Safety in numbers.

When I was in the hospital for those 2 weeks before we had Jack I forced Arch to give me his computer and a wireless card so that I could do research. Honestly, I think that if I had asked Arch to give me his right hand, sawed off at the forearm while I was in the hospital he would have, so “forced” is a bit of a strong word….

Anyway. I needed data when I was on bedrest, I knew that we were headed into uncharted territory.  So. I researched.  I googled. I used that damn advanced statistics class (FINALLY). I burned up the interweb looking for information that would prepare me to be the mom of a preemie. I read blogs of preemies born 20 years ago who were “just fine.” I found communities that maybe I shouldn’t really have been reading at the time…and I also found some helpful resources.  

Every day since we’ve come home, I’ve kept up that research. But that research turned rapidly into a craving for community, to find parents who perhaps share the same worries. Mom’s and Dad’s who have lived through some of those dark days and are still coming out the other side.

I didn’t recognize how alone I felt in all of this until recently. I was at the park with Jack and there was a little 2 year old girl there with glasses. And me, being all self-absorbed and what not, assumed the little girl was a preemie. Not only did I assume this, but I went on and created this 2 minute fantasy that I would have a friend in that mother, someone to talk to about the worry and the guilt and the yada-yada etc. But no. She was just a mom with a little girl who wore glasses.  And then I was UPSET. I was upset that the little girl wasn’t a preemie. Can you imagine?! I was wishing that this poor little girl with the glasses was a preemie so that I could make friends with her mom.

Sick and twisted, party of one, right here.

We came home and Jack climbed up in my lap and fed me goldfish while I cried big old dumb tears. Because I am dumb. And he is here and somehow I can time warp to “back there” and dude, wtf already?

And I am working through it. And part of that is just remembering that I am not alone, and actually? it may not be that crazy to want to talk to other people who have lived through something similar.  

A couple of weeks ago, reading my normal blogs, people I think of friends, (even though I’ve never met them), I find that one of my friends is part of a new community, “For mamas of still babies, tiny babies, lost potential of all kinds.”  and I visited this community, and then I wept. I feel unworthy of these women when I read their stories.  I must warn you not to follow this link if you are at work or some other place where bawling openly would be deemed inappropriate.  That said, I need to post the link to glow in the woods just in case someone is googling something like “FUCK AND NICU” or some other relevant search term and accidentally landed here.  Because maybe they’re searching for someplace safe, and man, do I get how important that is. **

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**I’ve had this post written for about 10 days and have been hesitant to post it. I don’t post most of what I think or feel these days for fear of upsetting some vested constintuent somewhere or another, but this one still felt important 10 days later. So. There you have it.

 

5 Replies to “Safety in numbers.”

  1. this makes my heart sad and i want to crawl through this computer and give you a big hug.

    i think, no matter what our circumstances, as bloggers we’re all here for the community. some of us need the community for different reasons: for emotional support after loss; to use an outlet to express things that otherwise would end up stuffed deep down inside; for validation; for friendship; for a broader sense of self and family.

    so don’t think there’s anything weird about hoping that little girl with glasses at the park was a preemie with a mother you could connect with. i think that was just a more real, more visceral experience than you might get, say, online.

    and i think i have those same fantasies when see mothers of other young kids at the park… i call it the “will you be my friend, PLEASE? PLEASEPLEASEPLEASE?!” response. because, dude…this motherhood business? it’s lonely.

  2. Same as Liz, I think the same thing at the park- PLEASEISWEARI’MCOOLBEMYFRIEND.

    Anyway, might I give you some total assvice? Please ignore as you see fit- 1. If you want a group like this, maybe you should start it? Try to get a group of preemie moms together IRL? I’m sure there are lots of you in NYC.

  3. I found the site you referenced a few weeks ago. I had been reading Kate’s blog when she posted that she had joined up with the other mamas at glow in the woods. You are right it is humbling to be there in their presence.

    The wondering if the other shoe will drop has been the worst part of this preemie parent journey for me. I understand the place you are sitting in. I will be a preemie online bud if you need another! And if you want to…private mail me and I will give you the link to the micropreemie group I belong to. They are a good bunch of gals.

    Lori

  4. Hey, I get to hang out in both camps: with the deadbabymamas as well as with the waiting-for-the-other-shoe-to-drop shellshocked NICU mamas. yay me. 🙂

    You made me giggle tonight about the other mama and the glasses-wearing little girl. I think I’ve even done that before too, spotting a kid that just has that teensy-limbed, unchubby look about them. I think I’ve almost chased them down the street. I’ve never caught up, though. Maybe next time.

  5. I loved your post. And don’t feel guilty or bad about any of it. Like Kate from Sweet Salty I live in both camps, and have felt just about everything. We are always here to chat. And Jack and Nina will make a beautiful preemie couple one day. Even if they both end up wearing glasses.

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