Tuesday, June 14, 2011

We're Home

Wyatt is home!!!!! I can’t even begin to tell you how happy I am. And how quickly I’m remembering just how exhausting a new baby can be. Lowell’s vacation ends today which is really sad because he’s spent both of his vacation weeks in the hospital – the first with Chloe and now with Wyatt. I’m soooo thankful that he was there with me during this NICU stay. It was a much different experience this time than with Chloe.
With Chloe, I was staying in a house that was unfamiliar to me with family who I was not close to at the time. I was uncomfortable with the imposition I put on their family as well as being over-all uncomfortable with the entire circumstance of my daughter being in the NICU. When I went to the hospital, I felt ashamed and judged. I believed that Chloe being in the NICU was my fault and that I should have done more to prevent it – I should have been more assertive with the hospital staff before I even delivered. I felt horrible about the whole situation. To add to it, I had a friend staying with me who I was concerned about entertaining and keeping happy. I know that she didn’t feel the need to be entertained and I know she would not have reacted negatively if I had insisted that we spend more time at the hospital or if I broke down like I really wanted to. Again, I wasn’t assertive enough to say that I needed to be at the hospital more.
I was stuck between really wanting and needing to be at the hospital with my baby and wanting to keep those around me happy while simultaneously avoiding the shame of being with the nurses and doctors at the hospital. Now I deal with the shame that comes from not being there as much as I should have and with the emotional gulf that still exists in our relationship. I have never been able to firmly establish what has led to the breach in our relationship, whether it is directly related to the NICU stay, my resulting guilt and shame or the long-term battle I waged with post-partum depression after Chloe was born… As I’ve said before, I don’t know that the “why” matters when compared with just fixing the problem but it still bothers me that I don’t understand.

I do need to give myself some credit – our relationship has improved. The addition of Wyatt to the equation has made for some interesting moments, but I’m hoping that as I process this NICU experience and compare it to Chloe’s, I can let go of some of the anger and shame that I carry. I hope that I can forgive myself for making mistakes. I hope that I can appreciate that I did better this time because I learned from the past. What stinks is that Chloe suffered so that Wyatt could benefit… I guess life is all about learning and making mistakes. It is my prayer that I can overcome this hurdle and finally put it behind me. Maybe that will be one of the blessings that come from our unplanned little miracle.

There were moments where I actually enjoyed the horrible situation of having a baby in the NICU. Well, not the part about Wyatt being in the NICU, but the circumstances that arose from that situation. Namely, Lowell and I spent the entire week together. We laughed together, cried together and encouraged one another. We vented, shared, remembered and just bonded like we haven't in a long time. We slept in the back of his truck and in the trunk of my car in the parking lot of the hospital. We hung out in hospital waiting rooms, got kicked out of a hospital office building, explored Cabela's and did a lot of people watching. It was great to rekindle our relationship. And absolutely fantastic to take home a healthy little boy.

1 comment:

The Northrups said...

I dont know that Chloe suffered so Wyatt could benefit - I think God just used your experience and hers to bring good and be glorified!!
Perfect circumstances dont beget perfect children... they probably just beget entitled childen! ;-)