm going to run away from this flashback. I'm not going to face this trigger. I'll spend hours and hours with a breast pump to give my girl the benefits that come with her mother's milk. And I'll gladly feed her with a bottle and face the breast police when they come to accuse me. I'll hold her to my skin in kangaroo care, and I'll do that happily for hours and hours at a time. But I'm never going to hold her to my nipple to feed again.

When I held her, I loved her. And the old screaming was rising in my head as I didn't want to hear the ghosts of the past. These things must remain apart. I do not want to see them in the same reality. Ever.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

my girl was wide awake this morning, and burrowed her way down into my arms so she could go back to sleep after feeding. She has the cutest little eyes, and they're so expressive I want to laugh- they fill me with such contentment and happiness. I just wish that feeling could last beyond the NICU doors. I know she's going to survive, and thrive, and come home eventually. I just feel lost in this halfway zone between being post-partum and not yet a mother.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

my dear, sweet, precious child. Her skin is filling out so nicely. She's a lot less wrinkly now, and getting chubby and pink. Delicious! I'm starting to worry less about her, but I know that I will never stop worrying about her. She's so adorable.

Someday soon I'm going to be able to take her home. Then I'll have my family all under one roof for the first time. I'm going to be so tired, and so happy when that happens. Smug smile on my face, because we're going to be together at last. And everything will work out.

I just have faith that it will all work out. The powers-that-be have got to have some sort of plan for this. Nothing can happen without a reason of some sort. And what doesn't kill us will only make me stronger. Or should that be- stranger?

Thursday, May 26, 2005

my darling is so precious.

i had another meltdown moment yesterday. just got so overwhelmed that I couldn't stand another moment. I wonder why I can't seem to relax and let go of things. Like a compulsion to try to control everything I can manage because I feel the rest of my life slipping away. I can't do anything to help my daughter. I can't seem to do anything to help my husband. I can't even manage to help myself... and I hate to admit there are days that I can't even stand to spend another minute at the hospital visiting my girl. It hurts so much to have to leave her, and to think that if only.

if only my blood pressure had stayed down. if only my nerves were better. if only my body weren't so damaged and mangled she might have been able to grow better and stay in me where she belonged until she was ready to be born...

it's the "if only's" that are going to drive me nuts.

Monday, May 23, 2005

got the rental car today, so far so good. Found all the relevant paperwork to the old car, and when that's dealt with I can just take those papers in and sign them over. I'm just tired. Very tired.

Isn't that the way I've been living for the past year? I've been tired pretty much constantly. Of course, last night didn't help... I kept waking up every couple of minutes, startling like the old days. At least we're on the second floor now. I only think that there's someone breaking in the front of the house, not the bedroom window. My Sailor had duty and that makes me sleep more lightly in any case. Tonight should be better. I can take theraflu or something and that will help me sleep.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

my car got stolen.
i miss her.
this so sucks...

Saturday, May 21, 2005

I am still waiting
a candle is lit in the window of my heart
keep the faith
light her way home to me
this candle was lit for so many before her
friends, loves,
I light the candle in my heart to be a beacon of faith
those that leave will return home
they will not be forgotten
I will be faithful to the memory
I will hold fast
walking on the shore, staring at the sea
waiting for my husband to return every time he leaves
the cruel tides carry him away
yet he always returns

The same candle will light a beacon for our child
She will see the flame in the darkness
feel the love waiting for her here
My arms are empty without you
Grief rises in my throat
I soothe it with the promise that you will return
hold my arms and tell me that you come home to me
Let me learn to care for you
I shall not fear to love you

Thursday, May 19, 2005

very, very, tired.
She's getting healthier, but I'm tired. And I love her, and it hurts to leave her.

Monday, May 16, 2005

my heart
you held it in your hand from the minute you took my finger in your tiny hand
warm in my arms
protesting the cold, when I reposition you because you curl
my little kitten...

tight in a ball in my arms
pressing your body close to me
Mama's here
she has you tight now, little girl
and you'll never fall from the cradle
while I guard the night against those demons
the poison that touched my life will not know you
my heart
curl close to me and
know that love that comes in the darkness
and the heartbeat that winds it's way through your dreaming
will mean serenity and comfort to you

years from now
when some blue-eyed boy has broken your heart
come back to Mama and seek comfort in her arms again
no matter what storms drive you
it will always come back to this universal truth
the cry of a child
"mama, fix it!"

this morning you slept when I came to your side
and when I opened the porthole to reach in and say good morning
you grabbed my finger in both hands and held it to you
never once opening your eyes
if my finger moved, your forehead wrinkled
and your chin quivered
learn quickly, my love, that though Mama leaves and the cold returns...
Mama will always come back to you

You'll be the center of my life
as we become the center of your father's life
that's as it should be
I would not change this
I would not change you
You changed me

Friday, May 13, 2005

My Better Half tells me that we should put a webcam in the isolette so that his sisters stop nagging us for daily pictures. I'll admit, we've not been taking new pictures everyday. That's mostly my fault, the depression creeping back in a bit. But everyone tells me that's normal and to be expected, since it's been such a busy couple of weeks...

