Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Flashback but without the pretty colors and breathing furniture

I have seen a number of bloggers write about the complexities of feelings from the past rushing up when something pushes the memory repeat button. And, today I cried in a store after interrupting a total stranger when I saw that her baby had a NG tube. Nothing but nothing will ever suck as badly as the lack of control and general level of wretchedness that occurs with a baby in crisis. A NICU stay, even one in the intermediate care nursery, is a kick in the guts like no other I have experienced. I didn't see this rush of emotion coming but there I was, innocently buying vitamins in Whole Foods, when I saw the baby and her mama buying anything that would boost her up and make her milk flow again now that her baby had just been released to go back home. My milk let down but worse than that was that I wanted to hug this total stranger because then my anxiety level might slip back down a notch. I interjected in the conversation she was having with the clerk who had obviously not yet had children, and gave her my tips about milk making, and when it was time to go we introduced ourselves and hugged and wished each other well. I told her how strong she was for learning how to insert the NG tube so she could bring her baby home. I wasn't offered that option with my preemie but I would have been if the time had gone on longer and I didn't think I would agree to do it because I am squeamish and afraid. Hell, I still hate to use the suction squeezer on a booger-jammed baby nostril. I told my new friend that she was strong, strong enough to be there for her child, and then I sat in my car and came all apart. So I just continue to take these experiences out now and then and taste them and test them and then put them back and focus on the now instead of the then. And just about when I get to the "I-laugh-in-the-face-of-danger-when-it-comes-to-my-babies-stage" of my life, I will perhaps be used to what happened in the dark and early days. Not yet.

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