14 October 2012

I'm Taking a Vacation From Preemieland...

This is hard for me to write because it's always difficult when you try something and it doesn't work out. So I'll just say it: I resigned from my NICU volunteer position.

During the last month a lot of emotions came up while I was there. They aren't the ones you'd immediately think of, though.

The first thing that began to flare was my PTSD from the fire which is still pretty bad. Besides having had a baby in NICU I had a very unique and tragic story that is hard to forget. Everyone would ask me how I was doing followed by questions and updates. I appreciated that, but at the same time I don't want to be Fire Girl. I never wanted to be Fire Girl. I wish like crazy that I could go back and erase that event from my life.

...but it has crept back in. When I dream at night I feel myself walking over a foot of ashes, ceiling, and rubble...the way my boots sunk down a few inches, but still so far above the floor. The dreams are so vivid that I can remember losing my breath as it occurred to me that I might be walking over the cats' bodies.

It's hard for me to even fall asleep these days.

I can smell it.

How was this our sweet bedroom so full of color and life? What is this? IT'S NOT FAIR! There, I said it. 

The other thing I realized was that I need some more time before I dive back into NICU. I want to have fun with my toddler without thinking about preemie issues all the time. Since his birth I've been heavily involved in preemie groups, helping, advising, providing support, accepting support, dissecting issues that don't occur to FT parents. RSV season has begun and all the boards are alive with paranoia: I got Synagis! or I was denied - it's not fair! No, no, it isn't fair. We were denied last season and I spent six months at a bronchitis festival. This was right after four months of him stuck to a monitor. I held him at home after we were discharged and watched him stop breathing and turn colors every day for almost three weeks before taking him back to the hospital. Seeing the letters RSV or the word Synagis makes me mad. That also proves I have some issues to deal with.

Getting a PH probe to help figure out why he'd turn grey and go limp in my arms.

We're finally free of all that, even if RSV season is upon us again. This is the last of his prematurity issues and by next year it shouldn't be like this anymore. He will be two and a half and much stronger; he has already caught up to his actual-age wolf-pack of toddlers. Breathing/health is our anchor to prematurity.

...and while the beeps and struggles of the preemies I met while in NICU this time didn't shake me up I'm still trying to cope with my own story. The fire...and the birth story that will always belong to Tristan. He'll think it's pretty awesome one day! It is action-packed, that's for sure.

I know that I want to return to snuggle those babies - but I need a vacation.

It's time for me to step out of the thick of Preemieland so that I can return one day stronger because we've lived on the other side. I still have my support group of ladies that I know I'll grow old with, but we discuss more than prematurity now. We share our hearts, hopes, and dreams.

NICU babes, I hope you remember Tristan's lullaby and know that I cuddle each and every one of you in my heart. I will never stop raising prematurity awareness...it's in my blood now.


1 comment :

  1. aw, i'm sorry that the fire happened and that it won't go away! sigh. i hope you can return to the nicu one day.

    those babies were lucky to have you hold them for as long as you were there though. mm, extra love!


Thanks for your comment - I'll totally w/b/s! If you want to read my response (which of course you will!) please click that little "subscribe by email" link you'll see next to the publish button. Blogger does not send reply-alerts unless you complete that step. xx