I'm going to get through this. She's going to get through this. I need you to come home to me, sweetheart.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Days like this and I wonder how I got here. By the time I got to the hospital this afternoon, nothing quite made sense anymore. I still have a headache from the stress. I managed to deal with everything I needed to, but I broke down in tears because I couldn't go back into the NICU this afternoon. I just couldn't handle it. I don't want to think about her coming home just yet, because I can't face it. It's too much. I'm worn out dealing with thoughts of furniture, plane tickets, clothing that seems like it'll never fit her because she's no bigger than a doll... but my motherinlaw has filled the fridge with healthy food that's surprisingly tasty and light on my stomach. I have lots of really delicious herbal teas. WIC is still trying to find me an electric pump, which will go easier than this squeaky foot pedal. My husband has tomorrow off, and we'll have the whole weekend before having to go back into the normal routine. The bills are finally paid and the budget balanced for the next pay-cycle. Even though I've got hot flashes and I feel like I've run a marathon because I'm so sore and tired and upset, I can finally say that we're all right and mean it. Everyone's okay, and I'll sleep soundly tonight.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

My little escape artist. She keeps wanting to get out of her nest and go exploring. I tell her that she needs to get bigger before she can do that, but will she listen? No.....

Outside the isolette

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

My little escape artist is trying to break out of her isolette. When we got there yesterday she was up on her toes, attempting to wiggle her way up through the top of the little isolette. So cute. Also, there was some breathing problems again... but hopefully they will stop soon. Her poor lungs. My poor nerves.

I still want to cry at odd moments. She's so tiny and precious, and she doesn't weigh hardly anything at all, but then I've said that already. I'm just tired, still. It could be worse. I could be tired and sore and overwhelmed with her at home, instead of knowing she's safe where she is. And watched over by people with oodles of experience at this.

I miss you, darling. When will you reach up your arms to me to be picked up, to be held? Get big soon. Get well, grow strong. I need you home. I need you to be well and strong and come home so we can get on with our lives.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

my heart broke when I held her, yesterday. I knew it would. They laid her in my arms and she's barely an armful, and then I had to give her back and watch the isolette swallow her back up. She's my angel, my darling, my little girl. And I started crying when I left.

I'll be brave for you. I will be strong. And the only tears I want to ever let her see are the happy ones.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Sometimes it feels as though the past couple of months has been a bad dream. The sort I had as a child, when the shadows came alive and monsters were real and would eat me if I stepped out of bed and turned my back on the darkness. That awful, awful Blackness is over now. Or at least, it doesn't hurt as much. I'm feeling better. More able to process. Make sense of the new changes in my life.

There's a baby! She's so pretty, and so tiny, and the more I sit by her isolette the less I want to leave. I could spend hours just sitting there and staring at her. I could spend the rest of my life loving her. Now I have to grow strong again and be better than I ever was so I don't disappoint her. I know it's inevitable that someday she'll turn to me and hate me, and her trust and belief in me will end when she realizes that I'm just a human myself with the same faults and flaws as everyone else; but I want to delay that for as long as possible.

If it's a dream, I don't want to wake up. It's still not real to me. I think it will be soon enough, but I get so scared of the unknown. Am I ready for her?

Friday, May 06, 2005

I just sit by the isolette and peer in at my girl. She's feeling more like mine today. I can put my hand lightly down and just rest on her back, and she closes her eyes and sleeps. It doesn't startle her as much. The first few times I touched her, the monitors screamed because her heart and resp. rate jumped. Made me scared to touch her, for a bit. It seems like the more I sit and touch her and look at her, the less I ever want to leave. This is good, I am bonding and finally feeling like this is my child... and I don't want to break my heart when I have to leave the room. I don't want to break my heart on this, I won't be able to prevent it. Either I love her and I break, or by not loving her I break.

Why do they say "All you need is love?"
I'd like a little more than love.
I'm still waiting.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

She opened her eyes and looked at me today. When I stepped up to her crib and reached through the little gate, she opened her eyes and reached out and wrinkled up her face. I want to hold her. I want to sit and touch her. I never want to let her go. The first time I have to hand her back and shut the door on her nest, my heart is going to break again. I may be able to walk out of the room, but I'll be crying by the time the door closes behind me.

And I'm still waiting.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

The Waiting Game

The past few days have been difficult to understand. One moment I’m drudging through another weekday doctor appointment, and the next I’m being taken through emergency surgery and delivering a baby. I saw my daughter today; she’s in the NeoNatal Intensive Care Unit, and will likely be there a while... She’s safe where she is, watched over all day and night, and I’m finally sleeping again. It’s quite an adjustment, being a mom. It was sudden. I wasn’t really ready. Even less so than I would have been if there had been more time to prepare. I wish I could have prepared more. Would it have made the moment easier? Would it have made it less scary? When I was laying there I felt so alone; this was one of those journeys that every woman has to do on her own, and I know that afterwards it will seem gentler, and I won’t feel as overwhelmed as I do right now. I went crying and scared into the dark, and I came through it quickly, and now there’s a small Person laying down the hall in a warm nest.

I did this. Me and my Beloved did this. We made a Person. Whatever she becomes, hopes for, dreams, does... will be because we reached for each other and loved. We wanted this child. Hoped for her, dreamed for her, and less than a year after we decided to try and make it happen, she’s here. Even though my arms feel empty, and my heart is still confused, I am her Mama. This afternoon she took my finger tip in her little hand and clutched at it. Does she know that I’m her mama even now? I remember from the earliest days of my awareness, that warm Comfort that was Mama. That loved me, and would always protect me, and would somehow always possess the ability to make it better. No matter what ever happened.

My arms are still empty. I’ve passed into another stage of this waiting game. I know that someday she will fill them, but tonight I want to cry. I wait for you, my heart. You’re so far away from me now, and I haven’t had a chance to know you yet. Sitting by your nest I can look in and see you, and I hardly dare to touch you. I don’t want to hurt you or disturb any of the tubes running through your body. I don’t want to hurt you by accident, cause I’m so big and you’re so tiny. I just want to love you and keep you safe, and it hurts that all these strangers know how to do it and I don’t.