Prior to Baby A, I had no idea what a NICU was. Now I have full experience with the NeoNatal Intensive Care Unit which is for premature babies or babies who need special care.

He was 8 weeks early. 2 months. Born at 32 weeks of gestation. He was sent directly to the NICU within 15 minutes of being “born”. I use born in quotations because he was “born” through an emergency cesarian section after his heartbeat dropped. It was all so scary. Leading up to it was scary too. I had been in hospital on and off for 3 weeks. We had just gotten back to the city and the very next day I was in hospital.

These are things you don’t plan. They just happen. We planned on having Baby A and with full intention we created him on our wedding day. The plan was to have a water birth in the countryside in the regional hospital with a midwife that I had already been seeing. Then things went pear shaped.

It’s still hard for me to talk about but I know I need to. I still shed a tear hear or there when I hear about birth stories, or if someone really asks about mine. It’s brought up regularly since Baby A is developmentally 2 months younger than his actual physical age. Thankfully he has filled out quite a bit so he doesn’t have that skinny premie look anymore.

Baby A ended up staying in the NICU for 5 weeks after he was born. My husband and I had to leave the hospital without him. We returned to the hospital at least twice a day for those 5 weeks. I expressed milk so he would have breast milk to be tubed into his stomach instead of the formula. We could only get one cuddle a day in the beginning, when he was in the humidicrib, which looks like some space alien contraption with two holes to put your arms in. He needed help breathing even though I took the steroid shots before he was born to help with his lung development. He had cords and wires and tubes all hooked up to him, it was disheartening, disorienting and very surreal to see my baby like that.


So Scorpio

Having a baby and becoming a mother has been very scorpio to me.

To simultaneously love something and not know if you can go further, but somehow do.

The crying, the laughter, the crying, the tears, the smiles, the poo.

The tired eyes, the exhaustion, the elated joy.

Going the distance for someone else.

Abandoned any sense of selfishness. It doesn’t exist as a mother.

Merging with bub because there is no other way, he is from me.

Sleep Deprivation

Wondering if sleep will ever be something that I can do for hours at a time again. Wondering if parents actually just get used to not sleeping? Wondering how I somehow continue to cope with the lack of sleep and relatively function during the day.

I know it has a profound effect upon my brain and my ability to think and problem solve. I know it has a major effect upon the amount of caffeine I have been drinking to stay awake. A decaf latte and a herbal tea just aren’t cutting it for me these days.

Ready for baby to sleep through, or at least get four to five hours minimum in a row at night. Please.