Monday, December 17, 2007

Walking Down The Hall

I returned to the birthing center last month to visit a friend who had her baby. I couldn't wait to see her and to offer my congrats. However as soon as I walked into the elevator, I was transported back in time. Every time I ride in that elevator, I think of the day we left the hospital and our little girl stayed. That isn't the way things are supposed to work. As I enter the nursing station, I'm hit with the NICU on the right. I can see the window that Ariana was next to during her 15 day stay.

The memories flood back. The wheelchair ride to the nursery for my first look at our daughter. Being told I can't hold her that time since she was having some issues. Sitting next to her isolette reading The Hungry Caterpillar. My first mother's day spent giving her her first bath. The pedi telling us we can take her home.

I shake my head and bring myself back to the present only to walk past the triage room. So many fears in that room for me. I falter and my breathing hitches, then comes faster. I can do this, I tell myself. I continue cautiously past the room where I was admitted with Ariana, past the room where I had Phoenix. I was trying to keep breathing calmly, but afraid of a sudden memory that would spin me suddenly. My brain was flooded with the emotions of those stays.

I sigh with gratefulness as I reach my friend's room. Thankful that the memories will stop for a while. Then I see that tiny bundle and my heart skips. I smile as I'm reeling. I bravely remain outwardly calm and happy for my friend, but inside am filled with a sadness and grief I was not expecting.

My stay with them was short, but good. I never let on that I was inwardly awkward. As I left the hospital and walked through the doors into the free air, I took a deep breath and by the time I reached the car the tears were falling. I cannot put into words the exact emotions that I was feeling at the moment, but it was theraputic and I'm hoping the next time we visit the birthing center I won't have such a "memorable" visit.

2 comments:

fiona said...

Hmm Yes that walk through the hospital can be very confronting. My daughter was born at 27weeks due to PE and HELLPS in Jan 06. I spent time in delivery, maternity, theater, ICU, NICU & High Dependency. Because we were so far from home I also had to visit the specialist in the same hospital so i also had the pleasure of visiting fetal medicine, outpatients & postnatal clinics. They were all awesome though. I find it still impacts me in different ways. The first friend of mine who had a full term baby I just couldn't bring myself to visit I had lost all interest in going to hospitals to visit people when they were having babies.
You may like to take a look at my website http://www.momentbymoment.com.au I set up this website after Airlie was born. I also have a blogging area http://www.momentbymoment.com.au/cafeprem

I am also very passionate and active in trying to grow awareness on pre eclampsia and HELLPS. I am the vice president and media officer for Australia Action on Pre Eclampsia http://www.aapec.org.au

Keep up the great working on informing people on PE even if we do it 1 person at a time its 1 more person who will hopefully know the signs and do something about it.

Merry Christmas to you and your family.

Fiona

Amy said...

As I was reading this I couldn't help but sympathize with you. I went to visit a friend who had a baby two weeks ago and even though it was at a different hospital than where I had Gracie I felt completely overwhelmed. I sat and held this 10lb 9oz baby...he was absolutely beautiful...and all the while in my head I was thinking "why did PE choose me...why was my daughter born 9 weeks early and in the NICU...it's just not fair". But I somehow managed to keep my feelings hidden. When my husband and I got into the elevator to leave, I burst into tears and he asked what was wrong and I said "is it wrong that I'm jealous right now? I'm so happy for her but at the same time I feel like it's not fair that she got to enjoy a normal, healthy, pregnancy and a full term baby and we had to go through all the heartache and pain of leaving our daughter in the hospital for 26 long days". I had to watch my little girl fight for her life because of this horrible disease and for some reason it just killed me inside to see what it was like for someone who had a normal pregnancy. I feel so horrible for feeling that way... I just wish I knew what it was that made this trip to the hospital eat away at me so badly.

Anyway, I just had to share that story with you because this post just really hit home for me if you know what I mean.

Amy ~ PE Survivor
Mom to Gracie Mae
31 weeker, 3lbs 7oz 16.5 inches