Monday, July 23, 2007

Emotional Meltdown

After hearing and reading so many stories of other parents whose babies had to stay in NICU for any amount of time, I started to think it was odd I hadn't cried yet. Pretty much every email I get tells me of a mother who cried all night when she came home babyless, but I haven't shed a tear- or even felt a need to. He improves a little everyday, and while it sucks that he's in NICU, that's where he needs to be and there's not a whole lot we can do about it except enjoy every second we're with him.

And then yesterday, in the Foodlife restaurant of Water Tower Place mall, over a plate of chicken and mashed potatoes, I lost it. With almost no warning tears just started running down my face- totally alarming JP. I think that now that Landon is doing better, (he had no de-sats yesterday or last night!) I could let myself break down and feel upset, angry, sad, and cheated over the fact that he'll have been in the NICU for nearly two weeks before he gets to come home and we get to really be his parents. I allowed myself to think about what it would have been like to bring him home last Tuesday when we were discharged- it seems like he's already changed so much from the day he was born, and I feel like we're missing it. He still barely feels like he's mine- I look to the nurse for permission to pick him up even though I don't have to. Yesterday I found myself wondering that if there were 100 babies all lined up, would I know which one was mine? JP seems like such a natural at everything- he's so comfortable with Landon's diaper changes, feeding, burping, and swaddling- and is perfectly happy to spend hours by his crib just looking at him. I feel bad that I get bored after a while and need breaks.

Looking back, it's been a tougher week than I thought while going through it.


  1. The crying for me was a hormonal thing and a stress thing. I also felt disconnected but I have since found out that a LOT of mothers feel that way, whether their babies come home on time or not. I think it's a myth that we all feel instantly bonded to our children. Don't be too hard on yourself. (((HUGS)))

    I also found it hard once my son was home. My husband has 9 siblings and was so much more comfortable with babies than I was. He seemed like a natural while I second-guessed every decision. :( Eventually it got better and I started to have faith in myself. It's only now that he can tell me I'm doing a good job that I really feel confident and even then there are days.... ;)

  2. Hey LL,
    Oh honey, here's a hug for you.

    I thought my husband was great with all that stuff when the twins were born.

    I also remember not "wanting" to change diapers, feed, etc.

    In retrospect, I now understand that those emotional reactions were the "baby blues" for some women, but for me it was the serious onset of post partum depression.

    I didn't seek out medical attention for myself but please realize now that you are overwhelmed with the birth and with having baby in the NICU. Get plenty of sleep and rely heavily on your Mom when she arrives. Let her take care of you in regards to housework, cooking, etc. and you take care of baby.

    You're going to be alright. You have an additional stress on you b/c of the complications but it will all work out.

    Sleep, sleep, sleep my friend.

  3. You've had so much thrown at you at once -- you weren't expecting him to come so soon and suddenly he's arrived, but you can't take him home yet. All that and post-pregnancy hormones, you're definitely allowed a meltdown over your chicken! In fact, it's probably good for you.

    You're already a great mom, doing everything you can do to help Landon get stronger. Hang in there. :( He'll be home soon!!!

  4. >>>Looking back, it's been a tougher week than I thought while going through it.

    It always is. It *always* is. And you'll pick your head up, put one foot in front of the other and keep going, until the next time it gets too much. Then you'll cry. Then you'll do it again again.

    You are a MOM. I mean this in the best and brightest way, not in any way snarky or sarcastic as it may appear in text, but WELCOME TO THE CLUB!

  5. You are doing great. This can't be easy for you. A little bit of breakdown is healthy, I think -- at least crying sometimes makes me feel better.

    As for feeling bad about needing breaks -- I know it feels like to be a good mom, you should be totally enraptured by your kid every minute of every day. But in reality... not so much. An amazing friend of mine from law school said her mom told her that she and her brother were really boring for the first six months or so. She turned out so well that I don't feel bad that I sometimes just want to put the baby down and read a book.

  6. ((BIG HUGS)) One thing I really liked was carrying Jake (now 2 1/2) in a sling. That let me move around but still have him close to me. I was partial to hotslings. Let's face it; babies are very sweet but not really all that entertaining for hours on end.