As someone who was once raped and held hostage at gunpoint for 36 hours, I learned from an early age that life is too short to allow yourself to sweat the small stuff. After all, stress is a killer. That’s why I’ve always strived to only stress about the really big things in life. Like when my husband cheats on me in a dream.
Enter: Paranoid Preemie Mom.
The stay in the NICU was emotionally taxing, and I knew to expect as much. What I wasn’t prepared for was all the anxiety that taking her home would bring. It’s one thing when a team of medical professionals is responsible for the well-being of your 3-month-premature child, but it’s another entirely when that responsibility falls to a woman who can’t even remember whether or not she’s wearing pants. Spoiler: You can just look down. Anyway, the responsibility was seemingly more than I could handle. When Brooke came home, I thought I managed it relatively well for a first time mom. When Blake came home, all hell broke loose — at least in my mind. For context, this tiny being was supposed to be in my womb for yet another month still. For the 44 days prior, she had been waited on hand and foot by people with intensive medical training. The only medical training I had ever received was in 9th grade biology when I was told to dissect a frog. And in case you were wondering, no, I couldn’t do it. In any event, I was concerned about my ability to care for her in the manner necessary. Worried that I might miss some critical sign of distress. Hoping that the NICU was right; that she really was ready to come home.