- Posted December 13, 2013 by
I am a Mom and a Wife. My sons are my world. My family is my life. On January 20, 2013 at roughly 8:30 a.m., my husband took me to the hospital after a long night of throwing up, lying on the floor in complete pain, suffering from "flu-like" symptoms. I was likely dehydrated, and oh yea, 34 and a half weeks pregnant. Before arriving to the hospital I said a quick goodbye to my two boys Liam (3 1/2), and Landon (15 months), as they were packed up into the backseat of my mom's car. I reassured them that I would see them soon, but I was too weak to give them a kiss. That's a big deal, I give them more kisses in the day because I know one day, they will no longer accept my kisses. As our vehicles slowly moved in opposite directions I gave them one final wave, and a sense of emotion filled me: 1) I was scared, eventhough I knew I was fine, or going to be fine. And 2), I am never away from my boys. At the time, Landon a baby himself hadn't ever been a part from me, and Liam had only been a way from me three, maybe four times in his 3 1/2 years.
Upon arriving to the hospital, I was taken to the maternity floor, to be attached to an I.V. Once I was hooked to fluid, they began checking my vitals, and the vitals of the baby. To there surprise, and mine, I was having lengthy contractions less than 2 minutes apart. When my doctor, whom I adore, heard the news that I was at the hospital, as well as the lengths and times of my contractions she hurried over. I forgot to mention that my pregnancy hadn't been easy. I was put onto partial bedrest half-way through my second trimester, had lots of pain, high-blood pressure, swelling, numbness. (Just two days before arriving at the hospital, my doctor discussed her plans on delivering the baby at 37 weeks, due to the complications.) When my Doctor arrived, she gave me an internal exam only to find that I was 2 centimeters dialated. The hospital was not equipped for premature deliveries, so I was loaded (strapped rather) into the back of an ambulance and set off onto a neonatal hospital 45 minutes away.
Once there, I was 3 cm dialated, having continuous and more frequent contractions, although I felt great! I think it was the sugar water, because I felt strangely wonderful, and relaxed. I don't take medicine. My previous deliveries were pain medicine free, and this one would be too.
At 8:30p.m., my little Lukie was born weighing 4lbs., 15oz.. He came into this world in just a blink of the eye, and with another blink of the eye he was taken away from me with a team on NICU doctors. I knew he was okay, because he had the loudest and strongest of lungs, but he was taken away, into the NICU. And I was left in the bed, alone, as the nurse monitored me, and filled out mine and the Lukies information. My husband, still in shock left. Everything happened so fast that once Lukas arrived, he had to go back home to check on the house, bring me clothes, daily essentials. Both of us our devoted parents, but everything happened so fast, I think we were both in shock.
This is where this story starts. In the past, or in my past deliveries, my babies were placed onto my chest, where I immediately began bonding and introducing my babes to being breast-fed. I loved that time, it was just me and the babies time, no one could ever replace that. As I type this, I am beginning to be filled with the same emotion I felt as I waved goodbye to my babies that morning of January 20, 2013. I have tears in my eyes, because I was suddenly separated; separated from my two older boys, and now separated from my new baby as well. I felt they all needed me, and I couldn't be with any of them.
In the NICU, Lukas was placed in an incubator for warmth. He was also given a feeding tube, because he was too early to have learned to feed on his own. He was placed into an "overflow room," therefore, he did not have a private room, therefore, I did not have a place to stay with him through the night, therefore making my separtation from him and my post-partum (although I didn't realize it), more existent. Two days later, he was moved into the continuing care neonatal unit. This meant, he was progressing. He still needed to be in the incubator full-time, and still needed the feeding tube, but he was progressing at a wonderful pace. He now had his own room, but it was too late, for me.
My sister lived near by, to which she opened up her house to my family. My husband and my boys stayed at her house, so that I could see my boys more frequently. It was killing me that they had been away from me for two nights, I felt terribly guilty. When I knew they were nearby I went to my sisters with the intent on going back to the hospital. But once I saw my two older babies, I couldn't leave them. I could hold on to them. I still could not hold on to my Lukas, even though I needed to, he needed me, too. I did go back to the hospital that night, but I still felt helpless. I felt like his visitor, not his mom. Nearly a year later, I can't let go of the dread that I feel for not being able to be with him. Be with him the same way that I was always with his brothers, and still am with his brothers. I wished for us to be altogether but we couldn't. The boys couldn't visit at the hospital because of the terrible flu season, Lukas was still too weak to leave the hospital, and I could not be in two places at the same time.
One morning at my sisters, I had a break down. I was furious with my husband, because I felt like he didn't care about Lukas. I was furious with another sister because she brought my behavior, and lack of attention to Lukas to my attention, and mostly furious with myself for not being the Mother that I always wanted to be, and always am, the devoted one, to my little precious baby Lukas.
That day, needed to happen. God answered my prayers. He introduced this wonderful Angel of a nurse to me that day, her name was Malaya. In her quiet, confident, and professional way, she told me that I could be the one to change Lukies diaper; I could be the one to take his temperatures. I could assist in his feeding. Most importantly, she helped me remember that I could be his mom. I could, and I would. It was then that I realized that I could no longer see my other boys, not if I wanted them to all be together, for us all to be together. Having them at my sister's was too close, it made it that more impossible to fight my temptation to be with them too. I told my husband to take them home, I needed to be with Lukas. He was the one that needed me. From that day on, it was Lukas and I. God, thank you. Thank you for giving us that private room, thank you for giving us Malaya as a Nurse, and thank you for letting Lukas take to me, and accept me for his mother. In his room, I reflected a lot, cried a lot, and mostly prayed a lot. I reflected on my life, Lukie's life, and how lucky we were, and are. He was perfect and so acute. He seemed to know whenever I left his room, even if he was asleep. The second I re-entered his room, it was as if he had memorized the sound of my foot steps, because he would always turn his head and open his eyes to me. So thankful I am for him, my miracle, I needed him, and he needed me. He too is my Angel.
That day of the breakdown, the day of Malaya, I was able to be me again. I pride myself for being the one to always be there for my boys. I don't ask for help, I don't want help. They are my responsiblity, and no one elses. I became a stay at home mother, because as an emotional person, I know it would kill me to know someone else was performing my "Mom-duties." I praise any Mom who works, because they are a much stronger person than myself. I am weak in that sense.
I became known in the Continuing Care Nursery as the "Super Mom." Really. Whenever a new mom entered the room, they would read Lukies charts, and say "Oh, your the Super Mom, the one who does it all." It was true, I became Lukies Mom and Nurse at the same time. I gave the staff his daily stats, 12 times a day. It felt good, I was there for him, finally. He deserved me to be there for him, and thank you God, you helped me find my way to him.
The hard work, and dedication paid off. After 14 days in the hospital, Lukas was finally cleared to go home. And the rest is history. I am forever thankful, and eternally grateful to God for the miracles, and many blessings he has given me. I still (almost daily), feel regret for not being there for Lukas, when he at first needed be. However, by the grace of God, he helped me find my way to no longer being his visitor, but instead, be his Mom.