Remembering the NICU World One Year Ago

This morning I woke up and found an email from the head blogger of PreemieBabies.101, “Head’s up… putting your post ‘Living in Two Worlds‘ up tomorrow. We were short for July, so I needed something that fit.” This is a post I wrote for about six months ago. I wrote this when was in the thick of processing what life was like when N was in the NICU. I am hoping that someone else will read it and be able to adapt some of my practical coping tips, because it certainly isn’t easy to live in two places. And now isn’t it fitting that it was published one year after he was discharged? We went back to Seton Medical Center – the scene of the initial trauma – this past weekend. We brought cookies for the staff and got to visit with some of our favorite NICU nurses. They all oohed and aahhed over N and said how big he was getting and how sweet he was. Of course everyone recognized my husband because he’s so tall. M totally melted down. Yet surprisingly I did not. I told myself that there would be familiar sights, sounds, and smells that might send me back to the beginning terror of N’s illness and diagnosis. However, they are remodeling the hospital. The walls were painted different colors, it was quiet because we visited in the evening, and the main smell that I was expecting to come from the laundry room just outside the NICU entrance was gone. I felt some satisfaction in going back and facing my fear of that place. It wasn’t as scary or overpowering as I made it to be in my mind. We were able to go back and express gratitude. Gratitude for the nurses that loved and cared for N when we couldn’t. Gratitude that N is doing much better health wise. Gratitude that we all are in a much better place emotionally and spiritually than one year ago. Who knows where we’ll be next year – maybe in a better place, maybe harder – but I do know that we can do hard things. And I’m grateful that we now live on the other side of those double doors.

“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” – Romans 15:13

My book, Beauty in Broken Dreams: A Hopeful Handbook for the Early Years as a Special Needs Parent, is now available on Amazon!

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