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Challenge: NICU Parenting

The Guilt

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May 10, 2014 I remember not sleeping much the night before in the uncomfortable hospital bed and begging to get my catheter out because it was so painful. I was feeling better after it was removed and a portable potty was next to my bed. I had visitors from work; visiting and really needed to use the restroom. I was 32 weeks pregnant and we tried all night to stop labor and get steroid shots to help in case my babies came early. My sweet girls were ready to come though! Adley was born breech in the hospital bed with just my husband and my mom in the room and Emery was born 22 minutes later also breech. It was the scariest day of my life. Weighing 3 pounds 11 oz and 3 pounds 10 oz, they were beautiful and perfect but so fragile. During the 7 weeks stay in the NICU, I started to feel like I wasn't their mommy. I didn't get to decide when they ate, when they got a bath, what to dress them in, etc. I felt guilty that I couldn't be at the hospital 24/7 because I had a 16 month old at home who needed me also. I felt guilty that some days I didn't feel like going to the hospital to drop off pumped milk that I was waking up every 3 hours to get for them. I felt guilty that some times I wanted to just stay home and sleep. I felt guilty that I couldn't keep them in my belly longer so they would be healthier. I felt guilty when my milk supply couldn't keep up so we had to give donor milk or supplement for calories. I felt guilty of the fear that was inside me making me wonder if I could really have 3 little babies and give them all the attention and love they needed and deserved. I felt guilty for thinking my 16 month old would never know a life of being an only child. Finally, the day came to bring my babies home! The guilt went away and there was just existence for a while; trying to make it through each day and rest when I could. My miracle babies are 18 months old today and I am so thankful to the NICU nurses and doctors who were there when I couldn't be and who helped talk me through the guilt I was feeling. Those nurses became like family; they didn't only care for my babies but they took good care of me too!


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