So, here I am the morning after writing a scathing lament about being alone with the brand new Baby Bump, my very own Porter Price, in the NICU.
Here I am, washed out. I hid out at a local coffee shop last night for a few hours. I had words with Jared, to put it nicely. I cried myself to sleep last night.
I want to be a nice person, I really do. But the reality is, I’m not. I hold grudges. I never forget anything, ever. I rarely forgive.
Here we are, seven summers after that NICU nightmare, and I still feel the pain like it’s happening right now. I relive the fear. I ache with loneliness. I sorely miss the women on my messageboard who were my rock that summer.
Once, that bitty alien baby was the baby in that scary picture I posted yesterday, the one where I was holding my firstborn for the first time and he was screaming from the pain of being cold. I was just about as equally uncomfortable at the time, terrified I would hurt him.
You know what my worst fear on taking Porter home was? I was afraid of holding him. I remember asking the medical director in charge of Porter’s care, “How often can I hold him?” I asked that because right up until we took him home, more often than not, he’d have a stupid brady spell.
The answer was, of course, that he was our baby and that I could hold him as often as I liked. But the programming is hard to break when an alarm screams every time you pick your child up.
The point is, I don’t mean to lash out. I don’t mean to alienate our friends and family.
And at the end of the day, I’ve got the most sensitive, practically brilliant five year old boy on the planet. We’ve always been in tune with each others’ feelings, from the time he was incredibly small, and today is no differerent.
I know moms who lost their babies around that time. There’s Joey, and there’s most likely Easton, who probably never made it out of that Iowa City NICU.
But Porter Price isn’t just alive and well. He’s thriving, playful, loving, and so smart. And despite the pain I still carry, I’m so, so lucky. I do know it.
After all, I know there are many moms out there who would give anything to have their babies right now. I’m beyond blessed to have mine.