I never thought there could be such a thing, but I am too strong. After many long talks with B and my mom, it is clear that I am quite the fighter. The fighting, ironicly, has caused me to avoid the issue alltogether, causing this terrible cycle of anxiety. This may make no sense to anyone other than me, but to have it down on paper, so to speak, is the best way for me to face the issue that I am too damn strong.
I hate drawing attention to myself in any way and especially when it comes to me being vulnerable. I want people to care, but I don’t like the attention it gets me. Naturally, when I discovered I would be having a baby, worries I have never even thought of come to mind: will I be a good mom? Will I know what to do? What if I do something wrong? What if I miscarry? What if I eat something harmful or lift something too heavy? What if I trip down the stairs with him in my arms? What if someone hurts him? What if B doesn’t know what to do? It was never ending, and it still is never ending. According to my mom, the worry a parent carries will never end, but it is how one deals with that worry that classifies it as normal parent worry and full blown anxiety.
When I was 29 weeks pregnant, we had a scare. One of my doctors determined that my belly was not measuring 29 weeks, it was measuring 22 weeks. This meant the amnio fluid must be low, oh and after he did an internal exam, determined I was already effacing. I had 11 weeks left people! This baby was not supposed to come yet! With all the worry of “what if” and having to wait an entire day before a more specialized ultrasound, I only remember crying once. Of course I told B how scared I was. We both were petrified at what an early delivery could mean, what a small baby meant. On the outside, though, I told my boss what was going on, calmly with a promise to update as soon as we knew what was going on. I calmly called my parents and in-laws so that we could have a circle of prayer around us. I even let you bloggies know what was going on. Prayer was the only thing, other than my husband, I could lean on. I stayed strong. Once we knew that Logan was doing fine, just measuring about a week behind, I tried not to think anything of it.
One of my biggest fears while pregnant, was that I would die in childbirth and I was very careful as to who I told this fear to. In fact, I think B is the only person who knew I was afraid of dying and leaving B all alone, with or without our baby. It scared the hell out of me. So once my anxiety about pre-term labor went away and I finally went into labor a week late, I did my best not to even let those negative thoughts enter my mind so I could focus on helping my body through labor.
Amazingly, the delivery was perfect…until Logan screamed so hard he popped a hole in his lung. This is where my bottled up anxiety really began. All I kept thinking about was how I had to stay strong and that of course he would be okay. But way deep down, I was petrified that I would lose my sweet boy, that his lung would collapse, he’d stop breathing, and the most tragic thing would happen. Funny thing is, Logan being in the NICU IS the most tragic thing to ever happen to me. My child was in danger, sick, in pain and I could do NOTHING to help him. After his neonatoligist spoke with us and shooed us away to perform the needle aspiration, B and I sat on my bed. I was on a high does of percocet, IB Profin, my legs we still numb, I had no control over my bladder, I had stitches in my vadge and an empty bedside. Our hospital is well known for how baby-friendly it is and highly encourages babies to room in with mom. I was thrilled about this when we took our tour and in that moment, Logan was locked behind secure doors, hooked up to wires and IVs, laying swaddled on a warming bed down the hall and around the corner. No where near me. As we waited for a call that the procedure was over. B and I could hardly swallow the lumps in our throats or eat anything with the giant rock in our stomachs. We held hands, stared into each others eyes and sobbed. We hugged and sobbed until I was too weak to sit up any longer. If you have ever taken percocet before, it kind of makes you feel drunk and for me, my hearing gets fuzzy. Everything in the room sounded muffled and when the phone finally rang, I thought I was dreaming.
I remember thinking that I needed to text all these people back and update my facebook and blog to announce the happy arrival, but I was so scared and worried I could hardly send a text to my three best friends to let them know I was okay, but Logan wasn’t. Who wants to share that kind of news? How do you share that kind of news? I could not even find the words to say my baby is sick. But I stayed strong. I did not cry in front of anyone but B and the occasional nurse who happened to catch me in a moment of weakness. But that is what I thought I was, if I cried or showed any negative emotion. The only time I cried for joy was the moment Logan was laid on my chest. Not once while he was in the NICU did I cry for joy.
I was mad, and still am, that my pastor never called me back or visited us. I called him the first day Logan was in the NICU to come pray over us and he never even called me back. I know I need to let it go, but that simple gesture meant a lot to me. I knew they made hospital visits and I was angry they skipped over me. Thsi gave me anxiety that maybe they didn’t care about me as much as I thought they did. That my 10 year commitment to the church did not mean as much as I thought it would. Hell, 10 years or 1 month SOMEONE should have been there! I was so angry, I couldn’t even cry.
I don’t know exactly where this is going, but it is a start to letting myself feel angry and sad and worried when Logan was in the NICU. I keep thinking that his stay does not mean as much as other babie’s stays. They were sicker, or smaller, or whatever. He just had a hole in his lung and was an entire week late! This is silly, I know. But I feel this way sometimes which is why I don’t talk about it. I am afraid someone will say but oh, he was okay, right? Well then no big deal. TO YOU, it’s no big deal! To me, my son’s life was on the line and in reality, it was not just to me. The doctors had to do what they did to save his life. I just pray that we don’t have to go through something like this again, but I do know that bumps and bruises are normal.