tales from a stay-at-home mom of four boys

I don’t want to share, does that make me selfish?

At 2:28pm today, my little guy will be one week old. He will have survived his first week, I might even say, with flying colors. But the fact is, he is still only 32 weeks gestationally today, so he shouldn’t even be celebrating a one week birthday yet. He should still be inside me and because of that, I feel like I’m not yet ready to share him with the world.

Right now, if things had gone as planned, my little guy would still be inside me. It would be just him and me, no one else. I would be the only one to feel the hiccups he has right now, I would be the one feeling the little jerky movements he’s been making, and I would be the one who’s voice and heart beat he’d be hearing. This would still be our time alone. Now that he is out though, he is exposed to all who enter his room. Others are getting to see him, he is learning the sounds of the voices of nurses who care for him, and he’s even seeing blurry images of those who peek in at him. He is no longer just mine to bond with. I haven’t fully come to grips with this yet either. I find myself sitting at home and thinking he is still in there. Last night I ate a few Sweet Tarts and immediately thought “maybe I shouldn’t have eaten those so late at night, they always get the baby kicking.” Then I realized, the baby isn’t in there anymore, that sugar rush isn’t going to effect him, and I’m not going to be up for the next hour waiting for him to calm down and stop kicking me. He’s no longer there for me to have private little conversations with. He’s no longer mine and mine alone, I now need to share him with his dad and the rest of the family, but I’m just not ready to.

When I visit him in the NICU, I feel some sense of privacy away from everyone. Sure there are nurses there and my husband comes, but it is relatively private and a lot of the times it is just him and me there. We have our own private room which is kept very dim and very warm, like a womb. I it usually quiet and peaceful. When we are alone, I still have private conversations with him. Yesterday, I even got to hold him for the first time, which was the most wonderful thing to happen in several weeks. I held him for two hours, unwilling to share with his dad who sat bored on a couch behind me. I figured, after what I’d gone through, I deserved it, and his dad didn’t begrudge me for it. Today I am back again. I have his little feet tucked inside my shirt and his bare little body is snuggled into my bare chest. He is sleeping peacefully while I relax in a chair. I can’t really see his face because he is so close to me, but it doesn’t matter, it almost feels like old times. This time, however, I can hear his little breaths, his occasional wheezes, and his little hiccups. He is mine and mine alone once more (for the most part, occasionally the nurse has to come in and fiddle with him). This is as close as I get to private bonding time like we had when he was back in the womb. I only get it for a few hours a day because I have other children at home to care for, but I’ll take it.

All this makes it so hard to share him with anybody else. Sure, I’ve let his brothers see him very briefly and my mom has come to see him, but I just don’t feel ready for anyone else to see him. I’ve even been very reserve about posting pictures of him on Facebook and I’m one of those people who usually plasters her wall with pictures of her kids when they are first born. I just feel like, right now at least, I’m not really ready to share him with others. I’m not ready to share pictures of him with everyone I know, including people I haven’t seen since grade school, I’m not ready to share everyday events with people outside our immediate family, and even then I usually wait a bit to tell them about any big steps or milestones he made, and I’m really not ready for people to visit and ask to hold him. I just want to keep him to myself a little longer. It was suppose to be just him and me for a little longer and the way he is progressing, he’ll have all his wires off and be ready to be held by others in no time, so I’m going to use this time to my advantage to try to keep others out. I’ll let people visit and share some more pictures with time, but I need a little more time to keep him to myself. Maybe after a few more days of cuddling him I’ll be more willing to share. Maybe I’ll even let his dad hold him. Until then, I’m going to be selfish.


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