Sunday, September 26, 2010

What Not To Do

Here's an item for the Not To Do List, Like Ever Ever Again: read the blog of another family's experience in the NICU.

Hol-ee crap.

It was by accident. Of course. I mean, I'm not stupid (usually) (I hope). But in the way of the intertubes, I found a thing that lead me to one blog that recommended another, and before I considered the wisdom of my actions found myself reading this woman's account of her daughter's 96 days in the NICU. Her story is different than mine, of course, incomparable and yet so similar, the way these things are. Monitors, alarms, desats... My stomach is still tensed hours later, the way it was for so many months last year.

So, here's the thing. I get angry when I think about people who went through so many of the same things that I did but got to bring their kids home. It comes over me in a flash, a brief but engulfing conflagration of rage. And jealousy. And so, so much bitterness.

How exactly does one get past this sort of thing? Oh, shut up. I know. Time. Stupid, slower than I can bear Time. I know this. After all, I no longer automatically think, "Bastards" as I walk past the pregnancy and parenting section of bookstores, so I assume that someday I will no longer think similarly uncharitable thoughts about those families luckier than ours.

I'm not a complete beast. I am happy for such people. And I understand that coming home isn't necessarily the ending of their troubles. Truly. I'm just deeply bitter that we're not among the fortunate*. 

The real kicker? (And by "kicker" I mean, "stomp on the head in the manner of Edward Norton in American History X".) Sarah sometimes talks about Jane in the present tense. I can only hope Time will take care of that one, too. Soon, please and thank you.

*I feel compelled to acknowledge that in most areas, we are in fact among the incredibly fortunate. I know this, too. But I'd trade any of the rest of it to have my girl back.** 

**I know you know this, too. Sometimes, though, it just needs to be said.


Cindy said...

Sending you a hug. And some love.

Tasha said...

God bless you, as always Tia.

Laura Marshall said...

There is nothing more honest than an asterisked asterisk. It is a great visual of the distance between what we know and what we resent knowing (maybe)((that's probably me projecting)). I jumped on and read backwards for awhile- love you T.

Cara said...

Ah, yes. I found Flotsam's blog when I was pregnant with Violet. And although I knew we would likely have a very sick premature baby, I was compelled to read her blog anyway.

In the end, as you know, we brought our baby home eventually. And I often feel guilty about that, probably much as you feel angry -- though I can't begin to understand what your experience was like. The NICU experience was emotions on steroids for me. Still is.

Peace and healing to you. I think about Jane so often.

mommatosena said...

Hugs. I have nothing else to offer....even though I try and just find myself deleting. Maybe another time I can articulate the swirly thoughts.

tia said...

Cara, I keep up with your blog and LOVE seeing how well Violet's doing. I feel the same about my friends from our NICU.

My anger is just this reflexive jerk (not coincidentally making me feel like a jerk) that has nothing to do with anything except my lizard brain wanting what it wants. If that makes sense. Those emotions are still on steroids, I guess.

Anyway, I'm not angry about anyone specifically, and I'm thrilled for you and your family, very specifically. And I'm touched that you still peek in here.

mommatosena said...

I get it now! It's the reflexity of that even a word. It happens and is there and torteously uncomfortable (totally projecting here) emotion. The proponderence of what next (being at loose ends) and not having a specific direction. Although (again projecting) considering taking the ride again. Not sure that/this makes any sense. (I did say they were swirly thoughts) Just in sense of where I'd been. Hope you all are enjoying this time of year and picking loads of apples to sauce!

Me? A Mom? said...

Tia, No clarification needed. I TOTALLY got what you meant. :)

I'm so glad you continue to post. I'm pretty sure we'd get along famously if we lived near one another!

Karen said...

Tia, I think anger is a completely normal and real emotion for you to have and I'm glad you can be honest enough to share it with us readers. We all know you don't want to feel that way but the reality is you do. It's just not fair that Jane did not come home.

I continue to send you love and still have your Christmas card on my fridge so I can look at Jane's face regularly. She is not forgotten.


Erica Houskeeper said...

Hugs and love to you Tia.