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

Why does it still hurt?

Today I needed to get a foot X-ray from a three month old injure. My doctor sent me to a local hospital which I’d had the pleasure of visiting the ER of three times  in a four month period over a year and a half ago. This is the life of a mom with many small boys; my own visit was also due to injury caused by those boys. I’d  never seen outside of the ER before even though this was the hospital I was originally suppose to deliver my fourth son at a little more than a year ago. When I walked into the hospital in search of the imagining department my first reaction was, “this is a really nice hospital.” Within seconds, however, I was hit by a bigger, tougher reaction, as I choked back tears and a sick, sinking feeling.

This hospital  really wasn’t similar to the hospital I gave birth in almost 14 months ago, with the exception that it was pleasant looking, had a cafe on the first floor, and a little outdoor sitting area. Despite this, I was immediately transported back to my days visiting the NICU last year. I was completely surprised by these feeling because this wasn’t one of the hospitals that I’d spent time in with my youngest. Still these memories were triggered. The feelings subsided a little during my X-ray, but they came back strong again as I attempted to quickly peruse the cute gift shop that really resembled more of a store at the mall than at a hospital. This time I was overcome by memories of our stay at the Children’s Hospital over last summer and the gift shop there. I wasn’t able to hold back tears and felt suddenly nauseous, so I bolted for my car.

When I got to my car I began to cry. I couldn’t help it. I knew it was stupid, my baby was healthy and fine and with my neighbor, but my emotional self seemed oblivious to this fact. So I just allowed myself to cry, figuring that I must have needed it. After a few minutes I stopped, but I was then overwhelmed by a need to see and hold my baby. So as soon as I was able to compose myself, I raced home to see him.

It seems crazy that something that seemed so unrelated triggered feelings I thought I was getting beyond, yet it happened. It makes me wonder if I’ll ever be able to walk into a hospital again without falling a part. I know it hasn’t even been a year since we finished our hospital stays, but my littlest guy is doing so well, so why aren’t I? 


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2 thoughts on “Why does it still hurt?

  1. I’m so sorry that you’re feeling like you do, but you’re not alone. PTSD is another of the hidden gifts bestowed on a parent when their child has an extended NICU stay! The way I’ve tried to heal and move on is to think about the positive outcomes that resulted from my baby staying in the NICU for 138 days. Number one, him (of course), but also I am stronger, more resilient, have gained so much perspective…

    Next time you go to the hospital, go in with your head high knowing that your baby (and you) were the victors from the last battle…!


    Carmen (

  2. It will eventually be ok. You just need time.
    Hope your foot is ok!!

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