Two Months in the NICU/First Experience of the World

We loved spending time with her. Gordon would drop me off in the morning before work, come in to see her, and then pick me up after work so he could see her again. We usually stayed there every night until they kicked us out at shift change (7pm).

Destynee had a really hard time nursing or taking a bottle. She would choke, had acid reflux and A&B’s (apnea & bradycardia) with feedings; it was so miserable for her. I was grateful to have her in the hospital, where things like that could be monitored. At the same time, my heart ached, because all the poking, proding, intruding, and laying alone had to be her first experience of the world. Although I was there with her most of the time, I couldn’t hold her much and I couldn’t imagine what that felt like to her. Abandonment? Rejection? I worried.

I didn’t even feel like I was going to be okay for about 5 weeks, so how could I expect her to. We were surviving together, and that’s all that mattered.
She started nursing full feedings at 6 weeks exactly (38 weeks gestation). The nurses told me that it usually clicks developmentally around 38 weeks, and it did. We had been forcing her to learn something damn nigh impossible, and when she was ready, she got it.
Although most of the staff was very kind and gentle, she experienced things that nobody (let alone, newborns), should ever have to face. I watched and let things happened that I felt I had no control over. It felt like she was their baby, and I just had to watch. I didn’t stand up for her, or for what I felt was right or wrong, because I couldn’t live with something going wrong….I didn’t feel mentally stable enough to trust myself….. I desperately wanted to bring her home.

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