It was a little after midnight on New Year’s Day when the nurse came into our room with Dash ready to eat. I was anxiously awaiting his arrival back in the room after some tests they needed to run on him.

As I got him ready to feed him the nurse sat down and informed me that they were going to have to put him in the NICU for his jaundice. All of my children suffer from jaundice but this is the first time they removed him from my room and placed him in the NICU under the lights.

I almost couldn’t process what was being said. Like it wasn’t really sinking in. We walked down to the NICU with our tiny little baby…a place with a few other babies with jaundice also. They removed his clothing and began hooking him up to everything.

We set up a time that I’d be back to nurse him and my husband and I left…left our newborn baby all alone, under lights, with strangers…I cry just writing about this.

I walked back up to our floor empty handed and broken hearted. My heart felt like it had been shattered. Like part of me was missing…well, because it was. Every single part of me wanted to run back into the NICU, grab him and run out of the hospital.

I got up every three hours like they requested and fed him for the restricted 30 minute sessions. 30 tiny little minutes every three hours I got to hold my sweet child and give him the comfort of my body. As I would sit there and nurse him I’d hear the other babies crying for minutes on end.

It was in those moments that my heart shattered even more as I realized that my baby likely cried without being comforted also. The baby that hadn’t hardly left my side since he was born. The baby I was madly in love with and bonding so beautifully with. The baby that slept in our room, rarely left my arms and nursed whenever he wanted.

I never had felt so much pain as those long 14 hours he was away from me. It was a long painful day as we waited and hoped they’d release him to us on New Year’s Day. We didn’t know if they’d keep him longer than they’d keep us. The mere thought of leaving him in the hospital made me physically ill.

Finally we got word that we’d be bringing him home that day. He was well enough to leave. I’ve never cried so hard in my life. Tears poured out of me uncontrollably. They couldn’t have released us soon enough.

I’ll never get those important hours back with him and that makes me so sad. Needless to say the first days of his life didn’t go as I’d hoped and planned. And those several hours away from me in the NICU gave me more of a first hand perspective of just how painful it is for parents whose children have to remain there for long periods of time.

He is home with me now, in my arms, never alone and always loved…the way it should be and always will be.

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14 Comments

  1. Hey Nell, I sit here in the hospital as I read this with my own baby girl who is now 16. When I look at the photo of your beautiful boy, that’s what I see as my darling girl is under the blankets in her hospital bed. It’s not easy, thanks for sharing!

    Vera Raposos last blog post..The Many Uses of Duct Tape

  2. You described perfectly how it felt when Ben had to stay in the NICU as a preemie. It was terribly upsetting to only get to hold him for short bits. Thank goodness you got to nurse him; Ben was on a respirator for the whole first day and night, so he was given formula in a tube. Pumping was so depressing. I would really consider a home birth if it weren’t for the fact I’m considered high risk now with one preemie birth (and for the fact that he did need the respirator, even though it was only for a short bit).

    I’m so glad you guys are home and can snuggle all you want πŸ™‚

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  3. sometimes hospital experiences can be so rough. ours wasn’t the most pleasant one either. it was just so nice being home and not having to worry about the nurses giving him formula or medicine or shots.

    I am glad you are home and everyone is doing good!!

    Mommas last blog post..Puppy Bank

  4. Congrats on your baby, and I am so glad he is home with his Mommy! I can’t imagine how hard that must of been for you. There is nothing worse than being separated from your child. I remember all to well. Hope you are all enjoying the new little joy in your house!

    P.S. Sorry I’m a little late, but I haven’t blogged in weeks!

    Heaven Sents last blog post..Fashion Friday: Plaid Tidings

  5. It is hard. You did get to hold him and bring him home in a timely manner. Gray was in the NICU for 10 weeks. Sometimes I couldn’t hold him at all when we visited. I had to physically leave him at the hospital. That was pain. I am glad that Dash had something that was relatively easy to treat. You do have him home now and no you won’t get back those hours you lost, but in the larger scheme of things, there are many more hours to his life than what you lost.

    Kellys last blog post..Wordless Wednesday

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