This weekend is Charlie’s NICU reunion. I think it’s supposed to be a happy event. However, I have mixed emotions.
Last year’s reunion was the first one Charlie and I attended. To be honest, it was tough. The walk from the parking garage to the hospital conference center was like a walk through a dream. The sights, sounds, and smells stir up so many emotions that the whole thing becomes really overwhelming.
It’s difficult to see the babies that were sicker than Charlie who are now so much further ahead. It’s hard to bring back the baby, that everyone thought would catch up by two, with noticeable delays.
Why go back? Why put myself through this? There are many reasons.
Gratitude is one reason. Our attendance at the NICU reunion is a way of saying thanks to the people who saved my baby and helped me. It’s incredible to see Charlie’s primary NICU nurse.
Another reason is the other NICU parents. I want to see the other parents who were there with me for the majority of Charlie’s three months. I want to know they are well.
The final and most important reason: It’s for me. I’m not going to let the trauma trump me. Each time I go back is an opportunity to process things further. It’s a chance to move ahead in my attempt to leave the trauma of her NICU stay behind me.
Ready or not, here we go… again.