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Thread: Old feelings coming back

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
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    Default Old feelings coming back

    Not really sure what advice I need I guess I just need to know there are other mom's that have felt the same. My DS was born at 32 weeks and spent 23 days in the NICU and as many of you know it's the hardest thing many of us have ever dealt with. Seeing him lying there and feeling so helpless really shook me to the core and the entire experience completely changed the person that I am today. I thank God everyday for my healthy beautiful 13 mo. old DS now. But there are times that I still get emotional about that time. I have a friend right now that just had a baby and he's in the hospital with heart problems. He's hooked up to the machines and looks a lot like my DS did. My problem is I really want to be there for her and go see her and her baby but I don't know if I can. I look at the website she has set up and the pics of her LO and I fall apart. I can't look at it again through my tears. I feel so selfish for even feeling this way.
    I try to rationalize it by saying that my DS is fine now and wasn't as bad off as her DS is now. My DS didn't have any heart problems like her's does. I feel like I should be strong and just be there for her . But whenever I hear her voice, look at her email, or even think about her situation for too long I break down, cry, and get that nauseous empty achy feeling in the pit of my stomach that I had last year at this time. I'm not really sure how to deal with this. I've talked to her on the phone a lot but I'm planning to go out there this weekend. I don't want to break down in front of her. What she's going through is so difficult and I want to be there and support her. Just not sure how to handle it. I would love to hear from anyone that's been here. Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    Default Re: Old feelings coming back


    I know what you mean, really I do. My gf just had a baby, and then he went
    in the hospital with pneumonia. He's doing better but still on oxygen and everything else.I went to visit it in the nicu and freaked out.It was too hard to be there. I just couldnt stop remembering everything; the fear, the sorrow, etc. I couldnt put Dyl down for a week (and we all know hes already flippin smothered senseless).
    I know you want to be there for her, but maybe, possibly you just can't.Maybe its too soon.Yes yoiur precious is doing awesome, so is Dyl. But that doesnt mean necessarily that youve fully recovered. Its a stressful time in our lives, and one that most people would probably expect wed just get over.But we can't. I myself cant handle it yet. I cant handle the memories of the hospitals, familial relations, etc that happened then. It doesnt interfere with my daytoday, but it is still painful.
    I suspect that the fact that it bothers you is a good thing, and speaks volumes of how much you love your lo. Their pain, which they wont remember, is still yours. I know many moms that really wouldnt care at all.
    Pm me if ya need to talk.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    568

    Default Re: Old feelings coming back

    Totally agree with you both. Archie was a 33 weeker and only spent a couple of weeks in the NICU but even though he is now 3, I still get the emotional jerks every now and again. The worst was when I was pregnant with Jack, and to get to the ultrasound dept for scans, we had to walk right past the NICU door, and could see right into the corridor leading to all the nurseries, all dimly lit and quiet. It was horrible, and really shocking!
    I think it will never go away!
    Claire, Mum to Archie, 5 and Jack, almost 3! Number 3 on the way!

  4. #4
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    Apr 2007
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    2,631

    Default Re: Old feelings coming back

    I don't know what you have gone through, so I cannot speak about that. But I think there are some ways that you can help your friend, even if you don't visit them in the hospital. Is there a way you can help keep her household running while she is in with her baby? Sometimes, crying with a friend, can be supportive. I hope you figure something out.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    422

    Default Re: Old feelings coming back

    Quote Originally Posted by mel6928 View Post
    Not really sure what advice I need I guess I just need to know there are other mom's that have felt the same. My DS was born at 32 weeks and spent 23 days in the NICU and as many of you know it's the hardest thing many of us have ever dealt with. Seeing him lying there and feeling so helpless really shook me to the core and the entire experience completely changed the person that I am today. I thank God everyday for my healthy beautiful 13 mo. old DS now. But there are times that I still get emotional about that time. I have a friend right now that just had a baby and he's in the hospital with heart problems. He's hooked up to the machines and looks a lot like my DS did. My problem is I really want to be there for her and go see her and her baby but I don't know if I can. I look at the website she has set up and the pics of her LO and I fall apart. I can't look at it again through my tears. I feel so selfish for even feeling this way.
    I try to rationalize it by saying that my DS is fine now and wasn't as bad off as her DS is now. My DS didn't have any heart problems like her's does. I feel like I should be strong and just be there for her . But whenever I hear her voice, look at her email, or even think about her situation for too long I break down, cry, and get that nauseous empty achy feeling in the pit of my stomach that I had last year at this time. I'm not really sure how to deal with this. I've talked to her on the phone a lot but I'm planning to go out there this weekend. I don't want to break down in front of her. What she's going through is so difficult and I want to be there and support her. Just not sure how to handle it. I would love to hear from anyone that's been here. Thanks

    You are NOT selfish -- you are having a natural response to what was a traumatic experience. Hope it helps to know several research studies found that many/most mothers who gave birth to very preterm or sick newborns later experienced post-traumatic stress-like responses to situations, sounds, equipment, etc. that reminded them of their babies' early days/weeks in a NICU. You and several of the moms who've responded to your post have described later experiences that sound very similar to (or are) flashbacks. (Flashbacks are not merely a remembering, they are more like a reliving.) Some moms find discussing it with a therapist helps them move through the feelings.

    I think if I was your friend I would to know that you care about me and my baby and that you really want to be there for me. I'd also appreciate knowing that you realize the situations are not exactly the same, yet I'd also want to know that you are having difficulty and why. That would help me understand what may be interfering with being there (mentally or physically) for/with me as you'd like.

