Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, "This is the way; walk in it." - Isaiah 30:21

Monday, June 11, 2012

Does A Body Good

These last couple days have felt challenging. And by that I mean I snapped at Jake over the half-unmowed lawn this morning and then made him listen to me cry for three hours over the unfairness and unpredictability of life and the inadequacy of religion at explaining it. Nope, not exaggerating.
Several times recently, just when I thought I couldn't take it, Rowan has hit a major milestone and given me a sense of progress. The timing has been uncanny. Getting rid of her PICC, moving to an open crib, no longer needing the feeding tube - these all happened just when I felt overwhelmed and stagnant. Yesterday, I drove to the hospital hoping for that same phenomenon, but it didn't happen. It didn't happen today, either. Things are pretty much where they have been. It's essentially a waiting game from now until discharge.
What did happen in the last two days were three conversations I desperately needed to have. Last night, with the woman who runs the parents' group here, during which she promptly diagnosed me with "NICU-itis." Which is, like it sounds, nearly identical to senioritis in high school or college: the state in which you've almost made it through, and just want to be DONE. Apparently it's common. That helped. Then Jake and I talked for a loooong time about what comes down to an acute existentialist crisis on my part. I'm pissed about the unfairness and most of all about the lack of control. I did everything to ensure a healthy full-term birth, and it didn't happen. It's a reminder that I'm not in control and that God promises a lot of things, but not necessarily perfect outcomes. Not for birth, and not for anything else on Earth, either. I'm cool with that, after a lot of thought and prayer. I'm not cool with many evangelical Christians pretending otherwise and a few of them leading me to believe it for 30 years. You could call it a crisis of faith, but God and I are good, so it's more like subcultural disillusionment. But that really is a post for another time. Or possibly another blog altogether.
The third conversation was my check-in phone call with the lovely Rebecca at Full Circle Midwifery Care. Once again, her intuition and emotional intelligence amazes me. Without my saying a lot about it, she observed that one of the most challenging elements of a NICU stay is the simple fact that "it's your kid" - that taking care of your own baby is subject to the expertise of professionals. Then she said a lot of other things I had ranted about to Jake hours earlier (minus the religion parts). It felt good to be validated.
I got here to feed Rowan and she took forever to latch on properly. So frustrating. I started to wonder if I should just ask her nurse for a bottle. Finally, after some snuggling and quiet talk, she figured it out and had her best, longest feeding yet. And then, for the first time ever, she unlatched and passed out on my arm with the contented, sleepy, half-smiling expression that I believe is officially known as the milk coma face. She looked so happy. Blissful. She takes a bottle well, but she doesn't look like that afterward. That face, that level of contentment, was something that only I could provide. I needed that realization today far more than I needed to cross another milestone off the progress chart.

1 comment:

  1. Reading your posts is almost like taking me through it all again. I remember feeling like giving up or putting off breast feeding "until he's home." I was so desparate to get him home that I was willing to do anything, even quit pumping and breast feeding even though it was best for him in the long run. All I can say is even though you feel like its never going to end, it really will. And the pain of it all will subside. It may take years but it will, I promise. She is beautiful and I can't wait to see her and you and Laney and Liam!