Yesterday W and I got to participate in a nursing seminar focusing on NICU nurses and 'Family Centered Care'. It was a great experience..long, but great! We participated as part of a parent panel, sharing our story. It was emotional to say the least. We are blessed with a happy healthy baby, but other moms and dads that were on the panel were not all so fortunate.
I have been aware over the last few months that my emotions are still very very raw from our whole experienc. Its weird..because we had such a good outcome, I should be nothing but happy. But everytime I think back on it, I think of what I did 'wrong' and how selfish I was. I thought of my feelings first when I wanted to go home while in HRM and then again when I wanted him to come home with me. And also how I didn't put him and his needs first when visitors came. And how I would have to walk away from him everyday to leave him in the care of other people.
Its almost as if the emotions I should have had then are coming out now. W probably thought I was nuts as I was crying right along with the mom who didn't get to hold her baby for two and half MONTHS!! I had to wait over 12 HOURS and that was too long, although a minute compared to how long she had to wait.
Unless you have been there, you never know how traumatic it is going to be. One of the mom's stated that it was as if she watched everything unfold from the outside looking in. I felt that way alot too. It was so surreal from teh first day of being admitted to day I brought him home. Every step of the way I asked myself "Is this really happening?" For a long time I had feelings that I wouldn't ever have or be able to have children...when I got pregnant so easily, those thoughts immediately left me. I also never ever thought I would have complications. I had no reason to believe that I would. Both sisters, mom and aunts had fairly healthy pregnancies, with minor if any complications. The 'Super-Mom' mentality kicked in long before Charles actually arrived!
So after all that...I am preparing myself for the next pregnancy, a year away yet, but I am a planner. I been told in o uncertain terms that pre-term labor will occur again. And earlier. I have to do everything I can to prevent this. With early labor comes early babies. If the labor is earlier, we are bound to have a baby earlier. There will definitely be different visiting policies established by me (and W, we will have to talk very in depth about what we want to happen next time).
I learned alot from the conference yesterday...about what I can do as a mom and what things I can make sure I am a part of. Things WILL be different next time.