    All the best...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    175

    Default Re: Old feelings coming back

    There are many nights that I sit in my daughter's nursery and replay all that happened before she came. My water broke at 25 weeks and a neonatologist told us that our little girl had a 50 % survival rate. By some miracle and by the grace of God our little girl held on until 32 weeks. Our situation was extremely unique and was truly a day by day situation. After an emergency c-section and our baby spending 17 days in the NICU we were blessed with a healthy and happy little girl. The time was traumatic most definitely. However, if it was not for my husband I'm not sure how I would have gotten through it. At the time my mother decided to be upset with me and I had little support. I sat every day from morning until night next to my little girl's incubator only to leave for pumping, short naps and meals. So at night in the nursery when I'm holding her I give thanks for everything. Even the time with her in the NICU because she's all the more special to me.

    Now for your situation, it's okay to have sad emotions for all you when through, but you should think back to all those who were there to support you when you needed them most. You have something special to offer your friend and that is a positive outlook in a scary situation. Even though her ds is having heart issues, the medical advances these days are so good that she too has a great chance for a happy ending. You need to help keep her positive. She needs reinforcement in a time that is the scariest moment of her life. If I were in your situation I wouldn't think twice about being there for her. Hang in there and be strong. She'll appreciate it more than you'll ever know.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    6,959

    Default Re: Old feelings coming back

    I am a huge fan of cooking for people when you can't do anything else. How about a nice big meal dropped off at your friends house? I bet when you had to go back and forth to the hospital you weren't eating very good. Here is a great chance to channel some of your feeling and energy into a positive.
    I understand you don't feel like you can be there emotionally, thats good you are aware of your limitations. So be there in a capacity that you are able. There are plenty of other ways to stay in touch.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    288

    Default Re: Old feelings coming back

    Oh, I so know what you mean. The only thing I can add to what has already been posted is that you actually have a huge gift to offer your friend, because she, too, will probably experience what you are experiencing now in the future. When that happens, you will be in a unique position to talk with her about what you are feeling now -- to reach out and connect with her.

    Be supportive for your friend in whatever ways you feel able now, and know that you will be a comfort to her simply by having survived a similar experience...

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    361

    Default Re: Old feelings coming back

    Honestly, a part of you will always feel that way. My son is now 4.5 years old and my heart still breaks into pieces when I read about or talk to someone going through life in the NICU. With the passing of time those feelings have become less intense but they are still there.

    Honestly, when he was in the NICU, I was DEEPLY hurt by so called friends who, because they were uncomfortable or whatever, did not do or say anything to me or for me. I don't want this to come out wrong because I do NOT think that you are selfish, I think your reaction is 100% normal and I have been there. What I am saying is that even if all you can do is call your friend and cry and tell her that you understand and that you are a shoulder to cry on, that is ok and much better than nothing. I would have much preferred that people called me and said, "I don't know what to say but I wanted to tell you that I care." than to say nothing at all. Does that make sense? I really hope your visit went well. You are such a kind and caring friend to be willing to face the situation, knowing how it might affect you.

    Don't be too hard on yourself. You are really not too far out from the NICU experience and it takes a LOT of time for those wounds to heal.

    I sincerely hope that your friend's baby is ok.
    http://thesfamilychronicles.blogspot.com

    "At the heart of motherhood is the kind of satisfaction unequalled in any other profession on earth."
    -Tina Neidlein


    Isaac- 1/1/01 Nursed only 4 months, had no idea what I was doing.
    Nathan- 4/28/03 preemie, 1 month NICU stay and still managed exclusive nursing for 6 months, better.
    Anna- 4/15/06 Self weaned just after turning 3.
    Baby girl due May 14th

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
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    186

    Default Re: Old feelings coming back

    you have all taken my words from me! i was trying to explain this the other day to a friend who had a baby in the nicu and she got tears in her eyes (her son is now 3) and said, i know, it will always hurt. i think it is hard to think your baby, who you love so much had to go through anything so difficult. i also think in many ways i feel cheated- and there is pain from that too. both of my sons were born early and i never got a "normal" birth- both were emergency c-sections and i didn't get to see them until about 24, and 60 hours after they were born. my 2nd son only nursed well for a brief period of about 3 weeks where he got no supplementary bottles and lost over 2 lbs in that three weeks so i had to go back to exclusive pumping and fortified feeds to keep him out of the hospital...i still am sad about him not nursing and at times try to get him to latch (which he has NO interest in)- he will be 1 in january! i am sad too to see him now with some of his delays... and he is still so tiny (14lbs) - sometimes i get tired of people questioning me if i am write about how old he is (one lady in a grocery store asked my how old he was and when i told her she said, "are you sure?") it is still hard to see him struggle- we have OT and PT coming in to work with him and i hate to see him when he doesn't like the way they are trying to get him to move... BUT on the same side, i do have an appreciation for life and babies i could have never had without this experience so i owe my son so much for teaching me so much. i also love having my almost 1 year old be so tiny- he is taking longer to grow up than my first son did and i love getting the joy getting to be a mom to a 1 year old who is still in so many ways an infant-he is just really getting the hang of spoon feeding and on only very mushy solids- so i am blessed in that aspect- babies grow up WAY to fast and he has slowed down time in a sense for me and for that i am grateful. thanks for letting me share this- no one really seems to understand. today i got tears in my eyes looking at him because he is so perfect and so little and i said to my sister in law, "i can't believe he is almost 1, he is just so little." and she said, "don't worry, my son only weighed 20lbs when he was 1, it's not a big deal." it wasn't that he was so little- it is that my tiny miracle is almost 1 and that is hard on a mom! i think you all will understand- having a NICU baby is demanding in every way- we spent 6 weeks in the NICU with our little maddox and here he is... learning to crawl! so amazing.

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