It’s been 366 days since Nellie-Anne joined us, three months too early.
I can’t remember what we had for breakfast yesterday, but I can tell you the exact moment I realized that what I was feeling was Nellie ready to be born. To be honest, that day haunts me a little. And I still have nightmares about the weeks that followed.
My last post was about the morning my water broke. It was confusing and scary. And the 5 days after that were much of the same. I hated the hospital bed. I hated that I had to stay in bed with all the monitors on me. I hated that I had to rush the only shower I got that week because they needed to get us back on the monitors. I hated all of it. What I hated more was feeling like my body was failing her.
One of the neonatologists came in to my room one of the first days I was there. He was there to tell us about some of the things we needed to prepare ourselves for. He talked about possible lung issues, heart issues, and brain issues she could have. He told us why they were giving me magnesium and the steroids and the antibiotics. He told us to be prepared for a lot of unexpected ups and downs.
My doctor told me that she wouldn’t be checking my dilation as often as they normally might once a woman’s water breaks because, in my situation, the risk of infection was too high and they were trying to keep me pregnant as long as possible. They wanted to keep Nell in for at least 7 weeks. 7 weeks! We didn’t make it that long.
We didn’t make it because I was having contractions. They only checked me three times after I was admitted. Once when I said I was having contractions, I was 4cm. Once on December 31 because the contractions were so bad they gave me my epidural, I was 6cm. And the final time on January 1 when I said I felt pressure. She checked me and all she said was, “it’s time, mama”. And then I was a mom about 15 minutes later. But I didn’t feel like a mom. I didn’t get to hold my baby. I didn’t get to see her for what felt like forever. And when I was discharged two days later I left without a baby. I went home a mom without a baby.
Without my baby.
I’ve thought so many times about going to see a therapist, but haven’t done it. Honestly, I probably should. There are so many emotions that come with being a mom, especially a first-time mom, and then adding having a micro-preemie on top of that. The trauma that came from being in the NICU and the PTSD that followed once we were home are something I wouldn’t wish on anyone. And they are still things that I deal with every single day.
A fellow preemie mama friend of mine text me the other day to check on me. She wanted to see how I was doing with Nellie’s first birthday coming up. She said she’s sure I’m excited about Nell being one, but wanted to know how I was doing with all the memories that would come up. I don’t expect anyone else to think to ask me about that aspect of the day. Why would anyone think about that unless they’ve been through it? I understand that. She got me thinking about how, as excited as I am, a lot of the space in my head and my heart are taken up of the memories of what we went through. And I don’t know what to do with that. I’m sure it will go away someday, but when?
This platform has been therapeutic for me. I was able to share our NICU journey and then all the stuff that came afterward. And I love writing about all of that. I love sharing the good and the bad. Because I know I’m not alone. And I love that you all still read these posts. It’s so helpful to me and I feel so loved when you all respond to them.
Thank you for following us for the last year. Thank you for answering my questions, giving me advice, and reassuring me that I’m doing a great job. Thank you for loving our sweet Nellie-Anne for the last 366 days.
Happy 1st Birthday, sweet girl. Our start may have been a rough one, but I wouldn’t trade a single day of it for the whole world. Mommy and Daddy love you so much.