On July 5th our son Patrick was born. My due date was around August 8th so he was 5 weeks early. In 35th week of pregnancy babies are still considered as born prematurely even though their organs are fully developed, they usually weigh over 2.5 kg and they don’t look any different from regular ones.
The first 2 days I was so high on adrenaline that I hardly understood the whole situation. I gave birth to a healthy baby – we can go home soon. I thought this would be a matter of a couple more days in the hospital in a private room with the baby by my side so that we could bond. Well…
When I found out we need to stay 1-3 weeks more and we will be separated I had a complete meltdown and cried the entire night; in my room, alone. I felt like a drug addict who needed a dose – I missed my baby so much.
Why me? Why my baby? What did I do wrong to cause an early birth?
Self-blame poured in and I was becoming a BitterMom – looking at all the others with envy. I once read that having a child is better than any get-to-know-and-develop-yourself course and I couldn’t agree more. My little boy was about to teach me a lesson – he wanted a BetterMom.
So I started to look at all the situations with a fresh perspective and there were always at least two options how to react:
A. I could keep on repeating how sad I am because I can’t be with my baby 24/7 and how bad this is for his development.
B. I could be grateful that I get to see him every 3 hours to hold him, change his diaper and feed him; make the best of every single moment.
A. Whenever I saw a couple ready to leave the hospital with their newborn I could give them a hateful, envious look and think “How come things worked out perfectly for them and not for us.”
B. Smile at them, wish them luck and think “I can’t wait for the moment when we bring Patrick home. It will be the best day ever!”
A. When I shared a room with a mom who gave birth that very evening her newborn and the baby wouldn’t stop crying during the night I could just pretend that I am deeply asleep and let her deal with it on her own.
B. I could choose to be empathetic and supportive and offer my help to soothe him because I learned a few tricks from observing the nurses.
and so on… Every single day brought a few similar situations when I got to choose my attitude. I realized that I could:
- choose to focus on what I can do rather than what I can’t do
- be happy for others rather than envy them
- just be generally helpful and empathetic rather than amplifying my resentment and swim in sadness
Patrick is making great progress every day and I hope we will go home soon. Now he is dealing with the newborn jaundice which is very common and he’s treated in an incubator under a special blue light.
A. I could keep on crying that we are facing yet another obstacle and that I can’t even see my baby’s eyes.
B. I could just take it as it is and call him Patman because those eye protectors make him look like a freaking superhero, don’t you think?
to be continued ♥
P. S. More pictures can be found in the Czech version of this article.