To the high risk mamas and the NICU mamas. I see you.
I see you going to your appts alone. Scared. Fearful. Wondering what new piece of sad or bad information is awaiting you from your medical team.
I see the tears you wipe away when a friend is gushing about how the color she is painting her nursery or the new outfit she found for her baby and you are praying daily that your baby will make it earthside.
I see you on bedrest in antepartum or at home or even just playing the waiting game like I did of should we take baby now, will baby make it, can we push baby another day or two. The game of fighting between sleeping baby and safe delivery/alive baby is harrowing and risky and frightful. I see your anxiety. I know this dread.
I see you wanting and wishing and praying for that dear life inside of you, hoping that someone will wake you from this nightmare and this roller coaster ride will be over.
I see you jealous of the cute newborn pictures or amazing birth story, knowing that your own story will be simply amazing to celebrate the fact that your baby arrives at all, not about the manner in which baby gets here.
I see you in the NICU scared to change that diaper on that teeny, tiny fragile baby surrounded by so many wires.
I see you in the NICU wanting both to hug the amazing nurses and having to fight hard like a mama bear on the days when the nurse is just going through the motions and having a bad day.
I see you in the NICU watching every stat, knowing every big medical word, while other mamas are at home snuggling their healthy babies far away from the reality that surrounds a NICU mama on a daily, hourly, minute by minute basis some days.
I see you when the news is one step forward, two steps back that is common in the NICU dance and all the tears and frustration that goes with it.
I see you bedside. Trying to be mama to your new babe, missing your family back at home. I see the guilt when you choose to leave your baby in the hands of capable nurses so you can be mom to the kids at home. I see you unshowered, exhausted, holding on for dear life over the weeks and months that the NICU consumes.
But I also see you celebrating every single moment. Every single success. The time you first got to hold your baby. The time you first got to feed your baby. The time you baby’s blood sugar was stable. The time she took her first bottle. The time he came off of oxygen. The time you finally got to put that first outfit on baby.
I see you up walking the NICU halls. Cleaning your pumping supplies because after you try to breastfeed your baby, back to your room you will go to pump.
I see your goals on the walls and the victory you feel when a big goal gets met.
I see you holding that baby. Never taking for granted life or this precious miracle.
I see you. You are not alone. <3