Tuesday, December 11, 2007

For so many moms it goes smoothly. You have a normalish conception. A routine pregnancy that you think will never end. At the tail of it, a balloon and a baby are in your hands as you're wheeled out of the hospital to a waiting car. And then there are preemie mom who may have none of that, or some of it, before finding themselves in either a panicky delivery full of medical stuff or a less-rushed delivery full of medical stuff. A neonatologist is standing by, with a baby team, and you may not even know what they are except that your OB doesn't want to deliver without one. You're the mother, it is supposed to be your job to know this, but where do you belong now?

The recovery of life after that is a hard thing to find again. The pieces of your new parenthood without child. Visiting a NICU, learning the language, learning to love a little bundle of wires and tubing without any of the "normal" stuff. It's a chore. The books don't prepare you for this. The shows on tv don't begin to touch the reality of it when this is your baby and your delivery and your emotional pain. And your husband's too- he's so often forgotten in the concern and rush to ask "how's the mom doing". He's the other parent. He's the one who stood or sat by to watch the love of his life go through all this. What about his dreams and hopes for this delivery? What did he imagine in the days before hell broke loose around you both?

The Boy and I were fortunate. We had prepared for a preemie again. It wasn't a question of would he come early, it was a question of how early would he come. We had processed it a bit. That's how my voice doesn't shake when I talk about it. This is how I can function now. I'm dealing. Maybe not well, but I'm still dealing with it. And this is all part and parcel of preemie parenting for me. Suckful, it is. Hellacious, even. I'm exhausted today. Slept twelve hours last night and didn't get up to pump once, and I'm exhausted. Just plain worn out and exhausted. Will it get better? Soon. I trust, soon. The past two weeks have been a total blur. I don't remember half of the days in them. I drink plenty of water and read and love my Toddler. I try to put some of the pieces back together. Unlike the first time I was delivered of a preemie, I do not feel the need to replay every minute of the second delivery like a bad dream. I remember it vividly, yes, and it's all there for me to replay in my head if I need to. But the birthing part is a calmness in my memory; the Boy held my left hand and squeezed my fingertips. He looked me in the eye. We were there together and I was safely delivered of a son.

Just in time for Christmas.

No comments: