When Charlie was first born, it was impossible for me to talk about her birth. It was one of the toughest things that ever happened to me. It did not end with the birth.
Her three month NICU stay was just as arduous, scary, and confusing. Through a portion of it, I was in shock. I found it difficult if not impossible to make sense of it. I really hated having to talk about it and explain things to people needlessly.
When I was discharged from the hospital, we had to stop at the pharmacy on the way home to pick up my meds and supplies. I prayed that the pharmacist would not assemble the clues to figure out that we had a baby. Especially, when my baby was perilously clinging to life.
I resented all those who assumed acquaintanceship privileged them to ring side seats to my tragedy. I avoided these people as much as possible. Normally, I would have had the strength to tell them to butt out or it is none of their business. However, at that time I lacked backbone. I took the easiest escape and feigned the cheerful optimism that was expected. Although, my heart was breaking and I felt like I was dying inside. What little strength I had was reserved for my baby.
It is difficult to put into words what our preemie birth experience was like. Soon, I’m going to have to find the words to tell our story. We have been asked to be a March of Dimes ambassador family for next year.
Through telling our story, I hope to educate and help others. Ultimately, I hope to find some closure for myself.