Life in the NICU

Life in the NICU

Have you ever watched your baby stop breathing and seen him turn purple? I have. But, oddly, it wasn’t scary. It wasn’t anything. At first I wanted to run from the room and never come back but after a few minutes I calmed down. And then I wasn’t scared. I wasn’t sad. I wasn’t mad or glad or plaid. I was just numb.

Ever since Josh stopped breathing – twice – and they had to work to bring him back – twice – I have felt nothing. Seriously. Nothing. I have gone through the motions of some stuff – being excited when something goes well; looking concerned when they tell us he might have a new issue. But I really just don’t feel anything. 
At first I thought it was a defense mechanism. I thought Cowboy Debbie was riding strong. But I don’t think that’s it. Honestly, my first reaction yesterday was to cry. But my eyes are tired of crying. I think I heard one of my tear ducts sigh when I started to well up. So I stopped. And went to feeling numb. It was just easier. 
A family member messaged me on FB and told me of his experience in the NICU when his daughter was born and had to stay in the NICU for a few months. He said a lot of really helpful things, but one thing really struck a chord with me: He was afraid to get attached to his little girl because it felt like at any moment she could be taken away. 
As I read that, I realized that is the only thing I do feel these days: Fear. I am afraid to get attached to Joshua. I love him with all of my heart. But I am afraid to lose him and so I am numb. It seems like all it would take is one alarm, one infection, one bad x-ray and he’d be gone forever. I hate that. I hate it so much but I don’t know what to do about it. Yesterday I noticed that his little upper lip has a very unique shape to it. It was so cute. But I hate that I noticed it because if the worst does happen, it would be just one more thing I would miss. 
We have no reason to believe that Josh won’t make it through all of this and come home with us at the end of May. He’s had a lot of setbacks this week but he is still doing pretty well overall. He’s just so fragile. And I am fragile. And it’s too hard to be attached to him. 
I don’t know what that says about me. I’m sure the local PTA is on its way to my house to present my Mother of the Year award. I don’t feel gloomy or down or sad or stressed. I can’t. It’s kind of a relief, even though I know that isn’t the best thing for me or for Josh. But that’s where I am. That’s life in the NICU. 
Sorry, Mom. This one was a bummer. Have a picture of Josh to make up for it. 

4 thoughts on “Life in the NICU

  1. What is says is you are human. Very human.
    Remember Love conquers Fear, but right now, being numb is the best thing for you. When the time is right for you, (And I can't say when this will happen) there will be such an outpouring of love coming from you, Fear will run and hide.

  2. Life in the NICU is so surreal. Like I said in a comment on a previous post, we've done it twice, we've also been in the PICU….another one we lost when he was 3 months old after a devastating virus. But you can do it, it's draining, yes, but, you've got the spirit, and the strength to see your son through. You can do it!

  3. Oh Plucky, my heart aches for you. Know that you have a crew here who is praying for you and pulling for you. We come bearing brownies and HUGS – and we are here for the long haul. I know you story has been shared several times today and may all the love and messages pour in and soothe your wounded heart. Much love to you from TN – OrdinaryGirl blog and all my friends.

    My son was full term but spent 3 days in the SCIU because his lungs were wet and he wasn't holding oxygen. I was there by myself when they took him and I couldn't follow since I had just given birth. It was the most terrifying and heartrending experience and I can only imagine how hard this is for you. Don't be scared to love either, whatever happens love is always the answer.

    It is okay to break down, it is okay to be scared and stressed – just remember love is louder! <3

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s