I’m sorry I broke down earlier when I visited you. I hope I didn’t embarrass you too much. I tried to hold it in and save the ugly tears for when I got back to my room. I try to be so strong when I’m with you. I try to be calm and reassuring for you and for your daddy. But I am not made of stone.
This is so hard. You and I have been robbed of something precious. How will we ever get that back? How will I ever make it up to you? You have been through things no baby should have to experience. And I am so sorry for that. I’m sorry I couldn’t protect you from the bad things that happen in this world. It’s my job to protect you, to make your earliest moments in this imperfect world safe and comfortable and happy. You should never have to cry or suffer pain or move your body around hard plastic things, or feel tubes and wires coming out of your delicate skin. You shouldn’t have to hear babies crying all around you. I can tell it bothers you. You shouldn’t have to listen to alarms going off all the time, to hear the hum of weird machines, and the voices and touch of strangers. You should only hear familiar things, the voices of your siblings, and my heartbeat and your father’s voice.
Now, instead of being next to me where you belong, you’re on the other side of a building. I have to be buzzed through two locked doors and get permission before I can be near you. And I am your mother. You belong to me. I am glad that these barriers exist to protect you, but it also makes me very sad that I can’t see you whenever I want to.
I am so thankful for the medicines that helped your lungs grow, for the surgery that probably saved your life, and for the care you and I are getting from Doctors and nurses and other highly skilled people. It’s been very hard for me to turn you over to other people most of the time sweetie. I have only been able to hold you once, and you are two days old, and I’ve only been able to change your diaper once. That makes me so sad. I should be doing everything for you, and we should never have to be apart.
At the same time, I am so grateful you are alive. I am ashamed of my feelings. I have had to let go of all control so you could get the care you need, and that is not easy for me. Some moms in my situation had to say goodbye to their babies, and I know how fortunate we are. You laughed at all the statistics and kept fighting to survive. I will never stop being grateful.
The Doctors keep reassuring me that you are doing well, and they aren’t worried about you. But I am breaking into pieces. All I want is to be able to do all the normal things, all the things I got to do with your brothers and sisters. The Doctors and nurses are wonderful, and they care about you. But they won’t carry you next to their bodies all day like I would. Do you know that every time I have to leave your side, a little piece of me splinters off? I don’t want you to have to lie there alone in your isolette, but when I come see you, I am ready to collapse from pain and fatigue. All I want to do is cuddle up next to you and sleep, and they won’t let me do that.
I know some day we will look back at this time and it will be a distant memory, but right now it’s tearing me apart. I miss your big brothers and sisters so much, and I want to go home. But I don’t know how I will leave you here. I think my heart might break in two.
I understand that you have to work on learning how to breathe. I’ve been breathing for 39 years, and I’m having trouble breathing right now too.
I love you,