Becoming a new parent has come with many new emotions I never expected to experience. Everything feels bigger. Deeper. More intense. These over the top emotions have completely taken me by surprise.
Right now, as I have written about a few times over the last few weeks, I am experiencing a high level of anxiety about going back to work. Not because I don’t enjoy my job, because I love my job, but because I am anxious about leaving my daughter all day. Right now I can hold her when she cries, play with her, snuggle, and give her huge kisses all day long. But when I go back, I won’t be able to do those things when I want. I love the routine we have together. It’s simple – just feeding, sleeping, diaper changing, and cuddling- but I adore it. I am just going to miss it all.
I know that part of my anxiety to leave her is because she is a preemie. She was born 10 weeks early, due to my severe preeclampsia, and spent 50 days in the NICU before she was able to come home. Despite all of the trauma she went through in those first 50 days, she is healthy and on target! She was healthy her entire stay in the NICU. She just needed time to grow.
We have been through so much together and have only spent 1 day apart in her four months of life. I am not sure how to deal with these emotions. I don’t want to be anxious about going back to a job that I love. I am actively working on changing my mindset, but I am having a difficult time.
Have any of you had similar situations about going back to work after a baby?
Since becoming a parent, I have noticed that my emotions are bigger and deeper than I ever thought possible. I have a difficult time watching shows or movies where children are hurt or seperated from their parents, because I can fully understand how it would feel.
Today I watched an episode of Grey’s Anatomy that was about a pregnant woman who died after a car crash, but her baby was saved. This story felt a lot like my own since I was rushed to the hospital with extreme preeclampsia and my family stayed for a week with me. Clearly, I didn’t die nor did my precious baby, but the story felt too close to home. Since I watched the episode, I have experienced anxiety. Although I got to take my baby home from the hospital almost two months ago, I can still feel every emotion clearly. The fear. The anxiety. The helplessness. I will never forget those feelings.
I praise God every day, every moment, that I hold my daughter in my arms. He is who saved us. He brought us through the desert of pain and heartbreak into a oasis of life and love.
Today was a good day! I was able to fit some yoga in between Eisley’s naps so my body, that was once tight and cramped, is feeling pretty good. I was also able to get in about 7 hours of sleep, in 2 hour increments due to her frequent feedings.
HUGE NEWS! She has outgrown her preemie clothes! Tonight I when went to snuggle her into her jammies, they didn’t fit! It was an incredibly exciting moment! A huge anxiety for me concerning Eisley, is her weight. She gains very slowly and is pretty slow with her feedings. She has been like that since her NICU days. So I was relieved to see that she is outgrowing her tiny clothes! YAY!
I thank God for continuing to be with Eisley as she grows and helps her develop. Her first two months have not been easy, by any means, and I know he has been there every step of the way.
Eisley was very excited for her breakfast!
After 50 long and tedious days in the NICU, we were finally released on February 11! It was an incredible day. Simply walking her through the doors of the hospital and brining her out into the sunshine filled our hearts with bliss. We have been home just over two weeks now and we are getting into the parenting routine. My husband has gone back to work and I am officially a stay at home Mom for the next few months. It has been a hard adjustment in terms of my expectations. Being a mom in the NICU requires a different set of emotional coping skills than being a mom with a baby at home. In the NICU we had A nurse help us if we don’t know what to do, or need help with feedings. Obviously, here at home we don’t have that help. I never knew it would be so exhuasting. I mean, people tell you how exhausting it but you never know until you actually are there in the moment. However, I wouldn’t trade it ❤ we are so happy to have her home!
My baby girl is doing an incredible job in the NICU! The only hurdle she has to conquer before we go home is eating on her own. Slowly but surly she is getting there. I am so proud of her.
However, I have to admit that I have some anxiety about this process. We have been in the NICU, 3 hours away from home, for 34 days and I desperately want to go home. Inside I feel so much anxiety and pressure for her to be able to eat. This makes me feel incredibly guilty. I know she is still learning and it’s hard for her, but a part of me just wants her to hurry up and do it so I can take her home.
Right now we are using a bottle to feed her since she is so small. It’s easier to tell how much she drank compared to breast feeding. However I feel anxious that I am not breastfeeding too. It is something I want to do but she found it more difficult that using the bottle. There are just so many emotions with this part of our NICU journey! I am feeling a little overwhelmed and anxious.
However, I know God is in control and His plan is perfect. We are here in the NICU for a reason. He has brought our baby girl so far and he will continue to do so. I just need to remember that. ❤
My Heart is So Full
My daughter is beautiful
I am now a MOM!!
I am still blown away by the fact that I am a mom now. It is such an incredible feeling too look at that beautiful baby girl and know that she is the creation of me and my husband. She has been so strong, and is such a fighter. She has been on in the NICU for 29 days today, and is getting closer to going home!
Being a NICU mom is incredibly challenging. It is day 26 for Eisley in the NICU, she is doing great, but as I wake up at 2 am to pump, I wish she was here with me instead of at the hospital. I wish that I was breastfeeding here and comforting her in the middle of the night instead of setting an alarm to pump into bottles for her NICU stockpile. I wish I could hold her and snuggle her right now and not have to wait until my 20 minute car ride later today.
I know that God has a plan for all of this, and I trust Him completely. He knows that my heart yearns for my baby girl to be near me, and he understands the ache. Even though this journey is unbelievably difficult, I know He is here with me every step of the way, holding me up and giving me strength.
If you were able to read my last post, on Dec 23 my baby girl – Eisley – arrived 10 weeks early. She has been doing really well. She is breathing on her own for the last few weeks, has been putting on weight and then yesterday she had the temperature in her incubator bed. We were able to put clothes on for the first time, and it was such an exciting moment. She wasn’t overly excited about wearing clothes, but once she was snuggled in, she settled down.
Life in the NICU is always on the edge of uncertainty. In the back of my mind, I am always afraid that things are going to go back down again. I appreciate the nurses being so open and willing to answer questions that we have. That really helps with the anxiety that constantly hovers around the NICU.
What helps me the most is relying on God. I have been learning that there is nothing that I can control. Prayer is what brings me comfort. I trust that God has a plan is strengthening me as a woman and a mother as he continues to help my baby girl grow and develop.
My baby girl is so strong and she is my hero! I love holding her in my arms and listening to her little coos. I love her with all of my heart.