survivingmyboyz

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

Archive for the tag “Mother’s Day”

Our first Mother’s Day together

Dear Mom with a baby (or babies) in the NICU,

Today is the day in which mothers are doted on by their families. Mom are thanked and loved the way they probably should be everyday. The day is filled with hugs and kisses, cuddles and laughs, hand-made cards and jewelry, flowers and meals cooked by someone else. This is the day moms finally get to relax and enjoy watching their kids be kids, knowing that Dad is on clean up duty. At least that is how today should go, but for you, that is not the case. 

Your day probably looked more like this. You sat in a quiet, sterol room listening to the beeps, buzzs, and whoshes of machines. If you are lucky and your baby is doing well, you got to change a tiny diaper, take baby’s temperature, and enjoy some kangaroo-care with your little one. Maybe today you only got to place a gentle hand through a portal in the isolet for a small amount of time to touch your precious baby and let them know you are there. Maybe today wasn’t even that good of a day and you simply had to watch from outside of the isolet as your tiny little one, attached to a million wires, lay under the blue bili light. Or maybe your day wasn’t  like that at all because, though this might be your first Mother’s Day with your NICU baby, it is not your first Mother’s Day, so you made the painful choice to say home from the hospital today in an attempt to get some much needed rest and spend some time with your other kids. Despite your best intentions, you spent most of the distracted by your guilt over missing a day at the hospital. That choice may have been a hard one, but it was not a selfish one, I know, I made that tough choice last year and spent the whole feeling bad about it, but I’m glad I did.

However you spent this Mother’s Day and whatever mixed emotions you are feeling about this day, just know that you are not alone. Unfortunately, there are many Mamas in the NICU Moms club, the club that no one asks to be in. No two situations are completely the same, but a lot of the experiences and feelings are shared with other members in this club. I was a member last year and it was pure agony, but I wouldn’t change it because it made me stronger and more appreciative. I made it through and so did my little boy. You will also make it through and I pray that your little one(s) will too. Whatever your outcome, on the other side of it, you will find some sense of meaning and peace, though it may take a while.

Today I spent my first Mother’s Day with my littlest guy, after choosing not to spend my Mother’s Day with him last year. The fact that this was my first Mother’s Day with him was not lost on me. I reflexed back on where we were a year ago and what we went through to get to today. Our story last year made our time together today that much sweeter. Sure I was adorned by some of the finest pins and jewelry preschoolers can make, a spectacular breakfast, and I card that I know was a labor of love for my seven year old to write, and I loved it all, but the best present I received today was just the fact that my baby was here with me and I was able to bask in his beautiful smile all day long.

So to you mom’s with little ones in the NICU right now, my message to you this Mother’s Day is this: you aren’t alone no matter how lonely you feel right now. Things are hard, but they will eventually  get easier. Take a little time for yourself every once in a while so you are fresh and present for your baby. And enjoy  any little moments you can get with your precious one. My Mother’s Day wish for you today is, that next year your Mother’s Day will be as wonderful and filled with joy as mine was today.

  

Portrait of a Mom

 I call this “Portrait of a Mom on Mother’s Day”. (Note the kid-made accessories and binkie.) 

Mother’s Day in the NICU

For Mother’s Day today I got handmade art projects and kisses from my older boys. We are spending the afternoon outside, I’m watching them play chalk as I rock on the porch, just like I’d envisioned. It is a beautiful, sunny day. The only problem is there is one important piece of my perfect Mother’s Day vision missing; my youngest son.

It is more than two months after his birth 9 weeks early and my youngest son is still in the NICU. This is not what I had in mind for my Mother’s Day. I know I’m not alone, mother’s around the country right now are celebrating their Mother’s Day with a little one in the NICU. Many of my son’s NICU neighbors were lucky enough to go home in the last few days, like a Mother’s Day clearance special. Those moms are now home, cuddling their little one on what probably feels like an extra special day to them. For those left behind, their moms are coming to terms with this Mother’s Day in a different way, one with a little less joy. Don’t get me wrong, all of us NICU moms are thankful for our new little bundles of joy. For many of us, this day could’ve been completely devoid of joy if things had been different, but we are lucky because our little babies are alive for us to celebrate, despite any health problems they might be suffering. That, however, doesn’t change the fact that this is not how many of us expected to be celebrating Mother’s Day this year. For some NICU moms this is their first Mother’s Day, which makes it bitter sweet as they cuddle their tiny baby or observe him or her from outside of the isolet in the quiet, sterile environment of the NICU. For other moms, like myself, this isn’t our first Mother’s Day, which means splitting our time between our kids at home and our baby in the NICU. This becomes a day of guilt, for not being with all our kids at once; a day of stress, for having a child in the NICU; and a day of reflection on both what could have and should have been and what the future might hold.

While this Mother’s Day isn’t the day I’d hoped for and it carries a lot of sadness with it, I know that next year’s Mother’s Day will be different. Next year I will likely have four boys presenting me with homemade gifts and running around outside for me to watch. However, for today, I count the blessing I have, pray for my baby (all all NICU babies) to come home soon, and look forward to next year. Happy Mother’s Day!

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