Today my heart broke all over again. I didn’t realize until the other day how vulnerable I feel all the time now. It started with your birth and it continues. It’s so frightening. All I want to do is protect you, and I can do so little for you.
It’s torture, little one.
Today was an example. Shortly after I walked into the NICU, alarm bells began to sound. Not the ordinary, every day alarms from all the babies’ CPAP machines and ventilators, oxygen monitors, heartrate monitors, and the like… those are bad enough. No. Today, there was a major problem with the central air lines in the hospital. The alarms sounded like a fire truck passing by… that never passed. The noise was deafening. And they must have gone off for an hour.
I held you next to my chest with two diapers on your ears and a blanket pressed against that, in an attempt to muffle the noise. It really bothered you. You were squirming and pushing against me, turning your head this way and that as if to say, “Mommy make it stop.”
The nurses were determinedly walking around switching things out, caring for babies and reassuring the parents that their babies were ok. They were calm, so I wasn’t too worried about the actual happening. What upset me was, once again, how powerless I felt. I was glad I was at least present when it happened, so that I could comfort you. Eventually, someone brought ear plugs into the NICU. Your nurse cut them in half lengthwise so we could put them in your tiny ears. She also gave you a tiny pacifier. You’re so funny. You hardly know what to do with it. You suck on it once or twice every minute. You’re so early, you still have to learn how to suck. You finally fell into a deep sleep and settled down.
But then, after nurse Joan put you back into your isolette, you woke up. I’ve never seen you so alert. You were wiggling and squirming and doing all the adorable things newborns do. You kept crossing your eyes in an attempt to focus. It was adorable. I snapped a picture and some video.
Funnyface. You cracked me up.
But then I had to leave you. How could I? Do you miss me when I’m gone? I have to harden my heart every time, but usually you’re sleeping. This time you were wide awake and wanting to play.
My heart broke into a million fragments yet again.