Thursday, 18 October 2012

A little healing through writing

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     Writing has always been therapeutic for me. My dresser drawer is full of old diaries from years ago, depicting every emotion, feeling or thought that crossed my mind as I furiously scribbled with a pen from the time that I was twelve years old. But sometimes there's a type of hurt that writing can't even cure. I wasn't sure if I was even going to publish this particular post, as I honestly just need to write it for myself. For my own healing, for my own closure and to be able to get it out of my head and release it so that I can move forward. Writing always does that for me. This is one of those instances where I just write without we go...

     We're home now, soaking up that newborn smell, that newborn softness and the joy that only a new baby can bring. I feel like I can breathe again. I feel like my heart has finally stopped pounding and I can finally relax. But the flashbacks, memories and feelings still haunt me. I laid in bed last night and tried to push the thoughts out of my mind...but they kept coming. 

     I looked down at my sweet little boy, curled up so perfectly in my arms late at night and I felt the tears begin to burn my eyes as I thought back to the moments in the NICU that haunt me the most.

    On the second night in the NICU I awoke at 3:00am for another feeding and started heading towards Carter's incubator. The lights were dimmed down, all was quiet and no one was in sight as I passed by the nurses station, past all of the other tiny little babies and around the corner to where my little boy lay. As I turned the corner my heart dropped as I saw the nurse holding my boy, pounding his back, his entire body limp and completely purple from head to toe. He wasn't breathing. 

     She looked up at me with panic in her eyes "Go get the other nurse, quickly please!". My mind couldn't even process what I was seeing, but I ran...I ran screaming through the NICU for a nurse, tears streaming down my face. It felt like my feet couldn't keep up with my screams. It felt like every turn that I made I found no one, until an angel poked her head around the corner and asked me what was wrong. I could barely speak as the breath was sucked right out of me..."My baby's not breathing..he's not breathing"--and she ran, that lovely nurse..she ran as fast as I had run. Both of those wonderful nurses worked on my boy until we heard the most wonderful little cry out of those tiny lungs and his colour began coming back.

     I held him for so long after that, rocking his tiny body back and forth, pressed close up to mine, kissing his warm head over and over again into the wee hours of the morning. I could barely keep my eyes open by the time the nurses finally told me that I needed to put him back into his incubator and go back to sleep before the next feed. What I didn't know at the time though was that that was only the beginning of many choking experiences to come.

     The next morning I found myself furiously pulling Carter out of his incubator and running with him, lips purple, not breathing, patting his back as I called out for help with tears racing down my cheeks. The wonderful nurses came quickly once again and grabbed him from me, once again being able to bring his little breath back. I wish that I could get the image out of my head. I don't think there is anything worse than watching your child turn purple, not being able to breathe and seeing the fear even on the faces of the nurses.

    We weren't allowed to leave the NICU then until these choking incidents stopped, until all of the mucus and liquid in his system was gone. So after being away from Mya now longer than I ever have in her little life, we had to keep waiting. I saw her for literally 2 hours that fateful week--once when we were discharged from the hospital and I raced home to get more clothes before heading back to the NICU for another feeding, and once on Oliver's birthday when I arranged to get home for an hour to sing Happy Birthday to him and eat a quick celebratory dinner before heading back once again.

     I cried coming into our house each time, feeling the reality of coming home without our baby...and I cried, along with Mya, when I left both times...feeling guilty leaving my other baby behind. It's a feeling that never leaves you as a mother and something that I never want to have to experience again.

     But my girl made me laugh too that night--which I needed more than anything at that point. Chocolate cake and the carefree innocence of a 2yr old happy to have her mom home always makes everyone feel better.

   We're home now though. I'm trying to force the bad memories away, push the images out of my head and live in the moment here and now with both of our wonderful babes. Finally home, finally moving forward, finally feeling like life is easing into a sense of routine, feeling sleep deprived...but feeling grateful for our lack of sleep because it means that our boy is now home with us. And there's nothing in the world that feels better than that.

     Carter gave Mya a gift that we were intending on giving her at the hospital the day that he was born...but we ended up having to wait until he got home so that the two of them could be together when she opened it. She was thrilled regardless, having no idea of her mom's original plans.

So happy to have our little monkey home with us.




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