I have made a point since starting this blog to protect the identity and particular details about my kids. Less because I am fearful of the internet, but more because I believe in letting my children’s lives and journey through it be their own; to be told in their own time and to the degree to which they choose to share with the world. Because of this I have also chosen to not share pictures of my kids. However today I am breaking my own rule and sharing the following picture with you and my hearts story that goes with it. I hope my little Zen will someday read this and not feel intruded upon but relish in the beauty of it.
Born at 31 weeks our little Zen was 4 days old and weighed just 3lbs 6oz the first time I was able to hold her. Prior to this I had only been able to place my hands gently on her. No rubbing. No patting. No stimulation. Plastic separated us. I could only slide my hands through holes in her isolate. No kisses. No gentle whispers letting her know I was there with her. My body actually ached for her. I felt like I couldn’t really breath yet, everything in me was tight and anxious. I had enough drugs in me to put a horse down and I still was unable to sleep. I needed to hold her. I needed her to know I was there with her. I wanted her to smell me and feel me. I believed in the healing power of my touch, yet I was told no, to stay back, to touch “just a little”. Everything about the first few days felt so very wrong. I had no control, no ability to help my tiny, frail hurting little baby. I had to trust people I didn’t know, or in some cases even like very much. I pumped. I pumped milk like Zens life depended on it. It was all I could offer. I filled the NICU freezer and had to have the hubs take a cooler full home. I kept pumping, I was pumping hourly. The nurses clearly thought I was insane. They brought lactation in to encourage me to ease up but I was compulsive. No one got it; it was all I could do. I could do nothing else for her. I was unable to keep her safe in me and now she was here in this harsh sterile environment separate from my body and there was nothing I could do. I couldn’t even kiss her. She was buried under wires, tubes and gauze. Her eyes were covered, she had a c-pap on which covered the entire lower half of her face. I wasn’t even sure what she really looked like, but I knew she was beautiful. And I knew she needed me to hold her close. But it was possible I needed it more.
We started the process of bringing out some of her lines and c-pap around 9pm, I waited up all night for the green light which came at 5am the next morning. The moment I pulled her into me time stopped. Right then, time stood still. The loud, buzzing NICU went silent; all I could hear was the sound of the two of us breathing. I could feel her little body relax and I, for the first time in months, took a deep breath. I felt a little light headed, euphoric. My milk was gushing out of me and I suddenly knew what “Heaven On Earth” really meant. It was a perfect moment, one of healing and love…and faith.
|Holding Baby Zen for the first time|