I have avoided writing about the experience of Motherhood of a preemie simply because it has been too emotionally fresh ~ the last two years have been ones of great joy and great grieving at the same time, if that is possible. I gave birth to my firstborn in January '05, 3 months early. He only weighed 1.4 at birth and was in the NICU for over 3 months, overcoming heart surgery at 2 days old, and a severe staph infection he aquired in the hospital. He was the first baby in this particular hospital to be given a new drug for resistant staph infection, and had 60+ days of strong IV antibiotics pumped into his body, along with 8 blood transfusions over the course of his NICU stay.
I remember bringing him home and just sitting in the rocker shedding tears and rocking him for days upon days. I thought I would never recover. I felt so guilty for not being able to carry him full-term. The pain of leaving him every night and looking back over my shoulder was almost too much for this adoptee to bear. It brought up so many of my own feelings of abandonment and helplessness ~ seeing my son laying in the incubator alone, not being able to hold him close and protect him like a Mother should. It was heartbreaking.
It has taken him all this time (and me) to even begin to learn to trust and receive comfort. At such a vulnerable time, his senses were bombarded with loud beeps and noises from the numerous machines he was attached to. His only touch to speak of was that of needles pricking into his paper-thin skin. I was afraid to do "kangaroo care" as much as I longed for, because of the vulnerability of his immune system and the vent inserted into his lungs to help him breathe. But now, looking back, I know that is the only thing that would have been beneficial for him ~ more contact with his mother's skin, and love.
He has a hard time processing all the sensory input in his world, even now, because of his early birth and experiences. He is the most amazing, determined, loving, stubborn, beautiful human being I have been given the priviledge to know and love.
I just wanted to introduce you to this miracle in my life, because I have been having so many experiences lately that I have wanted to blog about regarding being his Mom. So now I can write/go for it from here.....