RAW

It’s been a bit of a raw weekend for me. Saturday morning I saw a post from a new twin mom on the Louisville Mother of Twins Club forum about her babies who were born eight weeks early and are now residents of the Kosair NICU. She was asking for feedback and support, to which I responded giving her my contact information and shared a little about our NICU experience. I cannot hear a story about preemies without crying. It’s something that I’ve noticed over the past seven months and I wonder if that’ll ever change. I told Jeremy that I wasn’t sure if I was now just that empathetic to the circumstances or if I had some sort of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or a little of both. He thinks it’s a little of both and said that we were both opened up to an experience that can’t truly be understood unless someone has been there. He commented that for him that experience was the most trying time he’d ever been through. Neither one of us are the type to wear our emotions on our sleeves and aren’t overly dramatic about the events in our lives, so I think only a few people really knew how hard it was for us. I remember one of my good friends commenting on my voice and that it had an anxiety about it that she’d never heard in me. I can completely relate to how this new mom feels, which she described as joyful sadness, and I hope that I can be of support to her during their tour of duty in the NICU.

Another reason it’s been raw is that we got our bill for our frozen embryo storage for the next year and a decision needs to be made. I have to say I was relieved by getting this bill. I knew it was about that time of year and had a fear that some sort of mistake had occurred and our embryos were accidentally given up to someone else. I didn’t anticipate the burden I would feel regarding these additional 10 frozen embryos with which we’ve been entrusted. Between this decision and the new NICU mom, I was quite weepy during church. It’s the one place where I will readily cry publicly and it was made worse when we sang “Our God” by Chris Tomlin, which I’ve dubbed my NICU survival song. I left church with no makeup left on my face and Jeremy and I had a lengthy conversation about our frozen embryos. He has a way of putting things into perspective and asked me if I thought of the embryos as mine…yes, was my immediate answer and I knew it was the wrong one and a selfish one. These embryos are God’s and I need to think of them that way. I told him that I do think of them as our children and I want to honor both God and their biological family in our decision to either keep them for another year or give them back up for adoption. He did agree that we are so much in the thick of baby land that to say we’re never going to have any more probably isn’t fair. Since we didn’t have to make a decision that second, we haven’t made a definitive decision yet. However, I suspect I’ll be sending in a check in the next few days and we’ll have this conversation again next year. For now, we have to give this decision to God and hope that we get direction on making the right decision for the right reasons.

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2 thoughts on “RAW

  1. wow…I haven’t done a ‘tour of duty’ in a NICU but I found myself choking back tears…I love your mission like support you offer to other moms. James was in NICU for 24 hrs.+/- and I was weary from it…I can only imagine…not to mention keeping ‘your’ embryos…it’s all so BIG and hard to wrap my mind around it…I’m in awe. May GOD continually bless you w/ your masterful writing, empathetic heart, and your precious family’s health and happiness.

  2. Hi Jess,
    I can definitely relate. Greg was a premie and in the NICU for 12 weeks. My most intense emotional reaction came on his 1 year old birthday. My husband thought I was crazy. We had been through a year from hell and Greg was thriving by his 1st birthday. But it seemed to me that we just did what we had to do the first year. We were on automatic “parent” pilot. Finally on his first birthday I could finally deal with the emotional stress of that whole first year. For several years I had “processes” around his birthday. I do believe it is a form of post traumatic stress syndrome. The last one of these that I remember was when he was about 5 or 6 years old.
    You are doing great and right where you are supposed to be! 🙂 I applaud your all’s decision on the “babies.”
    Love,
    Kim
    If you talk with Nick and Meredith, give them my love. I am sorry I didn’t get to see them before they left.

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