Having a baby in the NICU is so challenging on every level.  I am physically exhausted, emotionally drained and spiritually grasping.
Having a new baby is exhausting for anyone, and I know that once Jonas finally comes home, I'll probably be more tired than I am now.  But it'll also be more rewarding and yummy!  I'm pumping every 3 hours, around the clock (yes, even in the wee hours of the morning), so I haven't slept for more than 2.5 hour intervals.
Jonas turns 2 weeks tomorrow- two weeks that I've been walking down that same long corridor to get to the NICU- two weeks that I've been washing my hands and ASKING to go see MY child- two weeks that I have to rely on a stranger to tell me how my child is doing, and trusting that this person is not being negligent- two weeks that I only have time and energy to visit twice a day- two weeks that I have had to ASK to hold my child, and always for a limited time.
It's frustrating that Jonas is assigned a new nurse every day and every evening... we've rarely had the same person twice.  Each nurse has his or her own quirks and rules about the way things should be done.  Some don't want you to even TOUCH the baby, while others think it's not only necessary to touch, but also encourage holding and kangarooing.  So, how am I supposed to know who does what?  And why should I be the one to adapt to THEIR quirks?  Some nurses will say that his temperature has to be at 36.2 C in order to be allowed out of his incubator, while others will say 36.5 C... uhh, so which is it EXACTLY?!
Please don't take my complaining as ungratefulness.  I am incredibly grateful that my baby is being WELL taken care of, and I know that all the nurses are fully capable... but I WANT HIM!  I am jealous for him.  No one takes care of a baby as well as a mom... come on now!
Emotionally, this situation has been easier than it was with Marco.  Since it wasn't a surprise, we were expecting him to spend some time in the NICU.  Whereas, Marco's NICU stay was completely unexpected and much more emotional.  However, it still is taking it's toll.  Since I'm physically exhausted, sometimes I can't even imagine going down to the NICU... but then again, I really WANT to.  So, it's a lose-lose situation.  I can go, and be even more exhausted, or I can stay and let the guilt set in that I should be sacrificing MY needs for his.  I know this is all in my mind.  I know that he is being well taken care of and that I need to take care of myself in order to be able to take care of him later... but I'm still guilt ridden whenever I can't make it down to the NICU.  It eats me up!  And I have people asking me if this is post-pardum depression?  I don't think so... I think this is NICU depression.
Spiritually, I am hanging on for dear life.  I can't listen to a song or pray without bursting into tears.  I have to continue to remind myself that God is in control and that His timing is perfect.  It's hard to not ask Him, "Why again?!"... But I know that even with my challenges, it's temporary and it's not as bad as it could be.  God's grace will shine in my life during this time of need... I am weak so that HE can make me strong.
I give a hugemongo hats off to all the NICU parents... especially the ones with babies that are in an incredible amount of need... and the ones that have to be there for months and months on end.  Goodness, listen to my complaints after TWO whole weeks.  For all of you who get to take your healthy babies home... please, love on them, care for them and remember that they are little miracles... so many things could go wrong, but nothing did!


MyPinkTruth said...

Nic, I can't say I understand what you're going through because I've never been there. but like many people are telling you, I'll tell you the same, God's in control and He's taking care of you. He would never ever give you something that He knew you couldn't handle.
You are a strong woman and I believe in everything He tries to tell us that He loves us.
It's a miracle that JJ came so early and is doing well!
I pray that God will renew your strength and see you through!

"But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint." Isaiah 40:31