Thursday, February 24, 2011

Giving Back and Coping

When we lost Justin at five and a half months a piece of my heart broke in a way that can never be repaired. I tried talking about it but no one really can understand what we were feeling because it is one of those things that if you haven't gone through it you can never understand it.  Losing Justin in under 7 months of a previous miscarriage was not something anyone could understand.  Doctors had no answers to what happened either time- so we chalked it up to my 1% of all things strange and unexplainable that happens to me (no exaggeration- all true keep reading).
My husband and I ran the gammet of emotions, and lucky for us we pulled together instead of apart.  No one was to blame for what happened and we had no answers.  How do you deal with that?  Well I am sure I was not the most pleasant person to be around for awhile, but it was not something I could help or even explain.  No one can say the right thing to you.  You don't want to hear stories of other people and what they went through.  You know you are not alone but you feel like you are drowning and no one can save you.  Just when you think it couldn't get any worse I returned to work which was busier then ever- and thought the stress was just exhausting me- until I was admitted again with a freak case of viral meningitis  (see the 1%).  After my four month recovery (yup I was lucky to be alive)- for something that they don't know how I got it and don't know why it took so long to get better illness, I was at my wits end.
How do we deal with this?  I  know how hard it was for me alone but not everyone around me.  Not knowing what to do I had confided in a friend.  That friend shared with me that I should pray.  Now I am Catholic but lightly practicing, I believe in God but didn't think that it could help ... at first.  I ended up taking her advice and found myself getting better, finding understanding, finding peace.  And that is when we found out we were pregnant again.  What a rollercoaster... and to rupture at 31 weeks.  We never knew what was going to happen. 

Being on bed rest is one thing, being on bed rest with a three year old at home is another.  Not only are you worried about the little baby in your belly, since his life is on your shoulders, you are worried about the little one at home, and everything you normally do has changed and you have no control..  And for a control freak like me OMG I worried about everything!  Not that I didn't think my husband couldn't handle it, because he can and he did but that doesn't take the worry away, you are helpless.  After my emergency c-section and finding out how sick my son was, and how sick I was well that just lends an other whole host of issues.  Unfortunatley for me, I was so sick that I could rarely see my son. I am not sure if this happens to everyone or what and I don't know if this was from the horrific experiance in general but I felt so detached from him.  Almost as if I was watching this from the outside and it was so surreal that I was in such a fog.  For the following month I visited while I was able, and it was so difficult.  I was so thrilled to have him with us and so terrified we were going to lose him every minute of everyday.  Thank God for my husband, he was with Nicklaus day and night for the most part.  We had our ups and downs of course we were mentallly exhausted, physically exhausted and unable to comprehend what has been happening since everything has been happening non-stop.  We again grew so much closer in a situation where most people would be torn apart.  Well I contined on my path and decided that when we were were through all of this and if Nicklaus comes through everything like I prayed for, I would give back.  I wasn't sure how but I want to help whereever I can- whomever I can.

So I signed up to be a cuddler at work in the NICU (I work for the hospital) well last night was my first training, much remininesint from when I was there 3 short months ago with Nicklaus.  After the training we got the tourof the NICU and the first baby we see is one the same size as Nick was when I was able to see him- 3 lbs 11 oz.  And needless to say with a whoosh everything came back to me in a flash and all of the unresolved feelings I thought I had dealt with came back in a flood.  My heart, that little piece that broke off -filled up again and I knew - I need this, I need to help these kids, these parents, these nurses, even you!  My hole, the one in my heart is healing, by no means do I mean Justin is replaced, nor forgotton, he has his own special section in my heart and in my family, I speak to him and of him often.  What I am saying is that I finally have some purpose, outside of being Mom and Wife (because that is my number 1 focus). 

Wouldn't you know at the end of the session I was pulled aside and asked to be on the advisory council or board or meeting whatever it was (I was a little overwhelmed lol )... I was asked to help, and I am more that happy to do so.  There is so much to know with a preemie, not one preemie is the same each circumstance is different and it is so important to understand that.  I am honored and eager to share what we learned and what we have been through.

Our little one, despite his difficult start in life, has overcome more in his young four months then most do by age 15.  He is amazing.  He is thriving and he is a miracle! And only one of my many blessings!  I know his big brother is smiling down on him and his sister every chance he gets!

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