Dear NICU (Newborn Intensive Care Unit),
After having 5 healthy and considered “term” babies, I never would have thought I would ever have to meet you. May 1st, you automatically took piece number 6 and 7 of my heart. Bringing these girls into the world at 33 weeks was unexpected, exciting and scary at the sametime. I still had hope that I would make it to at least 36 weeks and avoid you. My body decided otherwise and here we are. I never imagined that after 4 days in the hospital I would come home empty handed. That was the quietest ride home from the hospital ever. At first I felt like you robbed me of my golden hour and chances to bond with my babies. I only got to see them for a split second before they were whisked away to the second floor to be with you. I laid there on the operating table in tears because I could barely see my babies faces due to the oxygen masks and several layers of blankets. I wanted more time, at least a kiss but was denied because it was your time. The first 24 hours was very hard being stuck in bed, nauseated as hell knowing that I could not see my babies until the next day. There were pics but they did not compare to being able to snuggle my babies and take in that newborn smell immediately after giving birth; as I have done in the past.
I was angry. Very angry….livid. I wanted my babies. I am supposed to be one of the most important parts of their life. I am their mama. For however long, you are now their mama.
Visiting you felt gloomy because the initial floor is so quiet. You can smell and feel how sterile the atmosphere is as soon as you step off the elevator. The warmth was not cozy but necessary to sustain life. As I was wheeled in, emotions almost got the best of me. I was not able to get up from the wheelchair, but I could see my babies. My babies with all kinds of wires and gadgets hooked up to them protruding from the soft pink and blue swaddle blankets; and me a few hours almost a full day post surgery unable to hold my babies. I felt so empty and like I was cheated out of motherhood. The golden hour I will never get back but by any means necessary we all got the babies here safely. No one told me what to expect or how it feels to have a baby in the NICU. I was not prepared. My anxiety got the best of me a few times, but I had to keep telling myself they are in a safe place and trust the process.
Even though you will be my babies home for however long; whatever the circumstances, those are MY babies and there are somethings only I can provide for them that you can’t. Being separated from my babies is one of the most difficult things I think I have ever had to deal with outside of Grand Daddy passing away. I don’t know if you understand this or not; IDC but I want you to know this. You have caused a little tension between me and my beau because we are both so damn exhausted.
You are now becoming apart of our normal, but each day gets easier when it comes to leaving after our snuggle time. The first day I fell apart as soon as we got in the car, but the next day I was okay.
We plan to continue to take an active role in our babies stay with you. We know and trust that you will provide the safest environment and best care possible during this extremely stressful yet exciting time for us. We hope to find some joy in this journey as we watch our babies thrive and exceed expectations and milestones each day; in order to get them home.